I feel compelled to write about my new tattoo, especially because a couple reactions were, “why him?” Follow me on a short but wonderful journey of self discovery and mild ink addiction.
My first tattoo was a small Egyptian ankh. I got it as a symbol of protection and so that I could give away my ankh necklace to a friend who was going through a rough time.
My second tattoo was the Eye of Horus, increasing a bit in size compared to the ankh. Again, another protective element.
I then got a Linkin Park quote, “Risk something, take back what’s yours.” as an empowering message to myself to remain strong despite past trauma.
Next, the feather quill was inspired by, wait for this shocker, my love of writing. After that I got an owl, with white roses and a stack of books. Most of the symbolism is self-explanatory (reading, favourite animal, favourite flower) but this was also a time in my life when I became Wiccan and enjoyed burning things and calling them spells.
My newest tattoo is a Chester Bennington portrait on my forearm. I only considered this tattoo after his death, and thought about how this one man, who I had never met, impacted my life drastically. Three years after his death, I decided what to get and where. I was prepared to cover my forearm when practicing Iaido and I was ready to disappoint a few older family members in my life. I want to take this opportunity to thank my mother for always supporting me, even though she isn’t completely thrilled with my ink – if I’m happy, she’s happy.
A portrait is a scary idea. I’ve seen so many unfortunate portrait tattoos on the internet that I took my time when searching for an artist. I didn’t want to live with regret.
Eventually I found an artist at InkSession who was chill and didn’t mind that I couldn’t keep up a conversation to save my life. During sessions, I read a book about Donald Trump to distract myself from the pain – but I just ended up in deep emotional pain instead.
Now I’m proudly showing off this amazing artwork, and some people want to know WHY?!
What will it look like when you’re older?
Don’t you know you have to cover that up?
What if you gain or lose weight?
You won’t be able to go into hot springs in Japan.
Easy peasy questions. I’ll look BADASS when I’m older, I can cover it up when I feel like it, they’re part of my skin now and will change however they want to with my body, and I’m too shy to do hot springs.
And the most important question of all, “why him?”
Chester Bennington was the lead singer of Linkin Park, Grey Daze, Dead by Sunrise, and my inspiration for writing. I can relate to him in many ways. Much of what he’s experienced, I have too. It was incredibly inspirational to find someone else to relate to and although he is no longer with us, he’s changed my life for the better.
I heard my first Linkin Park song when I was 9, it was Papercut. When I heard this song, and heard the lyrics, I thought to myself HOLY SHIT. This man is expressing epic emotions with wonderful words. WHAT if I f*cking tried this? What if I f*cking tried to put words together in some sort of poetic thingy to show people that feelings are crazy?
BOOM! I started writing. Maybe there was less swearing because I was 9, but that’s hard to prove.
Chester had his struggles with childhood sexual abuse, depression, and substance abuse. He chose not to press charges when he discovered his abuser was a victim himself. He’s said that you can love strangers and bring your best self to anything you choose to do. He lived a hard life, he made amazing music, and he’s one of the reasons I am who I am today.
Because he changed my life, that’s why.