Two years ago to the exact month I sat in an East London tattoo parlour just off Brick Lane having spent the afternoon drunk sipping on Pimms and dipping my feet in the infamous rooftop pool at Shoreditch house. You could say it was a pivotal moment of my life, and probably the happiest time of my adult life so far. It was the perfect day to mark such a high point in my story by having a ‘Holly leaf’ inked on my left foot to remind me of a time I truly knew who ‘Hollie’ was and what made her tick. The story is told here in this post and everytime I look at my foot i’m reminded of that very day.
Fast forward a few years and I am older, my hair is darker and my frame smaller…I’m back inside a tattoo parlour, though this time in the beachy state of Rhode Island in America. My cousin is stood behind me and the artist is yelling “No screaming Brit!” The needle grazes my skin and I feel absolutely nothing but a yearn to have a permanent reminder that no matter what life throws at you… you HAVE to keep moving forwards and: “This too shall pass.”
Allow me to introduce you to my favourite quote…
Prior to my trip i’d found myself at a sincere low point, in a real mess and friends and family were desperately trying to help me figure something out. But healing had to come from within and I needed to remind myself of that. So I decided to have a small arrow inked on my right arm as a nod towards my favourite quote and to symbolise my star sign, Sagittarius…the archer.
It was a scorching hot day and the temperature had soared to 98F, i’d fallen asleep on the beach due to jet lag and I wandered into a downtown tattoo parlour on a whim that someone would be able to complete my second so very poignant tattoo there and then. I figured if it was meant to be, it would be. I was still wearing my bikini, I was covered in sand and my hair was salty, I was also slightly delirious from jet lag and heat stroke and my heart was broken into a million pieces. – A situation so far removed from my first tattoo whereby weeks of prep and research had taken place beforehand. A new free spirited me was alive and she couldn’t be tamed.
Sure enough my wish was granted and the whole process probably took 45 mins from the artist drawing the piece to actually getting it inked. Pain level? 3/10 to begin and then a 5/10 when he went back over the area to shade. Nothing compared to my first tattoo on the foot and it was over in a matter of minutes. Position wise, I chose the natural vertical line of my arm as I liked the way it flowed and decided on the inside wrist so that I could see it, I never understand tattoos you can’t see yourself.
I really love the delicate nature of the piece and I love taking a little glance when I have my hand on the steering wheel driving along to a song that epitomises that trip – ‘Don’t dream it’s over’ by Crowded House. A song that healed me.
“There’s a battle ahead
many battles are lost
But you’ll never see the end of the road
While you’re traveling with me”