I love tattoos. If I had endless money, I would be covered in more ink than I currently am.
The process of getting a tattoo and seeing the finished product on your body is an exhilarating experience, and sharing the experience of a tattoo can create a pretty similar feeling.
So when my ex came home one day and told me we are getting tattoos, I couldn't say no.
After three years of being in an on-again, off-again relationship with my ex, I thought it seemed like a great idea to go through with it. Saying that now doesn't sound like the most logical answer, but at the time, I figured we were done breaking up and were in it for good.
Because life likes to throw curveballs at you, we did eventually break up. Now here I am, with a heart locket on my wrist, and he still has a key on his.
It bothered me a lot at first. I'd look down, and there'd be the painful reminder of my breakup, just staring up at me. I wanted it gone, and I wished I'd never have gotten it in the first place.
But like with all things, time went by and that faded, as did my negative feelings toward the breakup. I felt content, even when I saw the tattoo.
It started to bother me less and less, and then soon, it didn't upset me at all. It became just another tattoo.
I could have continued to stare at it and have it be a reminder of my failed relationship, but I decided not to.
I also could have had it removed, but I didn't want to do that, either.
I decided to leave it on my body as a reminder, a lesson and a piece of art.
The tattoo itself is beautiful. Forgetting the reason I got it in the first place, it's a great tattoo and shouldn't be removed. I would feel as if I was disrespecting my tattoo artist by just erasing his work forever. It's art, and it should be displayed.
This tattoo is also a lesson. It taught me I should think twice before making a decision like that again. I may or may not make a similar decision in the future, but at least I'll think more about it.
I've learned that not all things — unlike this tattoo — are permanent. People come and go from our lives, but that doesn't mean they didn't once mean something to us.
It's a reminder, too. It's a reminder that at one point, I did love someone enough to get a permanent tattoo with them. It's a reminder life is short, and impulsive decisions are a way to bring excitement into your life.
It's a reminder love is not dead, and someday, I will find a great love. It's a reminder that if I can get through the pain of that breakup, I can get through the pains of daily life.
I live my life with no regrets, so saying I regret ever getting the tattoo would be a lie. Even if I regretted it for a moment, I no longer live with that feeling of regret.
I understand others regret it, and that makes sense. It can be a hurtful reminder. It can make you feel low and foolish.
Just remember you're not the only one who ran off and tattooed yourself with an ex. It happens to the best of us.
Some tattoos have meaning, and others don't. And sometimes, those tattoos lose the deep meaning they once had and are merely a work of art now.
That's how I now view mine.