Organic Tattoo


Top 3 reasons I am officially a Bloomington resident:

1. I am getting a tattoo with vegan/organic ink tomorrow
2. I got pulled over (sirens and all!) while riding my bike today
3. I exclusively shop at Bloomingfoods (and schlep my groceries home on my bike!)

Honestly, though, I’m getting a tattoo tomorrow.

I’m nervous/scared/excited/ecstatic.

Why now?

I’ve always wanted one.  forever.  as long as I can remember.  I’m coming off the tail end of a quarter life crisis so, if not now, when?

Why organic ink?

Besides the fact that I have extremely sensitive skin, I’m not a big fan of putting toxic metals in my body.  I checked out the MSDS (material safety data sheet) forms for the dyes and I’m pretty pleased.  I think I have less anxiety knowing my tattoo isn’t going to be comprised of mercury, lead, or chromium (or if it is, it is certifiably less than one part per billion 🙂 )   I did an allergy test…I seem to have a little bit of a reaction to the red color, but apparently that’s pretty normal.  I wasn’t planning any red anyway.

What am I getting?

A neon atom, similar to this, but without the straight lines.

Why the hell am I getting that?

Actually, the more I explain it the more I want to do this.

First of all, my family owns a sign business so I have been surrounded by neon signs my entire life.  This is one of my favorites:

Neon makes me think of my family, particularly my dad.  Being surrounded by the neon signs my whole life made me absolutely mesmerized by the element, and subsequently interested in chemistry.  I remember in 6th grade choosing it for a project and feeling unique since everyone chose gold, silver, or platinum.

If I could choose an element to describe me, I would love to think it would be neon.  I mean, come on, it IS  a noble gas and all 🙂

In reality, though, I love the idea of neon.  It’s inert, meaning it doesn’t need any other element in order to fit in.  It’s independent.  It’s stable.  Alone, it’s colorless, but with a littel bit of love it can be transformed into any beautiful color.  It’s an element that all others below it and a few above it strive to be like.  I went as neon for Halloween once, in what I would like to call a dorkier time in my life, but let’s be honest…I’m freaking writing a soliloquy about an element.

Finally, an atom represents my love of science.   Science itself strives towards the atomic level, but at the same time, atomic is just a theory.  I spend hours upon hours devoting my life to something that is just a theory.  In a sick, sad way, I find that incredibly romantic.

My family doesn’t understand why I would want a tattoo.  Albeit incredibly and astonishingly supportive (as long as it’s small), I know they’re a little bit unhappy about it.

I’m getting it on my left wrist.  My friend put it best to me- it’s the perfect area because it’s vital.  And that’s true.  My family, my odd personifications of my desires, science, romanticism – those are all vital to my life.  People are surprised I’m not getting a running tattoo.  Running is merely an offshoot of everything I have just described, but not the vital life source.  I love the idea of having this tattoo over the vein pumping to my heart.

But, I’m scared.

Of what, I’m not sure.

Regretting it?  I don’t think I have any reason to.  Worst case scenario I have to buy a lot of fabulous bracelets to cover it up.

Pain? nah..

Having a horrible infection and needing my hand amputated?  a little bit.

Mostly, I think I’m nervous that this is a change in me.  A change to my body.  But why should I be afraid of that when in reality, it’s going to become an extension of me and what I am?  Everytime I think I should back down, I explain again to someone why I want this, and what it means to me, and I am reminded again, in a new way, why this is meaningful to me.

I don’t want to talk about it anymore.  I want to do it.  I’ve spent the last 8 years talking about a tattoo.

The greatest mistake in life is continually fearing  you will make one.


2 responses »

  1. Hello,

    I’m very interested in organic tattooing for myself b/c of various allergies I’ve had in the past. Do you mind my asking where you found an organic tattoo artist? I love in SE Brown County, Indiana.

    Thanks so much,

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