Growing up I was always either the tallest or second tallest kid in class. I was a social butterfly but I still never fit in with the popular kids at school. I was very ADHD and in the second grade my parents thought it was best to put me into a private school.
I got boobs in the 4th grade. I hated them. On recesses at school I would often be grabbed inappropriately, in which one case led to a police report being filed against another student in my class. I was often referred to as dorky for the clothes I wore and teased for my size. After the 4th grade I didn’t want to go to school anymore.
My oldest sister, who I have always looked up to, came home from spending a summer in Alaska with her father, with a tattoo. It was a rose on her left shoulder. I thought it was so cool and I knew I wanted one. I used to draw sketches of tattoos I wanted and where I wanted them on my body. Of course I now have none of the tattoos I originally thought I wanted or would have.
When I got into high school I grew into my curvy figure and again, I hated it. I wasn’t fat but I always found a way to make myself believe I was. I was 5’11 and 145 lbs. I gave myself eating disorders all through high school, abused pain medication, and got heavily into cutting, which my tattoos now cover a lot of those scars. I was punk rock in high school. I started hanging out with the church crowd and soon became punk rock for Jesus. I was mean and judgmental. I became two of the things I strongly did not like in other people. Towards the end of my senior year, I parted ways with the church crowd.
I started getting tattooed as soon as I could. My first one was the day before I turned 18 and my mom had to come down and sign the paperwork for me. She allowed me to get my first facial piercing at 16, which was my nose. Then she allowed me to stretch my ears. After I moved out, I started collecting more tattoos and more piercings all over my body. I now have almost both arms, my chest, a good portion of my back, my rib cage, and 6 pieces on my legs. I’m still not done collecting.
It would be a lie for me to say that I don’t still have issues with my body and the way I look. That’s not reality. But today I am okay with me. I learn more every day to love myself and to take care of myself because in the end, I’m all I’ve got.
People ask me what am I going to do when I’m old and have all these tattoos. I usually respond with, “Be the most colorful person on the block I guess. What are you going to do when you’re older? ” Its silly to think that caring about having tattoos at an old age is really going to matter to anyone. I am excited to see what my body looks like when I’m 70 and to remember what each piece represents, and the memory behind it.