I'm thinking that many of you noticed the new header photo - courtesy of my friend Emily from when she came to visit me - and that you noticed something sitting on my right shoulder. Not on it, per say, but in it.
Yes, that is a tattoo. And yes, it is real.
It's been on my skin since November. I kept it pretty tightly under wraps because at that point I hadn't informed my family (read: my parents) and there were some things that I wasn't completely comfortable with. I'm not going to lie, I sat in Orgo the Monday after I got it done and had a mini panic attack because I realized that I couldn't wear summer sun dresses to work as a teacher because of it. Completely failed to comprehend that I might never actually go into teaching once I have the degree (it is a back up plan), and completely almost freaked out to the point of hyperventilating (the guy sitting next to me was probably expecting me to fall out of my seat). This was further compounded when the moment came to actually tell my mother (while trying on my dress [strapless] for my cousin's wedding that I had completely forgotten about) and my sister just looked at me and said in her mommy and big sister voice, "You were the one that chose to put it there, you need to own your skin."
And I owned it. Everything turned out alright (my mother even said later that night, "I thought you would have put color in it") and that was that.
As far as the family was concerned. We kind of figured that grandma might fall out of the pew from the shock of it (we left it uncovered and for the world to see at the wedding) and I learned what it really meant to own your skin. Like I said, as far as family was concerned.
There was some different mentality as far as campus went. There really aren't that many tattoos on my campus. Or, at least, ones that you can readily see without being stark naked. During the spring, even when it got hot, I wore mostly t-shirts because I was still a little afraid of what people were going to think.
Here I was, twenty-years-old and still worried about what people were going to think of something that I had knowingly and willingly put on my body. In short, I was failing to do the thing that I had thought I had already accomplished. I was failing to own my skin.
Now, a couple months later and after the heat of the middle of the summer, I'm going to wear my skin. It's the only one that I have. And the centaur? I am a Wandering Sagittarius. The zodiac symbol for Sagittarius is the centaur. I don't think it's offensive; it's a different representation of a fairly important aspect of myself.
However, this doesn't meant that I'm going to offend everybody I come across if tattoos are taboo or something of that nature in Wales. Because that's just being a moron. If it's not an issue, it's not an issue, and there's no need to make it one.
The point is that the skin that you have - the skin that you were born in - is the one that you have to wear until the day you die. The body you wear is the one that you have, and you can change it a little - losing or gaining weight, piercings, tattoos, whatnot - but it's the one that you have. You have to wear it. More importantly, you have to own it.
Just like everything else in life.