My body is my journal, my tattoos are my story-Johnny Depp

So…tattoo story number one done.  Not all tattoos have a deep or disturbing reason for existing.  Remember this quote.

Tattoo number two..again, no real meaning…just something I look at and makes me happy.  This was the first and last tattoo that I ever straight up told my parents about.  You can see how old this picture is-Nokia phone.

100_1777My dad was not happy with this at all, “you bitch about how ugly your feet are, but then you go and attract attention to them.”  Which he did have a point, but that didn’t change my mind.  My third tattoo was when life started to come at me.  My boyfriend, now husband, we were on the rocks and I didn’t know where life was taking me.  I had stumbled across a quote that, for 6 months, sat with me and I couldn’t get it out of my head.  “Be Happy For This Moment, This Moment Is Your Life.”  It literally fit everything I was feeling and 6 years later, I still feel that way.  CIMG3699Life isn’t beautiful, it isn’t perfect, life hits hard…but it is your reaction to life that will depict if you sink or float.  Most days I choose to float, but damn, most days it is easier to just sink.  I think about that quote, and how I etched it into my skin.  I have to believe it otherwise my pain and my money I spent on it would be a waste.  So in hard times, I choose to find the good in things…I choose to be happy.  It’s okay to be sad, mad, or bitch raging crazy sometimes, but in time, your choice to be happy will start to become easier, less painful, and require less energy.

My fourth tattoo came from a necklace I always wore.  It was a bear paw print.  My nickname is Britty Bear, or Bear.  My grandpa gave it to me when I was four years old in Canada.  I told him to not say the “B” word (B word being Bear) , and at this time in my life, my personality was becoming more obvious to my family.  I could be as adorable as a bear, hug like a bear, sleep like a bear…but make me mad and I could scream like a bear.  I also was given a polar bear from my favorite babysitter of all time, Mary, around the age of 6 after one of my awkward gymnastic accidents.  For some reason, this bear, who I named Zack, completed me.  IMG_4429True story.  He was my best friend and honestly, almost 20 years later there are only a handful of times that I remember not sleeping with him or taking him on a trip.  So the two bear paws that sit behind my ear is the first tattoo that I got based on a nostalgic feeling.  I loved being everyones little Britty Bear, and on that sad day that I do lose my Grandpa (news flash, everyone in this world has an expiration date) who gave me this nickname, I won’t have to get something to remember him, because I’ve had it with me all this time.  As well as my babysitter Mary who died shortly before my 22nd birthday.  She gave me Zack because she loved me, and I grew attached to him because it was something she gave me, and one day (God forbid) I may lose Zack, or I will give it to my child when I am ready to part with him, but my tattoo, no one can take.  I can’t lose it like I lost Mary, or when I lose my Grandpa.  This, along with all my other tattoos, I get to take to the grave with me.  Tell that to all the people who tell you to put something you love on a t-shirt or in a frame.  Those things can be lost… your body is yours.

My 5th tattoo is a heartbreaker.  My mom’s father, Marlin Lee Wegener was THE greatest guy I have ever had the opportunity to know.  I was more blessed with the fact that he was my Grandpa.  To put into perspective the kind of man he was is summed up by one story.  When my mom was born, my Grandma was in labor and back then the father wasn’t allowed in the room while his wife was giving birth (weird right?) so instead of waiting for my mom to be born (who was born July 1, 1963) which was his (my Grandpas birthday) he was in the hospital at the time that an emergency victim came in and needed blood.  They didn’t have the blood type on hand that was needed, but my Grandpa was a carrier of that blood type, so as he said it “Gladys (my Grandma) gave a life, and I saved a life.”  My Grandpa and my Grandma have pretty much been together since First Grade.  She actually still had a valentine that he wrote to her that says “Love, Marlin.”  Long sob story short, he passed away and I did not get to say good bye.  There was a snow storm that whole week and the day the roads were cleared, he passed away with all his children by his side.  I however, due to the storm, was in Ankeny and I wasn’t able to get home in time to say good bye.  I called him once, but he was too out of it to know who was on the phone but he did manage to say “I love you too” at the end of the phone call, regardless of who he thought was on the phone..those were the last words I heard.  So when he passed away, I, who have always been extremely fond of my Grandpa,  told my Grandma that I would speak at his funeral.   I wrote a short poem, nothing special…but it was the only way I felt that I could properly say good-bye to him.  I barely remember that day.  I got so many compliments from people saying how brave I was and how heartfelt it was, but sadly, that day was such a whirlwind of emotions for me I honestly don’t remember it.  So two days after the funeral I walked into the tattoo parlor in Ames, Iowa and I got simply MLW (Marlin Lee Wegener) on my ankle with a heart around it.  Old school, classic, and simple.  My Grandpa suffered through MS for most of his adult life and the last day he walked was November 24, 1983 my parents wedding.  He walked my mom down the aisle and never walked again.  So I never knew my Grandpa to be the man who walked with me, played with me, or drove me places.  But he made up for it in other ways.  So my ankle, I felt was fitting to place his initials in remembrance…my Grandpa, in my eyes was finally walking with me.

