Here I am again with another tattoo post (aka my favourites). Now, at my latest tattoo appointment I got 3 new tattoos but I’m going to break them down into separate posts because I have a lot to say about each of them. As you guys know I always do a post explaining the meaning behind everything I get because 1). I like having it all permanently written down somewhere and 2). It makes it easier when people ask me for the meanings. I don’t believe tattoos have to have a deep significant meaning behind them – it’s art, right? I just like to write a lot (the other tattoos I got at this appointment literally have a single meaning behind them yet I still somehow managed to write a novel explaining them…).
Anyway, I’ll stop rambling (told you didn’t I, I just like to write a lot) – here’s the meaning behind my sixth tattoo. The post about the other 2 will be up shortly!
To read about my first 3 tattoos, click here.
To read about my fourth tattoo, click here.
To read about my fifth tattoo, click here.
Age = 20
Placement = Side of right hand
Pain = 3/10
Price = I had 3 tattoos in total at this appointment and it cost me £50 altogether
As you can see, this tattoo is the word ‘paradise’ on the side of my right hand, it’s inspired by / for Lana Del Rey. In order to give you some context as to why, I’m going to redirect you to my post about my other Lana tattoo that I got around a year ago. That tattoo is the words “just ride” in my best friend’s hand writing – Ride is our favourite Lana song and also just my favourite song in general, it has such a significant meaning to me.
Now, as I mentioned, I got that tattoo in my best friend’s handwriting (again, click here to find out the whole story) but because of this, I viewed that tattoo as more of a tribute to my best friend, rather than Lana – even though it’s a dedication to both, that tattoo is definitely more for one person than the other, which meant that I wanted to get something separate as a tribute to Lana herself.
Now, Lana Del Rey…where do I begin. To cut a very long story short, she was very prominent during a very difficult time in my life. Her music was the only thing that made me feel like home, I was literally going out of my mind, I felt so lost, helpless and crazy and listening to her music made me feel like I belonged somewhere at a time where I thought I’d never belong ever again. At this point in my life (2013), the latest album she’d brought out was Born To Die – The Paradise Edition (my favourite album of all time), during this time in my life when I felt so lost and was doing a lot of soul searching, this album got me through. It was the only thing I’d listen to, it made me feel like I was in a nostalgic dream. I played it over and over again on repeat, I would go everywhere with that album playing in my headphones, I’d go for walks under clear blue skies and I’d sit in front of my best friend’s grave with the sun shining down on me listening to this album and singing it to her. It was ours, it was mine. It was a gift that was getting me through, it belonged to me and I belonged to it. Lana was the only one who made me feel like home.
My best friend was the one who introduced me to Lana and got me into her music, so we had a shared love for her and it was something I always connected to my best friend because of course, if it wasn’t for her, I would have never listened to the music (or fallen in love with the woman behind it). Born To Die – The Paradise Edition, was the last album of Lana’s that we shared together, as that was her latest release when my best friend passed away, so it makes everything even more important.
Paradise is a very significant word to me for two reasons – when my best friend passed away we never said rest in peace, we said rest in paradise. Almost subconsciously, as if there was never any question that that was what the P in the abbreviation stood for. I never even realised until months later when I finally managed to get out of the hazy trance I was in and connect the dots, that I’d been living through Born To Die – The Paradise Edition and that was where my best friend was too, Paradise. It was so crazy to me that the two words showed up that way without even knowing the connection to the other – The Paradise Edition was something only myself and my best friend shared, no one else knew about it and I never said the words “Rest In Paradise” with that in mind and of course, neither did anyone else. Like I said, I never realised until afterwards but I guess that’s the way the universe works – everything happens for a reason.
The second reason the word is significant to me is pretty obvious – it’s the name of the album. The Paradise Edition – my favourite album of all time and the thing that kept me sane, the thing that saved me. It made me feel like I really was in Paradise. It was a hot Summer filled with clear blue skies and I walked around in a hazy dream wondering if I was ever going to feel okay again, but at the same time I felt like I was in my own Paradise, my own little world where nothing made sense and I was trying to hold on to everything I’d lost and figure out how I was going to live life in this new world where my soul mate no longer existed, but it made me learn a lot. Like I said, I did a lot of soul searching. I was where I needed to be. It was a very strange and sad time, but I’m very nostalgic for it, I wish I could go back there. I wish I could meet that girl all over again.
Due to the second reason, I’d already made up my mind that Paradise was going to mean something, it was only when I realised the first reason that it sealed the deal and made me believe it even more. (So yes, I haven’t put the reasons in chronological order, but I thought it made more sense that way).
Lana herself has the word Paradise tattooed on the side of her hand, which I guess you could say is the third reason I wanted it – the word obviously meant a lot to her too, significant enough that she would get it permanently inked on her skin. I wanted to share that, I wanted to have people look at my hand and think “Hey, isn’t that Lana Del Rey’s tattoo?” – Yeah, yeah it is, but it’s mine now too, we understand it. She understands me and I understand her.
She did an interview where she spoke about the word and why she had it tattooed, and this is what she said…
KulturSPIEGEL: In an interview, you once talked about death as “dark paradise”. Are you serious about that?
Lana: Yes, death and paradise are intertwined to me. After death, I expect something that is very serene and calm. You could already call that paradise. It is so loaded with meaning. I just love the word “paradise”. I even tattooed it on my hand. “Heaven” is also a great word, or “exotic”.
KulturSPIEGEL: But does one have to tattoo a word onto your hand because it sounds nice?
Lana: Of course! I love meaningful words. I tattooed the names of my favourite authors, Whitman and Nabokov, on my arm. Every time I look at that I remember that life can be great.
I believe that, I believe that so hard. I believe her. Knowing my situation and what the word means to me…how strange for her to connect the word Paradise with death …it all intertwines and becomes one, like it was meant to be, right? It’s so strange. Like I said, I never planned for any of it, it just happened and I had the realisation and was like woah…this really means something.
There are many things for me that represent Lana, but I never really knew how to narrow it down to just one thing, one symbol. I’ve thought about this tattoo for a long time – years now, since I was 15 / 16, and it just made sense. When I was getting the “just ride” tattoo, it was between those lyrics or “paradise” in the handwriting instead, in the same placement. I’m glad I went for the former because that’s what felt right, and I wanted paradise on my hand like Lana – which now, I do.
There’s so many things I could say about her and that time in my life and the way it made me feel…the person it changed me into, but no words would be enough. I wrote a journal entry about it a few years ago which I posted onto this blog when I first started it, I hope that will maybe give you some more context, it’s here if you want to read it.
I hope this wasn’t too rambly (lots of thoughts and feelings – hard for me to coherently put them into words sometimes) and like I said at the beginning of this post – stay tuned for my other post on the other 2 tattoos (no. 7 & 8) I got at this appointment, it will be up shortly!
If you wanna read my 7 tips for getting your first tattoo, click here.
All my love,