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As a young girl, I always had a fascination with tattoos. Growing up in a creative circle, art was always an intriguing subject. Despite the tattoo’s rich history, many are still not open to it. Some still associate it with being a criminal, some think it is weird, the list goes on. But as time goes by, people have slowly started to embrace it as a form of self-expression.

I thought long and hard deciding whether I should really get one. After months of procrastinating, I told myself – just do it! What’s the worst that could happen?

As someone who went to nursing school, I’m not scared of needles. I was more concerned about the sound of the machine. It was jarring especially at the start, but after less than an hour, my tattoo was done! It was quick and easy. My eyebrow tattoo was even more painful. Randy of Black Collar Ink was patient enough to deal with my ticklish back. It was a challenge for me to stay still but aside from that, it was almost painless. I’m incredibly happy with the outcome.


If you are planning to get inked, make sure to ask yourself these questions:


  1. Why do I want a tattoo?

Answer this question first. It’s the most basic, but most necessary step.  If you want to get one to look cool, that’s up to you. If you want to get inked because you feel like it will add to your masculinity, go for it. If you want to get a tattoo because you just had a bad break-up, you have every right to do so. We all have different reasons. None is better than the other. Ignore people who judge easily because your decision is what matters most in this situation.


Photo by Randy Matthew Pegarido


  1. What is the inspiration or meaning behind the design?

I had always told myself that if I get a tattoo, I want a good story to come along with it. Raine Baljak’s tattoos are very meaningful to her and this is something I really appreciate. If it’s going to be in my skin, it should be worth it! Once you find inspiration, it will be much easier to decide on the specific design. In some cases, it’s vice versa.

I got the inspiration for my tattoo on one random spring afternoon. While walking down Langelinie Park in Denmark, the beautiful flowers were in full bloom while the birds flew high, one of my Danish friends asked me what tattoo design I wanted. Without much thought, I blurted out, “Birds.” She asked why. I took a moment to stare at the beauty of the birds soaring in the skies then I said, “Because I want to be free.”

For the record, that sounds really cheesy and we laughed about it!  But on a serious note, I think most of us don’t realize that we are all enslaved by something. Some are enslaved by their obsession with Pokemon Go. Some are enslaved by social media or selfies. Some are enslaved with their love for money. Some are enslaved by their jobs. Some are enslaved by the opinions of other people. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were just all free?

After that, I had a clear picture of what I wanted – five birds because we are five girls in the family. To make it more significant, I placed the name of my eldest sister who passed away. Her name is Grace and for a while, she was enslaved by Leukemia. Now, she is like a bird, free and flying high in the sky.




  1. Will I regret this or not?

This is the most crucial question. Think about it. Sleep on it. Take your time but as I have said, sometimes in life, you just have to go for it! I’m not encouraging you to be reckless though. Use your common sense and best judgment. I hope your answer is NO.

Are you ready to get inked?


Shaira Berame

She loves conversations and stories about life, love and everything in between. See her adventures at her website.

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