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This last Monday, July 24th, was the two year anniversary of the day I got my first (and only) tattoo. One month earlier I had just turned 18 and graduated from high school and I was ready for a tattoo.

I had been trying to figure out what I wanted on my skin for a good two years prior and when I think back I'm glad I didn't end up with one of my many ideas. I wasn't concerned with the needle, those don't bother me after years of blood draws and IVs. I was more scared of the fact that I'd be permanently marked for life. I was so worried about being judged just because I wouldn't be a tattoo virgin anymore. I wanted to get it right because regret was not part of my agenda. I didn't want an art piece and anything with color was not my style. I also didn't want to have a copy of someone else's work. I wanted something that would be as unique as I am. Something that would always lift my spirit.   

A lot of people don't know this about me but, I love quotes. You could even call me a collector, of sorts. Quotes have gotten me through some of the toughest times in my journey with Mito. One day, my mom suggested the we look up idioms on the computer. There were a few that I liked but nothing really resonated with me like "Blessing In Disguise."It was perfect. It summed up my life in three words. 

Living with a chronic illness is definitely a challenge at times. Not being able to be with my friends as much as I'd like and dealing with doctor's that think I'm faking can make life hard but there have also been some great adventures that never would have happened had I not gotten my disease. That's why "Blessing In Disguise" is and will always be a perfect way of describing my life. 

At first I really wanted a tattoo on my foot but after a friend asked me if the pain would put me in a relapse, I immediately decided that it wouldn't be a good idea. My mom had gotten her first tattoo a year and a half earlier on her forearm and I noticed her lack of pain so I decided that's where my tattoo would be. 

I'm an artist at heart and have been drawing my whole life. For me, it's not just a hobby but a passion so, I knew I wouldn't be happy with a custom design from a tattoo artist. I just couldn't give up the reigns like that for something that would be a part of me for the rest of my life. So I decided to draw it out myself. A few weeks before my actual tattoo appointment I had a consultation with the artist to talk about the design elements of my tattoo and to hopefully bounce a few ideas back and forth. He was very good about listening to my ideas but it still didn't feel quite right. He gave me a great website for testing out fonts in the phrase/word of your choice. I went home and started playing around.  I always see such beautiful calligraphy and typography on Pinterest so that's the inspiration i used to create the layout of my tattoo. I also decided to included some flourishes and arrows to break up the design a bit. The arrows represent being pulled back with difficulty but shooting towards greatness. 

Thankfully I didn't have to do much research on an artist because the guy that did my mom's tattoo seemed talented and the shop got five stars on YelpThe shop is called Dead Crow in Fountain Valley, California and my artists name was Tony Nguyen. He's an amazing artist and is capable of so many different forms of art. Each piece he creates is so full of life and depth. I would recommend him for all your tattoo needs. Not only is he a talented artist but he's also a great person. It was important to me to have a good experience and I didn't want someone swearing in my face the whole time. I anticipated that it might not be easy for him to tattoo me in my wheelchair but he was surprisingly very flexible and easy going about it. 

Before he put the stencil on me I expressed to him that I wanted the tattoo facing me. This tattoo was for me and no one else. People on YouTube said that the pain would feel like a cat scratch but everyone has a different pain tolerance and it depends on the location of the tat. The pain was bearable but definitely stung. On a scale of one to ten, ten being the worst, I'd say it was a 3.5. 

I love my tattoo and I'm beyond thrilled that it's a part of me now. I wouldn't change a thing about it or my wonderful experience. It's a symbol of how God has worked in my life and the millions of blessing that have come my way despite the struggles. If you like this please share, comment and/or subscribe. Please let me know how much you enjoyed this post or if there's anything I need to improve on. I can't do this without you!