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Yes, I really have a Dark Mark.

Tattoos always seem to be controversial and there are so many different opinions on them. I’ve run into a lot of questions recently about mine. I have eight. Most of them are smallish, but they all have a personal meaning to me. I’ve had a few turned up noses and comments like, ‘Why the hell would you get a dark mark,’ or odd looks for my semicolon. I’ve posted pictures on twitter, but quite a few people seems to miss my posts there, so here is a big blog with explanations.

I have a semicolon on my wrist. It’s for Project Semicolon. (I got it a year and a half ago, before it was cool!) This project signifies ‘Your story isn’t over yet,’ because a semicolon is a pause not a stop. As a writer I love the symbolism behind this tattoo, it is meant to bring awareness to suicide, depression, mental illness, and self injury. This cause is extremely personal to me. I got it because my sister killed herself at sixteen, eleven years ago. This is one of the reasons I don’t tolerate bullying on social media. I’ve seen first had the scars words leave and no one should have to suffer though it. Please if you have anything to spare give it to The Trevor Project who helps LGBT youth. They have a twenty four hour hotline for suicide, as well as a text line. Donate here!

I have two Harry Potter tattoos. Harry Potter has meant a lot to me over the years and it’s one series I rarely tire of. The first is the Deathly Hallows symbol with Always underneath it on the back of my arm above my elbow. Snape is my favorite character. I love Slytherin and they aren’t all bad. Which brings me to my next tattoo. I have the dark mark. No I’m not a Voldemort supporter. For me, the dark mark symbolizes doing the right thing, no matter how anyone else perceives the actions. Here is why, Snape gave up his whole life, let everyone hate him, joined the death eaters, all for love. He gave up his entire life doing what he thought was right, he stood against the doubt, and the hate for what he believed in. He wasn’t the best person, he had flaws, he was bullied, but when it came down to it he was a good person for himself and he didn’t care what anyone else thought.

I have a Fall Out Boy lyric wrapped around my forearm to celebrate the release of Legally Bound. It reads ‘I could Write It Better Than You Ever Felt It.’ I love this saying, and they are one of my favorite bands. I’ve seen them live 26 times— not obsessed.

I have a Crescent moon on my forearm, above the lyrics, and it appears to be showing through cracked skin. The word Crescent comes from Latin crescentum (nominative crescens), present participle of crescere meaning “Come forth, spring up, grow, thrive, swell, increase in numbers or strength.” Everything we do teaches us something. Every interaction, choice, and all the pain made us the person we are today. This tattoo reminds me to stay true to myself and continue to grow. I got it under my skin, because it not only looks bad ass, but I love the visual of it being inside me.

I have an airplane. It’s on my back, and it’s a Piper Archer, the first plane I flew. It’s also my alma mater’s colors. I also a cherry blossom tree up my side. I love it, but rarely posts pictures as it goes from my hip to armpit. It’s quite massive. This one has a special meaning to me and is tied in with my children symbolized as a bee and a butterfly on the tree.

Then I have an arrow running along the outside of my forearm. The arrow or the *Tiwaz rune is associated with Tyr the Nordic god of war and law. I am a left handed sword fighter like Tyr. He had his right hand bitten off by Fenrir the wolf and even with the handicap he was still be best fighter in the the world. Even if when starting behind it’s possible come out ahead.

I have plans to add to my tattoos including adding a sword and a wand next to the arrow, patches of armor also appearing like they are under my skin on my shoulder and upper arm, as well a three fourths sleeve on my right arm. I love what my tattoos mean to me and what they remind me of daily.


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