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Belly button massages, breaking my shell, and getting a quad navel.

I've been forever divided by two worlds. In my mind, I'm a unique individual, just trying to get by in life without too many problems. I don't let anyone tell me who to be, what to do, or how to be myself. And yet, I grew up in what you would call the "Dirty South." Born in Chicago, I have city roots. It makes me culturized and intelligent. But I was whisked away to sunny South Florida, where I spent most of my childhood. We never had money, so we lived in what you could call the worse areas's of town. There were so many things that mothers would shield their kids from, right in front of me. Drugs, sex, gangs, all sorts of things I shouldn't be seeing. But it was there, and it couldn't be stopped. So with that, I was stuck in two worlds. One side of me loved things beautiful and unique, eye catchingly different. That side had no problems with being myself. Then there was the other "Me." I was hip hop, ghetto, and all things of that genre. You can't blame me for where I grew up, it's just a part of me. But that's why this is so unusual for me...

You may ask what this has to do with piercings. Well, I've had my ears pierced for quite some time, so I could sport the well known ghetto hoop earrings. But I decided to spice things up a bit and get them done again. At that time I was hooked on piercings, so I begged to get my navel pierced. After a long time, my mother finally let me. Yet again, I was different [because no one in my school had one yet] but then again I was the same [because all the ghetto superstars had theirs pierced.] Still unable to break out of my habits and ways, I went on with my life.

But things suddenly changed for me. Friends were turning their backs on me for more "popular" kids, my family life was a mess, and my love life was too. I fell back into the depression that I have been born with, and it hit me this time. I couldn't be what everyone wanted. I had to live my life and be me. So that's when I decided I had to break out, and show myself. I was going to get a new piercing, redefine who I am. My mother forbid facial piercings, so I couldn't figure out what exactly I wanted. It took me until 3 years later, another rough life period, and surfing BME to find my brand new quad navel.

I saw the piercings and fell instantly in love. It met all my qualifications, worked with what I had, and it was unique. I knew I had to have one. After a few months of begging, my mom agreed. That's when I had to start earning the money. So time went on, and I told some friends how pretty I thought it looked, and how boring the plain navel was. Most of them thought I was insane, but my little sister agreed that it was a beautiful piece of art. So I kept mentioning it here and there to my mom, dropping hints that I wanted it done. Finally she agreed, but that I had to pay for it [as usual with my piercings.] Well christmas came, and I saved most of my money and put it away in the bank. Then I got some more from my grandmother as a late present, so I was almost saved. Between my allowance and money earned from good test scores, I finally had enough. So one day when we had to go into town, I planned carefully. I waited until my mom was relaxed and looked in a good mood when I asked "How much begging, pleading, promising and cleaning will I have to do to get pierced today? I mean..." And that's when the rambling and promising to take the dog for walks and doing extra chores started. After a few seconds my mom laughed and said "Sure." We had a lot to do that day, so we put it at the bottom of the list. As we left the house, I realized I left my ID at home... SHIT! Oh well, I can try, and see what happens.

After much running around, we finally walked in. Venice [the receptionist] was there and she asked what we needed help with, and gave me a pep talk. She wanted her quad navel also but never got it. So when Bryan was done with his other customer, he told me to come back there and he would take a look to see what anatomy I'm working with. After some gloves and a belly button massage, he confirmed it was achievable. Asking whether or not I wanted to do it today, I told him yes but that I left my ID at home. Sadly, he told me he couldn't do it without it. So I got up and left, my mom promising we could do it tomorrow, instead of later because we lived so far away.

That night sleep came not so easy. I was anxious, and my adrenaline was pumping all day thinking I might be able to get it done. I couldn't fall asleep for my life. When I would actually fall asleep, I would wake up again. It was not a fun night to say the least. When I finally got up the next day, I was definitely ready to go. I was anxious and happy. I made my mom actually watch me put my ID in my purse, because nothing was stopping me from getting it done this time. Since we again had other things to do again, we put it at the end, which made the ride there even more unbearable.

When we FINALLY got there, there was a different piercer in today. He was just as nice, made me feel welcome, and asked what I needed. I told him, showed him my stomach, and he told me and my mother to come back. She freaked and said no way, so we both laughed a little and closed the doors to get started. He washed his hands, and put on some gloves, and checked out my stomach. After a few minutes, he told me it was fine, and went to autoclave the jewelry. He came back, and started the measuring. That took a good 10 minutes, he was extremely picky and that made me very glad. He would mark, then examine, then erase. Finally he sent me to the mirror, and had me check it. Everything looked smooth, so I hopped on the table and laid down. He took some time getting everything set up on his little tray, and then came over next to me. I was informed that he was going to do the bottom first, and then he came at me with The Clamps. They actually kind of tickled, I've never had my lower belly button squeezed quite like that. Then he told me to take a deep breath in, and concentrate on exhaling, and while I did, he was going to pierce. I did as I was told and bam! Number one was finished. It didn't feel too different than the first time I got my belly button pierced, but then again I couldn't remember the sensation all that much. He rubbed it with a little saline soaked q-tip, which felt awesome.Then he moved on to the right side. This one proved to be a little more tricky, as it didn't like the clamps too much. He would get the top situated, and then get the bottom, only to see the top had slipped. He did this a good 4 times before it was finally right. This time the clamps bothered me a bit, and I must say it was starting to go numb. It was time to be pierced, so we repeated the breathing exercise and again, the needle was through. This one felt a lot different. More painful I guess, but nothing major. I actually made a face though, which surprised me. My body was saying " You want to stick me with TWO needles? Fine, I'll make the second one hurt twice as bad." So I was almost done, and he gave that one a little saline soak also. Aaron then grabbed his tray and moved around the other side of me to do the last one, my left, because he was right handed and didn't want to have to freehand it. The same procedure was repeated, and then wow! I was done. He told me to stand up and take a look in the mirror. I took one look and grinned; I was completely satisfied. He asked if he could take a picture with his portfolio and I agreed, so he went to go get his camera. While he did that, the lady sitting out in the lobby caught a glimpse of it and looked awed. She asked if I had just had it done and I replied with "Yes." She told me it was beautiful, and congratulated me. By then Aaron had his camera so he took me back into the room and stood me on the wall for a picture. We paid and left, and I promised him I would be back for some work on my ears soon.

This piercing has done a lot for me. First of all, it helped me break out. Showed me exactly what I wanted it to, and that was that I am me, myself, a person who can deal with the fact that people have opinions, and that they won't always like me. It showed me that I can be me, and be whoever I want to be, without caring what others think. A few of my "ghetto" friends have told me that it's disgusting, or they hated it, or even that it "ruined my body" but I take it in stride because I love it. I love how it looks, feels, and becomes part of me. Doing things people don't normally do is a part of my everyday life, so why should this be any different? It shouldn't. Some people hate it, some people love it. It showed me who I really am, and for that I will be thankful. So to anyone out there who is like me, and unsure how people might react to something.. Well think about how YOU would react to it, and let that choose for you. Good luck to all who are discovering themselves, and Happy Piercing :]


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 22 Feb. 2007
in Navel Piercing

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Artist: Aaron
Studio: Saint+Tattoo
Location: Knoxville%2C+Tennessee

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