sbhikes

Have your tattoos changed your life?

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That sounds a little overly dramatic but I am surprised how my recent tattoos have made such a difference.

My first tattoos were gotten in my late 20s. I'm in my late 40s now. Like most people I didn't know much about the differences in quality between tattooers. The tattoos I got were not very good and overall it was a disappointing experience. I went almost 20 years before ever getting another tattoo.

I commemorated an achievement with a tattoo about 3 years ago. It was large and prominent which scared the crap out of me. I still haven't told my mother! But during these three years this tattoo has actually made my life better. People stop me on the street to ask about it and it lets me reminisce about the achievement. Because it has been such a positive experience I decided I would cover up my old crummy ones.

I recently covered up my shoulder with a nice bird and wow, that has made a difference. When I wear certain shirts, the bird's face peeks out from the neckline. It's fun to shop now with the idea of how to show her off. I have gotten a lot of compliments. A lot of people without tattoos will tell me that they don't like tattoos but they like my bird.

I'm currently covering up my ankle with giant blue roses. I was nervous to see how big they would be but so far, even unfinished, they seem to be changing everything. I am no longer ashamed of my ugly old tattoo. If anything my new tattoo improves how I feel about my body. I'm female and big-boned, kind of a weight-lifter body type, and it's a definite difference to feel good about the appearance of my body. I feel more confident and pretty. I kind of feel like I got my leg back.

Am I the only one to have this sort of thing happen?

P.S. My bird is in my images and the flowers will go there once they are finished.

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Absolutely! First thing I said was "I love my arm better this way". There were a lot of burn scars on there as well from kitchen jobs.

I was finally so excited to cover that crap up with positive symbols.

I feel more confident but at times the bad looks kinda get to me. Or having to explain to the extended family members *why* I got these designs...which is why I'm keeping the darker art pieces on non-visible areas.

Compliments are always appreciated. Makes me feel like I have great taste when it comes to art. :)

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If anything my new tattoo improves how I feel about my body.

I've heard this same sentiment echoed many times, especially by women. I started getting tattooed the minute (ok, a month or so later) after I turned 18.. without getting too sentimental, I think that in a way it did help me figure myself out, even if for the first four or five, I didn't really know what I was getting in to. I've never had to grapple with any body issues but internally.. it seemed to level me out a bit, if that makes sense.

Glad your changing skin is literally changing your life!

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I can only agree... i'm not a confident person at all and i guess you could say i have low self esteem. I used to look in the mirror and really dislike what i saw but now i look in the mirror and see so many things that make me smile. i feel far more comfortable in this beautiful colourful interesting skin. I've also realised that it's ok to not be like everyone else.

So yes, tattoos have changed my life for the better :)

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I've talked about this some before...

A few years ago I found out that I have a neurodegenerative disease that will eventually land me in a wheelchair. I really don't know how fast or slow it will go. There's not any treatment for it, nothing to do for it but treat symptoms and wait for the inevitable.

I got super depressed about it for a long time. I absolutely HATED my legs. Despised them for having this disease, for failing me, for "dooming" me to be disabled someday.

Sometime last summer I started to have persistent dreams that I was getting my legs tattooed. I ignored them as well as I could for awhile, and then started putting some serious thought into going for it. I started looking around the interwebs to see what was out there...

And then I came here :)

Since I started getting my legs tattooed my feelings about them have changed completely. I don't hate them at all anymore. In fact, I might even love them!!! I definitely love the tattoos, and to a great degree all those positive feelings have bled over onto the legs themselves.

And... I'm finding that my perspective about the disease as a whole is beginning to shift some too...

I'm coming around to the idea that I need to view it less as a curse, not "being doomed", and more of just "a change"...

I'm definitely not all the way there yet, but it's something that never would have been possible in the state of mind I was in when I hated my legs guts for having this thing in the first place.

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And I have to add...

I want to thank all y'all here at LST for being here, for giving such great input and advice, for showing off such great work all the time!!

God forbid, what if I'd gotten crappy leg tattoos?!?!

I doubt it would have had the same positive impact that it's had...

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Sbhikes- I've had a similar experience with being tattooed. I got my first two tats in my early 20's and they're pretty awful!

