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I am a good gift giver. No, scratch that, I am a great gift giver. (No matter what you think about those chartreuse, fuzzy socks!) Here’s the rub, I don’t receive gifts very well. It actually gives me great anxiety to receive gifts,  because of a combination of things, but a big part of it is guilt. I know it’s crazy right and don’t even ask me to explain it, but I’m working on it with my therapist! We/I made huge progress though, because I was able to gift myself something that I had wanted for years and it wasn’t cheap! Oh, and it hurt like hell! I went and got my first tattoo! I have to say “first” because apparently everyone says you start with one tattoo and ultimately go for more. Not thinking about any other ink than the one I have right now because it’s freaking awesome! I have been researching for years, some might say obsessing, to the point that I was stopping people on the street to ask what tattoo shop they used, etc.. I knew if I was ever going to put something on my body permanently, it would have to incorporate my children. I also had to consider where it would go and what it would look like. That’s a lot to consider when you are making a forever decision! I knew for sure I wanted the kids’ initials. I knew I wanted it to look like a piece of jewelry. I knew I wanted it to be seen and not covered up, but able to be covered up if necessary. All I needed was the artist, and when I walked in to Three Kings Tattoo, he was presented to me as if out of a dream. See, I love butterflies. My Facebook profile picture is usually a butterfly, they are just magical to me. And this artist, Adam J. Machin, is decorated with tattoos of butterflies, beautiful ones on his neck and on his hands, and I knew he was the one for me. When people ask me who designed my tattoo, I tell them it was my vision and Adam’s artistry. A bit of a departure from his usual work and he was excited to do it, which made me excited to go through with it, finally.

Step 1: shaving my arm.

Step 1: shaving my arm.

Step 2 is typically applying the stencil, but I don’t want to show you that because it will give it all away!!

Step 3 of course, is hold on to your hat because this is going to hurt in a way that no one could ever possibly manage to describe but once you’ve started you just can’t stop so you find a way to deal with it and even zen out a bit especially to the incredible music playing by Timbre Tambre while your dear friend sits in a chair in case you need her and you slowly fall head over heels for the tattooed man who is tattooing your arm as though he were your doctor, therapist, or bartender.

Step 3: Isn't he dreamy?

Step 3: Isn’t he dreamy?

Of course I had a Totem with me to help keep me calm, and to oversee the whole process!

Totem Tends Tattoo! Gettin' closer!

Totem Tends Tattoo! Gettin’ closer!

Then finally, after three hours of intricate, delicate, and brilliant artwork, we were finished.

Tattoo me!

Tattoo me!

Here is a stitched shot so you can see the whole shebang!

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me!

I love it, I really do. Even my kids are psyched about it and my older son actually made me show it off to a guy at the music store that had a full tattoo sleeve and then some! My boy was proud! I was proud of myself for being able to commit to something that I had wanted for so long but never quite had the courage to give myself. Go me! It doesn’t mean this is for everyone, and I explained to my kids that I didn’t make this decision lightly and they’ve known for years that I’ve wanted a tattoo so they understand! What it does mean however, is that those moments where you want to do something for yourself and just yourself,f and you end up not doing it because of whatever song is singing in your head, change the tune! Know that you deserve it,  and that you are worthy of it, and no one should you make you feel otherwise!

Stay well.

To learn more about Totem Tamers, please visit our site at www.totemtamers.com.