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My 1st (wrist) tattoo experience

I can honestly say I thought long & hard for about 2 months solid before I got my first tattoo. One of the things that made this so interesting & exciting for me is the fact that getting one was rather out of character to me! That does not mean to say I had a preconception that only a certain 'type' of person would get a tattoo, it's just with my being so 'goody goody' most of the time, this feels like it adds a little bit of an edge to me. Up until not very long ago I could have easily said I'd NEVER get a tattoo. I'd never really had much interest in them so my sudden urge to venture out and get one was a case of 'whod've thunk it?' for me!

I actually surprised myself by going through with it but my approach & the outcome is what I'm most proud of. I spent time everyday looking at well over 6000+ tattoo images online ( as a result I've seen a far share of weird & wonderful tats including one of a man with a cow in the middle of his stomach with his hollow belly button serving as the cow's great big butt hole -gross) , reading up on the best ointments (Bepanthen won!), getting clued up about aftercare advice & of course asking my tattooed friends loads of questions just to help with my conviction about getting inked. What made the experience all the more different was my deciding to keep the idea from my nearest & dearest. I only just got round to showing and telling my best friend yesterday and she wasn't expecting it at all but likes it. I think I took this approach because I wanted to prove to myself that I was actually going to go through with it; if I harped on & on about (which being a Gemini I could EASIL Y do) but chickened out I'd have to admit defeat which I hate having to do. So to save myself from that I only told a small selection of people & then I went about deciding exactly what I wanted to get.

My decision was narrowed down by the fact that I already knew that I wanted a script tattoo in a calligraphy style font, no images. I've always loved beautiful writing especially if the words written are profound which probably coincides with my love of literature. I also immediately decided that I wanted it on my inner left wrist aided by my constant doodling in that area with a black biro to get a sense of what seeing script there would look like. I took loads of pictures with my camera with my hands up in different positions to see how easily it could be seen & how it looked from different angles (yes I had time on my hands). I loved the way it looked even just in doodled ink which made me want to go for it even more. I think wrist tattoo on women can be really dainty. To add a little more personal value to my tat, I decided a Latin inscription might be a nice idea as opposed to straight up English so that it can't be as easily read. Also Latin is undeniably more exotic s ounding lol!

So.....Initially I quite liked the idea of a tattoo saying 'Live, Laugh, Love' or 'Live Love Learn' in Latin because I think each of the words signify important aspects in life. I love to laugh in life and I love learning (as I believe that learning is limitless) so I considered these words for a while but then I changed my mind because a) I have a very small wrist so three words would be too long and b) upon looking around on the net I soon realised how it was quite popular & I wanted something a bit more unique to me. So then I started thinking about my personal growth and my battle with serious self esteem issues from childhood and my personal improvement so then the idea of the phrase 'Love Thyself' in Latin popped into my head after seeing a tattoo that said 'nosce te ipsum' ('know thyself' in Latin.) But getting the wording & context correct for it to make sense proved to be a bit of an issue, especially where online translators were concerned (very unreliable). Plus
the idea that the meaning might be misinterpreted as narcissistic when it came down to translating it when it's in fact the opposite (it's not conceited it's about learning to love, regard and respect one's self regardless of flaws) made me reconsider.

So in the end after all my research & looking at 100s of different fonts I found my favourite script style courtesy of a site called dafont.com the day before I went to get the final design done. It's great because it allows you to type in exactly what you like & see a prototype written in different styles. Me being me I didn't like just one style of font, I found that I preferred the way capital letters in one style of font & then the way the lower case letters looked prettier in another. So in the end I got out some tracing paper & traced out numerous different styles together to form the Latin phrase I FINALLY decided on: Meliora Cogito. I've not seen anyone with this phrases & especially love the meaning which is 'I strive for the best' because I feel it not only encapsulates my overall mindset but it also sums up my meticulous approach to getting my first tattoo. I Was also proud of having thought about the composition of the words & how i added my own finishing touches
to it.

When I visited the tattoo studio I went to look around, talk to the guys & get a feel of the place & thought that I'd probably have to book an appointment. But before I went I stopped by Boots to by some Bep because I was already amped up in my mind about the possibility of getting inked it that day. I'd pondered about it long enough and I loved the final composition I came up with which I also took with me so there wasn't any room from doubt. I spoke to the manager who was impressed with my being so prepared with my tat readymade on tracing paper without fuss. The friend I went with thought I was just going to get a quote so she was like 'woah' when I was told it could be done today & so I decided to just go for it!

Even though my nerves weren't that visible it was such to the extent that when the tattooist started drawing over the stencil & I was actually sat there thinking 'erm....has he started for real?'! It was like I was expecting some kind of drum roll or introduction into it but he just did it and when the realisation hit I thought 'oh ok this hurts but its bearable, I can't believe I'm really doing this'. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be so once I got used to the pain I started to relax at lot more. And the tat guy was really cool & chit chatting with me to distract me so overall it was quite a chilled experience. And I LOVE the end result! I had a strange sense of fearlessness afterwards like I could do anything after having just done something I thought I'd never do. I'd definitely say that was the main thrill factor about it! I'm now considering tattoo number 2! But I know I need to put as much thought into it as I did my first as after all, I strive fo r the best :)

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Oct. 2008
in Tattoos

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Location: London

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