I've had self esteem issues with the large one on my back and it turned me off tattoos for about 12 years. Im now in the process of laser treatment and a coverup.

I decided I wanted more despite my negative experience and so glad I did my research and found a decent artist this time around because I love the work he did on my leg and can't wait to get more tattoos! They are definitely life changing and I think it's important for people to do their homework first to make sure they go through a decent artist because there is a lot of crap tattooists where I live.

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I guess my tattoos have not really changed my life a whole lot. I love them, and they are nice conversation starters. Some may ask me why I got them or if they mean anything to me. I agree with you that I too feel awesome with them. I love them and am glad that I have them.

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My parents, employers, and the military don't approve of them but I love them. Hoping to find a lucky lady that loves them as well!

I got my sleeve worked on today and my mom asked me where I was. I told her I was getting my arm worked on and showed her the fresh shading below my elbow. She asked me how much my tattoo cost. I told her the amount. Then she told me to pay the water bill next month and that she would pray for me. Oh well! :rolleyes:

I really love my ink though. When I got my first tattoo a couple weeks after I turned 18 I had no idea I would love it this much and go so big. My first piece was a pretty well thought out half-sleeve however, from a pretty good artist as far as I know (Paul Jameson) and since then I haven't looked back. I really like the way tattoos look and how they add character to the skin. It gives me a sense of satisfaction whenever I get a new tattoo. I think I got a lot of my friends into tattoos as well. I was the first in my group of friends to get a big piece with lots of detail in it so I probably influenced quite a few of them. Now I see them going out and getting more work than me and it's awesome! I love everything about tattoos and the tattoo culture. Wouldn't trade em for anything.

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And... I'm finding that my perspective about the disease as a whole is beginning to shift some too...

I'm coming around to the idea that I need to view it less as a curse, not "being doomed", and more of just "a change"...

I'm definitely not all the way there yet, but it's something that never would have been possible in the state of mind I was in when I hated my legs guts for having this thing in the first place.

This. So much this. I love your story :D

Although nowhere near the same, I have some health stuff that's not fun (Fibromyalgia and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome). I felt quite negative toward my body, knowing I can't do the things I used to do, can't go out on a whim like my friends, can't run (used to be one of my big hobbies). Getting tattooed hurts like a mofo because of the hypersensitivity, but the achievement - getting to look at a part of my body and go "I sat through hours of pain for that" helps to pick me up on a bad day and remind me that I'm doing better than I give myself credit for. That there are still things that I CAN do, and having awesome artwork all over me is one.

So yes, having tattoos has changed my life. In other ways too, of course - the way strangers interact with me has changed, but I can't say I have time or energy to think about that too much. Mostly they remind me that I kick ass.

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I felt quite negative toward my body, knowing I can't do the things I used to do, can't go out on a whim like my friends, can't run (used to be one of my big hobbies). Getting tattooed hurts like a mofo because of the hypersensitivity, but the achievement - getting to look at a part of my body and go "I sat through hours of pain for that" helps to pick me up on a bad day and remind me that I'm doing better than I give myself credit for. That there are still things that I CAN do, and having awesome artwork all over me is one.

:)

My legs might not *do* what I want them to do, but at least they can *look* the way I want them to look!!!

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I got my sleeve worked on today and my mom asked me where I was. I told her I was getting my arm worked on and showed her the fresh shading below my elbow. She asked me how much my tattoo cost. I told her the amount. Then she told me to pay the water bill next month and that she would pray for me. Oh well! :rolleyes:

That's why I never tell!!

My family would be horrified if they knew how much money I've spent on tattoos... not just the tattoos themselves, but I've missed work for them, stayed in hotels, etc.

I think, in this case, lying is completely acceptable!!

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That's why I never tell!!

My family would be horrified if they knew how much money I've spent on tattoos... not just the tattoos themselves, but I've missed work for them, stayed in hotels, etc.

I think, in this case, lying is completely acceptable!!

