This week I got a new tattoo. I had been planning it for years, but becoming a mama and lots of life-changing events, as well as finding the right artist pushed that little dream back for a while. I am by no means an expert in getting tattooed and, even though this is not my first piece of skin art, I am still really nervous beforehand and surprised by the sensation of needle to skin, something that turns into various degrees of pain, depending on where you get tattooed as well as for how long you have been sitting in the chair. This tattoo was a surprise in many ways: I had always thought I was more of a black and grey ink person and that one small tattoo in colour was going to be my only one of this kind. However, after some thought I decided to have another one in colour and I am so pleased with it. Also, I had never envisaged me being able to sit in a chair for hours and hours. Two and a half hours was my previous limit and that had been more than enough for me. I had witnessed my partner during day sittings and admired his patience and endurance, holding his limb still because the nerves had other ideas and twitched uncontrollably. And then, I also learnt that I could trust the artist to make the right decision and take the artistic lead, knowing much more about colours and what would look good on my vampire-pale skin. She didn’t disappoint. On the contrary. She blew me away with her skill and art. The last thing that was a lovely revelation was that, if you trust the artist and have a good connection with them, it doesn’t matter if you share snippets of life stories or sit in complete but comfortable silence, watching them work and listening to their awesome playlist (the latter was a fabulous bonus!). I can’t lie, however – the last few hours of the second day session were tough and I thought a few times whether I should just ask my tattooist to stop. Luckily, a bit of numbing spray in the final stages (which, by the way, burns like hell for half a minute before it takes full effect!) helped me push through and I am so glad I did. When I finally clambered off the chair, shaky and cold, body a little in shock, I felt great relief and such a sense of achievement. If you can liken getting a tattoo to having a baby, then the line of wanting to give up and powering through is equally thin. In any case, I was a little more complete with something I had imagined on my skin for so long. It was beautiful.
Whilst I am still limping around a bit and dodge my toddler either clinging to or slapping my sore thigh, I am savouring the memories of the day I got tattooed and what this means to me. They will be with me for the rest of my life, like the beautiful art on my skin, and I am glad I had to wait so long. It was definitely worth it.