Saturday, December 16, 2006

on being inked

I woke up nervous as hell.

The horror stories about people ‘going under the gun’ were enough to scare me, but the horror stories I heard about my tattoo artist were pushing me over the edge.

I took a cold shower and unconsciously cleaned the upper right portion of my back more than usual. It was never going to be the same.

I walked up to the tattoo studio and some girl put some numbing cream on my back. I left and went to get a good healthy breakfast, think fruit juice, eggs, baked beans, potatoes and sausage. I ate like it was my last meal. The cream was numbing every bone in my body.

My closest girlfriend arrived and tried to calm me down. She laughed and joked and even sang ‘I feel pretty’, but I was a nervous wreck, no, wait, a numb nervous wreck.

As I approached the tattoo studio I got a phone call from them, I informed them that I was on my way, and they informed me that my parents were already there.

And from that moment, I was the calmest tattoo virgin ever.

My mother helped me fill a consent form, my father suggested colours and shading options, my best girl sang softly, someone took pictures and my tattoo artist dissipated all doubts that he was a maniac and made me feel most comfortable.

He talked to my mother who was very concerned with about the man who was going to ‘mutilate her baby girl’. He laughed when she told him she wanted to cut his hair and wash it.

The fact that my parents were there appealed to him on some level.
The fact that my parents were there calmed me down on many levels.

After the first half an hour the numbing cream wore off and I could feel the needle jabbing into me. Weirdly it was awesome.

I felt liberated, I felt a rush, I felt like someone who was doing what they wanted, I felt wild and free, I almost felt empowered.

I felt like an adult.

And throughout, all I focused on was my mothers reassuring smile.

i'm inked

I finally got myself a tattoo.

Something I have wanted to do for the last eight years. I remember checking out tattoo sites online when I was 17, and picking out designs and storing them for reference.

This year I finally decided what I wanted, I asked a very special person to design it for me and now, after about three months, it’s on me. My dragonfly.

Most people say a dragonfly is a clichéd design. But when I read about them, it occurred to me how beautifully perfect it was for me, right now, at this moment.

“The more you learn about this small but powerful creature, the more you understand that it is not merely a testimony to beauty, but also strength and most importantly, change.”

What amazed me, was that the dragonfly can spend three years in the nymph stage, living underwater, waiting to painfully morph into what they finally are. They are fierce, delicate, mystical and real, all at the same time. Native American astrology believes that every person has their own totem animal spirit, I’m not certain that mine is a dragonfly, but I am certain I love everything it stands for:

“The dragonfly spirit means you must consciously make an effort to express your hopes, dreams, needs and wishes. It is the essence of the winds of change; it carries messages of wisdom and enlightenment. It beckons you to seek out the parts of your habits that need changing, and then guides you to the path of transformation”

2006 has been a fabulous year – things have changed, I have changed - for better, not so much worse. I’ve travelled more than ever (two trips to Goa, two months in America and most recently Daman), I’ve changed jobs, and I am finally in an agency I have wanted to join for a year, My beautiful niece was born, I’ve met so many wonderful people, some who have changed the way I look at life. If I continue I might get into a whole barrage of reasons.

Honestly, I can’t think of a better, more beautiful way to commemorate the year.

Forever, I shall look over my right shoulder and remember.


Not the best picture, but it'll do for now. Oh and look, the first picture I have of me on my blog. Talk about change and new beginnings, eh?