If you were able to just click your fingers and have your tattoo-journey complete (whether that means full body coverage for you, or much less) would you? If money, pain and healing time were no object, would you fill in all your gaps at the flick of a magic switch, or would you crave the ability to get tattooed as and when you felt the urge?
I read an online article on psmag.com by Alice Dreger, where she was pondering what would happen if we just told children that we largely had sex for pleasure. Her son had queried how accidental pregnancies were in fact possible, if adults only had sex to procreate (the message that was passed to him in school and most sex-ed book aimed at kids). Alice realised that we forget to explain that most sex has nothing to do with wanting children, but is actually for pleasure. She calmly told her son that after puberty you start to get a 'special' itch, and asked him to reflect how good it felt to scratch an itch. This analogy for me seemed to answer the ever-asked question about why people seem to feel an urge to keep getting more tattoos.
I have my own special itch (the tattoo kind). In the past 5 years I've developed a seemingly never-ending craving to narrate my life on my skin. That little sense of unrest my tattoo-itch caused made me want to walk into the nearest tattoo shop and get a small addition, marking this new step in my life's journey. I was surprised by how intense that feeling was. It reminded me of Alice describing to her son that he'd only understand the feeling of sexual desire once he hit puberty. Only people who get lots of tattoos understand that specific craving for more!
I'm not addicted to tattoos, the pain, or 'ruining myself', I'm simply enjoying scratching my little ink itches along the way!
So, would I take up the option to 'finish' myself? No. I'm enjoying the journey far too much. The waiting, saving, researching, impulsively going for it, collaborating, designing, and waiting to see how it settles in; all part of our own tattoo voyages. It wouldn't be half as fun without the journey.