Sa Bhaile: What getting my first tattoo felt like

Sa Bhaile: What getting my first tattoo felt like

i remember the days i spent in ireland more vividly than some of the days i spent at college this past week.

on one of those memorable days i got two words tattooed on my foot because they made sense. more than just their meaning but also in the way they sounded.

sa bhaile.

it means at home in irish. it’s a feeling that is extremely distinct, but not easy to come by. if i knew how to describe it, then i’d probably know how to find it more easily than i do. i felt it in Ireland, and it was the first time I’d truly felt it in a long time.

right before i sat down on the tattoo bed i remember wondering if i was making a mistake. i felt at home, but i feared it would fade, and then i’d look at the tattoo, and i was not sure what i would feel that would be bad, but i was afraid i would regret it.

i consciously made the decision not to let that stop me. i realized that my sense of comfort in Dublin would fade because i had a return plane ticket back to america. i knew i’d have to leave the amazing people i’d been lucky enough to meet in ireland, and i knew that the feeling of home would go away, just like it had before.

but i also knew that in that moment it existed, and it could exist again after ireland and it was a weird moment where all of a sudden i wasn’t fearful, but felt a sense of understanding. i knew that even though everything in the world, and in my life was not perfect, and not always okay, that was okay. over-said quotes like this too shall pass became clear, and beautiful, and when the needle pricked my foot, and the blues-music loving tattoo artist signed those words in cursive, everything happened like i was floating with water, swimming with the current.


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