In this post, I talk briefly, though frankly, about self-harm. If that makes you uncomfortable, please do not read. Thank you.

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When you write something, be it a song or a poem or a story, you always put some aspects of yourself into it; writing is a personal thing. Well, this is as personal as it gets, as this post is about me. It’s a little unconventional, I know, but this is my blog, after all. I’ve always said I started this blog for myself. The fact the other people read it and follow along with my writing is wonderful and I appreciate it immensely, but it is my own space to write what I please. Today, what I please to write about is my tattoos!

As you will see, my ink has great significance to me. My tattoos are more than just ink on skin. And hey, who doesn’t love to know more about the writer? I always read the author profiles on the back of books or on the sleeve of a dustcover. I love getting to know little tid-bits of information about my favourite authors.

You may know by now that when I write about myself, I can be quite brutal. I’m brutally honest when it omes to my past, and I have my reasons for that. But that’s for another blog post at another time. Today is about my ink.

Now, I love tattoos. I’m not elitist when it comes to tattoos (though I do have certain opinions and there are certain things I would never personally get inked) but tattoos that have meaning are the most important, in my mind. I only have a few, because tattoos are damn expensive and I just don’t have the money, but the few I do have mean a hell of a lot to me. Today’s post explains some of the signicance behind them. I hope you enjoy seeing into this part of my life!

When people see my tattoos, they often ask what they mean. Three of my four tattoos have deep personal meaning to me. The first tattoo I ever got is the Irish saying ‘ar scath a cheile a mhaireann na daoine’. It means under the shelter of others, people survive. People share a shadow, a shelter. You are not alone. Now, it’s reasonable that people will ask what it means, it not being in English, but whenever I tell people, they always give me a look. You know the kind; the kind that tells you they’re thinking I’m odd, that it doesn’t make sense.  Well, it makes perfect sense. I am not alone. I needed a reminder in a dark time that no matter what, I am not alone. No matter how lonely I am, I am not alone. I have people with which to share my shadows.

My second and third tattoos are just as meaningful. I decided to get the lyrics ‘the things we do just to stay alive’ surrounding the cover art of the singer, City and Colour. It was just the other day that one of my work colleagues looked at it, laughed a little, and said, ‘ain’t that true?’. Well, yes, it’s true for everyone perhaps, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Everything about this tattoo has meaning to me, right down to its placement on my arm. You see, the tattoo itself covers the majority of my self-inflicted scars. Self harm was a large part of my childhood. It’s awful and saddening to think from the age of ten years old, I was harming myself, but I don’t regret it, because I am still alive today. I am here, and I have the scars to show I fought hard to make it to where I am now. The tattoo may cover many scars, but I know they’re there; my scars and my ink alike are not for other people; they’re for me. They’re a daily reminder that though I’ve gone through hell, I kept going, as Winston Churchill once said (which is another tattoo I want someday, when I can afford it).

I also have a semi-colon tattoo. Project Semi-Colon (;) is a pretty well-known project by now. It’s been on the news (at least here, in the UK, it has been) and has had celebrity backing, but just because it’s popular, it does not make it any less meaningful. A semi-colon is a punctuation mark that continues a sentence on instead of ending it. Amy Bleuel, the founder of Project Semi-Colon, said, ‘We see it as you are the author and your life is the sentence. You’re choosing to keep going’. It’s a sign of hope and determination and strength when facing mental illness. But for me personally, it has another, more simple meaning; I am a writer! I love writing; it’s my passion. This tattoo not only reminds me of my own strength, but reminds me of what I love.

I’ve stuck to my 500-words (I’m surprised I’m still keeping to it, but I really enjoy doing it!) but I could have written an entire essay about my tattoos alone. My tattoos and my writing are some of the most personal things I have and do, and sometimes, though they are for myself, as I say, I like to share that personality!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I know it’s a little on the nose, perhaps, but I am unapologetic about who I am.

Until next time!

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