It’s true what they say, tattoos are addicting.
You think “Oh, it’s just one tattoo. I have no interest in any other design or any other ink.”
Summer about 6 years ago I wrote a bucket list in my head. A few various interesting things I decided I wanted to do during my life. Get some time on the gun range, go trail riding, and get a tattoo, were the 3 that made the top of that list. To this day I can’t tell you why “get a tattoo” came up first on that list, but it did. Not cause a friend got one or my parents had them, not cause I wanted to be accepted or cool or fit in or join a gang. I just couldn’t get it out of my head. I started looking up design ideas and placement and looking into what it would entail to get a tattoo.
(I’ve still never gone trail riding again or shot a gun… although I’ve added run a half marathon in all 50 states to the list!)
After a few months I’d custom designed what I wanted, decided on placement, and scouted parlors. I put the design on my screen saver so I got used to looking at it every day and ant time I saw something I didn’t like, I’d tweak it, adjusting it to be just so until it was perfect.
I’d told family and friends that I was planning on “getting tatted” and of course I got mixed responses. Mother dearest at first thought it was a cool idea, then changed her mind… the boy told me how it would mess up my future or career options… my roommate was totally excited (cause she also wanted one)… Of course no one could really understand why I would want to do that. What was I thinking?!
Finally the day came. I’d made an appointment, finalized the design, and had my best friend there to distract me the whole time and drive home (lol). I rolled up to Liberty Tattoo on Ponce, filled out my paperwork, only to discover they hadn’t gotten the design I emailed or written down my appointment. So I waited and waited… of course getting more and more anxious, but I didn’t leave.
Finally I was getting settled on the table, the design was traced and drying on my ankle before my artist started. Fresh needle, gloves, plastic cover, black ink. She asked if I was ready and so it began.
Being totally honest, I don’t remember much about actually getting that tattoo anymore. I remember almost breaking Jessica’s hand and nearly changing the design in the middle of the whole thing cause it hurt. But once it’s started there is really no going back. All you can really do is keep breathing and remain very still. How long this took I don’t remember but I was probably done shortly after an hour. I do remember looking at the fresh tattoo on my ankle in the mirror moments after it was finished and cleaned. I remember freaking out (in my head of course) just a little at how much bigger it was then I have visualized and how much lower on my ankle it was then I planned. But it was done. There was no going back and I couldn’t look at it long… seconds later it was bandaged up and covered in plastic.
It was done. I had a tattoo.
Looking at it a few hours later when I was able to unwrap it and wash it for the first time, that’s when I really fell in love. It was perfect. There were things I didn’t know would work- the placement and size especially- but I trusted my artist and my guy.
I heard over and over how after 2 years I would regret getting the tattoo. After 2 years passed it was, “well after 5 years it will start to fade and you will have grown up and changed and you will regret it”.
Well y’all, it’s been over 6 years and I still love it more and more every time I put my shoes on or paint my nails. I’ve taken exceptional care or it and there is very little excessive fading.
I couldn’t listen to all the noise. My body, my design, my choice. And I’m more myself for it every day.
What have people told you about getting tattooed? Is it still taboo?