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How I Got My First Tattoo

    Tattoos, a taboo for some, a lifestyle for others. It seems like nowadays there are two directions with them, either you love them or you label the ones that have them as second class citizens. Personally, I always knew I wanted to have one, I even knew where I wanted to be placed and for a few years, I also knew what design I wish.

    Having fear of commitment and avoiding anything that is permanent, I was very cautious when it came to making decisions that will impact my life and body, therefore I postponed the wish of getting a tattoo while I was sad, after a break-up or when going through emotional periods. Also, I was never tempted by having the name of the person that I am in a relationship at the moment, added to my body for eternity. I do believe in love, but I don’t think it’s a certainty that it will last forever.

    Having the decision taken, I keep on postponing it due to the fear of being judged, especially by my family and friends, and because I was terrified by the idea that a needle will sting me a million times. And so the years keep on passing and my desire came and went away. It was until I found a girl 10 years younger than me that asked me if I want an appointment for myself since she will do her second and third tattoo this month.

    Whether this was a good idea or a bad one, I will know in time, but what I do know now and I can tell you is that I absolutely love the ink and the 3 swallows that I have on my wrist. At first, I wanted them made very small, on the side and flying towards my hand, the tattoo artist suggested to have them in the right direction, towards the sky and myself. He also convinced me to have them in a bigger size, since those will not fade away as easily as the very small ones. I am happy now that I listened to him since I am madly in love with the final output.

    Why swallows? Oh… Where do I begin?

    Birds, in general, symbolize freedom and the love for flying. The fact that most birds migrate during the winter and come back in the spring, them being the ones to tell that the warm weather is close, in Romania we consider them the sign of spring. What does this have to do with me? Well, I love flying, I love the ability to get on a plane and go anywhere in the world, and how these inventions helped us conquer thousands of miles in a few hours. As for spring, well March is my birth month and I’ve always loved the season when everything comes back to life. The warm days of spring have the smell of fresh strawberries and cafe frape in them. Furthermore, spring is the season when we ditch the heavy winter clothes for the dresses and trenches.

    As for why I love swallows, in particular, that is because growing up I had a nest on my bedroom window and every morning I would get to hear them chirp. Like a Swiss watch, they would wake me up with their tweeting and made me look up the window where I could see the blue sky and the hills. Those were happy times that I want to hold on to as long as I can.

    The last reason why I’ve chosen this design is not a happy one, it’s related to death and the fact that this is a permanent thing, one that changes the lives of the ones around. Letting go of the people that are no longer with us or letting them fly away towards a new phase is a lesson that I am still learning. Although I don’t want this to be the main reason behind my tattoo, I do want the reminder that we need to set them free and move on with our own life. Just as my flying swallows, the memory of them will always stay with me, but only the positive ones, the rest are free to move on.

    Whether you are thinking about getting a tattoo, already have one or don’t even want to hear about this topic, keep in mind to be considerate with the option of others. Having a tattoo doesn’t mean you just got out of jail, or that you have loose morals, maybe it just means something special for that person. Same the other way around, don’t force someone into getting a tattoo, this is something personal that needs to come from within. This was the story behind my tattoo, how about you? Do you have one or are you planning to have one?


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