Ultimate Test of Your Decision Making Skills – A Tattoo

Posted on February 28, 2018

This became very obvious to me recently after I got my first tattoo a few days ago. I love it. I’ve been dreaming about it for 4 years. It’s a lot bolder than I thought it would be, so I understand people’s reactions. But, it’s in a delicate spot where no one will ever see the whole thing. It’s mostly for me.

A friend pointed out to me today what she wished would have been done better – and my face instantly turned red from embarrassment.

But, then I got mad…

It made me mad at the person who referred the tattoo artist. Made me mad they said to go bigger.

Made me mad at the tattoo artist who didn’t get me the art until the day of – Who didn’t draw it out properly for me to totally see how dark it would be.

It made me mad at myself, because I rushed to do it that day because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do it for another month. I was mad at myself for having such a busy schedule and that I didn’t analyze more about something permanently going on my body…

But, about 10 seconds later I remembered that I LOVE IT, so who cares what anyone else thinks? I don’t need to keep hearing my mom yell, “What’d you do?!” There’s nothing I can do about it now except love it. And honestly, I would have loved it no matter how it turned out, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it.

Showing disapproval is only helpful when it’s something:

  1.  The person can change the outcome on. In other words, NOT something permanent – like a tattoo. Why focus on the past if there’s nothing you can do about it? Focus on the future, that you can still influence.
  2. You have personal experience or have researched the subject at least as much as me. Here’s an infuriating conversation I’ve had too many times:
  • Coworker: where are you going on vacation?
  • Me: Africa
  • Coworker: Why!? I heard it’s super dangerous. You better get all your shots. If you come back with something and get me sick – oooohhh…..
  • Me: Have you been? Do you know anyone who’s been? Did anyone die?!

If you legitimately have a story of caution, I’m all ears! But people who waste my time trying to make me nervous and even scared about my upcoming vacation (or any other decision) can shove it. Often times this is just how their jealousy is displayed. Ignore it, unless it’s legitimate, firsthand experience.


My tattoo is an eagle soaring, and across the wings it says Livsnjutare, which means lover of life and one who lives it to the extreme in Swedish. In the tail is the Chinese character of my family’s last name – Chin.

The biggest thing I wanted the silhouette of the eagle to reflect, was a feeling of peace and confidence. The Chinese and Swedish represent each of my grandfather’s heritage, and the eagle represents where they ended up – the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.

In the 40+ countries I’ve visited, America will always be my home. Yes, we have our problems. But we were still the FIRST nation in the 10,000 YEAR HISTORY of civilization to break the cycle of either having a dictator or monarchy rule. We BROKE a 10,000 YEAR CYCLE!! Do you realize how unfathomable that is??? No one thought it was even possible – But America did it!

…So, the eagle on my tattoo represents the CREATIVITY, DRIVE and REBELLIOUSNESS it took for America to BREAK THE CYCLE.

What my friend said to me tonight, was that she wishes the lettering was bigger because it will be hard to read if it ever blends together. I appreciated this specific feedback! It made me feel a lot better about my decision. I always say, “Only in America would a Swede and Chinese get together.” I’m only 25% of each, so even if the letters fade together someday, it’s only fading in to a solid eagle – the American dream. The same dream that my great-grandma Emily left her family in Sweden to chase by herself at 17… and that my grandpa was sent to chase by his father from Hong Kong at the young age of 19 (he was sent over with the Huie family, so that’s why my last name isn’t Chin).

So yes, my first tattoo was a “go big or go home” one. It’s bold. And maybe you think it wasn’t the best decision. I don’t care. Please keep that to yourself, because I love it.

Every time you tell someone you disapprove of a decision they can’t change, is like giving them a paper cut. And to die by paper cuts, would be very painful death.


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