Excited, But Nervous

So, tomorrow, two friends of mine are going to a tattoo shop in the mall to get tattoos done. This will be one of many tattoos for friend number 1, and the first tattoo for friend number 2. As I have been considering getting a tattoo for a while now (I know exactly what I would like to get, and it’s deeply personal, but I will share it with you if I do end up getting it), they have asked me to come along with them. Their reason for this is twofold:

  1. By going with them, I can see, hear, and experience every facet of the tattoo process so that I know what to expect when/if I get mine done. I will not be getting mine done at the mall, as I just feel weird about it, but I will be going to the best shop in town when the time comes. I am merely going with my friends so that I can get the experience of seeing what is happening to them, and seeing how they feel about it every step of the way.
  2. I will be doing a dry-run at the mall. This basically consists of having the tattoo artist use the tattoo needle on me without any ink. The idea is that he/she will do this so that I can feel what the pain would be like, and I can then decide if I want to schedule a consult with the other shop and actually get the tattoo done, or if I want to change my mind and just put my tattoo design concept on a T-Shirt. I’m thinking of getting the tattoo done on my right calf, which isn’t as painful an area as other areas of the body, so I think it will be fine. Honestly, as long as the results of the dry run don’t create the greatest amount of pain in my life, I’ll still go through with getting the tattoo.

I’m really excited for this, because the odds of my being able to handle the pain and get the tattoo (at a later date this year) are fairly high, but I’m also super nervous, because I’m afraid that it will hurt way more than I’m anticipating. Realistically, according to all the tattoo pain charts I’ve read, that area of the body is said to feel like several cat scratches or bee stings. I’ve had several of those in my life, so I think I should be fine. But there’s this fear in the back of my mind that it’s going to hurt about as bad as getting a shot at the doctor’s office, or like getting an IV. I also have a pain tolerance of, essentially, zero, so it’ll be interesting to see how the dry run goes. Honestly, I think the biggest issue that I will have is remembering to breathe (thankfully, one of the sales managers at my work reminded me that this is crucial), and controlling the urge to flinch or move when the tattoo needle/gun touches me. It’s a normal reaction, but I’m going to have to tell myself to keep it in check. 😛 I’m hoping that when I have someone come with me, if I can talk to them and the tattoo artist through all of it, assuming I actually get the tattoo, that that will work to take my mind off the pain.

So, friends who have tattoos, what else do you have in mind for me to consider on this journey? It’s a fairly large tattoo, it will probably span most of the back of my calf, but I’d like to do it all in one sitting if possible. I’m so excited because of the meaning behind the tattoo, but again, super nervous. I hope I can do it. I’m going to do the best I can to push through the pain and get it done, because, quite frankly, thinking about not having the tattoo actually makes me rather sad. Maybe that’ll be all the motivation I need to get it done, no matter what the dry run tells me. I’ll post updates after tomorrow.

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