I've wanted tattoos for as long as I can remember, I think everyone that knew me was surprised when I didn't run straight out on my 18th birthday and get a huge skull tattoo.
I waited. I wanted my first tattoo to be the right tattoo for me. I got my first tattoo when I was 22. My boyfriend Sam & I had been together for 4 months & as part of my birthday present, he paid for me to get tattooed. I decided to get something small, just incase the people that said tattoos hurt like hell were right (they weren't) & I also chose to have it somewhere discreet because I knew my Mum would already want to kill me for getting tattooed in the first place & at least if it was easily hidden my death might be a little bit gentler.
I also wanted my first tattoo to be something with great sentimental value. I don't think tattoos need to have a meaning or sentimental value, I'm all for getting something because you like the way it looks but for me, I wanted my first to mean something, just incase it hurt way too much & would be my first, last & only tattoo.
I chose to get some script on my ribs under my boob (original, I know) and the words I chose were "Sweet As Sin" this was in tribute to my favourite band ever, a NZ band called Bleeders & their debut album titled "As Sweet As Sin". I've met the band & they're all really lovely guys and they had such a huge impact on me growing up. Still to this day I listen to their music & it lights me up inside, transporting me back to being 15 year old & hanging out with the band backstage & at their hotel after winning a competition on C4. Running through the streets of Dunedin at night in the rain with my best friend Courtney, screaming the lyrics of their hit song "Nightmares". Remembering it is absolutely euphoric.
The tattoo studio I went to was just a local studio called From The Heart Body Art. I used to go there to buy my piercing jewellery & ear stretching tapers so I knew the guys there & felt comfortable. My boyfriend paid for the tattoo & a few days later I went in on my own for the appointment. I'm gonna sound a bit weird here but I was disappointed when it didn't hurt. You hear people say "if anyone tells you tattoos don't hurt they're lying" ... it's simply not true, maybe I just have a really good pain tolerance but my tattoo artist Dave had to tell me off for laughing, the vibrations of the tattoo machine against my ribs tickled so much! After it was all done (it took 20 whole minutes) Dave just assumed that I knew what to do aftercare-wise because "you know the drill from your others right?" ... nope ... he looked absolutely gobsmacked that it was my first & said he was surprised because I didn't seem nervous & didn't even wince.
When I got home, all my Mum had to say was "ok, let's see what you've defaced yourself with" ... and then I think she was pleasantly surprised that it was small, discreet & I think she also appreciated the sentimental value it had to me, Mum understood the impact Bleeders had on my life. She also asked if this was gonna be the first & last, I was truthful, I said no it wouldn't be & she didn't look happy but that was that. I got more grief from her when I shaved half my head!
I had no issues with the healing process, I didn't wear a bra for a week, kept putting cream on it & it never scabbed, itched or anything.
I forget it's there sometimes & then I catch my reflection when I'm getting dressed or going for a shower & I smile. The lines have got a bit bolder and slightly blurred since I first got it done, which I actually think has improved it, it looks less scratchy than a fresh tattoo & I think picking something meaningful for my first tattoo was definitely the right choice for me, I love this tattoo more & more as time goes on.