Tattoos and Their Owners

Corinne B.

The 4 tattoos that live on Corinne emulate her love for her family, friends, and God. 

Grandma’s house was a second home to Corinne and her siblings. They spent many days there playing and learning. What a blessing to be a half hour away from your favorite people! When the time came, Corinne packed her bags and moved to New York City to play collegiate soccer at The King’s College. She entered an intense school and an intense house (she’s a die hard SBA). A few months into her freshman year, she and her brother went in for their first tattoos: the roman numerals for the day their beloved grandmother passed away.

Photo Credit: Corinne Boonstra

After a soccer game she received a phone call from her father. Grandma had visited the hospital last night and he wanted Corrine to come home. Terrified and devastated, she was unsure of what to do. Leaving New York meant dropping all her new responsibilities. She knew in her gut the right choice to make and, luckily, she also had new friends who eased her fears. It was time to be with family. Her friend, Naja, helped find her a standby ticket and Corinne went home to Minnesota. 

She was able to see her grandmother during her last few days. All joyful memories! She was up and cracking jokes. Keeping the energy in the room flowing as Grandma always had. She didn’t want her family to worry because she knew, and they all knew, where she was going next. 

Photo Credit: Corinne Boonstra

Corinne returned to the city after winter break to a bouquet of tulips from a fellow SBA, Sierra. Tulips were Grandma’s favorite flower, special to the family because their ancestry can be traced back to the Netherlands. If you don’t know, the Dutch are known for growing the most spectacular tulips. Rarely does Corinne pass by these beautiful flowers and fail to remember the comfort of being with her Grandma. Her original plan was to have a tulip tattoo on her wrist, but decided to match her brother with the roman numerals. Why not have both? When she came back home that summer, she and her cousin, Claire, searched through the grandparent’s house to see if they could find a doodle or painting of a tulip. “If it’s going on my body, it’s going to be special” They found an old book they read as kids about a girl in the Netherlands. Flipping through this old token, she found a sketch of a tulip on the inside cover. How lucky! Corinne now has that tulip on her ankle.

Photo Credit: Corinne Boonstra

During her time in New York, Corinne has spent many hours in class and in the gym to fulfill all her duties to her school. She delegated time for the gym everyday to stay in shape for soccer. But a part of her always asked, “why am I doing this?” She knew she loved soccer and being fit. But she didn’t love overworking herself at the gym with a certain idealized body in the back of her mind. Finding the right motive in what feels like an endless cycle of working out appears to be impossible. She found peace and unapologetic self confidence knowing she is known and loved by God. He created and loves her exactly how she is, and in all her actions she reflects that. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, and all. Corinne selected the word ‘agape’ from the greco-roman term for “the love of God for man and of man for God.” Every time she sees her tattoo she remembers how, no matter the mountain that needs to be moved, there’s something bigger who has her back.

Corinne’s tattoos reflect her message for tattoo novices: the stigma around tattoos in the workplace is fading. The talent required by artists to paint a moving canvas is celebrated more than it is frowned upon. More people and employers are coming to appreciate this. 

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