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How to Tell Your Story Through Tattoos

          One of the things people always caution against when getting tattoos is to get something that you can live with for the rest of your life. Some people get that cartoon character they think personifies their life while others don’t even think about getting one unless they lose a bet.

          I am a part of another group of people, however; those who get tattoos to tell the stories of their life. Of my 4, 3 are the result of a personal story close to my heart and one was because I lost a bet. The most important thing though is that I don’t regret a single one, not even the one on my buttocks (the one I got as a result of a lost bet).

          The one on my chest was inspired by a man I held in very high regards. He was one of my first examples of how to be a responsible adult, outside of my parents, and really resembled more of a brotherly figure than anything else. The tattoo, a gothic style cross with the sacred heart in the middle over my heart, tells the story of my less than smooth transition from a child to a man.

          The second tattoo I got, a solid band of the Atlanta skyline going around my upper left arm, symbolizes the place I will always call home. No matter where I wind up in life, Atlanta will always be the place that holds my heart. It is the city that bore witness to some of the biggest moments in my life, including the birth of my first born child and the city in which I lost a bet that resulted in me getting a tattoo on my butt, a smiley face with devil horns.

          My most recent tattoo is a tribal sun with 6 semicolons in the middle with the initials and birthdate of my son underneath. I got this tattoo as a tribute to my personal battle with mental health issues, with a special emphasis on suicidal thoughts and tendencies. I chose to add a permanent reminder to myself so that I never forget how much I struggled to get to where I am today and of how much I have to lose if I go back to where I was.

          Everyone has their preferred way to communicate the things they’ve been through, and it just so happens mine is through the tattoos I decide to get on my body. While this method isn’t for everyone, I highly recommend that if you want to get a tattoo to get one. Just make sure it’s the one you want, and that it is something you can live with for the rest of your life.


Langston is a Junior at Xavier University majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and the Public honors program and English. His favorite pastime is procrastination, and his favroite food is lasagna. He hates mondays, walking, over exposre to nature, and math.
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