LOCATION: Fuzion Ink Tattoo. Norfolk, VA
I’ve always been a huge fan of tattoos, but the whole pain and needle thing has dissuaded me from getting one. That, and the fact that I’ve never been able to pin point one thing I’d want for the rest of my life.
My personal hero and inspiration is Andrew McMahon (singer/writer/pianist of Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate) It was because of Andrew’s story and his words that I decided to change my life and to do what makes me happy. From his lessons, I learned that I was able to conquer my fears for things that I deserved to experience; thus, this was one of many reasons the bucket list was born. Andrew wrote the song “Swim” based on his battle with leukemia. In that song, the lyric “Swim for your life” says that no matter how hard things are, you just keep going. This is something that I’ve always kept in the back of my mind when I thought something would be too hard to do or I was too scared to do it. When I saw Andrew in concert in June of this year, I asked him to write out the lyric for a possible tattoo. I knew that this would be something that I would always want as a reminder and would never be a regret. You can read more of why Andrew is an inspiration to me from when I first met him HERE.
While I had his writing on paper, I still put off the tattoo because of fear. In October, Troy decided to give me the tattoo as my birthday gift. We went to Fuzion Ink, gave them Andrew’s writing and made an appointment. I was told to eat before the appointment to bring my blood sugars up.
The day came, and I was super nervous! Troy has several tattoos and said it was no big deal. After 30 minutes, your skin goes numb and you don’t feel a thing. I got all set up and the writing was transferred to my shoulder blade. Pete, the tattoo artist, started up his gun and away he went. I cringed, but the first swipe at the lettering really wasn’t that bad at all. However, that all changed when he filled in the letters. The constant back and forth with the outline needle hurt. It felt like I had the worst sunburn ever and someone was scratching me on the burnt part. After about 10 minutes I had to take a small break, lean forward and eat a glucose tablet. My body does not handle pain well, and I knew that. I had about 10 more minutes to go and the rest was just as painful. Some parts were very tolerable and ok, and others were leap out of the chair pain. I sat there though, and took it. After it was all done, the pain went away quickly and I was left with what I had always wanted; my very own tattoo. Not only do I get a piece of my inspiration forever with me, but I get it in the handwriting of the person who drives my inspiration. This will forever have meaning to me. The pain subsided quickly, but I will never know if it would have been better after 30 minutes like Troy suggested. Guess I’ll have to endure a bigger one…but definitely not soon. OUCHIE!
* Thank you Andrew for every gift I get from attempting my many experiences and thank you Troy for a great birthday gift that will truly last a lifetime, for accompanying me on this adventure, being the biggest supporter in what I do and always being there to take the pictures for me.
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?: Hmmmm…..I want to…but, OUCH!
HOW TO DO THIS: I went to Fuzion Ink: http://www.fuzionink.com/