#You Are Enough – Blogging Challenge

This is my Day one blog for the 30-day blogging challenge from Mandy Hale, NYT best selling author, and author of You Are Enough.  This challenge is on Mandy’s blog, which is the one with the 30 day challenge.

Day 1. Tattoo(s) that I have that have meaning, or one I want to get and what it would mean to me.

Great first topic! I have a grand total of 6 different tattoos on my body and I am contemplating – actually, no PLANNING ON – adding #7. I started getting inked when I turned 18 and was in basic training with the US Army at Ft. Dix in New Jersey. My first one, unfortunately, was done under the influence of a LOT of alcohol. I was young, dumb and drunk. But still, it has pretty deep meaning for me.

#1 Tattoo is on my upper right upper arm, the bicep area. It’s of a magic mushroom, surrounded by some clouds and the sun rising in the background. Psilocybin. It was a inspired by teenage rowdiness, memories of tripping on shrooms with friends in Maine while in high school. Kind of crazy, but that’s why I got it. It was kind of a last minute decision, as I said, done in a drunken stupor. The morning after I got it I woke up and saw it and tried to wash it off in the shower…still half-drunk and hungover. (laughing)

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#2 Tattoo is on my left forearm, upper side. It’s of a song by Neil Young. “Born to Live on Sugar Mountain” I have always been a major Neil Young fan; I just LOVE his music. And the lyrics of his always resonated with me. I still love that tat, even though it’s a bit faded and not as crisp as back in 1981 when I got it. I got both #1 and #2 in Trenton, NJ at a tattoo shop just outside of the base I was stationed at. Each was done during a weekend pass, where I got to don civilian clothing and go off base to do as I pleased for 48 hours. Oh those were some hellish, rowdy times!!!

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#3 My third tattoo is on my back. On my right shoulder blade. It was originally a simple, plain Jolly Roger or skull and crossbones for those unfamiliar with the lingo. Inside the bones on each side was a letter. M on the left and F on the right. Some thought it meant “mother fucker” but it was actually the first initials of 2 old friends, who were with me when I got it – Mel and Fish. At that time in my life they were my close running buddies, and Mel and I were lovers. Fish was a super close male friend of mine. The two of them had my name “Ang” tattooed on their ass cheeks at the same time. Yes, drugs and alcohol were also involved in that tattoo experience as well. Lots of drugs! (More laughter) Oh the memories!!! A few years ago I had it redone in Dover, New Hampshire. I had it made into a flag with a thorned rose trailing up the flag pole and I had the initials covered. I had too many questions about the “mother fucker” thing and was sick of it. It’s the only tattoo that I really actually regret getting. It was stupid, unnecessary and I just don’t care for it. I say it’s my “poison” sign, indicating I’m poison…be warned.

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#4 My fourth tattoo is on the back of my neck. It’s the Kanji symbol for “believe”. I got this tattoo when I was with my ex, Leigh. We both got matching tattoos of this. It was her first and only tattoo at the time. I don’t know if she ever got any others, I seriously doubt it as it was completely out of character for her to even get the Kanji one with me. The significance of it was that at that time we believed that we would be together for the remainder of our lives on this big blue marble, but alas, that was not to be the case. I have kept mine as it was originally inked. I believe that she inked over hers, to change it up a bit — perhaps her personal attempt to erase the connection or sever our bond. I’ve thought of changing mine. I still may one day. But for now, it’s all good. And it’s a sweet memory of many good years of my life.

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#5 My fifth ink job is on the inside of my right forearm. It’s also Kanji lettering. It says “Love Conquers All”. Personally I like this one quite a bit. I got it on a whim. But I researched the Kanji lettering to be SURE that I knew what it said. And I consulted someone who knew Kanji very well before putting it on myself. I got this one in Arkansas on lazy Saturday afternoon in a little town called Mountain Home. I was with a young lover I had at the time. We both got tats that day, but not matching or special. I wanted this tattoo long before I knew her and I just decided to do it that day. The significance to me is that love DOES conquer all. Love can do so much; in so many, many ways. I believe in this tattoo and the words very much.

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#6 This is my most visible tattoo. It’s a line of stars, graduating in size from larger to tiny, on the right side of my neck starting behind the ear and trailing down in a curve. I LOVE this one. It’s my favorite at the moment. I got this in South Berwick, Maine about 6 years ago. It’s my most recent ink actually. I want to have it redone, crisped up and brightened a little. Perhaps even add more pops of color and more stars.

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Now, #7 is still in the works in my head. I have it pretty much planned. I want to get a compass of sorts on the inside of my right forearm. The significance of this comes from my girlfriend. She lives 1907 miles from me right now. When we first got together I gave her a silver necklace with a simple round compass pendant on it, so she could always find her way back to my arms.

I have really fallen deeply in love with this woman, who I playfully call “Bones” due to her professional occupation and to protect her privacy. We adopted the compass as a sort of totem between us and we have been planning to have it inked on both of us. Not sure if the two will match exactly, but the same sentiment is behind both. And both will be compasses of some sort. She has not finalized where she wants to put hers yet. It needs to be out of sight for professional reasons, but in a place where she can see it when she wants to.

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Thus are the stories behind my tattoos, past, present and future.  I love body art and I really enjoy hearing about other people’s tats and what they mean to them.

More daily blogs to come…tomorrow’s challenge is discussing a special encounter that changed my life…stay tuned for more!!!  I really hope to keep up with this daily for the entire month of November 2018.

Hoep you are all well.  Peace.  ~MB

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