Permanent (aka: The Day I Thought My Father Was Going To Kill Me)

Pronunciation: /pur-muh-nuh nt/

permanent“There is nothing permanent except change”Heraclitus

I swear I never thought I’d live past twenty-six. For on my twenty-sixth birthday, I did the unimaginable. I did the one thing my dad disapproves of with a passion: I went out and got tattooed.

My father was (and still is) terrified more tattoos will spontaneously appear on my body (as if it’s a progressive disease) and will cover my skin completely. I tried reassuring him that’s impossible, but I can tell he’s not convinced.
Although my dad did confess he kind of likes mine. But still. It’s a tattoo, a permanent image drawn on my otherwise colourless skin. He’s still not happy about it (but I still am, heehee).

Here’s the thing: I thought about it carefully and let the idea linger in my mind for months and months before I acted on it. I deliberately chose an image I created myself (see the doodle in the picture on top of this post) so I would know for a fact that there’s nobody else out there with the same tattoo. In other words: it’s unique. Like me.

Then, because I like symbolism, it had to mean something to me. Every aspect of it. And it does: the heart shape is a reminder and a thank you to all those I have come to know in my life, whether they are alive, dead, human or animal, and who managed to steal a bit of my heart. I don’t open it up easily, so this is for the special ones that were totally worth letting in.
Basically, my tattoo is a tribute to those I love and/or miss the most. Even if I don’t think about them every day, the image is there permanently and they’re a part of me forever. Literally.

The heart is open so I won’t forget to open myself up to others. I need to give others a chance to secure a special place in there, too. If I don’t, I’ll end up lonely and miserable and I don’t want that.

The colours of my tattoo also have a meaning: apart from being my favourite and second favourite colours, the yellow stands for reason (using your mind, rationality), and the purple stands for spirituality (feelings, intuition, emotion). They compliment each other, in their colour as well as in their meaning, and they represent me. I am very spiritual, but I also think thoroughly before making big decisions (like getting some ink done).

Finally, I had it put on my shoulder for two reasons: so I don’t have to see it ever day (I was scared I’d might grow bored of it, and since it is permanent I didn’t want that to happen, and secondly because I see it as a symbolic pat on the back. I have had some bad years and won some tough battles, but I am still here. I survived, I somehow bounced back every time. And I am proud of that.

Whenever I feel down, I look at my tattoo and I remember how strong I am. Actually, I find myself staring at it in good times, too (even stroking it admiringly sometimes). It’s simply that special to me.

To my dad, it is and always will be a shame and a form of mutilation. To me, it’s like coming home. I often feel like Sweeney Todd when I look at my open heart tattoo and think: “Finally, my body is complete (again).”


 The finished project:

My tattoo-artist managed to turn my scribble into something amazing 🙂 (the picture is bad, but try to take a picture of your own shoulder-blade and you’ll understand why it’s a bit wonky. Plus, I am still sort of scared someone might copy my tattoo, and this terrible picture will make sure nobody ends up with the same piece of ink)

4 thoughts on “Permanent (aka: The Day I Thought My Father Was Going To Kill Me)”

  1. When I mentioned rationality in my post, I purely meant the colours of the dots. I’m really not that great with mathematical symbols. In fact, usually they just confuse me and then I get nervous for not knowing what it means, and before I know what’s happening my brains shut down :p It happens with anything that goes beyond multivariate analyses, I’m afraid 😦

    I suppose my dots do resemble this symbol, but it wasn’t what I had in mind when having the tattoo done. In fact, I went in there with a teeeeeeeny scribble of a half-open heart, and whatever ended up on my shoulder was due to the skill of a great tattoo artist. He turned my weak attempt at drawing into a beautiful piece of art (when he first showed it to us -I was with a friend- we both jumped up from the sofa in excitement :p). I doubt he had this symbol in mind, though. But then again, maybe he did.


    1. Yeaaaah… that’s exactly the reason I got them… (and that’s just a polite use of sarcasm to inform you I have no clue what you mean. Despite being a sociologist, I’m not good with maths at all).

      UPDATE: Okay, I googled it. Still no clue.


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