The story of my first tattoo.
I've wanted a tattoo for about as long as I can remember. I think I was around 12 when I decided what I wanted my first tattoo to be. A star behind my ear. Spoiler Alert* I didn't stick to that idea.
In high school, when I was bored in class, I would draw on my wrists with pen. I tried my hand at cursive script (I wasn't great) and drew little symbols. That was when I decided I wanted a tattoo on my forearm. I wanted to be able to look down and see it whenever I wanted. I didn't want to hide it.
Between high school and college I went through a lot of different tattoo ideas, but the basic criteria remained the same.
1. I wanted a quote of some kind. Originally I played around with Walt Disney quotes, but all my favorites were too long & wordy.
2. It had to be meaningful. My second tattoo can be stupid.
3. It had to be perfect. If I was getting something inked permanently onto my body, I wasn't sacrificing quality. I wanted the best.
I was 21 when I chose my tattoo.
I had been hearing this phrase 'happiness is a choice' a lot. For a long time it was just background noise, I was aware of it, but never stopped to listen. One day, I decided to take the time to think about what it actually meant to 'choose happy'. To be active in choosing your own happiness is a really vulnerable state to put yourself in. It's easy to get upset over the little things in life and blame your unhappiness on circumstances outside of your control. While it's true that so much of what happens in life is out of our control, how you handle it, is completely your own and accepting that responsibility isn't easy.
So I made a promise to myself. I told myself that whenever I started to get worked up over something small or something that didn't matter, I would remind myself that 'happiness is a choice' and I would try to focus on the positive instead of the negative. Funny thing is, from the day I made that promise to myself, I've never had to remind myself to choose happy, I've just done it. It's the best thing that's ever happened to me. I've become a better friend, daughter, coworker and person. It's changed how I live my life, how I treat others & how I treat myself.
By the time I was 22 I knew for sure that was what I wanted on my body forever, I knew where I wanted it and how I wanted it to look. The only problem was I couldn't find an artist. I wanted something simple, small & delicate. I only wanted the best.
Meet the best - JonBoy.
I found JonBoy on Instagram in 2015 and quickly became obsessed. He was tattooing exactly like what I had always seen in my imagination. It was going to be him or no one.
I first connected with him almost 3 years ago now. it was during the holidays and I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw him tagging posts from Radisson Blu MOA. I panicked and DMed him (basically begging) him to take one more person. It didn't work out then, but we've stayed in touch and last Thursday, as I was finishing up photographing the Bea Miller M&G at the mall, all of a sudden he was there.
Next thing I know, it's Saturday night and I'm laying on a couch in a Radisson Blu suite, being tattooed by a master, with one of my best friends and a tiny Pomeranian, named Gucci Dog.
We listened to music, laughed and swapped stories of people we've met in our jobs.
It took about a half hour. No, it didn't hurt.
Getting the famous JonBoy Instagram shot.
It's everything I've ever wanted and it's beyond weird to look down at my arm and not have to imagine the words that mean so much to me anymore.
THANK YOU to the person that I'm lucky enough to call a friend now. JonBoy you are the ultimate! Still the only person I will ever let tattoo me, but I don't know if I can wait 3 more years for the next one...