Originally I was going to get some small tattoos, but when I got those it's safe to say the addiction was also etched in my skin.
Tattoos, like breastfeeding, is something everyone has an opinion on. And something everyone thinks they have the right to comment on.
People can be harsh.
I know full well that tattoos aren't for everyone. But to me, they are personal. And a criticism against my tattoo/s is a criticism against me, against my life, and against my story and my memories.
All of my tattoos have a meaning, they're not just something I saw that I liked. Not just a fashion statement.
I started to take comments personally. To wonder if I really was making myself unattractive, starting to make myself "look like a chav" and to take away my femininity.
It took away my love of my tattoos and made me for a while question whether or not I had done the right thing.
Then something clicked.
The reason I got the tattoos. They are for me. They tell my story and mean a lot to me.
I don't worry about regretting them when I am older. Life is too short to regret getting a tattoo. I would rather be an old lady and regret getting a tattoo than to be an old lady and regret not getting a tattoo.
In the past two years I have considered cosmetic surgery. I wanted bigger boobs, a tummy tuck, liposuction. But for me, tattoos are the better option.
I do get lip fillers, only in my top lip, purely for vanity and confidence reasons. And it would be the same if I was to get any other cosmetic surgery. But my tattoos are more personal.
They represent me as a person. And I am proud of them.
I went on Pinterest, to give myself a boost, and searched for women with tattoos. I've been doing this now for over a year and it built my confidence about my tattoos and made me realise that it's my skin and if I feel good about myself, and I am sure of my choices, then that's a good thing.
I came across this article from Elite Daily. Not that I agree that Girls with Tattoos do actually make Better Lovers (fyi, I have tattoos and am incredibly indecisive!) but there were certain points in the article that made me feel fantastic. That made me realise I have nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing to feel bad about and that actually, I am brave for having these tattoos.
Conversations come up from people, asking what the tattoos mean and I am confident to explain the reasons why. As I said, these tattoos are personal so telling people about the meanings really means I'm letting them in, I have these tattoos and completely leave myself open to questions and would feel ridiculous to say "Oh, it's personal" and to not explain what they mean.
They are all chosen for a reason and represent a certain point in my life, or a part of me, and none of this is anything I am ashamed of or too afraid to talk about.
Before you tell someone your opinion on their tattoos, particularly if it is a negative opinion, just have a read of the quotes from the article below, and try to understand why people have them.
Understand the meaning of the tattoo, what it might mean to the person, what it says about them, about their life, about their story.
Understand that they might be sharing something with you, letting you, whether you be a friend, family member or a complete stranger, into their personal world and letting you see what is special to them.
Yes some people get tattoos that they regret, or tattoos just because they are fashionable, or just because they thought it looked nice on Pinterest. But we're not all like that.