I always laugh a little when someone sends me a message or leaves a comment about my tattoos because honestly I forget that I have them most of the time. Maybe it’s the fact that I got my first tattoo 10+ years ago or that the majority of ’em are pretty small, but I hardly notice them day to day and always surprise myself a bit when I stop and think about them and remember that I have quite a few.
After sharing a little peek on Instagram at the airplane tattoo on my right wrist while riding the train back to the city on Sunday, I received a message asking if I’ve ever done a blog post about my tattoos and realized it’s never something I’ve blogged about over the years… so let’s talk tattoos!
I got my first tattoo at 19, I had just entered into the phase of figuring it out, and decided that getting a tattoo could be a good reminder to slow down and let things unfold instead of stressing about what was next. I went with the word patience on the side of my foot and while it wouldn’t exactly be my top pick for a tattoo today, it has served me well over the years as I’ve learned to better manage anxiety and stress, and accept the fact that you can’t control everything.
Then came two tattoos on my ribs, one on each side. The first was a horseshoe on my right side as a nod to my passion for horseback riding and the impact that sport has had on my life (I started riding when I was 5 and rode competitively in high school, then on my college’s team, and am on a hiatus at the moment since moving to New York). A year later I followed up with a robin on my left side, a symbol of transformation and new beginnings as robins are the first birds to return in the spring – I was early on in my career and still living in New Jersey but feeling very ready and open for change, and later that year I accepted a relocation offer and made the move out to Chicago, a city I had never been and a place where I knew no one. That leap changed my life and I love having my robin as a marker of that monumental chapter in my story, and am still a big believer in the power of new beginnings and just how impactful a fresh start can be.
A few others have been added to the mix over the years – XXVIII on the top of my right shoulder, stemming from Law 28 in the 48 Laws of Power (Enter Action with Boldness), an ampersand on the inside of my left arm near my elbow (nearly identical to the one in Pretty & Fun’s logo), and a geometric arrow vertically on the outside of my right wrist (done at Bang Bang in NYC, the detail is really amazing). I’ve been on a tiny tattoo kick recently with 3 new additions over the past few months: a waxing crescent moon outline (feminine symbol plus a signifier of transformation & change), three dots in homage to my chosen homes (Chicago, San Francisco, New York) and an airplane on my wrist (flying is my happy place and travel has changed my life).
And that’s it! For now at least 😉 I’ve never really been one to have a strong opinion on tattoos but I love the symbolism behind mine and the personal connection I have with each of them. I think there are two pretty distinct lanes when it comes to tattoos: for art and for meaning, and for anyone considering one, go for it as long as you’re confidently doing it for either (or both), taking the time to choose the right artist and not rush the process.
Do you have any tattoos?