"You're going to regret that later"

This is a sentenced that I hear very often, and I know that many other people my age hear it too.  It's not a reference to eating or drinking too much, although I'm sure that it could be, or dying our hair all of the colors of the rainbow.  It's about our tattoos.

My first response to this remark is something that I've never said out loud and due to the nature of it, I will continue to keep it to myself.  The second response is always "why?".  This response tends to take people somewhat by surprise and I choose to believe that it is because they see their world so clearly that they're incapable of seeing anything that does not fit into a perfect little box.  I ask them why because I really am curious.  Why do you, who doesn't have a single tattoo, know nothing about my tattoos, my life, or my beliefs, believe so strongly that I am going to regret them?
Happy Birthday to Me!!!!!  My First Tattoo!! Age 18

Throughout history people from all walks of life have been getting tattoos. Everyone from royalty to Tibetan monks have had tattoos.  It is an art form dating to the years before the bible and has a great deal of meaning to different cultures.  In many cultures, it is a rite of passage for young men and women.
My Second Tattoo Age 18 (sorry bout my bum)

Everyone gets tattoos for different reasons but I believe that all are commemorative.  They are meant to remind you of people, places, experiences, life choices, and each one is special.  I may not understand why you love that dragonfly tattoo you have on your ankle, but I'm guessing you don't love or understand why I have a horseshoe on my wrist that looks like a 5 year old drew it.  Tattoos are a form of self expression unlike any other.  It's not like art or writing that can be lost.  It's less expensive than jewelry and can never be stolen. It is with you forever, literally becoming a part of you.

Tattoo Number Three! Age 19

Tattoo Number Four!  This is by far my favorite tattoo memory :)

Personally I have 5 tattoos (number 5 is not pictured because I don't have a photo...) and I have 4 more planned out for the future.  I have no intentions of changing these plans and absolutely nothing anyone says could ever change my mind. Each of my tattoos, no matter what my original reason of getting them, is a memory and a story that makes up the person I am today.  I love them and for that reason, I know that I will never regret them. My health may deteriorate, and I may become so old that I cannot wipe my own bum, but I will always be able to look down at my tattoos and know that at one point in my life, I did things for myself and I was happy.

Love and joyflakes my dears!