19 Tats + Counting

I got my first tattoo when I was 2 weeks shy of 18. My parents paid for it as an “early birthday” gift and I’ve been HOOKED ever since. I was thinking it would be so scary and painful (it is painful to an extent), but it really wasn’t as horrible as I made it out to be. Today I’ve got 19 and I’m going to go through each one and their meanings to me!

IMG_0442This was my first tattoo. ‘Sixthousandminutes’ is something I was told when I first started seeing a therapist. I had been in a dark place and my parents thought it best that I start seeing someone to talk about my feelings. After a couple months of seeing her regularly, she said this phrase that will be my mantra forever. Six-thousand minutes is approximately four days, and four days is the amount of time it takes for someone’s perspective to change… now, take this with a grain of salt, it could take longer but it’s the metaphor that I loved. I had been struggling with self-harm and thoughts of suicide at the time and when she told me this, it gave me so much hope. I KNEW I had to get it tattooed on me. Whenever I start getting negative thoughts, I will literally stand in front of a mirror, hold up my arm and read ‘sixthousandminutes,’ and I usually feel a little bit better. IMG_0466So, I have two arms (obviously, everyone does): my super meaningful tattoo arm and then my fun tattoo arm. My left arm has all of my incredibly deep and meaningful tattoos and my right arm is a little bit more free-spirited, put-whatever-on-there arm. These three tattoos are just some fun things that have been apart of my life. “Wanderlust” is the desire to travel and I have the travel bug FOR SURE. I love exploring new places and going on adventures. I got the globe to kind of tie in to the wanderlust tattoo. I feel it just brings the two together on my arm and I love the way they look.

The dagger is a more frivolous one I got recently. On any Friday the 13th, most tattoo shops do tattoos starting at $13 and I had ALWAYS wanted to get a tattoo on Friday the 13th. So me and one of my coworkers went to my shop back in August of 2019 and got our Friday the 13th tats. The little ‘4’ was the number that the tattoo was on the paper and I thought it would be funny to add that as well lol. YOLO. IMG_0453My ‘Psalm 147:3’ tattoo was SUPPOSED to be a matching tattoo with my cousin but at the last minute I changed my mind. Her and I were supposed to get matching anchors… she did, but I got this. This verse I hold very near and dear to my heart. It says, “He heals the heartbroken and binds up their wounds.” During my dark, dark seasons of depression, I would hold onto this verse as a form of a lifeline. I would write it in all of my notebooks, on my arms… I would say it out loud over and over again. It’s gone through a lot with me and kept my faith strong when I’ve felt like all hope was lost. I have gone through such heartbreak, just with myself, and knowing that God will heal all the pain I will ever go through brings back some hope and a sense of peace. IMG_0467Another tattoo that I was supposed to match with someone was this yin-yang palm tree/pine tree. My best friend Jake and I both grew up by the beach and went to school in the mountains so when I came up with this design, we went to the tattoo shop in Flagstaff, AZ (where we went to school) and I got this tattoo. He was deciding on whether or not he was going to go into the Navy, so he didn’t want to risk it and didn’t get it. I still bring it up to this day lol.

The symbols stand for ‘God is greater than the highs and lows,’ which I found on Pinterest and absolutely LOVED! Come to find out everyone and their mother’s have this tattoo (including one of my exes). My faith has wavered throughout the years but I believe that God has always been the one constant in my life. No matter what I go through, how far away I stray, when I come running to Him, he is ALWAYS there waiting for me with open arms. He always has my best interest in mind and puts only what He knows that I can handle in my life. 7EF883C1-DC6E-4722-835D-1981514A05BDThis camera. I am in love with this thigh piece that I had done in the beginning of my tattoo phase. ‘Veni, Vidi, Cepi’ means “I came, I saw, I captured,” in Latin. Since photography is kind of my whole life, I thought this was a fitting tattoo. I put the sunflower in the middle to symbolize how photographers capture beauty in all forms. I love this one. IMG_0449For some reason, I keep thinking it’s a good idea to get matching tattoos with people. This one I got with one of my boyfriends a couple years ago. I knew, going into the tattoo shop, that I was going to break up with him but I REALLY wanted to get a tattoo so we got matching ones. This says “with all my heart” in French. Hey, at least we didn’t get each other’s names like he had suggested!!IMG_0458This one I LOVED getting. I don’t know why, but it kind of put me in a trance. I also got the best night’s sleep EVER after getting this shoulder piece… I slept for 13 hours straight after! I got an anatomically correct heart with flowers because I’m known to wear my heart on my sleeve and that is beautiful. It’s hard sometimes because it can cause me to get hurt very badly, but at least I’ve put all of my cards on the table and know that I made an effort in every relationship that I’ve had, friendship and romantic. IMG_0444The skeleton hand and rose symbolize life and death. I’ve had such strong desires to die in my lifetime but I have also had a great lust for living. I thought it was fitting, and beautiful, how the two kind of go hand-in-hand. IMG_0455This piece goes with my ‘sixthousandminutes’ piece in the sense that the clock is at 6 o’clock. That is about it. I really want a floral sleeve so surrounding it with flowers seemed the way to go. C1978DEE-94A6-4B8F-B6BE-E9D143C2A630A semicolon is the universal symbol for suicide awareness and I’ve always been big on symbolism. It represents continuance. An author uses a semicolon when he decides not to end a sentence. In this sense, you are the author and the sentence is your life. Choose to continue it. I didn’t want to get it too big so I got a dainty little one on my finger. It’s one of my favorites tattoos, I think. IMG_0469Though this tattoo has a “curse word,” it is a very special tattoo to me and my family. When my grandpa was sick and close to going to Heaven, we went and visited him in the hospital. He wasn’t very coherent but the last conversation that I had with him was one that I will remember for the rest of my life. While my parents were outside of his hospital room talking with the doctors, I was with him, hoping to have some good final conversations before he passed on. He looked thirsty so I asked him if he wanted water. His response: “Oh, hell yeah! They’ve been depriving me of my water!” His “hell yeah” was the most enthusiastic he had probably been in a very long time. Not long after that brief conversation, he no longer was able to talk. He passed on shortly after. Growing up, that was the only curse word/phrase that we were allowed to say because of that last conversation. IMG_0436Another marching tattoo, surprise surprise. My friend and I got these when we were a little tipsy on National Margarita Day. I was nervous because I had heard this was a painful spot… not painful AT ALL! IMG_0461I got this pepper shaker tattoo for my dog, Pepper. I got her back in April of 2019 and she was my emotional support animal. She helped me through some dark times and I wanted to get this tattoo in honor of her. My life became pretty hectic and so I ended up rehoming her to some amazing people, but I still have this tattoo to remind me of her every day. She was and always will be my baby. IMG_0459This date was the day I had my miscarriage, not that I would ever forget that day. IMG_0464The penny on my wrist represents my unborn baby. She would have been named Penelope so, in honor of her, I got a penny. IMG_0443In treatment, they spewed a lot of really deep quotes at us. “The wolf you feed will win” came from a story about a boy and his grandpa. His grandpa told him that inside of us there are two wolves. One wolf is evil, hatred, depression, anger, spite. The other wolf is love, truth, happiness, honesty. When the little boy asked his grandfather what wolf wins, the grandfather responded, “The one you feed.” With me, that stood for my battle with my mental health. I could give in to all of my negative thoughts and let it overcome me. Or I could CHOOSE the good wolf. I could CHOOSE joy, love, happiness. It’s all a matter of one’s mindset.

There you have it, a detailed explanation of all my tattoos. When I get more, I will do an updated one (because you KNOW I’ll get more).

Sincerely,

Kate


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