The Coolest Thing I’ve Done in My 34th Year

Most of my Friday nights consist of sweatpants, Halo Top ice cream, and my kids fighting me to stay up later. But one Friday a few weeks ago, I did something kind of awesome, though I would also like to vouch for the awesomeness of sweats and Halo Top.

I got a tattoo.

I like to say it was about a year and a half in the making, but in reality, it was about 19 years in the making.

At age 15, I felt the need to start expressing my “alternative” style, that rocker edge. I dyed my bangs (and only my bangs) bright red. (Like why, though….) That didn’t go over so well, so out came the red. At age 17, I begged my parents to allow me to get my eyebrow pierced. After all, I told them, I am first in my class academically. I never get in trouble. I’m a good kid. Let me get an eyebrow ring. (Amazing logic, right?) The answer was a firm heck no.

At that point, I mostly abandoned the edgy side of my personal style, and when I became a teacher right out of college, my edginess still stayed dormant. It actually started coming out again in about 2010 with my first nose piercing, and three nose piercings later, I can honestly say my nose hates nose rings, as each has gotten infected and/or failed to heal properly.

So what’s an edgy girl to do? Answer: get a tattoo.

Over a year ago, I found a picture of a diamond on Pinterest. Yes, this is the point of the story that falls in the “basic” category, just like my deep-seeded obsessions: Target and Starbucks. So like anyone basic, I started a tattoo Pinterest board, and even after a full year, I was still very much attached to the geometric diamond design.

My husband, who has 8 (?) tattoos, and I ventured into a tattoo shop (No Regrets in Champaign, IL) after our Friday night sushi date, and the rest is history. I can’t say enough about Robert, my tattoo artist. He was so friendly and thorough. The pain wasn’t as bad as I had expected. My pain tolerance is pretty high (I have given birth to two babies over 10 pounds), but don’t get confused about me: my tolerance for being mildly inconvenienced isn’t high at all…

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I wanted the diamond on my wrist to be a constant reminder of these principles:

Even when I don’t think highly of myself, God sees me as His precious jewel.

Diamonds are the crown jewel, and that is a gentle reminder that though many aspects of life may be beautiful, I need to remember to focus on the best of the best of those aspects of life. My “diamonds” are my faith, my marriage, and my family.

Diamonds are beauty made from intense pressure. I have inflicted intense pressure on myself my whole life to please others and to be the best at everything I do, but there is true beauty in the life I have created for myself, one that is imperfect but still beautiful.

Oh, and I think the design is really cool, too.

I’m already planning my next one. I can totally see how tattoos become an addiction!

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