Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.
Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
Throughout life, it's important to remind ourselves how strong we are and what we're capable of. That kind of self-reinforcement helps us get through hard times and cherish the good ones. It motivates us to develop powerful mindsets and successful ways of living. To keep this reminder alive, many people choose to get a tattoo, a design that will stay by their side through thick and thin. Very often, infinite symbols and birds flying away are used to convey this message, but there are a lot more beautiful tattoos that you can get if you’re looking for visual motivation. Today’s recommendation is the koi fish. I know, fish may not be your first choice, but take a look at the importance of this animal. I'm sure you’ll change your mind about getting a koi on your skin this year.
Koi fish are the big red, white, and orange creatures you get to see sometimes at fountains inside malls and parks. While they have been reduced to this kind of decoration, Koi fish are truly important animals in other cultures. Koi literally means "carp" in Japanese. The animal has been a popular symbol for “overcoming adversity.” This is because of stories about how these animals climbed waterfalls with strong currents. So, the koi fish represent perseverance and success.
The Chinese culture also thought koi fish had the amazing ability of going against the stream, and they believed they would swim all day to the top of a waterfall to eventually turn into a dragon. Even Buddhism used the koi fish as a popular symbol for very empowering messages. This religion states that humans have to swim like the koi fish into dangerous waters and fight against every wave and every splash.
These legendary animals have served as pictorial inspiration for a long time now. Today, they are seen as synonyms of bravery, courage, success, and effort. Depending on the design, it can mean different things. Red koi are used to express the strength of love through passion and the energy to keep on going no matter what. The blue koi often represents trials we had to go through in the past, those complicated moments that put our strength to the test, and proved how courageous we can be. The black ones represent the struggle we currently live before succeeding. It’s a symbol for survivors, tireless fighters who achieved self-fulfillment after complicated situations.
All in all, koi fish are truly inspiring. The animal itself has taught us that we are capable of overcoming any struggle in life, if we are willing to put all our effort on it. Right now there are so many techniques and designs to inspire us, so you can end up with a very cool design no one else has. Let this tattoo remind you the inner power you have, and the courage you carry within yourself.