Stephanie Bricker
Student Writer

Some people find the inspiration for their first tattoo on Pinterest or by thinking of an idea and pondering it for a week, a month or even a year. But sophomore accounting major Courtney Catlin was inspired for her first tattoo in the middle of Walmart when a friend asked her one simple question.

Tell me about your spontaneous tattoo experience.

I have wanted a tattoo for a few years, but I was always nervous to get one. One night, my friends and I were at dinner, and I felt like doing something spontaneous. A thought crossed my mind: maybe I should get a tattoo. I had been wanting one but was nervous, so I figured if I was thinking about doing it, I should go for it before I backed out. We were standing in Walmart, and I was trying to decide what I wanted enough to put it permanently on my body. One of my friends asked me, “What is important to you in your faith?” Immediately, “thy will” came to my mind. One of my other friends found a beautiful font online, and three hours later, I had a tattoo. This story is pretty crazy because this is not my personality at all. I always plan things and don’t do things on the whim, but I think this spontaneous decision makes the story more special to me.

What does your tattoo mean to you?

My tattoo is a reminder to me that everything is in God’s hands and He is in control. “Thy will” is something that I continuously remind myself when I am unsure of the future or I am stressed about something. I am the kind of person that likes to be in control of my life, but sometimes I need to remember to give it all to God because He will bless my journey. This phrase has always been special to me and my faith, and I thought it would be special to have it on my body as a reminder to myself and a way to display my faith to others.

Was there anything that made you hesitate to get a tattoo?

I was quite hesitant to get a tattoo because my dad really hates them, and I was afraid he would act negatively. I decided that I needed to make this decision for myself, and I was just hoping he would be open-minded and wouldn’t be too mad. I was also hesitant because I am not a fan of needles, and I was afraid it would be too painful. To my surprise, it was not as painful as I expected, and my dad was not as mad as I was expecting him to be. I am so glad my hesitations did not hold me back!

Do you think the culture around tattoos is changing?

In the Christian community, there are opposing views about tattoos, but in general, I think they are becoming more widely accepted and appreciated. There are still a lot of people who have a negative opinion, but they seem to be more and more accepted. Tattoos are also becoming more widely accepted in the professional world, but they are still not accepted in all settings. I think the professional world is becoming more accepting though, and I see them becoming accepted in most settings in the near future.

What is your favorite part of your tattoo?

My favorite part of my tattoo is how it can be used to tell people my story. I think it’s really cool that someone can see my tattoo and ask me what it means. I can share my story and my faith with that person and it is quite rewarding for me. This opportunity would likely not be present if it wasn’t for my tattoo and I think its really cool to be able to share my faith with other people.

Do you think you’ll get any more?

I definitely plan to get a few more small tattoos. I do not plan to get large ones that are difficult to cover because I am entering the professional world, which is not always accepting. I don’t want to lose a job because of a tattoo so I want a few more small ones that are meaningful to me and easy to cover. I also just prefer the look of small tattoos that tell someone’s story. I have my next one planned, but I expect that I will get one or two more after that.