My Tattoo Story, Part 1

A big, beautiful sun and moon are etched across my left side. I absolutely love the art, but i no longer wish to display them on my skin. Read below to learn more about my journey into the tattooing world.
It was summer 2015. I was a fresh from high school graduate about to embark on my unknown life journey. My best friend named Blaise was OF COURSE going to be by my side through everything, so when he went to visit the trendy Camp in Costa Mesa, he invited me to come along. The shopping center is quirky, featuring succulent shops in trailers and Urban Outfitters-esque clothing companies housed in the center’s facilities. Next to an umami-type burger restaurant is a cute little tattoo shop. We walked inside and i went through all of the tattoo artists’ plastic binders filled with collections of work they’ve done. Whilst scanning the artists’ portfolios, i was drawn to one whose business cards were inspired by lotería [Spanish] playing cards; with images of la rosa, el diablito, la corona, and etc on one side, his name and phone number on the other. I was drawn to his creativity and sharp-lined work.

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A photo i took of my tattoo artist’s portfolio of work.

I ended up getting inked twice by the artist with lotería business cards named Mario. The first thing i got done was a small tattoo underneath my left breast which reads “heal” in cursive Hebrew. The session lasted a mere 20 minutes, and then i was on my way, a freshly tattooed woman.

 

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The results of my first inking experience.

Now, rational Abbie would’ve stopped there. But alas, two weeks later i ended up in the shop again, without a clue as to what type of work i wanted done. After some discussion with Mario, i decided on a sun and moon piece. My intentions were to get very tiny tattoos that would be easy to keep private. However, i ended up going with his first sketch design, which was massive. I don’t know why i didn’t ask for him to scale it down. I was so excited. I enjoyed the rush of doing something i knew i shouldn’t be [my parents are not tattoo fans], with no one to tell my recently-turned 18 ass that i couldn’t/shouldn’t. His work is incredible, and the 5 and 1/2 hour session ended up being quite pleasant due to his mastery of small talk.

 

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My brand new tattoo.
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My fresh tattoo.

You see, i had no intentions of ever getting a tattoo; my being impulsive by nature yet anxious at the same time usually kept me from doing rash things, but my inner artist was calling out to me, and my heart wanted to go forward with the inking.

As the months passed by afterward, i made a few realizations. First, that my extreme impulsivity at the time possibly had a root. Due to my emotionally taxing high school experience, i was assigned a therapist and a psychiatrist around senior year to help get me back on track. Thus began the process of trial and error in terms of medications, with the ultimate aim of finding a balance which would allow me to function at the utmost capacity in my everyday life. During a session with my therapist, we discussed the new medications i was currently on. One of those medications (likely an antidepressant/anti-anxiety formula) served as a cause for concern on her end. She went on to tell me about her personal experience on the drug, which she no longer takes.

“When i was on this medication, i got some speeding tickets and i ended up impulse shopping at the mall quite a bit.” 

What is that even supposed to mean?!, I asked myself. Medication couldn’t do that to a person, right? Wrong. I do believe that was what ultimately pushed me over the edge. I have a major fear of needles, so the whole concept was just so not me from the start.

I’ve included a poem written by Amanda Lovelace which somewhat correlates with how i feel about the whole situation:

when
my dragon
with the
green eyes left,
i
took
a knife
and cut off
all my long,
pretty hair,
taking away
the only thing
he
ever
loved
about
me.
 
~over before it began.

•amanda lovelace•

My dragon is my ex, my innocence i took away from myself in the end.


Tattoo art is absolutely beautiful, and i admire people who dare to be bold and go for it and get inked. It is a cultural practice i approve of and find quite amazing.

My skin is alabaster, pure and milky. Personally, I’ve come to believe the ink stands as a blemish, something meant to be removed. I am fortunate enough that my parents are willing to fund my Picosure laser tattoo removal process, which i started at the end of May 2017. In a few weeks, i will be entering my second session. The process is incredibly painful and expensive, hence why i want readers to take note: make sure you KNOW what you’re doing and what you want before rushing into decisions like the ones i made.

