East Victory

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As my first official blog post, this series of pictures holds both a struggling and an important meaning.

First let me share some context. Earlier this year of 2016, I had decided (without my parent’s consent) to get my first tattoo. I have been thinking about getting a tattoo for quite a while, but I desired a design that held a meaning that is dear towards me. I didn’t want to make hasty decisions and permanently ink my skin with a design that wasn’t worth going against my parent’s disapproval of tattoos. The first symbolic concept I strongly desired was a design that would represent my grandfather.

Why my grandfather? Here’s why:

My grandfather was a wise, calm man with strong moral and spiritual values. He served as a Reverend Pastor diligently as well as hosted many family events that would tie our extended family closer. If it weren’t for him and his wife, my family and I would not have had the inseparable bonds present today. Not only did he cultivate a close-knit family, but he had also instilled a firm moral code onto his children; especially onto me and my father. The foundation of my philosophy of daily life is based from my grandfather’s moralities and standards. Of course there is more significance from my grandfather, but in a general sense he is the role model for me.

So a conceptual design that would represent my grandfather was a tattoo that symbolizes the Korean name he has given me. My Korean name is 김승동, in English the name defines as “East Victory”. The tattoo above was the best fitted design; the arrow symbolizing “victory” pointing “east” on the compass.

However, my parents obviously became upset and demanded that I remove the tattoo at once. I was forced to purchase a 6 month laser tattoo removal process to ease my parent’s anger, but we all knew the possibility that the tattoo being completely removed is very low. Over the 6 months going through treatments I was able to converse with both of my parents about why I got the tattoo, in which allowed me to be able to connect with my parents on a mature level as well as finally getting them to understand me a bit more as an individual rather than a son. So the fading tattoo is a representation of the trade for the growth in relationship between myself and my parents.

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