I have fallen in love with the art form known as tattoos. I love to see them. I love even more hearing the stories behind them whether it is about how they decided to get that particular tattoo, what it means or the way they felt while getting it. So many stories can come from one little or not so little tattoo. I have several tattoos. Currently 9 to be exact. Some are big, some are small, some have detail some do not and only one has color. The one thing they all have in common is that they are one my body. They are part of my story. I often say they are my memoirs on my skin. I think if you just took a look you would get a pretty good idea of the type of person I am and have been in my life. I have never shared any of the stories of my tattoos but I love the stories and have decided it is time to share.
Rewind almost 11 years. I am 18 years old and getting my first tattoo. I went to a shop my sister recommended. I had the idea I wanted a tribal tramp stamp. For no other reason then being able to say I had a tattoo and I was 18. I was an “adult” and could rule the world if I wanted too. Needless to say it did not turn out so hot. I didn’t know what I was getting into I just leaped and I should have researched it more. Don’t get me wrong it is not horrible but it is plain and has no emotion to it but to me it means freedom. It means growing up and I am not a kid anymore. Many people have asked me will I cover it up someday and my answer is no it is part of my story. In the few years after that I adorn myself with a Hot Stuff Little Devil. He is on my inner left ankle. He is my only tattoo with color and he will always be my only tattoo with color. I love him. He looks like he is hanging on to my leg. I have learned since getting him that a lot of people have these Devils. Most people might feel some sort of way about this but not me. I love when I meet an amazing tattoo artist who has his every own Little Devil. I also got on my right foot the SoBe lizards. You see I use to drink a lot of SoBe. I thought it was the greatest stuff on earth. So why wouldn’t I get it tattooed on me? This one is probably my least favorite tattoo and for no particular reason. Lastly during this phase in my life I had my name Sarah added to my inner left wrist. At the time I was in college and working at a nursing home. I was an aid on an Alzheimer unit. I can say with my whole heart I loved that job. Not many people can say that about being an aide in a nursing home but I can. I learned so much about myself and the world around me from that experience. I would recommend that everyone should spend sometime with people who have this disease. While it is sad it can be completely enriching at the same time. This was where I met Florence. She was pint size, adorable with a side of feisty. She had Florence tattoo on her inner left wrist. I respected her because a women of her age with a tattoo is bad ass. Florence for all real purposes was lost. She called me Michael. She thought I was her son. I still find that funny but she did. She never knew what day or year it was. She always waiting for her husband to come home from work. That tattoo though helped her never forget who she was. She would say proud I am Florence. I don’t know if it is because she would look at her wrist and remember or if it was just the word that she would repeat. I like to think it is because of her wrist helping her remember and not just a lesson she learned. Florence passed away but I did not mourn the loss I went and got a tattoo. My name on my inner left wrist. This way I will never forget who I am and hopefully I will always remember Florence and the things I learned from all of those amazing people I met while working there.
In the last few years I have changed a lot. I have grown more than I have ever grown in my life. I love myself and the life I am living. I am closer with my family then I have ever been in my life. I have a fabulous career. I am able to travel freely. I have love and friendship. I seriously could not ask for more. Since then I have really started to get more tattoos. Across the top of my back I now have “i carry your heart, i carry it in my heart” ee cummings, surrounded by flowers that drape over my shoulder and down my arm. I also have 5 small birds flying around. These represent my nephews. They are my world and I will always be here for them and protect them. On my left calf I have a vintage frame with a silhouette of Moses inside. Yes this may make me the crazy cat lady and I don’t care. Moses is my child. He has helped me through the darkest days of my life and is my rock. We have been through a lot together and now he is always with me. I love that little guy. On my left foot I have an anchor. I got this piece done with my friend Darla. We both got anchors because our friendship anchors us to the ground and helps us from floating away into negative places.
I just the other day had a map of New York state tattooed on my thigh. I had a light placed over Buffalo and the words “Lights will guide you home.” I got this for my parents. I travel a lot. I have moved away from home, came back, moved, came back and who knows where this crazy journey will take me but I know I always have a home in Buffalo. I know they will always be there for me. I know I don’t have to call first. I know I can just show up. I know when I am away they are only a phone call away and will always help me if I need it.
*** I know this is only 8 for the people who are keeping track but one is a secret I am not ready to reveal.