This marks my eighth tattoo. The first one was at sixteen years of age with my mother, who rushed me after I spent an hour looking over every page of tattoo samples on the walls. I never dreamt of getting a tattoo as I'd assumed my parents would be against it so when my mother offered to take me to get one, I was shocked but game for the experience. As it turns out, she had been helping a friend open his business and as a thank you he offered her a free tattoo. She didn't want it, so she passed it on to me. I had no clue what I wanted since I had less than a week's notice. So my decision was ultimately rushed and I picked something totally cliche.
Years later by the beach town of San Juan Del Sur in Nicaragua, I covered up my first tattoo with a watercolor-inspired design that was designed directly on my skin. I had no idea what the end result would look like, but I knew whenever I saw this tattoo I would remember those past few months in that humid country.
They say after you get one tattoo you will always want another. And they are totally right. I love each and every one of them. They've become such a seamless part of my body that I often forget that I even have them. Sometimes when I catch myself, a few times a year, I imagine what it is like for the world to see me: a petite Asian girl with a very strong personality smattered with tattoos here and there. I wouldn't say this makes me unique since tattoos are no longer taboo and have become mainstream, but when I was young it was a novelty. And I felt it in the eyes of those who saw the marks upon me. It was intriguing and a talking point. I no longer think these things are intriguing to any beholder; they no longer serve that purpose of differentiating myself from those around me. The motivation for my tattoos have shifted over the years. They now mark a moment in time, a season of growth, a person or a story worth remembering.
As the stories accumulate so will these beautiful scars.