Tattoo Stories

October 21, 2013

I believe that every tattoo has a story. These are my stories.

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I believe that every tattoo has a story. These are my stories. My mother told me I could do whatever I wanted to my body when I turned 18. So, I did. It started with a piercing here and there, five total, but I wanted something more permanent. Then on went my first tattoo. I’ve always loved butterflies and fairies so I got a butterfly and flower on my left hip… It’s not the greatest tattoo and I don’t really like it but I keep it because it is part of me. It is my reminder to be cautious when making permanent decisions.

My second tattoo was pretty random. I was at a friends house one night, partying and doing a lot of drugs, preferably methamphetamine. When an artist came over to do some work on a guy. He offered some work for a good price, so I went for it. (Yes, I realize now this wasn’t the greatest idea, being high and all.) I decided on a fairy (of course). I loved the fact that she was naked, the vulnerability but also the empowerment in her nudity. She originally had… ahem…hairs down there, but I wasn’t keen on that look really. The breast were enough statement for me. For a couple years after, my mother would ask if I would get them covered but I never did. She accepts my fairy, just as she does me. I have since stopped doing drugs and today my fairy serves as a reminder of a dark time in my life that I never want to live through again. She is my angel with fairy wings.

My mother never really got excited, like I did about my new ink. So, out of curiosity I asked her one day, what kind of tattoo she would get if she were to get one? It was a serious question, I gave her time to think of course. A few days later she came back with Mario… yeah Super Mario! Every tattoo has a story… So on her 60th birthday I drove her to get her first tattoo. She got him on her right ankle. I was proud of my cool, hip mom.

This is where my next tattoo comes in. I love my mother, she is my rock. She has always stood by me, no matter what. I wanted to get a tattoo for us. To show her how much she means to me and to have something that connected us. Before mothers day came, I got a purple rose with “mom” and a little butterfly. I got it in the same spot as her tattoo. On mother’s day I revealed it to her. Again, she did not get excited but I knew she was touched. She points it out proudly now and again.

My most recent tattoo, I got in honor of my grandmother, on my father‘s side. She had a big hand is raising me because I spent a lot of time with her growing up. It is my favorite tattoo because it means so much, in so many ways. It is the Persian proverb, “This too shall pass” Growing up, my grandmother said this saying many times to family or friends who were having a difficult time or struggling. I heard it from her many times myself. It became somewhat of a family motto. Her passing was extremely difficult for me. After her passing, I felt the need to make it a permanent part of me.

I don’t regret any of my tattoos as they are a part of me, parts of my life. There is still more tattoos to come. As I still have more stories to tell. My next tattoo will be all about roller derby. Something that has made a very positive impact on my life in the last three years. I really look forward to this one as it will be completely personal and original. Thank you for reading my story.

(Ragin Rae)

2 thoughts on “I believe that every tattoo has a story. These are my stories.

  1. Jess, loved your story! Life is full of experiences, some good, some bad! It’s all fine as long as we’re learning along the way. Love you!!!

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