Whilst in Brighton; the woman I stayed with, Sarah suggested I pluck up the courage to get my first tattoo with her, she already had a tiny love heart on her hand and was comfortable going to get another tattoo. So comfortable in fact, she wasn’t fazed and treated the entire experience like she was shopping for a new pair of yoga leggings. I on the other hand was freaking out for a number of reasons, although I am reasonably brave and willing to have a go at most things, I was worried about this first tattoo. Firstly because it’s the unknown, secondly I didn’t know what to expect in regards to pain, thirdly if I’ll like or love it and lastly because my boyfriend dislikes tattoos (especially on women).
Now I can hear all you feminists scream and shout “F*ck your boyfriend, don’t submit to what he wants, it’s your body!” but it’s not that easy when your disposition is inclined to be people pleasing and I am aware I have this complex that worries what people think of me, but also Jon & I have been together for six years so you’d expect me to want his opinion as he would want mine when he makes decisions and one thing I love about him is that in many ways he is old fashioned (I can even picture him wearing a top hat and riding a penny farthing) however he can be open minded too since he is an artist, has an unusual music collection and adores travel and photographing tribal communities who most often than not have women in their community with loads of piercings & tattoos. In the end he knows I have a strong connection to the ritualistic and authentic meanings of tattoos and I am a tribal fusion belly dancer fed up of being a tattoo virgin in my dance community.
In the end I knew that regardless of this tattoo he’d still love me for me AND I don’t have an addictive personality, I know what I want and then I move on so I am not going to cover myself in colourful, huge tattoos because I have a strong awareness of myself, what I like and what suits me and I know I just wouldn’t suit having a sleeve done for example, but I wouldn’t judge other women who do opt for that look and in fact it looks great on other people. I will however get one (maybe two) more, this honey bee was a combination of testing the waters and celebrating becoming a Kids yoga teacher. The main tattoo I’ve wanted for years and have designed myself will be in celebration of another life changing event I am working towards and then potentially I fancy getting a mermaid tattoo on my ankle (again drawn by me) because I connect deeply with mermaids and people have even given feedback that my belly dancing is like a Mermaid.
I also don’t have a superficial mind, most people get tattoos because it’s “cool” or because everyone is getting one and you see individuals walking around with silly Chinese symbols or ridiculously crude and immature cartoon characters on their skin and those are the people who say they regret their tattoo. I am a deep thinker and I go through a long process of pondering what is meaningful to me, this tattoo was a calculated risk and I knew in my heart it is not something I’d regret in the future and here are the reasons why:
1: It represents my love of animals and the Eco-system & I try to help the planet as much as possible.
2: In relation to above, Save the Bees!
3: I love honey.
4: They are a symbol of love, eroticism & Aphrodite.
5: They make love to flowers and thus create life.
6: A power animal to those who are hardworking, creating their dream life.
7: Associated with Kama the God of Love.
8: They dance in the air known as the “waggle dance”.
9: Sweet abundance and prosperity.
10: The illustration was created by Poet Rupi Kaur who’s book ‘milk & honey’ had a powerful effect on me.
11: I felt powerful finally making the decision to just get a tattoo, I’ve been so caught up in deciding not to do things that make me happy because it would disappoint others, and it was a choice I made that showed I stood up for my freedom, that nobody has power over me, I don’t care anymore what people think and no words or tone of voice is going to be an obstacle in my decisions or life. My partner did say “I am surprised you had it done somewhere obvious” and I replied “I need and want to see her every day, when I am down she is a symbol of a life and a new found confidence I am creating for myself, the honey of my labour is coming to fruition.”
12: In relation to becoming a kids yoga teacher, part of my final exam involved creating a yoga story, mine was about a busy honey bee who was fed up of working so hard, she wanted to see the world and beyond and so she did and on the way, she discovered her free will.