Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Tattoo My Heart...

I have been thinking long and hard about getting another tattoo.  It’s true when people say that the minute you have one you immediately want your next and it becomes a bit of an obsession.  It’s something that I thought hard about for a long time before I got my first one, and I have been thinking about this next one for a long time too.
I remember when my sister got her first tattoo.  She told my parents she was going for something relatively small on her shoulder-blade, a place where it could easily be hidden.  Cue my sister arriving home 2 hours later and my parents hitting the roof when they see she had a unicorn with wings tattooed on her shoulder.  Since then my sister has had 3 stars tattooed on her back, and had the unicorn changed to a rose – it’s lovely, but I still don’t think I’d want a tattoo like that.
As much as I love tattoos, something always stops me when I think about having them on exposed skin.  I always think about my wedding day when I think about tattoos – I would only get one if I loved it, and if it meant something to me, but I still don’t know how keen I am on having a tattoo on show when I am getting married.  My sister had to buy special make up to cover her tattoo and it came off throughout the day, and I just don’t want that aggro of trying to cover it up.  There are so many places on your body you can have one and it can be seen when you want it to be seen.  For me, a tattoo is not about showing off, it’s about having something on your body that you love, that says something about you and something you are proud of.  It’s more of a personal thing than an advert.
I got my first tattoo in 2008.  I was on holiday, visiting my sister who lived in Kuala Lumpur at the time.  I remember talking to her about it and one rainy afternoon in the apartment we were mucking about drawing designs on my foot.  I knew that if I got a tattoo i’d get it on my foot, as it could be relatively discreet.  I also knew I wanted something small and simple, not a big intricate design.   I decided on 3 stars, just plain outlines running down the side of my left foot, just underneath my little toe.  My sister drew it on my foot for me, badly, and before I could change my mind we hailed a cab in the pouring ran and went to the nearest tattoo shop.  Obviously when we arrived we realised everyone in there spoke Malaysian and not particularly good English.   I walked in, showed the guy my foot and asked him to replicate it.  He initially assumed I wanted him to just tattoo over the bent stars my sister had drawn, but I managed to communicate to him that I wanted him to stencil accurate stars onto my foot that he could use as a guide – thank god for that!  This is what it looks like now...

So now it’s 3 years down the line and I haven’t had another tattoo since.  I’ve had loads of different ideas, but I like to think of an idea and if I like it, wait a while and see if I still like it in a few months.  If I don’t then I know I was right to not have it done, and if I do still like it then that would be the tattoo for me. 
You’ve probably noticed by now that one of my biggest passions in life is music.  I get super emotional over music and could literally not imagine my life without it.  Sounds dramatic but when I am caught up in the moment I can literally think of nowhere i’d rather be than where I am, listening to the music I love.  Part of the reason why I love summer is because it is normally filled with music – festivals, concerts, holidays, the whole thing is centred around music and I adore it.
Due to this, I have been thinking more and more about my next tattoo being a lyric.   I have a love for all music, all different types – there’s even a part of me somewhere that likes The Saturdays (although please don’t tell anyone that, it can be our secret).  My favourite bands are probably Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire, Muse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Biffy Clyro and Kasabian.  I have been going through lyrics to songs by all of these bands and haven’t been able to make a decision on what ones to choose.  There are thousands of lyrics I could choose from any of these bands that I love, but I decided to go with the following Foo Fighters lyric, from probably their most well known song ‘Everlong’:

And I wonder
When I sing along with you
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again

I decided on this lyric because it means more to me than just a lyric from a song by a band I love.  I do love the Foo Fighters, I have loved them ever since I was small so I know my love affair with them is hardly going to go away soon.  Also, READ the words.  Those words sum up how I feel every time I hear a song I love.  It doesn’t matter if I am at a festival, freezing cold, soaking wet, tired and miserable.  The only thing that can change my mood at that time is music, and if i’m in that situation and I hear the opening bars of a song I love, it turns from being a situation I don’t want to be in, to a situation I never want to leave.  The words resonate with me, because when I sing along with those songs, I DO wonder if everything could ever feel that real forever, or that good again.  I have been known to say in the past when watching one of my favourite bands “I think this is actually the happiest moment of my life”.  That is how deeply I feel about music, and that is why the above lyric is the most appropriate.  It’s not just a dedication to a truly superb band, but it’s a declaration of my feelings, and how music enriches my life.  To me, that’s what a tattoo should be about, it should have a meaning, not just be a picture on some skin.

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