I got my first tattoo almost three years ago for my 22nd birthday. It’s a gecko that takes up most of my right foot, very niftily colored and adorable and he’s there to remind me to always be true to myself which is something that I had to learn the hard way.

Location was key because I needed to be able to hide it. I have enough foresight to know that in 50 years, getting “I HEART KURT COBAIN” on my boob probably wouldn’t be a huge hit at the rest home and might require a little explaining on my wedding day, so the foot it was.

It hurt like a motherfucker. Of course it did. For weeks.

To celebrate becoming Aunt Becky, RN, BSN, I decided to do something special for myself because what I just did–graduate school after completely flipping around my educational dreams and desires and change career paths entirely–that’s a Big Fucking Deal. It needed to be commemorated with something more than a haircut or a purse.

My other foot is now the proud new owner of a throbbing swollen foot covered by a large, pink tattooed seahorse.

It’s the other lesson I want to remember with The Wedding That Ate My Life looming just around the corner: I can always make it on my own.

Always.

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