Its Been Awhile

Life has been full of, at times, overwhelming changes in the past few months.

New Job

New Address

New Car

New Legal Marital Status

oh, and my tiny little amazing human is going to school.

So I’m sure a lot of people will think that this means that I would have had plenty to talk about, and there was, but I wasn’t ready to share my inner struggles and outward changes with everyone. I knew that life was going to be an interesting journey this year, but I wasn’t prepared for the emotional toll it was going to take on me or how much I was going to second guess myself.

But here I am, on the other side. I recently (as in, its still peeling and making me itch like I am some kind of crazy person) started another tattoo project to commemorate these changes.

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It was perfectly described by my artist as a bird of light and infinite energy. She is in full flight, graceful, beautiful, loved and powerful. Those are all things that I never accepted as being a part of myself, but this past year has forced me to rethink not only my life, but myself. Its been a year of spectacular growth for me, one that has made me shed more tears, smile more times and grant myself more forgiveness than I have ever allowed myself.

What this really means it that I have lots to say and I am now ready to say it.

Wow, that felt good.

Why It’s Worth The Drive

I was packing my overnight bag tonight for my upcoming trip to Ohio and was procrastinating decided to hit Starbucks beforehand. While I was there, I realized I had hit my “Lucky Dozen” (not a shock, for anyone who knows me!) and mentioned that I was going to save it for my long trip tomorrow. When the barista asked me where I was going, I paused for a minute to decide if I wanted to give the real answer or a fake “just doing some shopping” answer. I told her the truth and much to my surprise, she responded with a “that’s awesome!”. It not the response that I am used to getting. Usually it’s a mix between disgust, confusion and them thinking that I am batshit crazy.

Why you might ask, would they think such things? Because I go for this…

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Yes, I drive 15 hours round trip to get tattooed.

Now, I am aware that there are plenty of tattoo artists residing here in the fair city of Toronto and in cities closer than Columbus, Ohio, but that’s not where Adam is. Adam France is an amazingly talented artist who I stumbled across on Instagram last year. I loved his artwork and so I followed him and one day we got to chatting about my pieces and I ended up heading down to see him. He is now my go-to artist and I couldn’t be happier.

It always amazes me when I hear people coming up with an idea for a tattoo and then they just randomly head to the closest or trendiest looking studio to have it permanently etched on their person. People do more research on a toaster than they do on a tattoo artist.

So, below I have listed the reasons why I make the trip and why everyone who is contemplating either their first piece or their 50th piece should do their homework ahead of time…enjoy!

1. THAT SHIT IS PERMANENT . Okay, I am aware that there is laser tattoo removal and the option for future coverup work to be done, but let’s be serious, no one wants to have to do that, or pay for that, later. It’s expensive and painful and time consuming. Just get it done right in the first place. In the end, the plane ride or long drive it takes you to get there will be much more fun and take way less time than either one of those options.

2. THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF ARTISTS TO CHOOSE FROM. Pick one whose art makes you inspired and whose previous work reflects the quality you deserve. There is no need to settle, this is a lifetime commitment. It’s okay to be selfish and picky.

3. I WOULD RATHER HAVE SOMEONE THINK I AM NUTS THAN HAVE THEM THINK I HAVE A TERRIBLE TATTOO. What’s worse than your parents thinking you must be off your rocker? Them being right because your daughters portrait looks like a zombie from The Walking Dead. Enough said.

4. TAKING THE TIME TO PLAN THE TRIP AND SAVE UP, GIVES YOU THE TIME TO REALLY THINK ABOUT YOUR PIECE. I know we all get excited when it comes to getting a fresh tattoo done, but trust me, rushing into things is never a good idea. Remember that time you got too excited about the hottie you met at the club in Vegas and you rushed to the alter? At least that could be annulled. Your dolphin jumping over a rainbow tattoo? Not so much.

5. IF YOU ARE PLANNING A LARGE PIECE, YOU ARE GOING TO BE SPENDING A LOT OF TIME WITH YOUR ARTIST. It’s nice when they aren’t an asshole. Or they don’t smell (that has to be THE WORST). Having a good rapport is key since you will be discussing design elements and placement with them so you want to feel comfortable voicing your thoughts and opinions and you also want to trust them and their expertise. Having good communication is the key to any relationship, even with your tattoo artist.

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