Sooooooo, it finally happened! I went out last weekend and got my first tattoo. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I haven’t until now — so this is a pretty big deal for me.
Getting a tattoo has been something I’ve wanted to do since high school, but due to my indecisive nature I often got tired of designs before I could even get them done. As I’ve gotten older I’ve had a couple of ideas for what I’d like that I knew I’d love long-term, but I never really had the motivation to find an artist or book an appointment.
Now, while I don’t believe that tattoos need to have meaning — I’m a huge fan of tattoos just because they’re art, or of things you love — in this case, it was a great motivator for finally just going for it. I’m really glad I did, too — I love my tattoo and honestly? Getting it was no where near as bad as I thought it would be.
Getting a tattoo in the middle of a pandemic was certainly a little interesting — not only were all of the “consultation” aspects done online or via email, but when I showed up I had to remain in a mask the entire time and I wasn’t allowed to bring anyone with me. It was a little nerve-wracking having to go alone, but it ultimately ended ip being totally fine. While it probably would have cooled my nerves leading up to the appointment if I had a friend with me, honestly, getting it done wasn’t all too bad either way.
I wanted to share a little about my experience so that those of you considering getting a tattoo in the future know what to expect! Honestly, the scariest part of getting it all done was simply not knowing what the whole experience was going to be like. Once I was there and we had gotten started, all of my fears washed away pretty quickly and I adjusted to the whole process pretty quickly.
My tattoo artist, Vanessa (for those of you in Vancouver — she was amazing, so be sure to check her out!), had drawn up my tattoo in advance. She printed out a couple of size options for me and held them up to approximately where I wanted my tattoo to be, on the left side of my ribcage. After we got it all lined up, and the outline imprinted on my skin, she gave me a little test line so I knew what getting the tattoo was going to feel like — which I really appreciated, because not knowing how it would feel was the source of most of my nerves.
All in all, the whole thing only took about an hour — including aligning the design, doing the outline, and colouring in the shading. However, I’m sure the part most of you are interested in hearing is how much it hurt. Ribcage tattoos are notorious for being one of the most painful, and all of my tattooed friends (and even my tattoo artist) warned me that it was going to be pretty tough to sit through. To be completely honest, though — I don’t know if it was how much everyone hyped up the pain of the process, that I got lucky and have anatomy that makes my ribs less sensitive, or if I simply have a high pain tolerance, but I honestly didn’t really find the process to be painful. There was occasional moments where it did feel pretty painful, but overall I’d compare it to the pain of plucking you’re eyebrows. Some moments were worse, some weren’t as bad, but it wasn’t something that brought tears to my eyes, made me consider leaving partway through or would deter me from getting another tattoo. Basically — it isn’t fun, but it certainly isn’t anything bad enough to stop you.
All in all, I’m so happy I finally took the leap and got a tattoo and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I love the idea of being able to decorate my body with artwork and being able to personalize myself with drawings, memories, or whatever it is I feel like. It really looks amazing, too, and since it means so much to me it felt like a good place to start. (Start because I’m probably going to get more in the future …………. Mom if you’re reading this ………….. sorry! Love you.).
If any of you have any other questions about what the whole process was like, I’d be more than happy to answer any questions. The scariest part about getting a tattoo is not knowing, so while nothing can change that fundamentally I’d love to clear up as many questions or concerns as possible! It’s really not that bad, and it’s only for a few hours at most — which when you consider that tattoos are for life, seems like a pretty great deal.
I hope everyone’s doing well! I feel like we may be about to head back into lockdown in BC, so I’ve just been preparing for that mentally. But whatever, if we can do it once we can do it again! Just remember to stay safe out there and try to follow guidelines as best you can — this will end one day, it isn’t forever. Let’s just power through it so going back to real life will be that much more exciting when we make it to the other side.