My Tattoos

Since you ask every now and then about my tattoos, I thought I’d dedicate a whole post to them. I have four tattoos in total (so far) and I got my first one only when I turned thirty. I consider this actually an advantage because by that age my personality was much more steady and I knew what I wanted. As far as I know, nobody else has the exact same tattoos. So far I always went to my tattooists with my ideas (several of those I even designed on my computer) and they altered them to make them suitable for a tattoo.

There hasn’t been a day that I have regretted any of my tattoos. On most days I actually don’t even see them anymore. But once I actively perceive them, they make very happy. Because to me they are memories and reminders. I have to admit that I am one of the lucky people who don’t feel any pain when they are tattooed. As it doesn’t hurt me, I love getting them. I am sure that over the next years I will get more.

First tattoo: Seagulls flying across my back

This was my first ever tattoo. The idea for it stuck in the back of my mind for a long time, but I was never brave enough to get it. I actually love seagulls because they live in all the places that I have loved to live in. At the time those were Rostock in Germany, Cork in Ireland and obviously Istanbul. Besides being smart, they are skilled flyers and pretty smart.

Then, just before I turned thirty, my relationship at the time broke apart and left me very shattered. Getting this tattoo was my personal therapy, an act to be braver than I sometimes consider myself. I went to a lovely tattoo studio just around the corner from me in Bakirköy (Istanbul) and felt that they took very good care of me. While the tattoist told me I could still reconsider my idea after he had tattooed the first seagull, I fell asleep and felt absolutely no pain at all.

Second tattoo: A Placebo quote & infinity symbol on my left upper body

There was some big lovesickness in 2014 … the second tattoo I got then was this infinity symbol that I combined with a quote from one of my favorite songs: Placebo’s ‘Sleeping with ghosts’. I believe in soulmates, but I also believe that very often they are not your forever love relationship person. This is probably the tattoo I see least of all because it is on my left upper body and almost always covered with clothes.

Third tattoo: The skyline of Istanbul & a nazar around my left wrist

This again is the tattoo that most people ask me about. Istanbul is my favorite city in the whole world. I love living in New York City, but Istanbul is even more special. It does not only hold that special place in my heart, but I also carry it around with me in the form of a tattoo. Just before I moved from Istanbul to Boston, I had my tattooist in Bakirköy tattoo the Istanbul skyline around my wrist. That consists of some of the most famous buildings: the Galata Tower, the Bosporus Bridge, the Maiden Tower and the Ayasofya. In order to link the skyline, I added a nazar, which is always supposed to protect me from the evil eye (which I firmly believe in).


Fourth tattoo: A nazar and a Turkish word play on my right forearm

One can never have enough protection from the evil eye and so I got my fourth tattoo early in 2018. I also love word plays, thus the two Turkish words. Kader and kismet, who twine around the nazar. The first means fate, the latter means destiny. As they are so similar, they share the letter ‘k’ in my tattoo. Now that I live in the U.S. and seem to stay for a long time, this and the third tattoos remind me of my endless love for Istanbul and Turkey. It is and makes a part of me wherever I am.

© janavar

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