I hope that my memoir is titled that. Or “Sorry, I was asleep.” Or “Hello Taco Bell, it’s me again.

ANYWAYS, I want to write about my tattoos, why I got them, and what they mean to me.

I have always wanted a lot of tattoos – my alter ego wants an arm sleeve, but that will have to wait for my next life as a musician. I wish tattoos weren’t so stigmatized because they are such a beautiful form of art, expression, and identity.

I think they get a bad rap because people think, “How could anyone possibly want one thing on their body for a lifetime?? Won’t you regret in a few years?” I think those questions speak to a societal fear of permanence and commitment. We have become so adaptable and quick to change that we forget to slow down and stay rooted. I love tattoos for that reason – in all of life’s dynamic shifts and challenges, my tattoos keep me rooted. They keep me in touch with my body – something I used to hate. My tattoos remind me that I am here. I am rooted. I am resilient.

Let’s get right into it, and let’s go in order:

“What you manifest is before you” – left rib cage – Las Vegas, September 2016.

I chose this quote from my favorite book of all-time, The Art of Racing in the Rain. I read this book shortly after college and it really inspired me to take control of my life. The book is written from a dog’s perspective and takes place in Seattle, so it probably could be my favorite book for those two reasons alone.

Its main message has come to be my guiding mantra: “What you manifest is before you.” I got this quote as a tattoo to remind myself that whatever comes my way, I can handle and grow from it.

Shamrock – upper right…..glute – Seattle, January 2017.

My brothers and I had been talking about getting sibling tattoos for quite some time. We had thrown quite a few ideas around, and we ultimately landed on a shamrock to represent our Irish heritage and upbringing. I wanted to add some flare to it, so I designed the stem to be shaped like an upside down “r”. All of our middle names begin with R – Riley, Ray, and Robert.

“Kairos” – upper back – Seattle, January 2017.

This is a word from my second favorite book to date, Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Meldon. She talks about how there are two types of time – normal time and kairos time. “Seize the moment” doesn’t cut it these days – frankly, there’s a lot of BS we want to fast forward through. But every day, there are small moments, small victories, where we wish time could stand still, and we could feel that way forever.

Those times are not normal time – they are kairos time.

Carpe kairos.

 “FEAR” and “LOVE” – top of each foot – Salt Lake City, March 2017.

I learned a while back that humans, and arguably all creatures, have two root emotions: fear and love. We make all of our decisions based on one of these emotions. I got them on my feet to remind me to stay rooted, balanced, and think about why I am making the choice I am making – is it out of love or is it out of fear? It cannot be both, as they are mutually exclusive.

I plan to get 4-7 more tattoos in the coming years, but considering I have gotten 5 in the last 6 months, I am soaking them in right now.

My tattoos are an extension of who I am and what I value.

They are me.

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