Saturday, 26 December 2015

• A Cheers To Permanence •

AKA My tattoo experience.
I caved.

SO, if you've been reading this blog, you would know I've been deliberating this for a while. Well, a good few months... which in reality I suppose is a short period of time to be deciding on something that will be imprinted upon my body forever.

But it was an itch. An omnipresent, all consuming all-pervading inexorable craving that wasn't going away. So I found an artist. Booked an appointment. Took a train, then a tube, then another one...

I forget about it, to be honest. I forget how permanent it is. I keep a journal, and I remember writing about getting it, and then going on to describe the design... before realizing that if in the future I want to know what it looks like, all I have to do is look down. It's an interesting feeling.

The tattoo studio I went to is called Into You, and it's in London. The artist is called Emily and she is absolutely incredible - I can't emphasise that enough. If you want to stalk her on Instagram (I highly recommend doing so) her name is @emilyalicejohnston. I gave Emily a very, very vague brief - "something floral, and delicate, and growing up my hipbone" - and she finished the design on the day. Which was slightly terrifying, but it came out beautifully. I adore it. 

People often ask - what does it mean? To me, it symbolises growth. January 2015 I made the decision to drop out of Lancaster university. For a short time, I was in what I described as "educational purgatory" - I knew I was going back into university, but I wasn't sure when, or where. It was a liminal space; I'd hated Lancaster, wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life, moved back in with my family and was looking for a job. Six months on, I was working for Benefit Cosmetics, had secured a place at Exeter University, was going to the gym four times a week, had learnt to drive, started writing a book, and felt as though I had grown so much from the shy, insecure person I was coming out of Lancaster. So I decided to get something to represent how much I'd grown. Now, I've spent 3 months at Exeter, have just come home to Cardiff for Christmas, and can say with conviction that I have never been this happy.

Saying that, I don't think you need a deep and meaningful reason to get a tattoo. I might be getting an eye design next, for absolutely no reason at all. If you want it - get it.

Some questions I tend to get asked...

•  Did it hurt?
•  Yes. Like nothing I've ever experienced, particularly going over the hip bone.

• How much did it cost?
• £60 deposit. £80 on the day, if I remember correctly.

• How long did it take?
•  45 minutes.

• Aftercare?
•  Use nappy cream about three times a day, for a month or so.

• Do you regret it?
•  No, but I'm not naive enough to completely disregard the possibility. However, if I ever get to the point where I'm sick of the design, I'll remember a time when I was completely infatuated with it.

I suppose what I'm trying to say in this post is getting a tattoo is a massive, massive decision, but at the same time if you really want one then get one. Very cliche, but you only live once. So just do it - get the tattoo, apply for the job, write the novel, move to that new house, tell the person how you feel... even drop out of university. If you want to do it, then do it.


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