Getting a tattoo has been on my mind since college. You know, the time when all young women consider getting inked. Even some of my more conservative friends fantasized about what their tattoos would look like back then.
A rose on the small of my back, or on my ankle, that’s what I kept thinking I would get throughout my twenties and early thirties.
At the age of 34, life’s journeys through both chronic illness and acute illness cause me to ponder something more meaningful than a generic rose. (For those who might be be squeamish of possible infections from unsterilized equipment, never fear. There is a shop in Boulder owned in part by registered nurses who give talks around the country about tattooing safety – this is where I would be inked.)
At first, I considered a design incorporating the flowers or the birthstones of my nephew and three nieces. Before long, however, I decided against this for a couple of reasons – (a) the husband’s brother and sister-in-law are expecting their first child in November, leading to a need to add on to the tattoo and therefore, (b) that subject matter seemed more appropriate for a charm necklace, something I could make myself and add to as needed.
Now I am seeking out a design that acknowledges the battle over a severe acute illness and subsequent surgeries as well as the continuing battle over anxiety and depression…and symbolizes the developing amateur athlete that has emerged since the type 2 diabetes diagnosis five years ago. Based on a final design, I would then decide where best to place the tattoo.
Over the next few weeks, I will sketch out a few designs (of both the necklace and the tattoo) and post them here, looking for constructive criticism. I may have a more talented artist come up with final renderings, particularly when it comes to the tattoo.
By December 5, the one year anniversary of the invasive surgery that kept me out of the ICU, I hope that both projects will be complete.