My Heart, Your Home: My seven sins   

Saturday, 29 June 2013

My seven sins

From the moment I knew what a tattoo was, I knew that I wanted one. Many. And I just could not wait until I was old enough, and no longer living under my Mother's roof for me to get my very first one. My Mum gave me one very solid piece of advice in relation to getting a tattoo. It wasn't the "only sailors and criminals have tattoos" or the "you get a tattoo and you are not welcome in my house again" threat, or the "why ruin such beautiful skin?" question. Or any of the other words she threw at me when I talked about wanting a tattoo. All of those words went unheard. But the words that I still remember, and the words that I will repeat to my children (if they ever want their own tattoos), is to have your tattoo on a piece of paper in a high traffic area for a year. If you get sick of it, then it is not the tattoo for you, if you still love it, then go ahead. 

A tattoo is a huge commitment. It is for life. You cannot walk away from it, you cannot divorce it, you cant give it the silent treatment and you cannot forget it. Its there, following you around and reminding you of the very reason you got it, the pain that it entailed and the thrill, until your very last breathe of life. A promise to yourself. A promise that you can never break. I have talked before about my hate of a promise, my hate of having a promise broken. So when I decided to get my very first tattoo, it was no light hearted decision. It was something that I put on my wall for months on end. It was something I designed myself and I thought about every single day. It was my first promise to myself, and a reminder to always do what will make me happy and it is my favourite tattoo, to date. My promise.

My first tattoo is small and simple. A dedication to a man who inspired me to live a full and honest life. A Mr. John Lennon. And his song, my song, Imagine. Before I heard that song for the first time I was listening to top 40 music. The music of my peers. Then I heard 'Imagine' and my entire life changed. The way I listened to music, the music I listened to, the way I lived. All of it was inspired by that song and his very powerful words. So I chose to carry them with me. I have the word, 'Imagine' written in my writing, beneath the musical notes that are played when he sings 'its easy if you try', tattooed on my hip.

My second tattoo I got for my Step-Father. I had just moved home to Australia, from New Zealand, and within a month I was given some of the most horrible news. Craig had terminal cancer. Cancer of the liver. Inoperable. Months to live. I was in shock and obviously extremely sad. I watched him fight that cancer like a soldier. He was told he had possibly three months and he kicked that cancers butt for 7 months before leaving us behind and moving heaven-side. While he was still here I told him how proud I was of him, his strength and courage and bravery. I told him I wanted to dedicate a part of me, to him and his life. He said yes. So I got this - 'Keeping the Faith Alive' - only weeks before he passed away. He was proud and so was I. I chose those words because he did and he still does. 

My third and fourth tattoos I got in the one sitting. It was not long after Craig passed away and I had completely lost my way. I had said goodbye to a family member, broken up with my boyfriend of four years, moved into a new home in a new suburb on my own. I spent three months basically in silence in that home. I chose not to have a TV and spent my tummy running and swimming every morning and afternoon. I had secluded myself in a garden flat and pushed myself into nature and my own thoughts. Times were deep. 

I chose, 'it was then that I carried you' with two footprints. The final line of Craig's, (and my) favourite poem 'Footprints'. It represents many things to me. The time of Craig's illness, where I had helped to carry him and my Mum and my Brother to the end, even they are convinced now days that I didn't. Carrying myself through my life, from strength to strength, pillar to pillar, with my own courage and bravery and strength and most importantly, my own independence. It now also signifies my two beautiful Daughters and my body's ability to carry them earth-side, and to continue to carry them for life.

While I was getting that tattoo I decided to also have 'Cogito Ergo Sum' written on my wrist. This is latin for, I think therefore I am. A reminder that no matter how deep and dark and lonely life can be, I will always have myself and my thoughts and that will be enough to get me through.

The next tattoo I chose to get is the one I had on my wall for years, I designed it (roughly) myself. Just had the tattooist obviously make it better than my lack of artistic skills was capable of. I adore it. I had this tattoo in Bali by a fabulous artist named Mada. He did it free hand (where as in Australia they have always stencilled it on). To this day I am still amazed by his talent. I decided to have a tiger to remind me of my own personal strength. I have carried myself through many ups and downs through out my life and I have always survived them, independent of anyone else. I come out stronger, faster and braver. My tiger is symbolic of my inner soul. I am woman, hear me roar. 

Lastly, my final tattoo (for now). I had this done on the same Bali trip as my tiger. Whilst I do not regret the tattoo itself, I do regret the memory of it. I had this tattoo done with a girl who was my life long "best" friend. We went on a two week holiday together and I truly believed that she and I would be best friends for life. If we were still talking today, we would have been friends for almost 15 years. But, she decides when she wants to be in my life and when she does not. She has recently decided that she doesn't and she decides that without so much as a word. This is the second time in 5 years that she has done that to me and she leaves me wondering what on earth I have done. She came back into my life after Evelyn was born and I am ashamed to admit that I let her. Then she disappeared again while I was pregnant with Zalia. The gecko, although something I had always wanted, just reminds me of her now. So I now see it as a reminder to no longer let her, or anyone like her, into my life. A reminder to stand strong and not allow people to take advantage and treat me like I am less than even a second thought. My gecko is my reminder that not all people are worthy, even if I want to believe that they are.

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