Growing up I knew that I always wanted a tattoo, they were always around me and just seemed like it was a part of life. My grandma had quite a few, my grandfather, my father and my mother, I never even thought about what other people “thought” about them. I never realized that there was some kind of negative association with tattoos. I knew that I loved my grandmothers intricate dragon on her back, my Uncle’s name with a halo above it was beautifully scripted across my mother’s ankle and the names of my father’s loved ones and heart were worn on his sleeve. The first tattoo that I designed for myself was when I was in 7th grade. It was a simple fairy with fall foliage blowing around her whimsical wings. I quickly decided that it wasn’t meaningful enough to permanently etch into my skin.
At this point in my young life I was already very involved with international aid organizations and had fallen in love with Sub-Sahara Africa; specically Uganda, DRC, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya and CAR. As the years went on I only became more and more involved. I interned at Mercy Corps for a few years, I was an incredibly passionate advocate for Invisible Children. I attended countless sit-ins, protests, marches, and planned over 20 screenings and talks with Ugandan Speakers. At some point I realized that I wanted some type of tattoo to convey my love of people and my work with human rights. Nothing seemed good enough until I became even more involved with Invisible Children and attended the Fourth Estate. I’ll explain more about this leadership conference in another post. At this conference though we were introduced to the Liberty Triangle.
I didn’t want a tattoo that represented my work in just a few countries in Africa, I wanted a tattoo that represented my ideals and beliefs as a person. The Liberty Triangle did this for me. It’s a symbol of connectedness, of changing the course of history to tilt towards justice, to demand rights liberties and equality for not just ourselves but others that have been left behind. If you want to know more about the Liberty Triangle Click Here.
I waited a while before getting it because I knew that I needed it to be perfect. I shopped around for an artist and I made an appointment with a famous artist in my old town. It turned out that he overbooked my appointment and a girl named Jessica did my tattoo. Her dream was to be the top woman tattoo artist in PA and then Eastern United States. I sat down with my dad watching and she started tattooing my with her hello kitty tattoo machine. It didn’t hurt as much as I expected it and as she made it out to hurt. She had mentioned that the back of the neck usually tends to be a really sore and painful spot to tattoo but it wasn’t for me thank goodness. I got wrapped up after she finished and it healed really well for the most part. The only problem I had was sleeping because I tend to roll on my back and my puppy Louie wanted to lay near my neck every night(maybe because he knew something was up?). I got some spots touched up and may get one more spot done again along with adding and olive branch and eagle feather to each side.
When I walk around with my hair up I love when people stop me to ask what it’s all about. It’s a fantastic conversation starter for something I care so much about. Do you have any tattoos or a tattoo story? Let me know below in the comments!