My Ink

{I’m linking up with another blog I Love You More Thank Carrots to write about my ink}

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted a tattoo. Certainly since my teenage years. But…and that’s a big BUT, for some reason I had this logical thought that tattoos are permanent and that whatever I get I’m going to have when I’m 80. So, I determined that I would wait until I wasn’t “young and rebellious” anymore, I would have to like the tattoo that I was getting for YEARS, and I would have to be able to picture it on an 80 year old. Mainly? I just didn’t want to end up with a tattoo of a butterfly above my hipbone. If you have a butterfly above your hip, there is no judgment here, it’s just not the tattoo for me. Every so often I would study women 40 and up to see if I could picture them with a tattoo…the answer was always “no”. Over the years, I narrowed down what I wanted. For sure I wanted a wrist tattoo because I figured that wouldn’t wrinkly too much with age, and I wanted the words “abundant life” incorporated into the tattoo. In the meantime, I just pierced things instead, my nose, my bellybutton, and the thick cartilage on my ear right by the opening {I forget what it’s called}.

Truth be told. I’ve always LOVED tramp stamps…also known as tattoos on the small of a woman’s back…but I JUST CAN’T PICTURE IT ON AN 80 YEAR OLD…so I don’t have one. I digress.

The summer I got my tattoo I was 26 years old. It was 2008, the absolute worst year of my life. I knew earlier in the year that I would probably end up getting a tattoo as a way of “dealing” with the trauma of that year. It happened at the end of the summer. I’d “run away” to my old camp in Michigan, my safe place, and one Sunday evening I was sitting in the local Panera just writing in my journal. I looked up and saw a woman in her 60’s and, as was my custom, tried to picture her with a tattoo. Suddenly, I could see it…and it didn’t look ridiculous! It was all I needed. I grabbed a few friends and we went the next day.

Because of the town in Michigan that I was in, there were no local tattoo parlors open after 10..and it was a Saturday night! Go figure! We finally hit the jackpot on the third try, 20-ish miles away. I was really lucky and one of my friends wanted to pay for the tattoo, which was actually the only way that I was able to get it. We flooded their {very empty} parlor, and my friend Brittney convinced Matt the tattoo guy not to close his shop and to do the tattoo.

To say I was nervous is an understatement. I was sure I wanted the tattoo…I was not sure that I could handle the pain. Somebody drilling ink into my wrist isn’t my idea of a walk in the park. You know what I mean? I closed my eyes and told Matt to just do the first stroke…because then I knew there would be no turning back.

tattoo 3

I was so nervous that I became slightly giddy and was laughing a lot. I laugh at inappropriate times. Matt got kinda pissy about that because I was moving the hand he was tattooing. My solution? I gripped his shirt in my hand while he tattooed. I think he was even more unnerved by that…but he didn’t have a choice.

tattoo 1

I had my friends Brittany and Laura back there with me, and they kept me laughing the whole time. Um, wait, what I meant to say is that they laughed at me the whole time.

tattoo 2

Probably because the way that I handle pain is to either A) laugh, or B) close my eyes and take deep breaths. And let me tell you something…getting a tattoo freakin’ HURTS. It’s like if you had a really bad sunburn and then a cat scratches you right on the sunburn. Not fun, right? Right. The very worst part was the dead center of my wrist. I have no idea why, but I handled the outside just fine…the inside of my wrist required my full concentration on breathing.

tattoo 4

After about 45 minutes, lots of laughter, and lots of pain…this is what I ended up with…

tattoo 5

What does it mean? It’s Greek for “abundant life”. Although, if you actually know Greek, you’ll notice that the “Q” looking thing on my left wrist doesn’t look quite right. I printed my tattoo off of the Strong’s Concordance definition for “abundant life”…and our best guess is that it’s the type of font that the computer used. Anyways, the phrase “abundant life” comes from John 10:10 where Jesus says, “Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. But, I have come that you have life, and life more abundantly”. I LOVE that verse. It’s the gospel in a nutshell. He just lays it out there and leaves the choice up to you. Satan hates you. Wants to destroy your life. I have come that you might live…truly live. In every sense of the word.

Here’s the for real definition of that “abundant life”: exceeding need, over and above, more than is necessary, exceedingly abundantly, supremely, much more than all, more plainly superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon, more eminent, more remarkable, more excellent life, of the absolute fullness of life which belongs to God, life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed and to last forever.

It’s “life” in all capital letters.

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering. The last three letters on my right wrist spell the word “Zoe” in Greek. Guess where her name came from? =) And one more thing, “abundant” didn’t fit onto one wrist…so we carried it over. My left wrist technically says “Abunda” and then my right wrist says “nt Life”…which means that my right wrist likes to beatbox.

Do you have a tattoo? If so, what is it? Does it have a meaning behind it?


12 responses to “My Ink

  1. I describe the feeling of a tattoo in the exact same way and I’ve never heard anyone else put it that way until now. You’ve inspired me to write a blog on all my tattoos.

  2. Excellent tattoo!!! I have a sun on the side of my belly..It’s got funky rays and the colors fade from red to yellow… LOVE IT… been dying to get the moon and the stars tattoo also… but… yea…

  3. Love this! I have three tattoos. That’s right 3!!!! My first was done on my 18th birthday. It is a picture of 2 interlocking hearts for my sister and I. My second was done 2 weeks later on a whim and is known as my “giselle” tat since it is a star on my wrist and my last was done before I left for college. My best friend and I got the Christian Fish on our ankles to always remember to be “fishers of men” and to remember when we walk, He leads us.

  4. OMG! If I ever get a tattoo, it will totally be the Greek version of Zoey’s name. I love how it looks.

  5. Well.this is my tattoo story. I got my one and only tattoo when I was….47yrs old. HAD to have it on the top of my foot. (It’s actually on the side/top of my left foot) l was warned it was one of the most painful places go get a tattoo, but that is where l wanted it. I had to do the breathing thing all the way thru it while squeezing my Son’s hand. (Who was the one who.talked me into it…why? “Because it’s art Mom!”) Geezzz…what we do for or kids. Lol.. It was VERY painful…I would compare it to child birth and chances are I won’t do it again! My tattoo is a heart with the Trinity symbol in the middle. Stands for father, son, & holy ghost. Became it took all three to get me thru getting the darn thing! 😉

    • hahahahahaha! I don’t think I ever realized that you had a tattoo….and, even though I know it’s painful, I think my foot is where my next one is going to be too

  6. Pingback: Week of Thanksgiving: Day 3 | Confessions of a Reluctant Housewife

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