Many people already know that in my last week living, working and travelling in Australia, I decided I was going to tattoo myself with words to make me remember. So I did. I went to the studio next door to my grotty hostel in Cairns and asked the man behind the counter to colour on me.
I was on a short waiting list and spent three long days secretly stressing, making several trips to the bathroom and googling tattoo horror stories from hell. Shaking with fear but loving every second, the pain was the good kind of hurt.
“Open Your Eyes" was written on me in 2009 as a reminder to myself that there is more to the world than my hometown…and a nod to the phrase "if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is”. These two realisations I discovered whilst living in Oz. I brought them home with me and I’ll carry them with me wherever I go. Life lessons never leave and neither do tattoos.
I have never felt the need for a tattoo so I assumed that this would be my first and last. It was never on my bucket list and I didn’t go through school craving the day I could legally get one. The fact I then had one, was no more than a celebration of symbolism, than for the fact it was an actual ‘tattoo’. I still care not for being branded ‘a tattooed person’ and I haven’t since felt the well documented addiction for more. Hidden behind my hip, I regularly forget that it’s there and has never been an issue when modelling.
So how did I come to get a second, five years later? Strangely enough…the story begins the year after the first one arrived.
Upon my return to the UK in 2009, I used the experience I had gained travelling to achieve a full time job in retail management. I was happy for six months…but then it all went terribly wrong.
As always, I try to be honest in my blogs and share with you what I can. But this time, with all my strength, all I can say is that 2010 was not my finest hour. I was at my lowest point; a time in my life that I do not look back on fondly, yet I wouldn’t take back for the world. My experiences and general outlook over those months have taught me how to be the person I am today and to appreciate my life for what it can be.
During one of those grey days, one of my best friends Rachael rang me. She had always been there for me to make me eat, to make me talk and to make me get out of bed some days. This time she was on the end of the phone just to sing. Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds’ was playing on the radio and she was singing loudly down the line to me “don’t worry, about a thing, cause every little thing’s…gonna be alright!" I laughed so hard with tears down my face.
Fast forward four years on and I’m 100% healthy…bar the terrible diet and cravings for Twixes almost every hour. I think clearly, love my life and don’t consider myself at risk of going backwards. I don’t advertise the fact that I once had mental health issues, in fact it’s taken me nine paragraphs to say the word ‘depression’. It’s a term overused and not really understood, so I try to avoid it in general. But I’m good now, really good and that’s all that matters to me.
Yet I’ve never forgotten that song.
I’ve spent the last year or so blogging about ‘finding my wings’. I’ve shared the breakdown of my eight year relationship, the recovery and revival of my heart, the adventures I’ve had flying solo, touring the country and going on my first ever date. I’ve done so much for the first time in the last twelve months and learnt so much that this summer, I thought it was time to celebrate.
So on my own wing, I wanted the three little birds that Bob sings about. A constant reminder that I’d found mine and was using them…and that every little thing is always gonna be alright.
I have the creative world of modelling and photography to thank for rescuing me, along with good friends and family. To be tattooed by a fellow model made the inking even more symbolic to me.
Thank you model/tattooist/artist Angela Dalton at Inflicted by Ink, for permanently marking me with my wings. Thank you Rosie Hardy for capturing them so beautifully on the last day of summer overlooking the city I consider my new home.
Behind the scenes at golden hour with the ever inspiring and beautiful Rosie:
Lindsay…I told you I’d do it when I was happy :) Merry wedding day my girl, your mate is smiling again.