I’ve been silent here lately so I thought I’d blog about my big life decision! Brace yourselves…
Instead of playing Horizon Zero Dawn or Breath of the Wild, I’ve spent a shameful amount of time today proudly gawking at my arm in the bathroom mirror. You see something that kind of hurt a bit, but was so totally worth it, happened to my once boring upper left arm yesterday. After years of wanting, months of planning, and 6 hours in a tattoo chair, the awesome start to Ellen’s very first tattoo happened. I’ll let the picture say how the first session turned out:
Oh. My. God. I was originally planning on keeping this a secret from most people, but I can’t help but share it everywhere since I’m so damn excited! Words cannot describe how pleased I am with how this part turned out. I have to give credit where credit is due – The artist is named Amber Thorpe, and she owns Adept Tattoos here in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I can’t recommend her enough if you’re ever in the area! She actually took the time to research Final Fantasy XIII in order to come up with an amazing design idea. During the session she went to town on this highly detailed piece, nonstop like a true champion. The badass Lightning part is done but there is about 3 hours of work left to do. This is going to be a half sleeve complete with background lightning bolts, a L’Cie brand, and my favourite inspiring Lightning quote. The hard part will be waiting the several weeks for the next appointment. Oh and the whole healing process thing… ouch.
This decision to get my arm perma-inked did not come lightly. Though my mask of indifference was effortlessly maintained, I’ve been an internal nervous wreck these past few weeks thinking about yesterday’s big life decision. I’ve wanted a tattoo since I was a teenager, but the consequences of getting one have always weighed heavy on my mind. It took me a while to sort through my logical apprehensions before my heart allowed me to take the plunge.
What if it hurts too much?
This was probably the scariest part for me. Needles breaking apart the first layer of my skin to insert ink dots sounded like it could potentially be painful. There was no way to know how this would feel until it actually happened. As soon as that needle hit my skin for the first time, a wave of relief washed over me. It’s not comfortable at all, but the pain was very minor compared to what I was fearing. If the sun’s burning UV rays beating down on you had tiny cat claws, this is what a tattoo feels like. Some spots hurt much more than others, but it was relatively easy to sit through. The whole tattooed area was starting to sting like a bitch in the final minutes, but I got through it.
It’s the day after and my arm is kind of sore, but it mostly feels like I have a big sunburn. I’ve read that the upcoming “itchy phase” is the worst part. Something to look forward to I guess.
What if I hate it?
Tattoos are forever so you better make damn sure you get something you can live with. I think that picking the right artist is a very critical part of the process. I researched local tattoo shops relentlessly before I went with my choice. You truly do get what you pay for. It is more than worth the investment to make sure you have a talented pair of hands operating a properly sterilized needle gun.
The actual tattoo design is pretty freaking important too. I’ve wanted the cranky L’Cie on my arm ever since I beat the original FFXIII. I’ve mulled over the idea for several years and I still wanted a FFXIII related tattoo as badly as I did then. Unless Square Enix ruins her character with a FFXIII-4, it’s a safe bet Lightning will always be very special to me so she seemed like the perfect subject. Long story short, she’s my symbol of hope and strength against the undertow of the world’s depressing chaos.
Will other humans judge me?
Tattoos are pretty mainstream these days, but this part still worries me a bit. Ultimately, it’s my arm and I can have whatever I want permanently marked on it. However, people will judge you for almost everything. I don’t care if the odd stranger at the grocery store thinks I’m “trouble” because I’m sporting a badass lady tat. I am a bit concerned how it will impact me at work. I work in a corporate office setting with no corporate policy on tattoos. I have noticed some of my coworkers have cool ink on their arms, but it’s a safe bet a few “water cooler” conversations behind my back will occur once they notice my new ink. I will sense this happening and feel embarrassed, but I can live with that.
I also had the fun “So I decided to get a tattoo” conversation with my 71 year-old mom over the phone (ugh) this afternoon. She seemed okay with it, but I could tell from her tone a part of her was deeply concerned for my well being. Her and my dad are likely fretting over what biker gang I decided to join right now. They should be completely cool with it eventually though. I’ll be seeing them for the May long weekend so I’m hoping they will appreciate my awesome life choice more in person.
The First Public Outing
As a fun little social experiment, I decided to venture out into the cruel world with my tattoo exposed this morning to see people’s reactions. My first stop was the Tim Hortons drive thru, because I’m Canadian and desperately needed precious coffee. As soon as I paid the friendly lady in the window, her jaw dropped in amazement when she saw my arm. The conversation that followed was very entertaining for me:
Drive Thru Lady – “Hey! That’s the girl from Final Fantasy or something, isn’t it? That looks so good!! It’s 15 right?” *hands me desperately needed caffeinated beverage*
Me – *internal facepalm* “It’s 13 actually, but thank you! I just got my tattoo yesterday. Have a nice day!” *slowly drives away as lady keeps staring at my arm*
My next stop was EB Games because I decided to cave in and buy a damn Pro Controller for my Switch (well played Nintendo). As I waited in line, a dude nonchalantly approached the merchandise rack next to me and pretended to be interested in Legend of Zelda themed socks. I could tell he was eyeing my arm. The employee behind the counter showed no reaction at all. He’s probably accustomed to seeing badass video game themed tattoos on his customers. That was more than enough social interaction for one day, so back to my gamer cave’s bathroom mirror I went. Actually, I kind of wish I would have picked up Mario Kart 8 Deluxe while I was there. Oh well!
So what do you think internet? Have I ruined my poor arm or made it much more awesome? I’d definitely love to read any tattoo related opinions out there.