Over the weekend, I went through with something that I have wanted to do for a really long time. I finally got the tattoo I have been drawing in notebooks for years, and I didn’t tell anyone I was going to get it.

It’s always fun to add the element of surprise when your friends and family see the photos online, but there was actually a much deeper reason as to why I kept the experience a secret.

For starters, I didn’t want to answer questions. Anyone with a tattoo has a scenario in mind where a person in their life felt compelled to ask these three questions: “What are you getting?”, “What’s the meaning?” and “You know that’s permanent, right?”

This time around, I didn’t feel like sharing my idea only to defend my choice and remind people that, yes, I am well aware it’s permanent. I didn't need validation from anyone because, for me, this tattoo was a symbol of empowerment.

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People love to remind you that you will get old and wrinkly one day. “What will it look like then?” they say, to which I usually respond with, “It will be old and wrinkly like me, but I’ll have some pretty cool stories to share with my grandkids.”

The other reason I kept it a secret until now was that I wanted this to be a personal experience. I was doing this for me and no one else, and it felt really good to keep the rest of the world out of the loop for a change. All too often, I reach for my phone and keep people up to date on my every move, welcoming in the opinion of others.

Not this time.

Tattoos are a form of expression, and for my fifth one, I wanted to express self-love, femininity and being confident in the physical and mental power that I carry. It was a gift to myself and I’m so happy I did it.

For anyone who is thinking about getting a tattoo, make sure you are absolutely in love with it because it sure is permanent, but if you manage to illustrate your vision perfectly, a tattoo is one of the coolest and most empowering ways to express who you truly are.

And yes, they hurt.

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