Every night I apply coconut oil to my face. It’s a routine I’ve only recently gotten into, but one I cherish simply because I love the way it feels and smells (and of course the benefits it’s ‘supposed’ to provide-I’ll be darned if my forehead wrinkles are actually fading and God knows I still have under eye circles). This routine also gives me a prime shot of my newest tattoo. It’s almost a year old, but it’s really only visible in a reflection or photograph where my arm is above my waist.
It’s my favorite of my 4 tattoos, for many reasons.
I’d been itching for a new tattoo ever since my 3rd. I’d always talk about getting a new one, but never made a point to get to a shop because I never knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted it to represent something I loved. The sun? I do love the sun. It’s brightness, it’s warmth, the way it looks at any point in the sky. Daisies? My favorite flower. So simple, so beautiful. A little mountain? Hiking is one of my favorite activities. It brings me peace, awe, and the realization that I am only but a small piece of this beautiful world. A cloud? I do love me a fascinating cumulonimbus.
I’d never thought of an apple. I never thought of the beautiful message it carried or the simple way it captured my heart. I never knew that something so small could start such meaningful conversations or how it could give my soul away to a perfect stranger.
I was scheduled to fly out of Portland that day. I had spent the previous night at my best friend’s house. I desperately needed girl time and it was a perk to be a little closer to the airport instead of driving a few hours before a flight. That night we had the following conversation:
“What if we just went and got a tattoo. Like, tomorrow morning, before you leave.”
“But I have no idea what I really even want?!”
“Me either. Maybe something to do with photography. I want it to mean something.”
“Ohhh, I could get something to do with teaching! Yeah!”
We slept on our ideas; honestly, I never thought we’d go through with it. But the next morning, we made our way in to Portsmouth bright and early- precisely at opening hours. I remember saying “If they have an opening right then, we’re taking it! If not, it’s just not meant to be.” We walked in, and the guy said that he had just had a cancellation, and depending on what we wanted, he could probably squeeze us in. Oh. My. God. My stomach flipped. This was going to happen! I knew what I wanted and where, but I just couldn’t believe how quickly I had decided and how real it was becoming. I went first, and I’m a huge baby. Like, just the sound sends shivers up my spine. I’m pretty sure that if I had squeezed any harder I would’ve broken Joan’s hand. She is the definition of a true best friend- the kind who calls you a loser to your face for feeling pain with the smallest of tattoos, but who will hold your hand through the entire thing anyway. She was the real trooper during that 5 minute time period- seriously, I think she felt more pain from my hand than I did from the tattoo.
When we left, I was grinning ear to ear. I was in love with this tiny piece of fruit on my wrist. It was exactly how I pictured it and it meant more than I could have imagined. Not only was the tattoo itself important to me, but the experience I shared with her that day was. Our tattoos are a symbol of our love for our passion and a reminder of our support for each other. She creates beautiful pieces of photography for friends, family, and strangers to enjoy, and I (crazily) mold and teach the minds of tiny humans.
That afternoon, I got on a plane to North Carolina to see my boyfriend. I told him I had “something new” done to me to show him. He thought it was a haircut.