Thursday, 4 July 2013

Dear Internet, I need your advice.

On the 17th August 2008, my 19 year old self made a very, very cool decision.

Mere hours before I was due to embark on a 12hr flight from Vancouver to London after spending 10 months in The True North strong and free, I had this little reminder of my time inked on my back as a symbol of my never-ending devotion.

I drew the design myself and a very sweet, mean-looking man with a leather vest and a beard fixed it up and made it as permanent as my true patriot love.

Now, 5 years on, the question has arisen:


My little Canuck-keepsake has kept me company throughout four years at university and most of the way through my postgraduate. It's seen a handful of jobs, few countries, and varying amounts of sunlight depending on how long my hair was at the time. The thing is, I feel like I'm about to become a person that has very little in common with the one who made the decision to put my little maple-leaf there in the first place.

Don't get me wrong; my love for America's hat is still deep and true. I keep up to date on the Canucks' results and always pay a visit to The Maple Leaf in Covent Garden whenever I'm in London. Last time I was there I spotted the barmaid eating a box of tim-bits. When I excitedly asked her if there was a Tim Horton's nearby, she gently let me down by saying that they had been flown over fresh by the pilots at the end of the bar and I was welcome to eat some. You guys are so nice, Canada.

BUT. I'm not a tattoo person. I'm not entirely sure I ever was, I just thought it was a really cool thing to do. It's starting to fade a little, and sometimes I catch a glimpse of it when wearing a particularly lovely backless dress and I find myself annoyed at its existence. Luckily my hair perfectly covers it, but also ruins the effect of the outfit!

I'm just not sure if I want to keep it forever, or wipe it out. If I keep it, I carry around a nice memento of my trip, but also a decision that I would never make again. If I get rid of it, I'm erasing the physical representation of what was, and remains, a hugely important period in my life.

Do I leave it where it is & just ignore it?
Do I get it removed, but take lots of photographs of it first?

What do you think?


  1. Do what you feel is best, a bit of a cop out answer but only you can make the decision to remove it yourself. You still have the experiences of your trip with you so the need for the ink may be lessened over time. If it annoys you so much then get rid of it. :)

    1. Yeah I know, I'm not looking for someone else to make my decision, just interested to see what other people think about the permanence of tattoos and their symbolism; whether past choices should be continued forward.

  2. If you are not a tattoo person, remove the tat. If it annoys you now, you won't believe how much it will annoy in the next 5 years, not to mention when you are as old as I am. I told both my girls when they were very 7 and 10 years old that tattoos were forever and what you love and think is "cool" will change as you age. I told them that if they got a tat when they were 4 years old it would have been of Barney the purple dinosaur. That pretty much did it for them. They couldn't imagine having to live with Barney forever. End of sermon. Miss you. Come visit us, tattoo or not. : )