Joys Of Youth
Anyone who has a tattoo will tell you that it has meaning or significance to them. Rarely does a person get a tattoo without it representing something special. For me, the reason was freedom, the freedom to make my own decisions. Tattoos represent different things to different people, some get inked for cultural reasons, others for religion, art and even to represent a group they belong to.
Tattoos have been around for thousands of years. The first tattoo recorded in history was found on an Egyptian mummy dated from around 2000 BC, with figurines displaying tattoos dating much further back. Tattoos have been found on mummified remains from Peru, Chile, Greenland and China. Polynesian cultures are also well known for their traditional cultural tattoos, which in some cases can cover the whole body, including the face. The British expedition to the Pacific in 1769 gave birth to the modern term tattoo, believed to be derived from the Tahitian term Tatatau meaning to hit or strike. The practice has remained ever present throughout history and has had a major resurgence in modern times.
So, how did I end up with a tattoo? I went along to a tattoo parlour with my best friend, who was getting a tattoo, for moral support. We did pretty much everything together so it was only fitting I went along. I had no intention of getting a tattoo before I climbed the stairs to the second floor and walked through the door. I was a little younger than her so I would have to wait until I was 18 to even consider it. As I sat in the waiting room, flipping through the art books I noticed a sign above the burley biker dude wielding the buzzing machine, it read ‘People under 17 must be accompanied by an adult’. My heart jumped with excitement, I thought you had to be 18 to get a tattoo. I hastily decided I would get one too.
All of a sudden I was in control of my own destiny. In retrospect, I was far too young to be deciding if I wanted to ink my body for the rest of my life. Thankfully, I don’t regret it. It’s a reminder of freedom to me, the first thing I could do autonomously, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Flipping through the pages of the book for inspiration, I searched for meaning, I had none. So I chose something I thought was cool in my 17 year old mind, a pink octopus, lol. Fortunately for me this has stood the test of time; I still look upon it with joy and reverence, a constant reminder of a care free time in my life. The joy of youth!