Yeah I just find it hard to lie to my mom these days. I use to try to hide it for a couple weeks but eventually I'll just walk around the house with my shirt off and let her see it. When I was 18 and got my first tattoo I let her see a full half-sleeve immediately after I got it. It was just too bothersome to try and hide it. Plus I hate wearing a shirt when I'm the house. That and me and my mom/family have been through so much in the recent past it's just hard for me to lie. I'm even contemplating telling her I don't believe in God anymore but I don't want to give the poor woman an early death. Maybe I can last a couple more years til I graduate and move out. I mean I have my chest and right arm completely covered it's just way too bothersome to hide it from someone you live with. I'm me and she has to accept that.

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Yes they have. Most notably would be the post it note tattoo I got with lyrics from a panzer AG song. I got it two years ago right after my dad got out of the hospital. Every day I look at that tattoo and realize I need to make my parents proud and honor them. They may not agree with or like all the tattoos I get, but they sure as hell influenced that one and it will forever be one of my favorite pieces of work that I have on my body. It will always remind me of how you can lose your parents at any given time and you need to respect them and spend as much time with them as humanly possible while they are alive. Luckily my dad pulled through and after two weeks in ICU he was released, but it could have easily taken a turn for the worse and not have happened that way. I am thankful that it did not. I have the utmost respect for my parents and love them with all my heart.

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That's awesome that other people's tattoos make them so happy. I don't know anybody else who has a tattoo so I didn't know how much they make your life different.

The other night I was showing my map tattoo like I usually do when someone wants to know what the Pacific Crest Trail is. My new big blue rose is right next to it. It surprised me to see the big blue rose there. It's so pretty. It's amazing to look at myself and think "so pretty." That's not the normal thing I think of myself.

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:)

My legs might not *do* what I want them to do, but at least they can *look* the way I want them to look!!!

You have a terrific attitude! Kudos.

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I think that tattoos have definitely added to my life and been part of a process of changing my life.

When you look at most of society, it seems really lame. People seem pathologically risk averse, in a desperate perpetually skeered mission to eliminate all traces of risk from their lives and to force those same choices on other people, which in my opinion is much worse. It'd be so easy, with the economy being screwy and work perpetually stressed, to stay in a constant state of worry.

Aside from a great wife and daughter and a good career in programming, the greatest gift I've been given is that I've always enjoyed activities involving managed risk: target shooting, martial arts, motorcycles, climbing. They've given me some ability to turn of fear and just act, rather than joining the herd and being perpetually paralyzed by fear.

I see tattoos as another step in that process. I got my first one after I was 50 and, ironically, got laid off from a job I'd hated for a while about a week later. Aside from being a goofy pun, that No Way tattoo was intended as a statement to myself that I wasn't going to follow courses set by other people anymore. I found a better job in about 3 weeks and I think the tattooed symbol of that inner determination helped me hit the ground running hard instead of moping for a while.

So yeah, tattoos have become a later part of the process of choosing my own course in life.

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I think tattoos have not only changed my life, but they have swallowed my life whole.

It's weird but I don't hold any special meanings for my tattoos, but the more I think about that it suits me to a tee. I am not a sentimental guy, I don't keep pictures, I throw most of my shit away when I move, and only collect two things, one is tattoos and the other is beer which is consumable. I don't think I changed that much with tattoos, i just found a way of getting tattooed that suited me and in turn has given me something to focus on.

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When you look at most of society, it seems really lame. People seem pathologically risk averse, in a desperate perpetually skeered mission to eliminate all traces of risk from their lives and to force those same choices on other people, which in my opinion is much worse.

You are my hero for saying what I often think! It's sad how little people are willing to settle for out of life. I've made big mistakes in 55 years, but my biggest mistakes were the times I DIDN'T go for it.

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You are my hero for saying what I often think! It's sad how little people are willing to settle for out of life. I've made big mistakes in 55 years, but my biggest mistakes were the times I DIDN'T go for it.

"

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I agree with the comment about people being too timid and living life in fear. I quit a pretty good programming job to do this:

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Got the commemorative tattoo a year after I completed hiking the trail. Spent two summers hiking that trail and the months in between and right after working some interesting and unusual jobs.

In fact, even though I have gotten tattoos that didn't turn out that well, I never regretted them because I have always valued living life to the fullest, just doing things that make life more interesting. Even if they don't always work out. Even if that means I've never been much of a career-oriented person.

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