Think before you ink

WITH a simple click of a mouse, my fate was set.

I’ve always wanted a tattoo. It’s been on my mind for years – the big task was just to the age where it was legal for me to get one and to find one I’d be happy to keep forever. With friends of mine jumping on the stain train recently, big sheep over here decided it was finally time to act on the thoughts racing through my head for the past three years or so.

It took me a good five years before I found something I was happy with. Not a decision to be rushed, I knew if I was still happy with the idea of it six months or a year after finding it, it was for keeps. The original idea had me humming and hawing for years. I knew I wanted to get something that meant something to me, I just didn’t know what. My first thought was to get the by-now ubiquitous treble clef on my wrist. Pointless, as while I do love music my playing skills can leave much to be desired. Two years ago, I found it.

Two of my biggest loves in my life are my family and Disney movies. So imagine my delight when I found a tattoo design that embodied the two perfectly. In the 2002 film Lilo and Stitch, family was a big factor in the character’s lives. A big word – and a new one in my vocabulary – was ‘ohana‘. “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.” That was it. Once I heard that phrase again, I knew that was ‘The One’.

Armed with a design photo and a packet of wine gums to chew on when things got tough (thanks to the advice of an already ink adorned friend), I went in for the kill. I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it – a tattoo hurts. That said, the pain is never as bad as you have it measured up to be in your head. I went in with a “this is not going to kill you” attitude to the experience, which actually scared my tattoo artist so much she had convinced herself this was not my first time under the needle. (I have piercings, but anyone with ink and metal will tell you these are two totally different experiences.)

And now, to the finished product.


Whatever discomfort and pain I went through was forgotten as soon as I got my first glance of my new artwork. It’s not what I had imagined it to be at all – it’s even better than the one I showed in the picture. As it’s on my wrist, I catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye most of the time. It’s the best way I could think to always have my family by my side. It also most definitely won’t be my last tattoo.

Also, if my Dad sees this, could you tell him I’m writing this for a friend?


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