Today I spent three hours enjoying a little self-inflicted pain. Mind out of the gutter! No S&M here, boys. I spent three whole hours at a local tattoo parlor getting a most glorious tattoo. Now you might wonder why in the world I would get a tattoo of such a size that it would require hours of incredibly fast needles painfully stabbing parts of my body. You see this was not just any tattoo, but a tattoo meant to cover another tattoo. Prepare for a story of woe and warning.
When I was eighteen years old I was a very shy young girl. Having just graduated high school, I was still recovering from the effects of being an ugly duckling that was all legs and about thirty pounds underweight for her height. I loving refer to myself as having the body of a "twelve year old anorexic boy" during this stage in my life. Needless to say I was shamelessly picked on. Thinking myself not worthy of a boyfriend and having never been kissed, I was most surprised to find myself garnering male attention when I arrived on campus for my freshman year of college. This was a most pleasant change.
Not being used to such things, I immediately started dating the first guy that came along. I had never had a boyfriend and I could hardly contain my excitement. I felt cool and wanted and normal. I had always wished for a boyfriend and suddenly, poof, I had one. Of course being young and stupid, the thrill of simply having a boyfriend masked all the shitty traits said boyfriend possessed. He was controlling and alienated me from my best friends. He cheated on me and used me. He took advantage of my innocence and kindness. Suddenly, he'd taken over my life and I couldn't get it back.
Now, I'll spare you the very, very, very grizzly details of our dating history, but when it was all said and done, I had wasted three years on a boy that ruined in me in nearly everyway a man can. I was devastated and shocked, but in the end I was better for it. I emerged more confident and self-reliant and proud of the beautiful woman I was. I also found myself growing into a beautiful, filled out woman - call me a late bloomer.
Realizing that I had narrowly escaped spending my life with a man that would have ruined every part of me, I began getting rid of all the things that held a connection to him in my life. I got rid of the emails, the gifts, the songs. I threw out boxes full of broken memories and forgotten promises. Finally, it was all gone and I felt lighter and ready for my life to really begin.
Now it is nearly three years later and the only thing left of him was a tattoo. A tattoo I'd let him pick for me off the wall at a local tattoo shop; the tattoo that reflected me in no way whatsoever. It was his last mark upon me. So I spoke with an artist, had something personal and meaningful drawn and got a new tattoo. Not even a faint image remains of the old ink below the deep blue of the tattoo that now rests in its place. It is a scar invisible.
Note to self: Don't allow others to make your decisions. Or pick a tattoo off a wall, ever.