2020 Milestone #2: Getting My First Ever Tattoo (The Why, What, When)

Wow, I never thought I’d be the first of my family to get one. Years back, my sister was always harping about how she wanted a tattoo and at that point in time, I remembered just going “WHY?”

But here I am, just booked an appointment and made a deposit for my first ever tattoo session. It’s going to happen on Saturday 29 Feb 2020, aka LEAP DAY! Specifically chose this date for a reason – because it is so special and memorable, I’ll definitely keep it in mind. 29 Feb comes once every four years, and not just that, this will be my one and only 29 Feb experienced in Australia as I pursue my University degree so that made it even more of a perfect date to get inked.

Why did I choose to get a tattoo, you may ask?

The biggest reason would be that I really wanted a ‘souvenir’ of sorts to remind myself of the 4 years spent here in Adelaide. Studying abroad itself has been a huge milestone in my life, it’s something that I never really thought I’d do, yet this whole experience has helped in shaping the woman I’ve grown to become today. I feel like studying in Australia has just changed and impacted me greatly, and I didn’t want to leave this place after 4 years with nothing to remember my time by. So, what else can be more permanent than a tattoo?

Secondly, I had friends all around me who went ahead and got tattoos as well. Seeing them come back with beautifully inked designs stirred my desire to get one for myself as well. It’s definitely not peer pressure or peer influence though, as you can tell from reason number one above. This second reason is more of a trigger, to really get the ball rolling and push me to take some solid action.

Next important question: what tattoo am I going to get?

A feather! With birds extending out from the stem of the feather.

Feathers are a symbol of courage, a quality which I value greatly. Being the slightly introverted, constantly over-thinking, socially awkward individual that I am, it is always my life goal to be BRAVE. To go out into the world without caring so much about what society thinks, and just be my own person. This takes a good dose of courage and I want something to remind me of that. Every single day when I wake up and look at my tattoo, I’ll think ‘If I can get a tattoo all by myself and sit through the pain, nothing else should be scarier than that. So suck it up!’

The birds from the feather represents a source of freedom, it represents travel and wanderlust – to take flight like airplanes and explore the world, one continent at a time. This is something personal as well – I love travelling, have been on a solo travel thus far, and definitely want to go on more in the future.

Third most common question: Where are you going to get it?

The area on my left chest, in the middle of my boob and collar bone. No idea what that particular area is called, but this is as specific as I can get right now without any pictures to show. (Stay tuned for my future post about the whole tattoo experience as well as the final reveal of the design!)

The next part is slightly veering off what I’ve been going on about so far, but I thought I’d share my experience of finding a tattoo artist, so read on if interested!

In early January 2020, that’s when the idea of REALLy getting a tattoo hit me. I started searching the internet for potential artists to get inked, and I found a lady tattooist who works at a pretty popular tattoo parlour in Adelaide and so I thought I’d make a booking 1 month plus in advance to get a slot. I really liked Eloise’s work and she’s known for her fine detail work, which I thought would be perfect for the feather design I had in mind hence I reached out to her on Facebook.

She was really nice and got back to me and offered some details about the tattoo design I wanted etc. But because she was busy, she takes about 7-10 business days to reply to a message. She gets swamped with so many messages, that she’d have to spend time going through the backlog and she starts with the oldest messages first. So I was there, on my solo travel, when I remembered that she still has yet to reply me about the confirmation of an appointment. I forgot about the 7-10 business days rule though, so I sent a second message to bump, and that ruined it all. Because of that, my message probably became one of the newest ones aka the last few ones on her to read list.

After waiting out the whole 10 business days, there was still no reply so I checked her profile and there was a message saying that she’s been overbooked so she was not going to take anymore appointments. Oh DARN! My whole plan of getting a tattoo in Feb, before second year of Uni starts, just fell FLAT.

From then on, I decided to just wait it out and see when she would reply. Basically just follow the wind and see where it takes me. I was thinking, when she replies me, we’ll sort it out and eventually someday, sometime, I’ll finally get inked.

But did this happen? Of course, no! I returned to Adelaide about 1.5 weeks earlier than planned, and because of that, made a couple new friends and there was this girl in particular who literally just got inked the day before. I asked her for the name of her tattoo artist because she did a good job for my friend (her design was of roses and branches) and asked about and before I knew it…I was all booked and even paid my deposit!

I guess things are really meant to turn out this way. The original tattoo artist I had in mind didn’t work on Saturdays which meant I couldn’t get my tattoo on leap day no matter what, but this tattoo artist worked pretty much any day so I could get the date I well and truly wanted!

As of now, I still can’t believe that it’s really going to happen in a few day’s time. There’s no room for backing out since I already made a down payment but it’s not like I’m going to cancel nope.

Saturday 28 February 2020:

Honestly, I thought I’d be panicking and overthinking a lot more but I am surprisingly nonchalant about this. I think it’s because getting a tattoo tomorrow still feels SO SURREAL that my brain has yet to register it fully and I’m not feeling any jitters. I thought I wouldn’t be able to sleep, but I managed to fall into a slumber before midnight and then was rudely awakened by a false fire alarm at 12.30AM. Thankfully managed to drift off once again, although the rest of the night I tossed and turned a bit.

I guess it’s a good thing I forced myself not to watch videos about tattoo experiences on Youtube because that for sure will stimulate my brain and cause it to go into hyper overdrive. That was what happened one week ago right after I made my tattoo appointment and I got so excited my mind was buzzing the entire night without rest.

This post is getting longer than I expected so stay tuned for the next post which will document the actual experience of getting a tattoo, what it feels like and more!

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