A few years ago I was living in Chicago. It was a time in my life when paying for tattoos were more important than paying my bills. I recall watching a Mitch Lucker Interview. He was the former vocalist of a metal band called Suicide Silence. Unfortunately, he is no longer alive due to a motorcycle accident in 2012. Anyway, I remember noticing that he got a new tattoo, a face tattoo. It was a small symbol that represented strength. I liked it. I liked the way it looked and I liked the meaning of it. It was in that moment I decided I wanted a face tattoo. The big question – what was I going to get?
Once I figured out what tattoo I wanted, it was time to find a tattoo shop that would do a face tattoo. Luckily I found a shop and an artist in my neighborhood that would do it. The tattoo didn’t hurt much nor did it take a long time. The only thing that was weird was the vibration of the tattoo gun on my face. After he completed the tattoo, he pulled out a mirror and showed me it. I loved it. There was no going back, my face would be forever changed.
I remember seeing an interview of Travis Barker, the drummer of Blink 182. He was speaking on his tattoos and mentioned that part of the reason he got them was to make sure he stayed true to himself and didn’t end up behind a desk. I think that is another reason I got my face tattoo. I didn’t want to end up in a corporate job. If you happen to work in the corporate world, there is nothing wrong with that. It just isn’t for me. Anyway, the funny thing was that my tattoo did not affect me keeping or getting a job.
I worked as a dog walker when I got the tattoo. I remember when my boss saw it. He didn’t say anything, but his facial expression was more than enough. It didn’t get me fired though and when I left that job, my tattoo didn’t give me a problem finding new jobs. I worked a seasonal job at the YMCA of the Rockies. They are a Christian organization. I still got the job. When my wife and I started our dog walking business, we never had an issue getting clients. Actually, we had a few people use our service because I had tattoos and because of the name of our business, “Dogs, Cats & Rock n Roll.” Does that mean I could still get a job anywhere? I doubt it and that is fine with me, but since I have had the tattoo – it hasn’t prevented me from making money, but it has changed the way people see me.
Although I have not had issues gaining employment or attracting clients, the amount of judgment I receive certainly increased. Some people thought it was cool, some people didn’t care, some thought it was stupid and some were scared because of it. Most people don’t say anything, but it is really easy for me to hear and see the judgment forming in their mind. I’m not a fan of judgment, but it’s not making me run to the nearest tattoo removal place. I think the two biggest questions people have asked me or wanted to ask are “Why a face tattoo?” The other question – “Why an anarchy symbol?” I got it on my face because that is where I wanted it. No I wasn’t drunk, no I am not in a gang, no I am not mentally unstable and no I have not been to prison. I’m just not afraid to express myself. Well, I do experience fear, but I choose to overcome it. The meaning of my face tattoo is this: to destroy all that is false, so I can replace it with my truth. It is an internal revolution. It has nothing to do with anything outside of myself. It is all about living my truth and following my dreams.
To be honest, I plan on getting a lot more tattoos. I want to be covered. No I don’t have any plans for getting more on my face, but I would like to be mostly covered from my neck down. I love the experience of getting tattoos and I love the spirit of Rock n Roll. I have an affinity for freedom. This is my body and this is my life. I love being different and expressing myself. Spending my life worrying about what others think, well, I don’t have time for that. I also don’t take things too seriously, life is not perfect. I am here to enjoy the ride.
Find Your Freedom,