Story Time/Procrastination: I got a Tattoo?! What I Learned about Getting my First Tattoo.

Hello Readers,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Honestly, these next couple of weeks are going to be hard for me. I have 7 projects/essays due in the next three weeks. Yikes! I thought the best way to distract myself is to tell you the story of how I got a tattoo in Hawaii. I've been dying to tell you the story and I'm so happy I can have the opportunity to tell you. 

When I was a young kid, I knew I was going to get a tattoo. When I was in elementary school, I would tell my parents that I am going to get one. They would brush off my statement often by saying "Oh you are going to change your mind when you are older". Fast forward to my undergrad, I still wanted a tattoo. My parents still didn't believe me and my dad told me "if I can wait till I graduate college, he will pay for my tattoo". December 2016, I still wanted a tattoo and for Christmas, my parents promised me that they will pay for my tattoo. 

Now, I had no idea what tattoo shop I should go for my first time. My friends who are veterans to the inking experience told me multiple times the importance of finding the right shop and artist. Then, I also had my dad breathing down my neck that I find a cheap tattoo shop (I know sketchy). However, when my family was strolling down the streets of Front street, my mom saw a tattoo shop and said I should get a tattoo in Hawaii. I thought it was an excellent idea because why not? It would certainly create great memories down the road (and a great blog post).

Now I made sure I researched before plopping down on any tattoo parlor chair. I went on Yelp to see if there were any high quality/clean shops near me. Surprisingly there were three less than 5 miles away from me. From there, I found a tattoo shop that had 7/7 five stars review. I assumed that the fact that all reviews were not only highly touted, but received 5 starts must mean good news. 

The next day, I went to the shop to consult with the tattoo artists. When I was there, I told them my idea and theme behind my tattoo. From there, I booked an appointment. Note to any travelers who are thinking of getting a tattoo while on a tropical vacation, get your tattoo near the end of the trip. Once you get a tattoo, you aren't allowed to swim in open water for two weeks. So try to get in as much pool/ocean time as you can!

Finally, the day before we left Hawaii, I got my tattoo. I made sure that the next couple of days I did not burn my designated tat area and I swam in the ocean as much as I can. I was so nervous because it was my first tattoo and I had no idea what to expect for the pain. By the time I was laying down on the table, my hands were totally sweating. 

 Phase 1: Outline of the tattoo is complete.

Phase 1: Outline of the tattoo is complete.

The procedure was a short procedure (about an hour and a half). At first, I admit I was not a good tattoo receiver. My tattoo is near my lower right hip bone area. Ironically the hip area didn't hurt as much. For me what was the most painful was near the stomach area. My idea was at least near the hip bone, my bone will stop the needle from breaking the skin. The stomach, however, has no bones so I felt the needle go deeper into my stomach and I thought I was going to draw blood. The artist had to stop and tell me to stop twitching, ooops.  Actually what calmed me down was talking to the artist. I thought listening to podcasts would distract me when in fact it did the complete opposite. I could not stop thinking about the needle piercing my skin! However, I started doing some deep breathing and talking to the artist which the process was much easier. Although the beginning of the procedure was painful, it was totally worth it because I finally have my tattoo!

 Sorry a bit of a weird angle and yes, this was from my snap chat

Sorry a bit of a weird angle and yes, this was from my snap chat

After an hour and a half, I have the tattoo of my dream <3. It is a baby elephant with a purple heart. It is super whimsical, but it holds so much meaning to me. My sister is a type 1 diabetic and my grandmother is in the late stages of Alzheimer's disease. The color gray is one of the colors for type 1 diabetes awareness and elephants are my sister's favorite animal. Also, the elephant can also symbolize strength and when it has its trunk up, it is a sign of good luck. Purple is one of the colors for Alzheimer's awareness and I wanted a way to symbolize awareness of the terrible disease. I wanted to get this combination to symbolize the importance of spreading awareness for these diseases and hope that someday we will see a cure for both. 

 This was the next day when it is not as red.

This was the next day when it is not as red.

I hope you enjoyed my story time. Comment below if you like these types of articles or if you want me to talk more about the tattoo. Feel free to message me at studyinginheels34@gmail.com if you have any questions about getting a tattoo. Hope you have a wonderful day.

XOXO,

Paxton