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A Gift to Myself

Back when I was 16, I got a tattoo from an amateur artist of what was supposed to be two hearts and two roses with a ribbon flowing through them and ugh! a NAME. I love….   The man forever named on my breast was a real son of a bitch. A man  (I even hesitate to use that noun as he was more like a troll) who was awful to me but at the time, in my twisted adolescent brain, I thought more of him than he would ever deserve. For so long, I lived with that mark. As time passed, it faded a great deal. The name has been illegible for years. I got used to it. I even got to the point where I didn’t even really notice it anymore. Unless I did. And then there it was… A permanent reminder of one of the most painful periods of my life. Immortalized forever in dim tattoo ink, right over my heart.

I have experienced what feels like three lifetimes worth of stuff so far. Some of it has been damn hard. But I’m at a point now where I can honestly say I like who I am and who I’m growing into. I like what my life looks like. I am finding joy, I’m experiencing it. I am doing what I want to be doing in most areas and where I’m not, improvements are happening. I feel AWAKE. So, it was time to do something about that tainted blemish on my chest. I knew what I wanted but I did not know how to translate the image and the idea into words.

Thanks to the recommendation of a fellow cyclist, I learned of Paris Pierides of Paris Tattos in Charlotte. His work was so unique, I knew I wanted him to be my artist. I sat down with him and he showed me some of his past work. We talked. He asked questions. It seemed as if, as we discussed the options, his intuition talked to mine. That is the only explanation I can think of for how he managed to give me the exact tattoo I envisioned. It is so very beautiful. I feel more beautiful. It’s like having on the most perfect gown – the kind of gown that makes a woman feel as if she were the loveliest woman alive – only I get to wear it every day of my life.

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