Well, I’m officially a girl with ink. I took the plunge and went under the needle and got the most beautiful, one of a kind, adoption symbol tattooed above my right ankle. And I’m still in shock that I actually did it.
If you don’t know me personally and haven’t been able to pick up on it from my writing, I’m a bit of a goody two shoes. (Right now Bridgette is laughing, shaking her head, and saying ‘ only a bit???’) I’m a rule follower, and I’m anxiety ridden about breaking the rules or getting in trouble. I’ve always been afraid of getting in trouble for as long as I can remember. I would be terrified to have to show my parents a bad grade (which, for me, was really anything lower than a B+). I hated (and still hate) when people are mad at me. I’m a people pleaser. I don’t like conflict. I’m a “good Catholic girl”, and I do everything a “good Catholic girl” should. Mostly.
So, getting a tattoo is wayyyyy out of character for me. Even thinking about getting a tattoo is out of character. Because it doesn’t fit into the nice box I have for my rule following life. But, for some reason, about a week ago, I felt very strongly that I really wanted to get a tattoo. I think the emotions of Vincent’s finalization caught up with me, and I wanted a permanent artistic representation of everything I’ve been through.
I researched tattoo parlors near me, and went to look at one – Assassins Tattoo. I liked what I saw online, and I felt comfortable going there. I actually brought Vinny with me knowing that I wasn’t going to get the tattoo that day, and Husband was working/sleeping for work. I told them I wanted a small tattoo of the adoption symbol on the inside of my left wrist.
The girl at the desk looked up the symbol, and I told her I was open to different designs because they know what they’re doing, and I don’t. The guy who was there, covered in tattoos, told me he’d love to draw something up for me, so I made an appointment.
Immediately, I text Bridgette and make sure she’s available to be with me (because there’s no way I’m doing this alone, and as much as I love my husband, he has 0 tattoos and is not the best when it comes to being comforting in that type of situation.) She clears her schedule (and actually starts work at 6:30am because she’s awesome) and meets me at the tattoo parlor. We leave Husband in charge of the babies.
I’m super nervous. Mainly because this isn’t something that I do. Goody two shoes Ryann does NOT get a tattoo.
When I get there Mitch, my tattoo artist, shows me what he drew up for me which is much bigger (and much, much cooler) than I was expecting (including rosary beads weaving through – yay Catholicness in my tattoo!) Well, I know now I can’t get that on my wrist because it’s much too big to cover, plus, it’s just NOW that Bridgette tells me she doesn’t think the wrist is a good first tattoo place. (In her defense, she didn’t want to give me unsolicited opinions, but in this case, I’d have taken any and all of her opinions since she’s my resident tattoo expert!) The inside of my leg above my ankle is suggested, and I think it’s a good spot. I can still see it, a must because the tattoo has so much meaning for me, and it can be easily covered. Since I’m a teacher, I don’t work in the summer, but during the warmer months of the year I can just wear maxi skirts or summer pants. I can still wear flip flops without it showing which is great because I avoid wearing socks unless absolutely necessary.
We were at the tattoo parlor for almost 3 hours (so much for my small, 30 minute tattoo) although the first hour was basically talking about the design, getting the room ready, and getting the stencil ready and put on my body. During that portion I was very talkative. Nervously talkative. Asking Bridgette a million questions about whether she thought this was a good idea, if she liked the design, if it was too big, if I was doing the right thing… You name it, I talked about it.
I sat down on the table, and they said they were doing “line work” first. For those unfamiliar with tattooing, that’s basically the outline of the design. Now, anyone who tells you tattoos don’t hurt is lying or a masochist. It hurt the whole time. Now, was it the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life? No, not even close. It was actually about the amount of pain I was expecting, but it’s certainly not a comfortable feeling.
Mitch was great. He stopped whenever I asked him to, he got me pop to keep my sugars up, he kept on encouraging me, telling me I was doing great. Bridgette was also amazing. I held her hand the entire time, and with my other hand I found part of the head rest to hold onto. I kept my arms tense because I didn’t want to tense up my legs knowing that would probably hurt worse.
The shading and color of the tattoo hurt less than the line work. As Mitch explained it, he said “imagine scratching your hand on one needle as opposed to three needles next to each other.” While neither scenario is going to feel good, the three needles part was less painful.
Before the tattoo I was talkative, during the tattoo, I was not. I kept my eyes closed the entire time, I was focused on breathing and getting my mind to go somewhere else – advice Bridgette had given me which worked very well. But, what actually comforted me the most was listening to Bridgette, Mitch, and whoever else was coming into the room, talking and carrying on conversations. Mitch also had some screamy metal music playing which was good in helping me to clear my mind. Because, like I said while I was at Assassins, I don’t like that type of music, but I’m getting a tattoo, I don’t want to listen to Michael Buble.
It took awhile, but you almost get used to the pain/discomfort. Or you force yourself to get used to it, which is probably more of the case. And then, it was over. I did it! I got called a “badass” by 2 people (the first and second times in my life), and I truly felt it.
I’m such a rule breaker…now to clean my tattoo and apply my aquatat because those are the aftercare rules I need to follow. Come on, I have to do SOMETHING that still feels like me!