Today, after years of planning and wavering, I finally got the tattoo I’ve been hankering after. Here it is:

My tattoo!There is a bit of a story behind it. I’ve always loved tree designs, and had vaguely considered getting a design based on Yggdrasil before, though never seriously enough to do anything about it.

I always thought if I did get a tattoo, it would be something related to my family – I’m incredibly close to my family, they’re the most important people in my life, so my family is the only thing that’s really important enough to me to get something permanently etched into my skin for.

A few years ago, when my mum was first diagnosed with terminal esophagus cancer, a family friend said something to us that’s always stuck with me. She was talking about how she knew we would get through all the pain and sorrow by sticking together as the strong family we are, and said “Your name should remind you of that: a Woods has strong roots”.

I found that really comforting at the time, and kept thinking of it when we lost Mum to the cancer, and when a year later my eldest sister died from a sudden, unexpected heart attack. We went through some pretty dark times as a family, but we always held on to and supported each other: I know I can rely on my family for anything, like the deep roots of the Woods.

So that was the inspiration for the design. I thought of it shortly after my sister died, and the idea just kept getting stronger, so I decided that this year I would finally take the plunge.

My tattoo was done by Claire Jones at Black Crown Tattoo in Leeds – a very talented lady, as well as being really¬†friendly and reassuring about it all – I was quite nervous going in! Mainly I was scared about how much it would hurt, but it actually wasn’t that bad. I did take some painkillers before I went in, but to be honest I’m not sure I even needed those. It’s more of an annoying pain than anything else, just a sharp scratching. Claire described it as being like someone drawing on you with a sharp biro when you’ve got bad sunburn, which is pretty close I’d say. I am glad I didn’t go for anything bigger – this took about 15 minutes, which was long enough! I was pretty shaky when I came out, though I think that was from the adrenaline.

I’m so happy with the design, and really proud of myself for going through with it! It wasn’t a decision I took lightly – I’ve had this design in mind for almost three years, so I know it’s not something I’m going to regret. It’s a permanent reminder of my family, and the support we all give each other, and of my strong roots.


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