I couldn’t decide if I wanted a tattoo. My brothers and sisters have tattoos but I wasn’t sure if I wanted one. To me, getting a tattoo was a big deal. The tattoo would be on your body forever (as our mom warned us).
During my sabbatical from work this past January is when my interest in getting my first tattoo heated up. I had no idea what I wanted so I started looking online at tattoos. That wasn’t a good idea. I searched for men’s tattoos and was bombarded with all types of tattoos. I saw the usual guy tattoos like skulls, crossbones, cyborg, armor, and unicorns (just kidding about the unicorns), but nothing resonated with me.
I started to doubt if there would be a design I would want on my body forever. I felt like Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when he had to choose the right holy grail cup. I could hear the old knight saying, “Choose…but choose wisely.” If I decided to get a tattoo, it had to be the right one. I did not want to choose poorly.
I wanted something meaningful, representative of my family, my life, and my heritage. A few years back, my sisters and my cousin, who I also consider to be my sister too, got matching tattoos and they thoroughly enjoyed that bonding experience. I wanted something that would evoke those same feelings in myself.
Then I came across a tattoo that intrigued me, that I was drawn to (yes, a very bad tattoo pun) and was also meaningful to me. I didn’t like everything about the tattoo but I knew how I could make it my own.
That was it. I was 100% in and decided I was going to get a tattoo! Gail gave me the name of a tattoo artist and I scheduled my fateful appointment.
I was a little bit nervous when the day finally arrived. As I walked into the tattoo parlor, the nervousness switched to excitement. I don’t want to delve too much into the process but I can tell you that it hurt more than I thought it would. But, the tattoo artist and I chatted and the time almost flew by.
It took longer than I thought, a little more than 3 hours, but I can see now why that time was needed – the fine lines, the detail, the symmetry — those things all take time. But as the final touches were put on my tattoo and it was unveiled, I couldn’t be happier with how it looked! It was perfectly placed and sized on my shoulder, and it felt like it belonged there.
There is about 2 weeks of minimal maintenance I wasn’t aware of. This helped the tattoo heal better and helped reduce the pain. I would say it felt like a really bad sunburn those first couple of days. For my wife, who is fair skinned, it lasted a bit longer. But, I was diligent with my care and now the tattoo is healed and ready to meet the world!
Why a tattoo of the sun? Well, I’ve lived in the Southwest where its sunny almost every day. And I could tell you that it’s a been a big part of my life and I have wonderful memories being in the sun, which I do. But the real reason is what I mentioned above in regards to my sisters and my family. We’re half Filipino and I think the Filipino sun has a cool style to it vs. a traditional sun. And I thought the look fit me and who I am.
If you’re still waiting to get a tattoo, take your time, there’s no rush. Follow your heart and you’ll know what feels right for you. And don’t worry if people will like your tattoo. The most important thing is if you really like it. And if you really like it, that’s all that matters. And…you also will have chosen wisely.
If you’d like to share your tattoos stories and pictures, please post a comment. Gail and I can’t wait to see them and read why you decided on your awesome tattoos.