To tattoo, or not to tattoo, that is the question.

Getting a tattoo was always something I said I would never do. And not even for any particular reason. I think I just liked the excuse of “what could possibly ever be good enough to tattoo on my body?” Man, I’m so dramatic some times! Anyways, I could never answer that question, so I never got a tattoo… until recently! What’s crazy about it is, it just happened naturally.

So the story goes, I just happened to be in the neighborhood of a good friend, so I text him to see what he was doing. He told me he was getting a tattoo “as we speak” and that I should come meet him to check it out. So I did! As soon I set foot inside the tattoo parlor, I new I had to get a tattoo. I can’t explain why. I just knew. And then instantly I knew what. Years ago my same friend had gotten a tattoo of a star on his right hand where Detroit, MI would be on his “hand map.” For those of you who don’t know, us Michiganders always show people where we are from by using our hands as a map. Like this:

Graphic art by Sean Is Rad

Right then and there I knew I had to get a star on my left hand to represent where I am from, Marquette, MI. In seconds, my crazy-over-thinking-of-why-I-could-never-get-a-tattoo speech had diminished and I knew what I wanted and why.

I feel so lucky and proud to be from Marquette, MI. Not only is it one of the safest places to grow up in the United States, it is out-of-this-world beautiful. Lake Superior is the largest, deepest and greatest of the Great Lakes! She surrounds Marquette like a blanket, making us all feel safe and hidden, like we grew up on a secret Island in the middle of nowhere. The people of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (known as Yoopers) are truly the nicest, most genuine, happy-go-lucky people I have ever met. Maybe there’s something in the water…

Unforgettable auroras rising over Marquette’s Maritime Museum and Lighthouse. Photo by Lake Superior Photo

The little star on my left hand not only represents Marquette on a map, it also represents how blessed I feel to have grown up in such a beautiful community. That little star will always remind me where I’m from, guide me when I’m lost like a northern star, stare back at me when I’m dancing in ballet class reminding me to shoot all of my energy out through my fingertips, and something I will forever share with one of my closest friends, who I also share a life time’s worth of great memories (some of the best years of my life). Complementing hometown hand tattoos may only be skin-deep, but the meaning is truly immeasurable.

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