Friday, 4 January 2013

40th Birthday Tattoo (4/365)

Today is my 40th Birthday.  I'm not one to worry about the "big" birthdays.  I don't generally set targets of what I "should" have achieved by a certain age (though 27 was a doozy, as I was "supposed" to be married with two kids by then, and I was newly single!).  Since studying counselling, I've come to realise that using judgemental wording in an internal dialogue is neither helpful nor constructive... but back to the far less lofty theme of this post.

While tossing around the idea of a tattoo for years, I've never been comfortable settling on an image that would permanently adorn my body.  And where would I want it?  I liked the idea of it being discreet, so I could wear a strapless dress without it being visible; but I would also want to be able to see it, otherwise I didn't see the point.

Quite frankly, I had body issues.  But then I became pregnant, and my body, including its lumps and bumps, was growing a baby.  I loved my body more than I ever had before during my pregnancy.  In fact, I think it's the first time I ever truly loved it.  I'd appreciated it before, liked certain aspects, didn't mind others, and had my fair share of hang-ups and things I didn't like.  But I think my Demi-shot shows how amazing I felt during my pregnancy.  And all in spite of the immense SPD pain.

One of my earlier "mother
& child" drawings
And while I must acknowledge my new singledom at this coming juncture in my life was partly a catalyst, my beautiful Pickle was the inspiration for the design.  Early civilisation honoured women and motherhood, and  matriarchal societies were prevalent.  Spirals were typically used to represent the mother-goddess.  So with this in mind I started searching for images; even starting a Pinterest board.  Some were almost right.  But wanting something truly personal, I started drawing some ideas, inspired by and combining some tribal designs.  And it all came together when I had the realisation that my hip would be the perfect place to have it.

Kisses from Pickle &
a balloon from a friend.
Another friend said
"naughty at 40"!
I got some recommendations and headed to Frith Street Tattoo for a detailed consultation and later headed in with my hand-drawn design, where it was tidied up and applied (is that the right word?) by Oliver better than I could have imagined. (And while there was some discomfort, it was nothing like contractions, though I did utilise my HypnoBirthing techniques to manage the sensations!)

So for my 40th birthday present to myself, I now have a mother-goddess spiral topped with an E for Pickle's IRL name.  I wanted colour, so had the E filled with turquoise, one of my two favourite colours.  To me this celebrates my body being an amazing thing that grew an even more amazing person.  Happy Birthday to me.

4 January 2013

Let me know what you think?  Do you have any tattoos?

Cheers, @Kanga_Rue


  1. I don't have any tattoos though have contemplated them on a number of occasions - even visiting some parlours to look at designs. 

    In reality nothing (in the design sense) has ever appealed to me enough to actually have it done. 

  2. Cheers Deb!  That's why I ended up designing my own - I took inspiration from other designs to combine something individual and unique that encompassed what I really wanted :)

  3. That's lovely. a very nice birthday treat. I have 2 tatoos. one on each foot of my children's names. I had them specially designed for me so they are unique but also you can't read that they say unless it is pointed out to you x

  4. Thanks Emma. I'd love to see a pic of your tattoos - love that it's so personal and the design concept.


I'd love to hear your thoughts!