Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street. The other day I was in the car listening to Taylor Swift and my brain said “you need to get a tattoo for that. For her. For what she represents to you”.
And what does Taylor Swift represent for me? Comfort, I suppose. Belonging. Something that eases the pain and makes me feel like I can breathe again, and no matter how old I get and how much I change, her and her music never cease to have the same effect. I’d listen to her when I was 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and now 23…and she’d always make me feel home. Her music is always my go to when I’m feeling anxious or out of love or hurt, and it always helps. It’s always the solution. The amount of times I’ve been crying and have gone on a long drive listening to Taylor Swift albums…that’s therapy for me.
It was Folklore that sparked all of this again for me I guess, because she went back to her roots and it’s all I’d been waiting for ever since 1989. 1989 was the last album I guess I enjoyed from Taylor, and even then I had to allow it time to grow on me for a bit. Everything after that just didn’t really work for me, which is fine, because it’s personal taste, but I always longed for the day T. Swift would give us something that sounded like her “old” music, because I missed it so much.
And then she gave us Folklore, and then Evermore, and all of my prayers had been answered. I was listening to Folklore in the car and that’s when this idea came to me. It wasn’t even an idea as such, it was more of an impulse, something telling me that I had to do this, it was something I needed to do, and so I did.
This tattoo has two meanings, possibly three depending on how emotional I’m feeling. The first is of course, an ode to Taylor and her music. Specifically, Red, which is my favourite album of hers and contains one of my favourite songs of all time – All Too Well. That album and those songs will always mean a ridiculous amount to me, they were prominent and significant parts of my life growing up as a teenager, a time I’m very nostalgic for and have fond memories of and wish I could go back to and re-live again if I could, despite everything. Even now it’s still my go-to album to put on whenever I need to feel okay again, or need to go on a long drive, or need to have a cry. Red is that album for me, it probably always will be.
The second meaning is in regards to a line of writing that has always stuck and resonated with me ever since the first time I read it a few years ago. It’s by Kait Rokowski and it says “Nothing ever ends poetically. It ends and we turn it into poetry. All that blood was never once beautiful. It was just red.” I am someone who romanticises everything and makes everything more than what it is, I turn simple interactions into those of lovers, I make my mental illness sound poetic and beautiful. It’s not necessarily a bad thing – it’s just what I do as a writer, I make everything sound lovely, and even the things that are devastating, I still turn into poetry. This line for me just captures all of that perfectly. Mental illness is devastating and it ruins your life, it isn’t beautiful or poetic, but I turned it into something that was. Heartbreak isn’t beautiful, abandonment isn’t poetic, but allow me to write about it and you’ll believe it is. I turn my pain into poetry, I turn it into something that it’s not, but that isn’t a bad thing. It’s me making art, it’s me turning it into something beautiful, which it will never be, but my heart will do that for me, my gift as a writer will allow me to turn something devastating into something that can be shared. All that blood was never once beautiful, it was just red.
This is and 99% will be my only colour tattoo. I don’t personally like the look of colour tattoos for / on myself, but it didn’t make sense to have this one in anything other than red ink. I love it. It was impulsive but it was like my soul was telling me “get this – to mark this chapter in your life. something significant is happening in motion right now, a chapter is closing or opening or is in the process of doing so, and you need to mark it down” and I think they’re right. Who “they” are I don’t know, the universe or intuition or fate or what, but there was something telling me to do this and so I didn’t even think twice because it just felt right, it felt like I needed to mark something down, and I have.
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you’ve never met, but loving him was red.
All my love,
Placement = Upper inner right arm
Pain = 4/10
Price = £30