So, that is my tattoo story so far. It is not close to being finished yet, and as i continue to make progress over the next few months, i will add a Part 2+ to comment on my removal process and provide new photos of the fading ink. I will also explain the meaning behind these tattoos in future posts.

 

Below is a photograph i took yesterday of my skin. My cursive Hebrew tattoo is slowly starting to fade after one Picosure session. The moon and sun are still sharp as day; it will take more than a few sessions to really see progress.

 

A photograph of my tattoos. June 24, 2017.

Update: today (July 13) i recieved my second round of Picosure laser tattoo removal treatment, and it hurt quite a bit! Below i’ve included a photo of my post-treatment tatts. Ouch!





Do you have any tattoos? What about your friends? Let me know how you feel about them, I’d love to hear from you. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and stay tuned for My Tattoo Story, Part 2.

 

Love,

Abbie Leigh 🐰🖤

16 thoughts on “My Tattoo Story, Part 1

  1. First I want to say thank you for sharing. I really liked your post and can completely understand why you would want people to learn from what you go through and understand not to get a tattoo impulsively even if they are pretty.

    Second, ouch! I can only imagine how painful tattoo removal might be.

    I personally do have a few tattoo. One of my tattoo is a slightly matching tattoo with my best friend. A few of my friends also have tattoos but not all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking a read, it means a lot to me. 😇 im so glad you brought up the fact that i want people to hear of my own mistakes so they can make the best decisions for themselves.
      And yes, i would not want anyone to find out how much it hurts. My dermatologist today was saying “ouchie ouchie ouchie” while running the laser over my skin. 😹
      How cool! What is the tattoo that you and your friend got together? 😮😄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that is good that you want people to learn from you and really think about it before acting. That is good and people would appreciate that.

        “Ouchie ouchie ouchie” I can’t imagine that being relaxing to hear lol ouchhhh!

        We got an open book that represents our love for reading as well as two birds (representing us) flying freely off the pages of the book on the back of our shoulders opposite sides. Mines on the left and hers on the right.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks. We talked and took awhile to decide on it cause we wanted something that meant something to both of us plus it was her first one but not my first one.

        Like

  2. I enjoyed reading. I agree with you completely. Tattoos at the fresh age of 18 are exciting at the time but afterwards you start to think “oh no, what did I just put on my body”. I have 6 tattoos and I got my first one when I was 18. I have never had one removed but I have had one redone and I swear it is the most painful thing ever. Definitely if people are going to get a tattoo they have to find the best artist and a meaningful tattoo that they can live with

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think tattoos are a great way to express yourself, and yes, i should’ve thought more about mine and perhaps waited until my early twenties to decide if it was really worth it to me or not. Oh no, i’ve heard redos are not fun! and exactly, as long as it means something to you! Each one tells a story, and it’s so neat that you have 6!
      Thank you for taking a read, i truly appreciate it. ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Abbie, thanks for this post! Loved your “Unknown Life Journey” phrase. I guess this is a diary of part of that journey. Love your openness and writing style! Thanks for visiting my blog! I hope you will come and visit my words again soon!
    Chuck

    Like

  4. I started same way as you was suppose to be a small one then I kept adding to it until now it’s up my arm and chest but I love it. Wasn’t planned but hey, stuff happens. Lol. Great post! I just went through your blog today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the removal laser sessions hurt so bad. I would definitely suggest anyone to keep their tattoos if they’re not too bad and are regretting their decision. For a while i was so into sleeves! That’s so cool. i bet you have some beautiful art on your bod! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Just got your comment on my short story. Sorry for the delayed reply :-\

    I have several tattoos. My favorites are the guitar piece on my left forearm (is there a way to post a pic in the comments?). It uses several colors and utilizes negative space quite well. It’s surrounded by the quote “Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see it”. The second half of the quote was done without ink, so it’s really hard to see. As it should be.

    My second is a quote from Emily Dickinson. “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” One of my favorite poems of all time. People misunderstand the meaning behind that tat, but again, it only adds to the meaning.

    Thanks for the post!

    Like

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