I believe there are three types of people in the world:
- Those who take calculated risks and will only arrive to a conclusion after they have completed multiple pros and cons lists to thoroughly evaluate a situation.
- Those who take risks with a stable mind and a confirmed opinion.
- Those who are just plain reckless and get influenced quicker and harder than a Taylor Swift groupie. These types of people take the YOLO motto a tad too seriously, and as a result sometimes end up in extremely awkward situations.
In an ideal world I would like to state that as a 20 something year old I fall under number 2. But let’s be honest. If you know me (even as an acquaintance) you’ll know for a fact that I am definitely a number 3.
Two weeks ago I turned 22 and determined to keep my personal tradition of ‘pursuing something crazy on my birthday’ alive I decided to get inked. Let it be noted that I have: jumped off a plane, snorkeled with a local shark near an island and gone scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef with a confident smile plastered on my face. However when it comes to needles even if it’s something as minor as a flu shot or a blood test. My body immediately goes into panic mode releasing a stream of tears, forcing the nurse in charge to question my maturity.
So you can imagine how nerve racking getting a tattoo was for me. I remember walking into the studio the first time with a design of a wave, completely confident with its placement and how elegant it would look on my small wrist. However when the tattoo artist (Olivia) drew a stencil of the design on my wrist, I was absolutely horrified! Not due to her inking skills but because suddenly I absolutely loathed the idea of having anything apart from your standard nose and eyes become a permanent part of my body.
However, as a person with a fairly strong character I was determined to not go back on my word and frantically searched through my Pinterest favorites to try and find an alternative. After minutes of scrolling through my backups I knew I couldn’t make a decision under this much pressure. So with a heavy heart I told Olivia that I would come back later, silently vowing that I would have to get a face surgery because I would always be remembered as the ‘Girl Who Walked Away’. Sounds like a pretty sweet title for an angst young adult novel doesn’t it? Anyway, to say I was disappointed in myself was an understatement because getting inked, for me, was a personal milestone that I wanted needed to achieve before my 22nd.
Later that week I don’t know what changed but something inside me finally clicked. I went back to the studio and firmly placed down a crisp fifty dollar deposit knowing that now I had no choice but to come back.
April 5th 2016 at precisely 3:30pm was when I found myself trying to cut secret bargains with Jesus, as I sat across Olivia with my left arm on the table. Ready. I had my friend next to me armed with a Lindt chocolate bunny, in the event that my sugar levels dropped and I needed chocolate to bring me back to life.
The first time that needle pierces your skin it’s a whole new level of pain. It’s like a toddler got hold of a sharp object and decided to repeatedly poke you in a certain area, until your body produces a numbing agent to help deal with the pain. Luckily for me my body decided to go ‘stuff it we don’t need no natural numbing agents, we got this fam!’ causing me request for a time out every 3 minutes. Hence a tattoo that should have taken only 10 minutes at the most ended up taking 25 minutes due to my shockingly low pain tolerance.
At this point I believe it would be helpful for me to reveal that I got a tattoo of a dragonfly. Small, colored in and aligned to the middle of wrist. Why? According to science adult dragonflies have a very short lifespan ranging from as little as 3 months to a year. Thus symbolic of the fact that you’ve got to live life hard within the time that you are given. Now that’s the corny dewy eyed reason for you philosophers.
For those who require a more straightforward answer. I got the tattoo simply because I wanted to. Not to rebel against my traditional parents or feed into that misguided stereotype of Gen Ys.
But simply because I wanted to, I owed it to myself.