the story of the palm tree

Monday, 8 December 2014

I have always wanted a tattoo. And not the same kind of want as when I wanted to get my belly button pierced when I was 16, that was mostly because my best friend Alex had one and I thought they were the coolest ever. 

No, I wanted a tattoo because having a permanent mark on your body, something you get to choose, something that is all yours that can hold a special meaning, seems courageous and oozes adventure. Clearly I don't get out that much.  I could never decide exactly what I wanted, although I have had a lot of excellent ideas over the past decade.  Then one day, shortly after I was in California, it just hit me. Hard. 

I will never forget the very first time I saw a palm tree in real life. It was during March Break in my final year of high school. My parents promised if my average was above 85% they would pay for my grad trip. That night we were set to leave there was a huge snowstorm. All of the kids that were ready to leave for Mexico for a week were lined up in their parents cars outside the high school waiting for the bus to come take us to the airport. It was dark and freezing cold and the blizzard was out of control. The bus was super late and when we eventually made it to the airport, the plane was boarded and ready to take off. They were waiting for us and the passengers, which included my boyfriend and friends who went to another school were not happy. They fast tracked us through all the lineups and I ended up getting upgraded to first class with a few others, which was awesome because it was actually my first time ever flying. I was 17. 

When we arrived in Cancun and I stepped outside the plane, I was immediately in awe of the paradise around me. We lined up in what seems like a few hundred Spring breakers and then all I remember was getting really hot, and then blackness. I woke up sitting in a chair with my boyfriend and friend passing me a bottle of water. At least we got to skip the line, right?! We finally headed to the bus and everyone clapped when I got on. Late again. I sat by the window and I vividly remember an overwhelming sense of calm and happiness when I looked outside at the crystal blue sky and palm trees. 

Now when I think of palm trees, I think of California. I was 18 the first time I got off that plane at LAX with my two best friends. I remember standing outside the terminal waiting for Katie's dad to pick us up, a scenario I have come to love over the past 11 years. It was February and the sun was shining. We drove down the coast and I felt like I was driving home. I still have that feeling every single time. 

When I think of palm trees, I think of all the incredible adventures I have had and how fortunate I am to have all of these wonderful memories. 

I knew that it had to happen, and soon. And that it had to be done in California, to make it even more special. I was not the least bit nervous, just a ball of happiness and excitement. Now I will always have a little piece of Cali with me everyday!

Tattoo designed by me,  I am already thinking of what to get next ;)

xox nat

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