Last night another volunteer asked me what my new octopus tattoo meant. No one has ever really asked me about the story behind my tattoos other than my chest piece. The chest piece obviously has a story. It is the date of my bike collision and it reminds me daily that I am lucky to be alive.
It took me by surprise to be asked about the octopus. It took me a few moments to verbalize it and when I finally did it was amazing. So each of my tattoos represent a specific piece of my personality. It sounds weird but it is true. The octopus represents my resourcefulness, my ability to find a solution to life’s abundance of problems. I never really put it into words what my sea creature tattoos mean.
My first tattoo was my little seahorse. I just separated from my husband and dealt with an amazing amount of emotional abuse and lack of trust. The male seahorse gives birth, and that had a lot of meaning to me. He is my escape from masculine strength in gender roles. He is my realization of self. Who I am was not who I was and that was a very powerful realization.
My sailfish is my favorite. He represents my fight, my anger and my toughness. If you have ever fished for sailfish, you know the fight they put up. The sailfish never gives up even when he is beat down and inside the boat. I have heard that fisherman can still get speared by the sailfish in the boat.
My nautilus is my emotional security. It represents that part of me that I hide and keep to myself. That protective armor is very important for me. I can pull in and protect my emotions. I rarely expose myself fully to avoid getting hurt. Lately I have began to expose small pieces of myself and explore my past pain. It is not so easy but it is that point where I am ready to let go of some of my pain.
My cowfish represents my positivity, my ability to find beauty in the ugliness of this world. The cowfish is not the prettiest creature but it has a hidden beauty to me. It is my optimism in the face of the ugliness in the World. I can almost always see beyond the initial and see the good in everything.
My bike head-badge is a trophy of an accomplishment that I never thought would happen. It is my willpower and my stubbornness. This represents my inability to quit. No matter what happens it is not in me to quit. I have wanted to quit many things in my life but have never found the ability to actually quit, I always follow through. Even my marriage was miserable but I would not have ever quit. I was miserable but would have stayed and just lived with it if he had not left me. This is a strength and a weakness. I have learned to end toxic relationships, but I typically allow them to linger on for far too long. But I am learning!