Things I Wish I’d Done Before I Got My Forearm Tattoo


In case you don’t follow me on Instagram (but seriously, why don’t you follow me on Instagram?). Two weeks ago, I got my forearm tattooed.




Two days before the Chrysanthemum Moon in September, I got a huge chrysanthemum surrounded by sweet forget-me-nots down my left forearm. It was a long appointment, and I left wrapped up in this new healing plastic stuff (which I’ll write about more after I’ve had my second go with it). I like to think I sat pretty well for the actual appointment…


…then, on my way home, I immediately turned into a huge baby and have been more-or-less favoring my left arm for two weeks hence.


I mean, it’s HEALING! I have to be honest with you: I’ve been tattooed before, but the last time was like… five years ago. And there’s an expression: you “forget about the pain after the baby is born.” it holds true for tattoos, too! And I genuinely think of myself as this incredible badass who heals quickly from wounds. Remember when I fell down the stairs and my finger swelled up to a frickin triangle, but I walked it off and was fine in less than a week? In the workshop, I stab myself accidentally with an Xacto knife like, once a week, on average. Most of the time, I don’t even put a Band-Aid on it. So like I said. I had built up this legend of myself as a badass who feels no pain and gets over things quickly.


Yeah. Not this time.


Luckily, I have like, a month and a half to heal up before going back in to get this beauty colored in, and I will learn from my mistakes! Here are the things I wish I had done BEFORE I got my forearm tattooed:




change the head on my electric toothbrush   which actually requires a lot more strength than you’d think? And when I tried to change it on 3-month schedule, I couldn’t physically pull the old toothbrush off!


shave my legs  which I had let slide because I was more focused on the present moment. But afterwards, I was too immobilized/ouchie to do it for DAYS. Which wouldn’t have been a problem… if it hadn’t already been days to begin with! (to shave or not to shave is everyone’s personal decision, I personally prefer to shave, that’s just my prerogative)


wash my duvet  because it was SO covered in crumbs and workshop mess and even though I have found a *brilliant* solution for how to easily change a duvet cover using office supplies (blog forthcoming), I was, as I said, pretty immobilized by the bandaging and quite sore for a long while. Dirty Duvet it is!


clean my room  was easy enough to do one-handed, but would have been *so* much nicer to just come home to a clean room! Granted, it was only for a couple hours, as I had to work that night after getting tattooed, and I spent the very next day at my boyfriend’s place watching horror movies, eating nachos, and napping heavily (it had been a busy week O-KAY?!?), having a less-than-tidy home base for the week I was healing was less-than-ideal.


paint my nails  keeping my nails nice while working at the workshop is a constant battle! At the time, my nails *could* have been nicer, but over the healing process, they looked WORSE and WORSE! Keeping my nails painted is one of my personal favorite methods of self-care. A nice coat of polish at my fingertips or a snazzy bright color that I can see every time I look down at my hands is a constant reminder that I’m in control of my life and doing well!


touch up my roots  and speaking of self-care, keeping my hair nice is also important to me. IDC if it sounds superficial, if I feel put together and looking nice, I feel good about my ability to take care of myself! My roots were already in kind of a *state* when I got tattooed, but now in the healing process, I’m reluctant to risk exposing my healing arm to the kinds of harsh chemicals in the dye I’d use to touch them up… so… maybe before I get the rest of it done, I can touch my roots up finally!


*not* wear makeup and earrings to my appointment  it’s so very unlike me, and feels very uncomfortable, not to wear makeup when I go someplace. Next time, I’m going to have to swallow my pride and go bare-faced. Towards the end of the appointment, I needed to flip face-down to finish the back of my arm. I struggled to take my earring out so I could lie on my face, and when I stood up, half my lipstick had smudged off onto the tattoo artist’s pillow and my eyeliner was all down my face! *AND* I had to work that night! What a mess!



So, learn from my mistakes. Get your ducks in a row *before* you go ahead and get your arm tattooed. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.




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