When I was 19, my friend Julie and I got tattoos.
In high school, we were both very different than we are now. Julie wore lots of blue eyeshadow, had curly hair and straight bangs, and loved Led Zeppelin. I wore not enough make up, had stringy hair, and loved Britney Spears. After rereading those two sentences, I'm not sure how we ended up being friends, except that she was/is HILARIOUS. So, we decided to be college roommates. And we argued about nightlights.
I can honestly say that I loved being Julie's roommate. We got along better than most roommates, and we are still friends, so we must have done something right. We helped each other figure out who we were when the high school friends and the parents were gone. We wore Salvation Army t-shirts and listened to (more) Led Zeppelin and watched Monty Python movies. And one day Julie drew a star on her foot. I thought it was cool, so she drew one on mine too. The next thing we knew, we were getting those stars inked on our feet, holding hands and biting knuckles.
I regret piercing my belly button, mainly because it stopped being cute in 2002, and it's REALLY NOT CUTE after you have been pregnant, but I have never once looked at my star with regret. I like it because I think it's unexpected. I'm a pretty straight-laced looking girl; I don't think people see me as the type of person who does anything wild or interesting. Until they see my foot.
I am thankful for my star tattoo because it reminds me of a time when I was more carefree. I didn't consider consequences or career choices or what to cook for dinner; I just did what I wanted to do. I made good decisions and bad, but I figured out what I believe in, what I think about the world, who I am. Those were good days.
I am thankful because my star reminds me of my friend Julie. She lives far away from me these days, and we don't talk as often as we should, but I still love the crap out of her. I admire her courage, her confidence, and her awesome sense of style.
Sometimes I think about getting another tattoo, but I can't commit to a body part or a design. I like the idea of another tattoo, but I don't think I have the guts. If I had not gotten the star when I did, I doubt I would have ever gotten a tattoo. These days, I have to think about too many other things, and getting older makes me realize that my body changes. Thank goodness my feet have stayed the same.