It’ Friday morning and I’m ready to get going. Even though I barely got enough sleep last night, I shoot out of bed, pumped to get the day started. Anytime I have something exciting planned I get the jitters like a kid when they know they’re going to Six Flags. The morning of my tattoo appointment is always intense for me. I try to eat a good meal, hydrate, and gather my thoughts. You’d think I was getting ready to go into an intense competition of some sort. I even stretch for goodness sake. But going into a 3-4 hour tattoo session truly is no joke. I believe one should always prepare.
For someone who has their entire back and both upper arms totally covered, and a couple other pieces scattered elsewhere, you’d think I’d be used to this. You’re totally wrong. Right before I pull on that door and walk into the shop, even on my drive over, I am in high anxiety mode. I know what to expect and the anticipation is borderline maddening. It truly isn’t until I sit in the seat and he presses those needles into my skin that I finally relax.
People tend to ask me the same questions when it comes to getting tatted, one of the more frequently being, “Doesn’t it hurt?” which then it automatically is followed by a, “How do you tolerate the pain?” How do I reply?? Easy.
I say if you have ever had something emotionally tragic happen to you in your life, it could be death of a loved one, a break up, getting fired, ect, all things people suffer through at one point or another in their lifetime, that kind of pain is so much greater than any tattoo has ever felt for me. I can easily deal with this kind of pain. It hurts but it’s a tolerable hurt. What’s even better? You KNOW that at some point it WILL be over. It’s tolerable and predictable. Hell. I can even go as far as saying that this kind of hurt you can stop at any point when you feel like it’s too much to bare (weenies.. JK jk). So does it hurt? Yes, it does, but this hurt I can deal with. It’s one of the easiest of hurts you could ever go through in life and it’s a hurt that looks good on you. Well… if done right 😉
“Why do you do it?” I say that’s another frequently asked question that plagues the minds of many who just cannot seem to understand. “Well, why do you do anything that you like to do? The answer lies right in the question itself. Simply, because one likes to do it. I enjoy the entire process of tattooing. From collaborating with the artist in coming up with a new design, to selecting a location, to placing the stencil, hearing the buzzes from the gun when they’re making sure it’s running smooth, feeling my skin get pumped with ink, and then… voila! The final product. I truly do enjoy it all.
As I write this, I laugh because you can ask me questions like, “What do you see yourself doing in the next 5 years?” or “What are your career goals?” or “What kind of man do you want to one day marry?” I cannot give you a definite answer. I change my mind about most things as often as I change underwear. One day I like this. The next day I’m like screw this I like that. I can love something for years and wake one day and be like “Pffffft. I’m over you.” It happened to me with taquitos and caramel squares. I can’t stand even the sight of them anymore. But for some reason, tattoos? That’s a different story. I love each and everyone of them. From the very first one I ever got over ten years ago, to my latest, I have never regretted one. Good thing too. Because did you know they were permanent? <— Another question I get asked often (there are people full of bad jokes out there)
So here I go. A bowl of fruit, two slices of toast, two glasses of water, a mile run, and an after shower meditation session later, and I’m off to another body art appointment. But before I go, allow me to leave you with a little bit of brain food. Tattoos, whether you like them or not, can serve for a wonderful analogy for in life everything you do, you should think about it as if you were getting a tattoo.
Life. When it comes to living it, would you rather pick a generic piece off the wall? Or custom designing your very own?
I say that’s a pretty good one, no?
It’s the weekend baby! It’s time to start buzzin’ it.
Photo Credit: Nata Galvan, Muse: Natal Galvan, John N.