Potential First Tattoo

So I’ve come up with a design for my first tattoo – which I really badly want, but am not sure when I’ll actually get.

Last night, my temporary tattoo kit came in the mail so I decided to test out the design, and the placement. I wanted to see what it would look like before I actually getting anything.

The tattoo ink is made from the pulp of a fruit called Genipapo, found in Panama. It is similar to henna in how it’s used – the gel-like liquid is squeezed out from a needle-point bottle the way henna is piped out like icing on a cake. I’ve used this product several times before so I’ve gotten used to drawing the tattoo freehand.

I feel like I did a pretty good job, except I got the arrow all crooked because of the angle I was drawing on. The temporary tattoo has developed overnight and it should get darker in the next half a day.

The tattoo design represents many things. Essentially, it’s the story of my life in a few symbols.

The semicolon (made from an enso, and the Fibonacci Golden Ratio), represents my lifelong recovery from mental illnesses; the enso (circle) representing “a moment when the mind is free to let the body create” which also represents strength, enlightenment and life while the Fibonacci Golden Ratio reflects my interest in art, as well as math – this I find beautiful because not only does the Golden Ratio helps artists create beautiful art, it also helps mathematicians do math. I like the intersection of the sciences, and the arts because of how much conflict there is between the two fields (especially coming from the sciences who claim that anyone who can’t do, are artists…). 

The curly brackets represents code – most codes are encapsulated with “{ }” which tells the computer to execute a function from what is in the middle of the brackets. It is a reflection of the field that I’ve chosen to put myself in.

The arrow signifies my strength and resilience because an arrow is useless unless you string it to a bow, pull it back, and let go. This reflects my life because of how all the struggle I’ve been through has caused me to grow stronger, and more resilient – like the arrow speeding forward after it’s been pulled back, I am also moving forward in my life. The arrowhead is the Star Trek TNG symbol representing my nerd/geek side.

I chose the Pi because of how despite it being an irrational number, it is also a constant. It reminds me during my dark times, that despite everything that could happen to me, that the world is still revolving, and Pi is still Pi no matter what happens. 3.14159, always.

The message “Don’t Panic” comes from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and it gives me a message to read when I’m anxious. It’s a directive, pretty simple and powerful for 2 mere words. The “42” is also from the same book, and in it, the number is considered the answer to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. I believe in the theory that the number is actually not a joke as most of us have believed, but rather an asterisk (*)  (since the ASCII value for an asterisk is 42) in programming. The asterisk is actually used by programmers as a wildcard when searching for something, deleting something etc (Example, if you type rm *.* – it means that you’re wanting every file to be deleted from your computer). This means that the answer to life, the universe, and everything is what you decide it to be. 

Lastly, the equal sign is a nod to my struggles as a queer person seeking understanding and acceptance in society. It’s a subtle enough symbol for my sexuality that anyone who knows what the equal sign means, will know how I identify. 

So far, I like the design, and if I can find a tattooist who is okay with using my design (I hear that most don’t like to do that), and who can do good black and white tattoos with clean, crisp lines, I think this might be the first tattoo I’ll ever get. And since I’ll be getting it while I’m in my thirties, I wonder how many people will think this is a mid-life crisis. Haha…

A Stranger’s Hug

Inkbox Tattoo

So I just got a new inbox tattoo (Inkbox Tattoo) after not having one for many months and this time, it was a reward for backing Inkbox’s Kickstarter campaign to produce their second formula. The second formula turned out to be much easier to apply and the tattoo turned out much darker than the other ones I’ve done before using the first formula.

Anyway, at the time of backing their campaign, I had chosen the semi colon design as my reward and so, I’ll be having a semicolon on my arm for the next 2 weeks.

Tonight, a lady at one of the tables I was serving saw the tattoo and said, “I really like your semicolon!” I smiled because I liked the tattoo as well. Then she said, “I know what it means. Come here! I want to give you a hug!”

I was surprised by that. I don’t mind hugs so I went over and hugged her. It turned out to be one of the best hugs I’ve ever had because it was not a half-assed hug. It was a full hug and I could feel the warmth of her kindness spread into my being. It felt good.

“I know what the semicolon represents and I’m glad that you’re here,” she said as we hugged.

“You give good hugs!” I said to her when the hug ended. I wish I had thought of thanking her properly because I was so flustered that I had forgotten my manners. I wish I could’ve said to her that I was very thankful that she had hugged me and how much it meant to me that she understood what the semicolon was for as well as not talk about it in front of her 7 other friends. I don’t mind talking about my story and why the semicolon but I usually prefer not to do so while at work. It just makes things awkward because I’ve learned that not many people want to talk about mental health issues over dinner.

Anyway, I truly appreciated the hug. It was timely since I was still trying to recover from this morning’s session with S. It had been painful and difficult as I’ve mentioned in my previous post so getting that hug was very helpful. I just regret not letting the lady know how much she had done for me just by her words and her hug.

36 Tattoos That Give Us Hope For Mental Health Recovery

I’m always excited when I get featured on The Mighty. If you haven’t already noticed, on the left side bar of my blog, I state that I’m one of the contributors to The Mighty – a website/community representing all people with disabilities, diseases and illnesses. I write primarily about my anxiety and depression.

It was because of The Mighty that I got the help I needed and came to terms with the fact that I am in fact in need of help. It made me realize that I wasn’t alone and it inspired me to write.

So now, whenever I have a chance, I try to contribute to them. I haven’t done that in a while now because you know, Depression, but from time to time, I do little things like submit my photo and stuff like that to answer questions.

Today, they posted an article about tattoos that give people hope through their mental illnesses. My tattoo (albeit temporary) was featured and I’m actually pretty happy about that.

Here’s the article in case anyone’s interested: 36 Tattoos That Give Us Hope For Mental Health Recovery

On a side note, I succumbed to peer pressure during the dinner that my co-workers took me out on and had a martini that they had ordered me. Their goal was to get me drunk, which is not hard because I’m actually alcohol intolerant. I refused several times and told them that I have a quiz tomorrow but lo and behold, a martini arrived in front of me moments later. I totally appreciate the gesture and for them to want to get me to have some fun but at the same time, I am currently battling my Depression and it sucks. It sucks feeling like I wish I were never born; it sucks that I feel like I want to cut myself again; it just sucks.

It really was my fault that I drank it. I shouldn’t have.

Anyway, “Thoughts from Therapy” will be posted as soon as I get some studying done for my trig quiz tomorrow.