My Tattoo

Many of you may or may not know that I do have a tattoo that is located on my wrist. People were shocked I wanted one, including my own parents. People believed it was a rash decision, but in reality it is something I have thought about for many years that was accelerated because of my lung disease. To me, tattoos illustrate someone’s life and may speak volumes for who they are and what they’ve been through. What if I told you, that is exactly why I chose to get one? Does that make it more acceptable to those who dislike tattoos? Tattoos are shunned upon by those without them. Tattoos are praised by those who have one. Why isn’t there an in-between?

Well, that is starting to grow, and I would like to contribute part of that to my generation. Tattoos were once taboo to our society, but everywhere I turn and look, I spot tattoos on numerous people where one simple picture or word depicts their life, portrays their lifestyle, or simply is just art to them. The elegance of many tattoos I’ve encountered has always intrigued me to pursue getting one for myself, but there has always been a burden to those who have a tattoo whether it is employment, judgmental, or simply seen as a “bad boy” or “bad girl”. Why place that kind of pressure on someone when they are seeking to create an image for themselves? They are just being who they want to be, accomplishing what they seek out to achieve.

I will admit, I was scared to get my first tattoo because I didn’t know the type of reactions I would receive. I thought long and hard about what I wanted and where, I discussed it with people, even drew it myself with sharpie to test it out. I didn’t want to look cool, or become a “bad boy” as many people may see people with tattoos. I desired a constant reminder of what I have been through, something to hide my scars, something to tell a story through a simply meaning, and most importantly, something to represent my life as a whole.


Hope

I-XII-XVI

Hope, meaning to never lose faith through whatever you are fighting and to continue to believe that through the dark and through the pain, a light will shine through and heal your wounds. Hope, meaning there is a reason you are here enduring whatever you are facing and there is an outcome where you come out on top. Hope, meaning no matter what, your conviction, your will, and your resilience is formidable and cannot be broken. Hope, also meaning “hold on, pain ends.”

My tattoo is deeper than the surface it bears upon, and doesn’t lift the band-aid off the wound. I sought after a simplistic meaning, that could hide a deeper acronym and shelter the most important story and chapter of my life. The symbolism it displays provides a constant reminder that no matter what, the sun will rise the next morning. Not a day goes by where I regret what I have done, or where I placed it. I don’t attempt to hide it either, because it doesn’t matter to me if you don’t like it. It was my choice, and will forever be a part of me. I will forever enjoy discussing the meaning behind it, and seeing the joy behind peoples’ faces when they can elaborate their ideas for a meaningful tattoo.

I have witnessed many people light up when they can discuss a meaningful tattoo with someone, because we all bear the burden of pain and wish to illustrate our lives in some way or fashion. Part of experiencing pain is becoming strong enough to discuss that pain, and one way for me was to get this tattoo. Now, I openly talk about what I have endured and often try to help others through their struggles with pain. In the end, one tattoo can shape an entire person’s life, as my tattoo illustrates the most pivotal moment in my life.

“In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths” – Anonymous

“Pain changes people.” – Anonymous

Our will to live triumphs any pain one endures, because pain is a creation out of our love for life which holds a stronger bond than any in the universe.

With love,

CJ

Christian Johnston

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