My 6th tattoo is an art piece, that I do need to get touched up, and add to, but…it’s an art piece nonetheless.   I have always Photo on 2011-03-27 at 22.38

loved sunflowers.  Sunflowers are a happy flower, a sunflower will open and face the sun conveying warmth and happiness, adoration and longevity.  In addition to it being my favorite flower and appreciating all it stands for, my favorite artist is Vincent Van Gogh, the sunflower I chose was from his still life “Vase With Twelve Sunflowers” 

This had always been a favorite painting of mine, and fell in love with his work back in 7th grade art class when our teacher had us free color Edvard Munch painting “Scream” and talked about how Munch found inspiration in Van Gogh’s work.  Which led me to google Van Gogh and have been collecting prints of his paintings ever sense.  So I guess the reason for this tattoo was art.  Preserving a piece of art that I fell in love with and found it important enough to tattoo it onto my body.  Sometimes, maybe people can’t explain why they got a tattoo, maybe it just felt right, they felt more complete with it.

After this tattoo back in 2011, I stopped getting them.  I didn’t feel inspired enough, and I was working full time and didn’t have money for one.  Which yes, I do get upset (along with the rest of the world) with people who are covered in tattoos, using food stamps, and live off the government because if you can afford a tattoo, and have food stamps, in reality, no, you can’t afford a tattoo.  But anyways.  A couple years later, I became engaged, but I lived with my parents still. After Adam and I got married we met our friend Adam Bertram who is a tattoo artist and naturally, I started thinking of what I wanted to get.  I found this picture just randomly on Pinterest and I started to imagine it as a tattoo… 10a0b8c0abca1e5c7a33d9d4f983e26c

