As every picture tells a story either about the person who painted it, or captured it, or about the subject matter within it, so do the tattoos that a person inks into their skin. Every person is unique, as is every story that their tattoos tell.
My story can be read in the images inked into my skin. There might not be any chronological distinction to the when and where, but the whole story is there. My knuckles have the words “fear” and “hope” written across them, for I once chose to live my life without any thought of either of those two emotions. On top of my right hand I have the word “unforgiven” to remind me of the time in my life where an ex-girlfriend’s parents told me that I would never be forgiven for how I had chosen to live my life up to that point. I even went as far as to have my own tombstone tattooed onto my back to remind me that death is certain and it is constantly walking behind us. Death is one of the ever present motivations for my tattoos, on my stomach is a tribute to five of my friends; all of whom died before they were 25.
Not everything that I have on my body is as depressing as that. I have numerous tributes to my family, to my wife and daughters as well as my mother and sister (it can be said that getting a woman’s name tattooed on you is taboo… clearly I didn't listen). I even have a “portrait” of my favorite superhero character inked onto my ribs for no other reason than for the fun of it and I thought it was cool.
I have random tattoos beyond counting that hold no specific meaning to me other than I liked the way that they looked. The point I am trying to make is that not every tattoo has a specific meaning or story behind it, but every tattoo you see on a person gives you a bit of insight as to who they are as a person and possibly a chapter in the story of what made them that way.
Every time I look in the mirror I see the ink I had put across my throat, “Only the strong survive.” It reminds me of who I am. What do you think it says about me?