Evolution Of A Back Tattoo

Joseph-Albert Kuuire
3 min readDec 28, 2021


I’ve always like tattoos but never saw myself getting one. The whole “permanent” ink on your body was always a “no” from me.

Fast forward and I currently have “four” tattoos. Yeah…sometimes life comes at you fast.

All my tattoos are symbolic. I’m very much in personal symbolism and all my tattoos were got because of something that happened in my life or has meaning in my life one way or the other.

So here is the evolution of all the tattoos I’ve gotten over the years and their meanings. (All the tattoos I have are currently on my back)

Serenity (2015)

I got my first tattoo in 2015. It’s the Japanese word (Kanji) which means “Serenity”. I got this tattoo in January 2015. The previous year, I had broken up with my girlfriend and been through so much stress at work to the point of physical breakdown. My parents actually gave me a talk on health and perspective. That helped my break my funk to be honest.

I told myself that I needed to change. I need to live life and stop being a hermit. The life I was living wasn’t sustainable and I didn’t want to “relapse” back into a life that would bring me down.

And so, to symbolize that, I opted for “Serenity”. Peace of mind. Calmness. And that has been my main goal for life.

Serotonin (2019)

In January 2019, I got my second tattoo: Serotonin

Ok, so what the f*** is Serotonin? So I’m a bit of a nerd (yeah, get used to it) and I’m also a psychology fan. Sometime in Junior high school, I read about the mind, ego, and other things related to the brain.

In college, I went to a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with clinical depression. Me being a nerd, I went back to read about mental health sickness and that’s when I read about chemical imbalances in the brain.

One reason someone might be clinical depressed is because they might not be getting the right amount of a chemical called “Serotonin” in their brain.

Serotonin is said to be a key hormone that stabilizes mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness.

The previous years I had gone back to therapy. I wasn’t happy and I needed an outlet. I didn’t want to go back to medication and I had a fear of “relapse”.

Hence the tattoo. Interestingly, I got another tattoo related to my depression….

Dopamine (2020)

My third tattoo was “Dopamine”. I got it the next year after my Serotonin tattoo. Dopamine is another neurotransmitter in the brain which can cause pleasurable sensations in the body. Not having enough can also lead to depression.

Firefly (2021)

And finally, the last tattoo I got (it’s not a chemical symbol) was a “firefly”.

This tattoo was actually inspired by the video game “Last Of Us” where a group of people know as the Fireflies have this as their symbol.

It may seem random, but fireflies actually are in symbolic in different cultures. Some view it as a symbol of “Redemption” or “Illumination”.

And there you have it. These are all my tattoos so have and how it has all evolved.

And Yes, I will be getting another one soon. I think my back might be done for tattoos for me.

I’ll keep you updated.



Joseph-Albert Kuuire

My personal writing space. (UX Designer | Blogger | Social Introvert) UX Design writing: josephkuuire.com