Okay, so I've been telling Ashley that I would do a guest blog post for more than a year. Easily. Every time something interesting happens in our lives she's asked me to write one, but I never pull through. I know it is ridiculous because I've always enjoyed writing. I feel like I can throw a paragraph together, but each time I just made excuses until the topic faded into oblivion.
Yesterday, she asked me to write one after the evening that we had, and I felt it was finally time to come through. Better late than never right? I've been known to procrastinate, but this one has been sitting on the shelf for about two years. Last night we took a trip to Harlan, Iowa, and I finally got my first tattoo.
I suppose it might be a good thing that it has taken so long to finally get it though. Everyone I talk to says to give it at least a year once you've decided on something. That way you will be absolutely sure that it's something that you'd be willing to have for the rest of your life. After two years and not changing the design, I was pretty confident that I'd be happy with my decision.
I've been in contact with the fine folks at Oz Tattoo for the past few weeks nailing down all the details. The tattoo artist, Jodi Wendt, has designed artwork for several people that I know so there was never really a question of where I would be going. Jodi did Ashley's lip tattoo, as well as, Chris's sleeve.
Late last month Ashley and I started talking about everything again, and I decided that it was finally time to do it. We were out to lunch on a Saturday afternoon, and she made me call Jodi before we could leave the restaurant's parking lot. A few weeks later an appointment was scheduled, and then we were on our way to Harlan.
I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't nervous. I'm pretty sure every ten minutes or so I asked Ashley how bad it hurt, or if she could compare it to something else that happened to her. She just laughed and then reassured me that it would hut but I'd probably live. In all seriousness though, I'm pretty sure I was more excited than scared.
We arrived at Oz a little after 6:30 PM. Our appointment was at 6:30, but we were running a little late due to traffic. We got into the parlor, Jodi had me fill out all the paperwork, and then showed me the final sketch. After we agreed on a size and location, she pointed us in the direction of a few magazines and told us to wait as she got things prepped. She called me back after a couple of minutes and proceeded to shave my arm.
Prior to getting started she told me a story about a couple of girls that were in the shop earlier that afternoon. They were also getting their first tattoos and wanted to know what it felt like and if it really hurt. She kind of laughed about how a tattoo is one of those things that can be approached in several different ways. You can either be scared of it, or you can treat it as an opportunity to grow as a person. I'm glad she made that comment because it really put things in perspective.
I knew as soon as she started that it was going to be fine. The feeling can best be described as a minor annoyance. The only point during the whole process that I felt any real pain was when she got very close to my armpit. The whole experience was amazing, we talked about a ton of different subjects, and it was over in an hour and a half.
I'm really glad that I finally went through with it. Getting a tattoo has made me realize that there are probably other things in life that aren't as scary as I've built them up to be. For the past few months, I've been trying to approach things in a new light and not take myself so seriously. It has become important for me to allow things to happen in my life and be okay with the fact that I don't have as much control as I previously wanted to. Yesterday was just another building block.