Got Ink? Tattoos Can Be Therapy And This Is Why. Plus My New Tattoo…

Disclaimer:  I feel that tattoos are a great way to express individuality, tell a story and appreciate art.  I love and appreciate those forms of tattoos on other people.  An array of random, WTFs, I am not so sure about but that is just my personal feeling.  I like a story.  Tattoos are NOT for everyone.  I, myself, may have quoted Kimmy K and jokingly said (not really, but maybe) said, “you don’t put a bumper sticker on a Bentley.”  Sounds crazy coming out of my mouth since I have four, now five, small tattoos that are only visible while in a bikini.  I will also back that up and say that I have appointments for removal for some of them.

Am I confused?  Adding?  Removal?  Not really.  Here’s why:

Like 50% of Americans, when I was younger, I got tattoos that I liked.  I’ve always heard that “tattoos ruin your body”, “women look trashy with them”, “you’ll regret them”, etc.

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Listen, I get it.  I get it completely.  I won’t even totally disagree with some of what I’ve heard in the past.  People are shocked when they hear that I have a few hidden pieces.  Here I am, at 33, and only two of them have true, deep, personal meaning to me.  I’d never remove those.  I have the dreaded tramp stamp (le sigh).  It’s not terrible at all, however, I just don’t want the tramp stamp any longer.  I am sure you’re all wondering why I added a tattoo, to my body, when I am scheduled to have other small tattoos removed.

Over the last few years I’ve changed.  A lot.  I’ve changed my thoughts, my beliefs, my views and my feelings.  I grew.  So, a random “omg, I am like, 20 years old and I can do what I want!  Tramp stamp me!” tattoo that doesn’t have much meaning doesn’t serve me any longer.  (I said I was 20 years old and I could do what I want, pft, fear not, I still got ripped by my parents.)

Usually a personal story, a given situation, or transformation can bring about the want, the need, for change.  Last night I got an olive branch tattooed to my ribs.  This symbol means so much to me (it’s even the logo for this very blog) for so many reasons.

The olive branch grew from something.  The branch also serves as a symbol, to not only share peace, but of a personal journey to attain and retain inner peace.  To constantly starve the ego and feed the soul.  Attaining inner peace isn’t always easy.

In the time we live in today, there is so much mental and emotional noise.  There is so much chaos literally bombarding us everyday:  Everyday life, worry, stress, bulls**t abuse of social media, garbage news down our throats, confusion and overwhelming conflict in so many forms.

Believe me, I know,

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Because I get it first hand, if there is gift that I can give anyone, in my life, it is the gift of peace.  I hope I bring everyone in my life some sort of peace, somehow.  Whether I got you to crack a smile because of my quick, maje wit (shameless plug), you enjoyed a run with me, I bought you a coffee, I drove you somewhere, I hugged you, I listened when you needed an ear (a freakishly tiny ear in my case), you’ve enjoyed dinner at my home, we walked our dogs together, I helped you with something, I drove you somewhere, ANYTHING, I hope it brought you peace.   For the people who are no longer in my life, I hope at one time I also brought them peace.  If my absence brings peace to them, then I also have peace.  There is a much deeper meaning, for me, behind this tattoo.

This is my story.  This is my gift.  This is what I hope to continuously embody.

The process of getting the tattoo was obviously painful (hey, ribs, sup?), however, it was extremely therapeutic to realize what I wanted and why.  To find the right design.  To go over the design a few times with the artist over the last month.  To reflect on the situations and the growth that brought me to where I am and why I wanted the tattoo.  The process of getting the tattoo was the physical therapy and release of emotion.

Again, tattoos aren’t for everyone.  If you have them, own them, and own your story, let them tell your story (or your story of why you also want some removed).  This is your life, your universe, you’re living it for you.

Here is my new tattoo:


Art work done by Gustavo Duarte with Tattoo Garage, Bloomfield, NJ or visit them on Facebook at



One thought on “Got Ink? Tattoos Can Be Therapy And This Is Why. Plus My New Tattoo…

  1. I’ve got 11 tattoos and I’d like to get one removed. I got it when I was 22 and didn’t really put a lot of thought behind it. I’m happy with the rest though. Like you say tattoos tell a story and I enjoy the memories I have that relate to them. The other 10 all have meaning to me.


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