With tattoos being a hot topic on Messiah’s campus, there are so many people with different tattoos and different reasons why they got them. It’s always fun to hear new and refreshing stories behind tattoos, so this week I sat down with first-year nursing major Harlie Strohm to learn more about her tattoos.
How many tattoos do you have and what are they?
I currently have three. I have one on my side that says, “Beauty for Ashes,” one on my arm that is a compass and I have one around my leg that says, “I will walk by faith, even when I cannot see.”
Where did you get your tattoos?
I got them at 717 Tattoo in Highspire, Pa.
How was the pain while you were getting your tattoos?
I psyched myself up for excruciating pain the first time, but it wasn’t bad when I was getting it. They weren’t that bad.
Were your tattoos planned out pieces or were they spur of the moment?
They were all very planned out.
Do you prefer going with people when you get tattoos or do you like going alone?
I’ve had people with me every time that I’ve gone, so I don’t know what it would be like if I went by myself. I don’t think I would mind it, but it’s nice just because then you have someone to talk to.
Is there anything you like to do while getting a tattoo? Do you like conversation or music, or do you prefer to keep it silent?
They usually have music playing in the background which is really nice. None of mine have ever been very long. I usually just talk to my tattoo artist, she’s really sweet. She has a daughter, so we always talk about her kid and stuff which is really nice.
What are the personal meanings behind your tattoos?
The first one is from Isaiah 61:3, and I got that a little bit after I had a wrestle with God. It was really meaningful and kind of crazy because it was my first one. I had been praying about for a really long time, and I had just read that verse for the first time. Then it started popping up everywhere, and I would hear it all the time. I was like, “Wow okay if that isn’t a sign then I don’t know what is.”
The compass I got with my mom on her 44th birthday. It was supposed to mean that no matter where we are in the world, we always have each other. It worked out because I always wanted to get a compass, just because I like the idea of wherever God leads, that’s where I’ll go. The one I have around my leg I got this past December. I had been thinking about it for a while. I liked the aspect of being in this transition point in our lives and I just wanted to have something to remind that I need to go where God leads. Even if it’s scary, I have to just do it because that’s what I’m expected to do.
Are you planning on getting more tattoos?
Yes! I am very excited. I’m a nursing major so I have to be really careful. I’ve always wanted a sleeve, so I’m getting a leg sleeve because I can cover that. I’ve been saving money for a really long time, and I have enough now and have everything pretty much planned out. I want to get mostly, like, an outdoor-themed tattoo, because that’s where I feel closer to God.
What kind of advice would you offer to someone who’s thinking about getting a tattoo?
I’ve definitely talked to a lot of people who have tattoos, and I would just say if you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, make sure you’re not teetering about it. You definitely want to commit because you will have it for the rest of your life. But, I definitely think it’s an experience that everyone should have.