I’ve been thinking for several years about getting another tattoo. I had visited several tattoo shops, but it seemed no matter what I told them I wanted, they always produced the same thing: the double line text with the waves and wisps. Something very typical. I kept leaving disappointed, and then I would not think about tattoos again for a while.
My last tattoo happened on a trip to Europe. A lot of things had transpired in my life before the trip, and I was feeling very lost. One of the things that led up to my trip was the death of my dear friend, Harold. We were unlikely friends, but he was the father of a long-time ex-boyfriend, and we were both regulars at a local watering hole. His story is a sad one in that he was diagnosed with cancer right after finally marrying the love of his life whom he’d known for decades. I remember the job I had at the time was very boring, and I would email him all day long after his diagnosis. We made each other laugh, and it was great for me, too, as my life wasn’t at all where I wanted it to be. In fact, I didn’t know where I wanted it to be… I just knew I wanted it to change. And so the tattoo I got on that trip was the Kanji symbol for “searching.”
When Harold died, I was devastated. I think he was the closest person to me that had ever passed away. One day he was in my life, and the next he was gone. No more emails nor the chance to hang out. It was then that I got to know George, who had been our mutual friend. George was a friendly, interesting person, and we got along right away. He was going through a divorce, and I think he appreciated the opportunity to socialize. I emailed George on my trip, and he mentioned that he’d love to go to Italy. After some coaxing, the girls in his office convinced him that it would do him good to come over. And so we spent two wild weeks in Italy together, drinking way too much and having entirely too much fun.
Now, a decade later, George has left this Earth as well, and I felt it was a fitting time to get my next tattoo.
This tattoo has a lot of different meanings for me. First, I suffer from anxiety. It doesn’t make me nearly as crazy as it used to, but I still need a constant reminder to stop sweating the small stuff. Second, if I’m still breathing, I’m doing better than many. I need to take care of my health and ward off any of the preventable diseases that I can. Third, if I can breathe, it means we haven’t screwed up the air and atmosphere too bad yet. People in China right now are having trouble breathing because of what they’re doing to their air. Fourth, it’s one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs.
Angelika, the tattooist at Foolish Pride, was so wonderful. She was fabulous about getting the design just right for me and helping me with the color. I had a great conversation with her during the tattoo and felt totally at ease the entire time.
The whole staff there was really friendly, and I especially bonded with Troy – what a character. He educated me about piercings. (But I still do not want any piercings!)
I was very impressed that their after-care product, After Inked, is cruelty-free and vegan. It’s also made in the U.S.A.
I admit that I was very nervous about this process for various reasons, but I am truly happy with the result and so glad I went to Angelika.