Botanical

First tattoo is coming up

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I always find these intro threads a little awkward, but here goes. My first tattoo appointment is coming up this Saturday. I've waited 42 years for this thing - yahoo! This site was incredibly helpful so thanks! I'm still sifting through it all but feel pretty well prepared in terms of picking an artist and a design (botanical, hence the name) thanks to the wealth of information here. It's not a tiny design so I have a 4 hour appointment to start with - I hope can sit for the whole thing.

I'm sure I'll have aftercare questions; I have my Saniderm pack at the ready and am already wondering how the heck I'm going to wrestle that thing on and off of my back by myself (I'm a couple thousand miles away from close friends and family at the moment). And then there are the questions about bras, but that one will wait for the ladies threads.

Okay, I'm going to crawl off and enjoy a dose of first thread anxiety now. Maybe it's my age (didn't grow up with the internet) but joining a new forum always freaks me out a little. Does that happen to anyone else? You start wondering - why did that other intro thread get way more replies? I guess it helps to ask a good question. So I'll ask: did it hurt? What's the meaning behind that tattoo? What will you do when you're 90? Just kidding.

Thanks for the great resource - I look forward to posting pics of the new tattoo and planning the next one with y'all.

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welcome! nothing to be anxious or freaked out about here. save that anxiety for when you're about to be under the needle ;) luckily, that will go away too and you'll get thru it in a breeze, yearning for more!

you seem to know your way around place, so i'm sure your healing will go fine as well.

what's going on in The Great Basin and being so far away from friends and fam?

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The great part (for me) of waiting until later in life is that you are already marked by events and some you may want to display symbols of outwardly. At 62 when starting, I've had plenty of non-visible (and some visible) marks on me. Good luck, read the pre-tattoo threads, hydrate, and don't worry that you will worry. It's natural. I hope you sync with your artist well.

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Welcome and have fun. It hurts but not as much as you probably expect.

I'm about your age and yes, joining a new forum can be weird. Also, to echo what @pidjones said above, the great thing about waiting to get tattooed is how much space you have left for more.

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Alright, people replied! Thanks everyone!

I live out in the desert a good chunk of the time but travel a lot for work. I'm currently on the east coast of the U.S. for a few months, which is great for tattoo shops. I'm trying to figure out how far I might travel in the future for tattoos that don't line up with business travel. The pieces I have in mind are kind of big and would need multiple sittings - how do people do that with artists that are far away?

Well, I'll worry about that later, and get through this upcoming piece first.

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Welcome! I didn't get into tattooing until around 50, and I've now been getting tattooed for almost 10 years, so I feel a connection with you already! While there are great things about starting young, there are also benefits to starting late. You are settled into who you are, you know what your career trajectory is, what you like and don't like, and perhaps are less impulsive (although impulsiveness in moderation is a great thing!).

I enjoy the perspective of people who start their tattoo lives late. So much that you read focuses on tattooing in the younger generations, and it is really exciting to see how those folks are pushing the art ahead and making tattooing more accepted - we all benefit from that. But it is also fun to hear of the experiences of older folks. There is a different perspective that helps complete the picture of the tattooed world.

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Welcome!

Here's a little tip on dealing with pain. If you or someone you know ever took a lamaze class, you may already know that relaxation is the best tool for dealing with pain.* When we give in, bending like a reed in the wind, pain is much easier to manage. Focus on breathing slow and easy. As soon as you tighten up, force yourself to relax again. At times when it gets especially painful at a tender spot, I mentally move my brain and all pain outside of the body. I'll focus on something in the room and put my mind right there as if in an out of body experience.

* Example: Take an ice cube in your hand and lightly hold it in a relaxed grip. You can do this for a fairly long time.

Try holding a cube in a tight grip in the other hand. You can't hold it for a very long time compared to the relaxed hand.

This is the same principle for dealing with pain of any kind.

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confucius says: when you get tattoo pain, relax the feet and the body will follow.

Yes, but I was having foot and keg cramps at the same time. When she let me walk off the cramps, the tattoo pain DID ease!

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