I'm constantly told to just 'be myself' and not worry about what others think. Yet, somehow I'm still expected to consider other people's thoughts, beliefs or morals when I make a decision that only affects me. Why must I tiptoe around things that I want all because of the possibility of a future someone not approving.
I have one tattoo.
I want another.
Well technically I want three more, but it would come together as one.
I get comments about the writing on my arm not too often, but when someone does find it necessary to voice their unwanted opinion I'm prepared for it. I've heard it all before and knew before I even got my tattoo that there would be comments. I waited years before I got my tattoo. I wanted to be absolutely certain that those words were what I wanted to carry with me for the rest of my life. I wanted to be prepared for criticism and be confident in my decision.
I was twenty when I got my tattoo. Almost a year ago.
I thought about everything. I researched the tattoo parlor, the side affects, aging, placement and just everything that could go wrong. I worry about everything. I don't like people touching me. So for me to put myself out there and handle this all by myself in a responsible way, makes me love my tattoo that much more. The path I took to get to it is just as important to me as the tattoo itself.
One of the things that really makes me mad is when people (I say people, yet keep thinking of this one person in mind) assume that my tattoo was a mistake, that I regret it. Or that I got it for any other reason than simply because I wanted it. I got this ink on my skin for me. As a reminder to myself. I didn't get it to 'offend' people, to draw attention to myself or to piss anyone off. It has nothing to do with you.
I hate how my decisions seem to always be clouded by what others expect out of me. Whether those others are family or even people I don't know yet. It's always this big 'what if'. 'What if you can't get a job?' or 'What if you can't get a husband because of it?'I hate each and every question they through my way.
Having ink in my skin does not make me less than those who don't.
It does not mean I can't do as good of a job as those who don't.
I hate that having tattoos affects job possibilities. I hate that I have to worry about what I do with my own body because I'm afraid I won't be able to support myself unless I can appear to be 'clean' of tattoos while I work.
I hate that my future must somehow include a man because somehow being just me isn't enough. I hate that some people think a man must being doing me a favor to be with me because I have tattoos. I hate that people honestly think I'd want to even marry someone who judges people based on appearances and has different values than I do.
I guess I just hate having to worry about how my decisions (the ones that have absolutely no affect on those around me) will come across to people. And it's more than just tattoos.
How can I be me when I have to be so conscious of how others perceive me?