Finally at almost 22 years old, I got my first tattoo.
It's not that I didn't want a tattoo before this because trust me, I did. But an overly irrational fear of needles and parents that didn't believe that I could actually commit to something like that or go through with it stopped me from having the opportunity to even try. Obviously I wanted to prove them wrong and I definitely did.
Saturday January 21 2017 at roughly 2:30pm, the needle of the tattoo gun hit my skin for the first while Bob's Burgers played in the background. The whirlwind of emotions that cycled through my body that day never stopped until that exact moment. That alone brought an adventure into my life and gave me an experience I will never forget even though I will never forget.
Back in December, my tattoo veteran boyfriend asked me what I wanted most, though he already knew the answer. I answered with a tattoo of course. A few days later, we drove around to his hometown where the artist that's done all of his tattoos is currently working and we scheduled our appointments for late January mine, being a late Christmas gift.
And slowly that day crept upon me and my parents still doubted I'd go through with it as they made jokes on how awful I was about getting shots at the doctors when I was young. The day before, I mostly just felt excitement mixed in with a sprinkle of nervousness. The morning of, nervous was an understatment. I felt shakey and worried though I knew I was in good hands; I felt a little scared to be honest.
As the hours passed, I cycled through a range of other emotions. I felt pumped, excited and thrilled that this day was finally happening. At times I wanted to cry because I never thought I'd actually do it. I felt determined to prove my family wrong and push their standards of me. There was a time where I was saying I just wanted to get it over with because if I had to wait any longer, I might not have gone through with it. We were finally brought back into the last room into the shop, passing life like mannequins of Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees hidden behind the corners of walls. The whole place shared memorabilia of classic horror films.
The artist was welcoming and insanely friendly (disclaimer: I've met her a few times before this so, I've know her for about a year now). She asked me if I was nervous because she could clearly see I was. But she help calm my nerves. As she finished prepping, she placed the stencil on me.
I gripped the hand of my boyfriend tightly as she told me that she was getting ready to start.
To be honest, I felt fine during most of the tattoo. It felt so much different than I expected. For the most part it felt like someone just poking at my skin with a pencil or something until some parts then I felt pain. But I never once thought I couldn't finish it. I was too determined to finish it and make sure my family knew I didn't react badly. I didn't scream at all. I made some noises and may have cursed a little bit, but I remained a trooper until the end.
The most painful spots were the dark shading spots within the truck of the tree, the outlining of the vertical branch more directly in the center of the branch and outlining the end of the branch on the left side of my arm. Besides that the grayish/white color during shading was the most painful.
When it was complete, I never felt so proud of myself for being able to take pain as well as I did. I felt accomplished because there was still a little part of me that slightly didn't think I could do it. BUT I DID and I made sure those who thought I couldn't do it knew that I did. For my first tattoo, it's actually a large piece too.
Of course my veteran boyfriend had to get a tattoo that same day too, and even though this was his seventh tattoo, he still made some fantastic faces too (totally sarcastic). He was getting a similar piece in a similar location too except his is in the inner bend of his elbow. He may be a veteran but certain spots are still painful. His most painful spots were the left of his heart and at the bend of his elbow. But he also did feel a lot of pain during the shading of the purple color.
(My boyfriend's tattoo is on the left; Mine is on the right)
So for those still looking to get their first tattoos or even for those veterans who are thinking about getting a tattoo and where to get it, placement is everything. Everyone's pain tolerance is different, so make sure you know your body and what you can handle. Also make sure you go to an artist you can trust and don't be afraid to tell them you don't like something. You don't want something on your body you're not going to like and want to see for the rest of your life. I'm thankful to have gone to an artist that is experienced and comfortable with just about anything. I am a million times satisfied with the artwork that has been placed on my body.