A week ago today I went out and got a tattoo. It’s something I have been wanting to get for about 3-4 years, and I finally did it. Now if you know me, you know that I HATE needles! I faint almost every time I get a shot or blood drawn even… I just don’t do needles.
The tattoo is on the side of my right arm and says “Free” with three birds. Now I’ve gotten several people who say that they love it, and others who say that I should have waited till I was older… well sorry, pal last time I checked I didn’t get it for you… and it’s my body… and if you know me I really don’t care what other people think of me lol.
So anyways rant over lol.
But I haven’t really told anyone what the tattoo means to me… and honestly, I haven't really told anyone who has asked because I don’t really know how to put into words what it means to me if that makes sense. So we are gonna try giving it a shot.
So there are three birds that are flying off the last letter of free. Those three birds represent three people that hurt me, or were important to me, and they are all people that have left my life whether they chose to or not. Those three people are Joey Cibella, Scott Barrett, and my father.
Joey was a really special guy in my life. He taught me so much in life and was just the biggest ray of sunshine. I grew up with Joey and knew him since I was in pre-K. A few years ago Joey passed away because of a brain tumor… and to this day there isn’t a single day that goes by where I don’t think about him. I can remember in pre-K always playing marriage on the playground with him and Ryder. They would always trade-off who I was marrying that day.
Even till his last few days here, Joey was always so happy and smiling and never let anything bring him down. I remember walking the school hallway or seeing him in class never wanting anyone to help him even though he could’ve used the help. He was always joking around and so positive.
Joey taught me to never give up. He taught me that whatever life throws at you… no matter how hard and difficult it may seem then… you can get through it. I have always called myself a fighter… but Joey is the real fighter.
Scott was also another person that really touched my heart. Scott taught me what it feels like to be loved by a father when my father wasn’t there to show me what that felt like. It was hard trying to learn to accept that my father just left me and wanted nothing to do with me, so when my mom and Scott started dating it was hard to let another father figure in my life… but it was something I badly craved.
It’s hard growing up without a father through high school. No dad to talk to about my boy problems, no “protector” to run to when you feel down, no guy to look up to in the stands at a Friday night football game, no father to bring you flowers after a dance show you worked months training for… It was like I finally accepted not having that and then someone comes in to replace that for me just for it to be taken away again.
I will never forget the morning he was taken away from me either. We had just had a great day before where we went and took the dirt bikes out and had such a great day, and I didn’t have to go to school the next day because I had an MRI on my knee scheduled. I was so pissed off when my mom woke me up early because I wanted to sleep in. She was crying like I have never heard someone cry before and I come downstairs to see he was gone and my mom asking what to do… So I had to get her to call 911 and watch everything happen while trying to comfort my mom.
It was definitely hard, but I will never forget what he taught me… He taught me to be strong. To never give up and try new things. To not care what people think, because all you are doing is hurting yourself when you care what others think of you. And most importantly he taught me how to be loved by a guy and that it’s ok to love others again. It’s ok to put your heart out there… yes, you may get hurt, you’ll get hurt way more times than you can count… but you have to learn to pick yourself back up and be strong.
Now my father… he’s taught me some things too. For those of you who don’t know about my father and I’s relationship… it is a rough one. He stopped talking to me after a fight basically and we didn’t speak for about four years… until a few weeks ago. My father moved to Tallahassee almost a year ago, and before he left he asked me to meet him for dinner to say goodbye. It was very hard for me to even say yes to him to meet up for dinner… but I did it anyways.
I would constantly become at peace and accepting that I would never have a relationship with my father again… and then he would give me hope. He would text me and I’d get my hopes up like he actually cared… just to be let down again. So him inviting me to this dinner was one of those instances where I was getting my hopes up again… and I was surely let down once again. Although this time was different and I was really really hurt.
The whole time he just kept raising his voice at me and saying how the whole reason we don’t talk is my fault and not his. I left there feeling so empty and lost and confused. I couldn’t understand how someone who is supposed to love you no matter what couldn’t ever seem to love me.
I was trying to think of a way that I could just let go of everything and a way for me to just learn to be ok with not having a father in my life… So that night he had given me $20 for gas money, and I don’t know what it was but I just couldn’t find myself to spend it. It sat under the radio in my car for months and I would just think of that night every time I saw it.
I had decided that this tattoo was a way for me to just let go of the pain that I kept carrying over him… So that $20 that was sitting under my car radio… I decided I was gonna use it to help pay for my tattoo. So for about a year that 20 dollars sat under my car radio until last week when I got it done.
So the word free… I guess it means I’m free from all the pain I have been holding in and carrying inside of me. I’m free to be me again and not live with feeling like I did something wrong. I’m free to be the person I want to be and move forward in life.
Even though I carried a lot of hurt and pain, my father still taught me a lot. He taught me to make sure that my future kids are reminded daily that they are loved and to make sure they feel loved. He taught me to not settle for anyone if they aren’t perfect for me. He taught me to never expect anything from anyone, never have expectations for people. He taught me that actions speak louder than words and that no matter how hard you try… you can’t change anyone.
I know reading this post might hurt some people, and I know it may be emotional for others to read… but I’m just being honest and open, and I really don’t mean to hurt anyone.
While writing this, two things crossed my mind…
One, a song called “You Found Me” by The Fray came on. In the song it says
Where were you
When everything was falling apart?
All my days
Spent by the telephone
That never rang
And all I needed was a call
That never came
From the corner of First and Amistad
Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lying on the floor
Why'd you have to wait?
Where were you, where were you?
Just a little late
You found me, you found me
I just kept thinking that these lyrics are what went through my mind for years when my father left… where were you… lost and insecure. Those words would just continue to play in my head for years.
But God found me. God found me and brought people in my life to teach me things and show me what love is again… and show me it’s ok to love again.
The second thing that came to my mind was the person who came with me to get my tattoo… I’m probably pretty bold writing about him again but aren’t I pretty bold saying everything I’ve already said..? But anyways, I had just started talking to this guy and our first date was him coming with me to hold my hand and get this tattoo… now if you read my last post I talked about him and basically said I felt that God had put him in my life. Almost everything about him was all things I had been praying for in the next guy that came in my life… and he checked pretty much every box.
I’ve never really “felt safe” in someone's arms before… but as crazy as it sounds, I do in his. So while I was writing this, I don’t know why, but it came to me that I went to get this tattoo as a way for me to be “free” from the hurt and love I couldn’t feel from one guy in my life… but God had the next sitting right by me holding my hand, telling me it was all ok.
So it is hard to do life alone and always feel trapped. But God puts people in your life to help you with all that pain and teach you many lessons. I always feel that people enter your life for a reason… how they leave might not be the best way or the way you wanted them to leave, but everyone leaves a mark on your heart whether it’s a good or bad one.
So look for those people and lessons that God is trying to throw your way. It may take years for you to finally feel “free” like it did for me, or it may take a few weeks… but as soon as you look and turn to God, he’ll take your hurt and pain away instantly… you’re not alone.
You just need to learn to spread your wings and be free. The wait is worth it.
Songs that stuck out to me this week:
(You Found Me By: The Fray)
(Raise A Hallelujah By: Bethel Music)
(Fighting For Me: Riley Clemmons)
If you have any prayer requests, need more advice on this topic, or just need someone to talk to feel free to contact