Updated: May 2
Even people who have known me for a while don't always notice that I have a small tattoo on the inner wrist of my right arm. It usually randomly comes up when my friends or coworkers talk about tattoos and then they're surprised I have one, right there in plain sight. I've had it for almost a year and a half now.
I had been wanting a tattoo of the same meaning, similar design since the middle of my junior year in high school. At the end of the summer of senior year, just before my 18th birthday, I went to a tattoo artist that I had heard of, asked him questions about his art, the design I created, and the placement of my tattoo. He suggested I switch out from words to graphics and I am so glad I redesigned it. Now, what does my tattoo mean?
The overall tattoo was created during a point in my life when I was in a bad mental place, unhappy with myself, school, and my relationship with different people. During that time, I knew I wanted a tattoo that I could look at whenever I needed motivation at any point in my life. As I pushed through and graduated from high school, I had been working on myself and overhauling my life, a process that took over two years. I wanted a tattoo that I could look down at and remember that even when I was or am at my worse, I need to push through and I will be able to do whatever I want. The tattoo looks like just a heartbeat to anyone who looks at it, however, each aspect of the tattoo has a meaning.
My tattoo starts with two chevrons. This is actually a Viking symbol for "create your own reality". This phrase has a lot of meaning to me. I am a creative and strong-minded individual, determined to create a path in life the way I want it. I decided that I was tired of lettings others dictate what I should do, who I should be, and what steps I need to take. That was it, I was going to create my own reality. During the brainstorming of my tattoo, my mom also mentioned that we came from a line of Vikings, a random fact that I took as a sign this was the perfect start of my tattoo.
The main part of my tattoo is actually mimicking a soundwave of myself saying "keep going." My original tattoo was going to have this written out, but I loved having the sound wave instead. This particular phrase was so important to me when I was in a bad place. I kept telling myself to push through and keep going and then I'd be able to make life how I want it. This was a few years ago and now I'm incredibly happy with all parts of my life. This said, at the time, I just wanted to be by myself and figure me out, graduate high school, and start fresh afterward. I just had to keep going.
The meaning of the last part of my tattoo is more traditional. I wanted a way to signify the end of my tattoo, the fact that I have created my own path and pushed through when it was hard, and now I have reached the point where I'm happy. The triangle at the end means that there is more to look forward to. The triangle was originally open, however, the more I looked at that design, the more I felt as though it showed that something was missing in my life, but nothing was when I finally got the tattoo. The solid triangle means demonstrates that ultimately, I have everything I could want now. I am much more confident in myself now, I know when to put myself first, I am happy with my work and school life. I am slowly developing many more relationships with people too. I have so much more to learn about myself and my life, however, at the very least, I am happy with what I have accomplished so far.
Through the combination of these three separate symbols, I can now look at my wrist whenever I am feeling down and remember that I am the only one who can control my life. However, if things don't work out, if I'm having a bad day or am in a rough period of my life, I just need to keep going. Finally, even if I can't see how things could get better, I've been at my lowest before and now I'm at my happiest. I know I can do it again. Now I have harnessed the power to control my life, be happy, and thrive.