I don’t know what drew me to it, but I felt like I had just seen something that wasn’t going to be unseen.  So, Adam Bertram drew it up back in October.  His drawing was beautiful, but it wasn’t what I had in mind.  It didn’t feel right yet.  So, I set the date for my 25th birthday in July as to when I would get it, and if he drew it up again and I still wasn’t feeling it, that would be the end of it.  However, things changed when I became pregnant and I thought…no more tattoos.  Once you have a child, your money does not go to tattoos, it goes to them, *THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE*  so sadly I told Adam I wouldn’t be getting it anymore.  When we miscarried, I remember sitting at the top of the steps with my husband and said, I’m getting that tattoo.  This is my chance, I need to do this.  So two weeks later, we went in, I tweaked and tweaked the design and finally, it was perfect.  Now as for the placement of the tattoo.  I wanted to see it, a piece of it everyday, this I didn’t want to hide. I wanted it in a place that would hurt and make it (the pain) worth it.  To me this tattoo signified my ability to be free as well as my baby to be free.  He or she belonged among the wildflowers now.   Not hiding a tattoo is giving people the chance to one, judge you, but two, ask you about it.  I refuse to have my pregnancy be a secret or say “it’s too personal to talk about” because it’s not, a baby is a gift and a joy, my tattoo was my way of giving people the chance to ask “oh what does your tattoo mean?”  This tattoo that I spent 6 months thinking about, had to be dainty, classy, and look like it was a part of me.  Tom Petty has a song called “Wildflowers”   which my dad and I danced to at my wedding.  I chose that song for a reason, it was signifying to my dad that I belong somewhere that I am free.  With my husband, I am honestly free…maybe too free sometimes.  I can be who I am and know that Adam loves me unconditionally.  I am no longer under your thumb, I am married, I belong to someone else now.  My dad doesn’t understand tattoos, but what I wanted him to understand was that I understand them, and I wanted him to accept that about me.   Sadly, I know he doesn’t accept it about me, or understand.  This is something that I have to live with because we as humans go through three stages with our parents, dependence, independence, and interdependence.  Dependence for food, clothes, money, shelter and most importantly love.  Independence is self explanatory.  As a teenager, you are done with your parents, you got this sh*t handled.  Most of us rid our independence of our parents in college when we become interdependent on them.  Suddenly you find yourself talking to them again, having them apartment hunt with you, asking their advice on an essay, or driving home to see them on the weekend instead of hitting up that party on Lincoln Way. So, I feel that interdependence being the common ground between children and their parents, you develop a healthy “I will always need you, but I got this Mom and Dad, I can do this myself.”  Some parents are reluctant to listen to their children when they say that thinking “they know nothing of what’s to come in life”, or “I’ve been in your place, I know what is going on.”  If a parent has faith that they have raised you to be the best person you can be and a valued member of society then whatever personal choices you make in life should not dictate who you are as a person.  Hopefully you have already established that to friends, family, and employers.   So you like tattoos, but your best friend, or neighbor down the road can’t bear to look at someone with tattoos, that’s their choice, not yours.  I will always want my parents approval or acceptance, but I have to realize that I may not get it.  What I do have is their unconditional love which is more than what some children have from their parents.  But like I stated in the earlier blog, I’m a people pleaser, always have been and always will be, but what I know now after almost 25 years of being alive is that acceptance from others is great, but accepting yourself is the only way to survive in this world.  You will NEVER please everyone, all you can do is be a good, kind-hearted person.  Say please and thank you, love others, stray away from judgement, and serve others.  If someone chooses to not approve of you, or like you, then that’s an example of life.  It’s not perfect.

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Upon writing this blog, I was a product of social media.  I found that the more likes you received on something, the more retweets, favorites, or double taps on Instagram you got, the more self worth you had.  This is false.   This should be a no brainer- but after how many years having a Facebook page, twitter page, and an Instagram, I was only worth the amount of likes I received via social media.  Sad.  Since losing Baby P, I’ve gotten rid of my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter from my iPhone and did a close friends and family only on Facebook.  My twitter page, I allow myself to look at once in the morning and once at night.  This may seem silly to some but I have to clear up some misconceptions.  I was not addicted to any of these sites, I was addicted to the feeling of being known.  You get 14 retweets on a super hilarious tweet and your day is on a roll.  I had to stop basing my self worth off of these sites, I’m damn near 25 and I would break down when I saw a picture or tweet of my friends out having a good time.  I had lost a baby.  Doesn’t anyone care?  I had to stop breaking down based on what I saw on a damn social media site.  So I did.  I turned toward my blogging again, and it feels good.  I have self worth when I read my posts.  I like my writing.  It’s not always grammatically correct and is sometimes filled with extra non-sense, but it’s my words that I get to publish and it leads the ones who care about reading what I have to say to go the extra mile, subscribe to my blog and read it.  I have a purpose again.  I write for myself and I cannot be held accountable for what I write.  You as the reader choose to read my thoughts through clicking on a link on Twitter or like I said subscribing to my blog,  in my blog I finally get to say my peace, share some make up tips or fashion advice.  My blog is not meant for a retweet or a favorite or a like.

Yesterday I received a text from a friend that said “You understand that there is so much more to everything than we can even begin to understand.  Your writing really shows that to me and I love that.

That was worth more to me then any double tap, retweet, like or favorite.

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