Anyways, I went and got a cover-up tattoo over my semicolon last night (July 15, 2018). It’s a pretty rad new look, to be completely honest — it’s a highly elegant rose, and it came out beautifully.
I’m pretty sure my tattoo artist (Denny Waldron of Heirloom Tattoo & Piercing) even nailed some good, old school goth vibes in there for me (as requested). I know I tend to make everything gothilicious in my mind, but seriously — take my word on this one.
My tattoo artist even said, “Don’t worry, I’ll make this rose look really mean for you.” What more could a little ol’ Queen of Darkness ask for?
Not much, sir.
So, my standard, tiny, back-of-the-neck semicolon is no more.
1. Let me go ahead and get the aesthetic-inspired reason straight out of the way — the lack of symmetry at the very top of my spine bugs me, I feel like I wasted that area with a tattoo that could’ve gone literally anywhere else on my body, and it’s a bit too low on my neck for me. I always imagined myself with a medium to large, elegant something back there that shouted from the rooftops when I put my hair up. The tiny semicolon just didn’t do that for me.
2. I’ve grown since I got that semicolon tattoo three years ago. And guess what? That’s perfectly healthy. There’s a lot of unnecessary pressure to stick by your tattoo forever, but there’s nothing wrong with doing what you need to do to be happy with the ink on your body.
These days, I want a different symbol of strength there to represent me. I want that area of me to represent something more active about my survival story. I am so proud of what the semicolon demonstrated, and I’m even prouder of everyone who resonates with it — it’s a wonderful symbol with a blessed following.
But, for me, personally, it feels like a passive symbol of my strength.
I’m not a defender — I’m a fighter.
I’m active; I dive headfirst into battle. I wanted something that says, “I am fierce and unrelenting. Come at me, bro.“
I think a rose says just that. Roses are powerful, courageous, and beautiful. Dare to touch one of these beauties, and you’ll find that their thorns will stab you and have that “lifeblood” gushing out of you in seconds. Roses are so proactive about their survival — and I’ve always dug that about them. Like a rose, I am my own savior.
It’s also important to note that roses thrive in darkness — check out anything Victorian Gothic, or creepy in general, and you’ll probably find the happiest, most gorgeous roses there. Roses remind me of myself in that way too — those environments are where I feel most at ease, and the most like myself. I find strength in that dark aesthetic.
3. My glorious semicolon can go elsewhere on my body! It can even go somewhere where I can see it, and maybe I can even give it those cute little cat ears! Anytime I feel myself sinking, I can actually see it and remember that I’m a sentence that could’ve ended on numerous occasions, but didn’t. It’s my favorite punctuation mark anyways (writers are geeky, deal with it). I definitely have plans to get it re-inked onto my body someday — in a different location.
4. I want my neck to scream that I am bold, edgy, fierce, and elegant — all at once. I’m tired of people asking me about my semicolon every single time I so much as put my hair in ponytail — because just in case they don’t know what it is, I have to explain it to them. And right there, I lose that privacy about who I am and what I come from.
I want the tattoo on my neck, at the very top of my spine, the backbone to my very being, to shout something fundamental for me so that I don’t have to state it later on: “I may be tiny, but do not mess with me — I have thorns. If you choose to make an enemy of me, you will feel their wrath.”
5. I need my affinity for darkness, something so deeply seeded in me and so crucial in the essence of who I am, to live with me forever. I want people to look at me and say, “I bet that chick lives and dies by black lace and magical realism.”
That obsession with dark aesthetics is a fundamental part of me as a writer, a fighter, and a visual artist — I want it visible on the surface. Through becoming a full-fledged grown-up, age, life, and death; I want that dark part of me unmistakably loud and clear.