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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My Bookish Tattoo

For most of my life, I had no interest in getting a tattoo. I always said that tattoos looked cool on others, but I was far too fickle to get something permanently inked on my body. 

Last December, it was like a switch flipped and I woke up one morning wanting to get a tattoo. I'm not even joking. I just woke up with the desire. Of course, I knew better than to immediately run off and get one, so I more-or-less disregarded the feeling and moved on with my life. Months later, the desire was still there, and I realized that maybe getting a tattoo wasn't just an impulse--it was something I really wanted. I just had no clue WHAT I wanted, and that wasn't a decision I wanted to make lightly. Again: me fickle, ink permanent.

I ruminated on this for a while. I only knew two things about my future tattoo. I wanted it to be bookish and I didn't want it to be cliche. I'm the type of person who thinks tattoos should be meaningful (At least on myself. Everyone gets tatted for their own reasons.) So, I scoured Pinterest and asked my friends' advice. Did I want it simple or intricate? An image, a quote, or both?

Finally, after a couple months, I found what I wanted. My best friend took me to get inked this summer.

This is a picture from the day I got it done. Sadly, I realized today this is the only picture I have of my tattoo. I guess the back of my neck isn't a place I photograph often. Whodathunk it.

I know it seems super simple, but I am still in love with it. It is honestly perfect for me. My whole family was super shocked (my dad especially), but when they saw it, they all agreed that it was extremely fitting. My boyfriend at the tame hated it and was extremely against me getting a tattoo, but I'm so glad I didn't listen to him, because he's irrelevant now.

Anyway, I got it on the back of my neck because that means I can show it off and keep it hidden whenever I want to, which was, in my opinion, the smart decision. Admittedly, I have long, thick hair that I don't wear up all that often, so people don't see it all that often, but I feel so happy and confident on the rare occasions I do show it off.

When people see a tattoo, everyone's first instinct is, of course, to ask what it means. Y'all have no clue how many people have seen it and asked me, "So, like, do you just really like reading or something?"

And here's what I've been trying to work toward the entire post. Usually when people ask me that, I simple smile sardonically and say, "Yeah, something like that," because I don't feel like trying to explain it all to people. Most people will find my full explanation of my tattoo lame and cheesy. But you, fellow bloggers, I feel will understand exactly what I mean when I say this.

Here is the full, honest explanation for my bookish tattoo that I've never really told anyone.

I like to think of my tattoo as having three tiers of meaning.

The first tier is the obvious, superficial reason: I love reading and I love books. Simple as that.

Even though tier 2 is essentially the same sentiment, but it goes a bit deeper. I got this tattoo because my life basically revolves around books. My past, present, and future. In the past, books basically saved my life and my sanity. When I was younger, I moved a lot, attended like a trillion different schools. It was hard to make friends and strong connections with others, so I would seek refuge in books. I found solace in the pages and the fictional characters living within them. In the present, I am double majoring in English and creative writing. I'm basically double majoring in analyzing books and writing books. In the future, I plan to be a writer and a novel editor. Like I said, my whole life revolves around books.

The third tier is a bit more weird and abstract. Here is the caption I posted the day I got it:

And there it is. Books, to me, are the most magical thing in this world. All these letters and syllables combine to create people and worlds that we can fall in love with, that we can relate to and find comfort in, that can show us we're not alone in this world. That's one of the most incredible things I can think of.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read what I have to say and give your opinion on it. It really means a lot to me. And of course, I will do my best to return the favor. However, as easily distracted and scatter-brained as I am, please don't be offended if I forget to comment on your blog.