For quite a while now I have been not so secretive with friends and family about wanting a tattoo. And luckily for both my credit card and body, I’m not an impulse buyer. I will take months to decide on a dress for a wedding, and for the last 8 years, I have been brainstorming the location and tattoo I want.
When I first brought it up at 18, I was advised to wait until my late 20s. Lovely, I have about a decade to decide.
- I’m going to dodge my stomach, in case I would like to have a child.
- I would like to easily hide it, so perhaps my arms and legs are not a good place.
- A tattoo on my foot would look incredibly cute, but it would be an incredibly painful process.
- My bra line looks like a good spot. Hmm maybe there…
My tattoo must be “meaningful”
- A shark? My siblings (aka my best friends) and I share the same initials. J.A.W. Together we are JAWs.
- A Dinosaur? Jurassic Park has been my favorite movie since I first saw it as a kid. I cried when I was gifted with all the DVDs. Yes, including Jurassic World. It reminds me of my childhood and even though I am an adult, I have not changed entirely as a person.
- A skull? I have a thing for Skulls. If you are a coworker, family member, or friend – this is no shocker. I have a thing for skull art. It is a classic and edgy design. Some people like elephant art, I like skulls.
- A tree of life? Ah yes, my original idea at 18. The tree of life represents constant growth. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you are always growing as a person and it is never too late to learn something new.
- A compass?...the compass.
The Greatest Piece of Advice
I was in high school when I started going to counseling regularly. I remember part of the form that was filled out on my behalf. “Reason for visit: Jessica feels lost and unsure of herself.”
It wasn’t what I said word for word, but it pretty much got the point across. I doubted myself constantly.
During my visits, I slowly opened up. There was nothing wrong with feeling angry, nervous, or scared. And, it was okay to seek advice as a young adult from someone other than friends or family.
One day while venting about a problem to get it off my chest, I was given a piece of advice by my counselor that I still remember a decade later.
“Navigate through the current situation and keep your end goals in mind.“
My problem was only temporary. I was allowed to be upset, but I should not let it get in the way of my future goals.
When considering getting a tattoo, I often thought about getting a compass. I need to navigate through every temporary problem and keep my end goals in mind. Every project, fight, bad day…they were only temporary.
A couple of years later, I realized a compass tattoo was incredibly popular. Perhaps other people were given the same advice…or maybe it is because our generation likes to travel.
I still haven’t decided what kind of tattoo I might get, but for now, I wear a compass necklace as a friendly reminder.
A lot is going on in the world right now. We are quarantined in our homes feeling lonely. Many are unsure if our government is doing its very best to protect us. People are being injured during protests. Businesses may never recover. 21 million Americans are unemployed. As of June 2020, it has been confirmed the United States is in a recession.
Every time I check my phone, I am hesitant to read the next news headline, but we can’t ignore what is going on. We are all navigating through a tough situation, but do not forget to keep your end goals in mind.