Tattoos after 30 and mid-life ‘crisis’

I wanted a tattoo when I turned 18 but couldn’t decide on a design. I actually took the permanency of tattoos very seriously. Throughout life I’d doodle an idea here and there but never felt like – this is it! After having kids, my ideas started to become more concrete and then on an anniversary trip with my husband, we did the oh-so-cliche thing and stopped by a tattoo shop and got matching tattoos! I was 35 years old.

You know what they say about tattoos – there’s no such thing as getting just one. It’s funny but also true. Fast forward three years, following the passing of my Mom, and my tattoo count increased to 6! Some may look at that sentence and say – sounds like a mid life crisis, or grief, or maybe both. There is likely an element of both in there.

I wonder, as I’m approaching this inevitable “mid-life” age so easily made fun of, if what society labels as a ‘crisis’ is more truthfully becoming who we are. Do we spend the first quarter or half of our life doing what society tells us to do then have some sort of awakening where we dismissed that inner child voice and what it wanted to do? I don’t mean to say that the beginning of our life we are living a lie. I don’t believe that at all. Now at the end of my 30’s I look at those in their 20’s as a time of trial and error, figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Perhaps our time of becoming our truest selves is ‘mid-life’ and we’ve somehow collectively decided to judge each other for these decisions instead of looking at the butterfly finally emerging from the cocoon in awe!

Personally, I really like the version of me who continues to grow, learn and evaluate. Oh and I really love my tattoos! In fact, while thinking of writing this blog post I got an idea for my next one. Tattoos are like a story board to an individual’s life. Not all have meanings behind then and that is ok. Art can be appreciated for its beauty alone. But I would gamble that most have a story, however small, of that time in their life, where they were, who was with them, what led them to choose it, or stories started because of the tattoo. And that is beautiful.

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