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You might have noticed in my post on New Years Eve that I randomly threw in at the end my getting two tattoos.
Yup. You read and saw that correctly.
For some people, this is probably a complete shocker. For a few others, they know I've been talking about it for a little while.
For almost everyone, the fact I got two tattoos and one of them on my forearm was totally out of left field.
I've tossed around the idea of getting a tattoo for a few years now, but I could never pick between all of the ideas I had or a location. Even beyond that, I honestly wasn't sure how it would go over with my working at a church. I could see both positive and negative reactions from people, so I held off. When I decided to leave youth ministry, I knew the window of opportunity was open.
I had decided to do it right around Christmas as a gift to myself. I also decided I wanted to have it done in Missouri because I had several friends there with tattoos and they would know the best places to go and get it done.
A few weeks ago I texted my friend Emily (I consider her and her husband the tattoo experts in the area) about ideas, where to go, and placements. She recommended Flesh Hound in Cape, and she even had friends who worked there. She also told me to stop by there sometime to get a price quote and toss around ideas with the artists.
About a week or so later, my last week in Cape to be exact, I ended up having some extra time one afternoon and since I was in the area, I stopped by the tattoo parlor Emily told me about. Luckily, it was a slow day and I was able to chat with one of their artists, Chris. By this point, there were two I knew I wanted at some point. He drew up ideas with me and we talked fonts, placements, etc. and he gave me a price quote if I wanted to get both. He even said he could do it that afternoon, but I decided to wait because I wanted someone with me. He also showed me what the tattoos would look like in 10 years time and compared fonts with me and put examples on my arm so I knew how big it would be.
That Friday, another friend of mine said she would go with me to get the tattoo. At this point, I was thinking about only getting one. I felt like getting two was going overboard for my first time. However, after talking with my friend she convinced me to just get both. One of them was really small, and in the long run, getting both at the same time would be cheaper because he was giving me a small discount.
So... here they are!
This is on my right forearm and it is a quote from Les Miserables. I knew I wanted a quote of some kind, and I felt like something from a musical would fit me best. I had considered doing "Careful the tale you tell, that is the spell" from Into the Woods because that is my all time favorite show, it's about fairy tales, and the quote talks about stories. All things which fit me and my personality. However, I have always loved this quote from Les Mis, it's a story which I've been in love with for years, and it reflected more of my world view and faith.
As for placement, this really was my favorite. I know it was a bold choice, and depending on what job(s) I have and when I'm in plays I'll have to cover it up. But when I thought about other placements, I just didn't like them as much.
Did they hurt?
In fact, I was completely terrified. I kept asking friends what it felt like and was never satisfied with their descriptions. I even told the tattoo artist how scared I was about getting them. But I kept reminding myself that I have had several needles stuck into my body throughout my life and have broken my femurs multiple times without shedding a tear. I could handle tattoos.
And while it did hurt, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. There were moments which hurt more than others, probably because it hit nerve endings or something, but nothing I couldn't handle. My friend who came with me also distracted me with pictures of her cats and she and the tattoo artist were good at keeping conversation going. So it wasn't that bad. So if any of you are wondering about the pain - yes, it hurts, but it's definitely something you can handle.
Am I happy with them?
I'll admit, for the first day or two when I would see my arm I'd kinda freak out and be all "OMG WHAT DID I DO THIS IS PERMANENT!" But I really do love it. I love the font because it's so elegant and I think it fits me so well. And the Harry Potter one on my calf is adorable! I've loved showing them off to people. I did hide them from everyone at church over the weekend after I got them because I felt like shocking everyone in my last days would be a bad way to leave. But it was really hard to hide because I kept on wanting to be all "Hey guys! Look what I did!"
Will I do it again?
Probably not. Not because they aren't worth it, but because I feel like two tattoos on me is a perfect number.
Did my family freak out?
Not as badly as I thought they would. My sister was a little surprised by how big the one on my arm was and that I had gotten two. My mom's first reaction was "That's on my baby!" (which made me feel a little guilty) and my dad just rolled his eyes and said "whatever." I think they've gotten used to it though and even kind of like them. In fact, my mom did the photos for this post. Granted - she got a new camera for Christmas so she was happy to have an excuse to play with it!
What do my friends think?
I think they like them! One has named them my "quarter life crisis" ... which is a fair assessment. Haha. My friend Emily had the best reaction - she was so happy for me! As for everyone else, they think I'm a little crazy but also brave and they like them. So... overall, people are cool with it.
Do any of you have tattoos? Anyone want to share their stories? What do you think of my Christmas gift to myself?