I’ve always loved the idea of body modifications – especially tattoos – though growing up, I never thought that I would be the one to ever get them. However, as I grew up and got older, I was really intrigued by them and the inkling to get one grew stronger. I think that I was pretty fortunate in the sense that I’ve had jobs that didn’t particularly care about my tattoos (something that always worried me about getting tattoos) and I found that many of the people I helped on a daily basis at my old job complimented the tattoos I had rather than turn their nose up at them. In fact, loads of people ask what my tattoos mean or why I got them, so I am sharing those very stories with you.
Before I start, I’m going to put it out into the universe that I have an embarrassingly low pain tolerance. Shots hurt me. I nearly passed out while getting my first ear lobe piercings at 17 years old and it astounds me that I have as many piercings as I do – but that’s another post for another time. I really don’t do very well with pain at all, so I think that it shocks some people that I have tattoos in the places I do.
The first tattoo I got was the little moon behind my ear on my 21st birthday. This was totally unplanned, on a whim, but I don’t regret it. I’m going to be honest here – there’s no real meaning for this tattoo and it’s not profound nor is it incredibly symbolic to me. This was a time where I felt like I was the most ‘me’ I ever was, and I wanted something to show for that by getting my first tattoo. I remember calling around to different shops in my city to see if anyone had an opening for a small tattoo and the only one that did was a place downtown. I was alone and I remember my dad called me to wish me a happy birthday. He asked what I was doing and I told him I was downtown shopping, which isn’t totally a lie, because I did go shopping. What he doesn’t know is that I was just waiting in front of a tattoo shop first. Sorry, dad! This was actually the easiest tattoo that I had done. I don’t recall the actual tattoo being painful, though I think it was partially because the artist had to push down my ear so he could tat me up, which hurt more than the tattoo itself.
Pain Factor: 3/10
On a high of excitement of getting my very first tattoo and having the experience be way better than I had anticipated, I went to another shop in my town for yet another tattoo about a week later: my arrow. This is the one that gets the most questions (I once had a patient ask me if I was super into archery) but it’s the question I answer the least. There are probably about five people in the entire world that know what this tattoo means to me and I’m not sure if I’m super ready to blab about it all over the internet, though I will say that it holds the most significance to me. I started thinking about getting an arrow tattoo shortly after moving away from home for college. Between working and going to school, I was ultra stressed and ultra sad, so this little arrow is a reminder that things get better. In terms of the actual process, this was by far my most painful tattoo – I remember feeling like I was going to pass out and my best friend, Lauren, told me that at one point I was totally unresponsive. Worth it, though? Absolutely.
Pain Factor: 9/10
Finally, my most recent tattoo was done in May of 2016. I remember this, because I told myself that I’d get my hair done or get a new tattoo as a treat to myself for graduating college. I’ll take praise for trying to exhibit some self-control but I am totally undeserving of it. Why? Because I got a new tattoo and my hair done. Living my best life, honestly. After not getting any tattoos for over a year, I was really itching for something new. I decided to get ‘lumos’ in cursive for a number of reasons. First, I love Harry Potter and it’ll aways be important to me – yup, I’m one of those guys. Second, I always think of what Dumbledore said in Prisoner of Azkaban: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” As many of you probably know, lumos is the charm that illuminates the tip of a wand, and I loved the idea of being in control of when and where I find happiness. It’s a reminder for me to see the silver lining, always This tattoo hurt a little less than the arrow but somehow I was able to keep my cool and didn’t feel like I was going to barf. Winning.
Pain Factor: 6/10
As of right now, I don’t have any plans to get any more tattoos, but I may (probably) change my mind in the near future! Do you have any tattoos? Snap me or tweet me photos – I’d love to see them!