A Little Rebellion

Dating myself… But back in the mid 80’s and recently moved from rural Alaska to the greater Seattle area, I was taking in the city life and all it offered.   A friend was down visiting and we decided we wanted tattoos.  It was my birthday gift to myself for leaving my teens and turning the big 2-0!  Neither of us gave a whole lot of thought to what we wanted tattooed; it was more about just having a tattoo! 

I’d seen a place on First Avenue in Seattle near Pike Place Market, so we headed off with much enthusiasm!  We got a little nervous when we noticed a lot of ‘sketchy’ looking characters coming in and out of the shop.  The employees were generously tattooed and looked eager to share their love of ink, too.  We were definitely out of our element!

Photo Credit magazineusa.com

But, our minds were made up and after studying some designs on the wall, she chose a small heart and I got a small rose.  We left with grins a mile wide, quite pleased with ourselves.  When we returned to the apartment, she showed her husband and I showed my boyfriend.  Neither of them was very happy with us!

A Practical Joke…

Said boyfriend and I married a few months later; tattoo and all.  A couple of years later we were at my brother’s house in Fairbanks and I took my nine year-old nephew to the fair.  We were having a pretty good time already when we discovered a booth with very realistic-looking fake tattoos.  I laughed thinking about the Seattle tattoo and told my nephew the story.  The temptation was too great and I just had to go for it!

When my husband and I got ready for bed that night, I made a big show of pretending I had a huge confession to make.  I told him there was a tattoo booth at the fair and sorry, but I just couldn’t help myself.  When he first saw the huge rose he said firmly “It’s fake.”  I said “Oh no it’s not!  Feel it!”  He tried rubbing it off and I pretended like it hurt.  It would only come off with vegetable oil, so the rubbing didn’t work. 

He stomped around the bedroom and said “Well!  You might as well just get them all over your whole damn body!  And you might as well join a Harley gang, too!”  He’d never gotten angry with me before, so I just had to tell the truth.  I laughed and admitted it was fake, but apparently I’d been too convincing earlier!  I had to go downstairs and get some vegetable oil to show him it would come off.  He shook his head and asked if everyone else knew.  I giggled and said “Oh yeah!”  

Faded with Time…

Over the years my little rose faded nearly beyond recognition. 

My poor faded rose!

For at least five years I’d been saying I’m going to get it ‘fertilized’.  Doug would just roll his eyes and shake his head again.  I’d also been wishing I’d put more thought into what the tattoo was.  I pictured a butterfly emerging from a cocoon; so symbolic of transformation and freedom – reflecting my years of healing and recovery.

Even My Tattoo Was Transformed…

This summer I finally made the appointment to fertilize my rose.  When I went in, I found out she could tattoo right over the top of my sad little rose.  A fresh start!  I knew immediately that the time was right for my butterfly.  It’s bigger and brighter than my rose; my wings are finding freedom, and so am I.

My new wings!

How about you?  What’s transformed in your life recently?

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