10 Stages Of Getting Your First Tattoo

“But you are so innocent?!? No, you cannot have a tattoo!!”

It happened. I know, save your gasps until the end, but I got a tattoo. Here is my tattoo story

#1: I Want A Tattoo?

I love tattoos.

I love the idea of your body being able to tell a story, yet the idea of getting one is terrifying. “It will be on your body forever, are you sure you want one?”. Yes. “Where do you want it to be? What of?”. I am not sure where but I do know what of. This is my least favorite stage of getting a tattoo because no one has faith in you but who cares, have faith in yourself! Personally, my tattoo has A LOT of meaning, so I honestly cared less if others thought it was a great idea or not. But beware…



My tip of the trade would be to download the app Ink Tester. It can take a photo of where you want the tattoo and put the tattoo on there for you. A great way to test out where you want it.

#2: Do I Have Your Permission??


I really wanted my mother’s permission on my tattoo.

My mother plays a massive role in my life so it was very important to me to gain her trust and acceptance of what was going to happen. I recommend not doing what I did. What did I do? I talked about getting this tattoo every day for 1 year. I would draw it on napkins, bring it up in a joking way (then transition it to “seriously though what if I got…”). I thought this would help me to convince my mother. Looking back, I was annoying as hell and it got me nowhere. Instead, try bringing it up in a serious environment after you do all of the research. After you look at a shop, know the design, colour and safety precautions. If they say no… wait until you are 18 and just get it!

(do not send all of your parents to blow up my email being like, “Sock The Walk told me to get it”) 

#3: Become Sherlock Holmes


Know your sh*t, Sherlock!

Look at every tattoo shop in town. Stock their Instagrams, see if you like the vibe. Go for appointments PRIOR to getting the tattoo for an overall estimation of the cost and explain what you desire. I went to two consultations, and boy is I happy I went to both. If you take anything away from this, please let it be: do your research! The first tattoo shop was closer to my house so I automatically made a consultation and told myself I was going there. I entered the shop and instantly did not get a good vibe. I left after 10 minutes, and the search continued. I went to the next shop after the recommendation from a friend and instantly felt at home. They were welcoming, offered me water, asked if they could see the photo, told me what locations are safe, and gave me a print out sheet of instructions to follow after going under the needle.

That’s when I decided: this is the place.

#4: The End Of An Era?


That’s when they ask you, “So when should we book this appointment? Next Tuesday?” HOLD UP!

Next week?! Am I mentally prepared for that? Will I be happy as an 80-year-old with this tattoo?? All the hope you had before is lost. Now you’re stressed. But take a deep breath, say, “Tuesday would be lovely” and exit the shop. You are prepared. You have waited so long for this. *cue welling up in tears of joy and confusion* You begin to realize how old you are getting. Old enough to make big decisions, work two jobs, have a relationship, and buy your very own tattoo. You begin to think back to that 7-year-old version of yourself who loved to run around in mix matched pajamas with ratty pigtails and blue clips in your hair. You are all grown up! (Now call your mom and cry about how grateful you are for her okay?!)

*Sign of the Times slowly plays in the background as your life turns into a music video*

#5: Patiently Waiting

Okay, so now you are expected to act calm? NOT ON MY WATCH!

I would try to talk about it, but not too much. Please do not bring it up in every conversation, people will hate you. I am not joking. I stayed clear of that all together because I had experience with someone who talked about it all the time and to be brutally honest, it was exhausting. Let it all out in your diary!

#6: The Day Has Arrived!!!

It’s happening. It is really happening. Should I go 30 minutes early? What if they run out of ink? It’s a tattoo shop! NO ONE RUNS OUT OF INK! Okay, deep breaths. This is permanent! Should I bring friend X, Y, or Z? Or all 3?

If you have hit this wall, keep calm and carry on. Most likely you are having these thoughts the morning of. As for the friend factor, bring one, not all 3. You could bring 3, but my tattoo took 10 minutes and I am so happy that I only brought one friend, one who held my hand and was more scared than I was.

#7: The Final Countdown

It’s the final countdown *daddadadaaaadadadada*.

There could be a lot of emotions in this countdown, but I did not feel any. I was as cool as a cucumber. It was quite concerning how normal I was as for the fact that I was freaking out about a test more than a tattoo. It is because I knew, I knew how much I had wanted this tattoo for so long that it will all be worth it in the end. I was ecstatic and ready to get the show on the road.

Then I heard the buzzing

#8: An Awkward Bee Sting

It did not hurt.

I know you all must be thinking I am a liar. I am being honest, it was more uncomfortable than being in pain. There is a huge stigma around tattoos that they will hurt and you will faint/cry. That is false. To each their own, but personally, it felt decent, the only thing was keeping my arm in that position for a long period of time. My friend was more scared than I was! I am so glad she was there, she held my hand and sat right beside me telling me how much she loved it the entire time.

#9: You Now Have A Tattoo!

You know when people say New Year, New Me?

This actually felt like a new me. A me that was adventurous and finally focused on herself for a change. Nothing can explain the high that I was on after getting that tattoo. I loved it so much that I just kept looking at it for hours. It was perfect. That is how your tattoo should feel. Perfect in every way (or at least your first one should feel that way). Now time to….

#10: Be A Show-Off


You will never catch me saying those words ever again, but for these terms, they apply.

Show off your tattoo! Take billions of photos and look at it every second. If you love it, so will everyone else! Trust me, people will come up to you saying, “I knew you were going to get it but…you GOT it!” It is still surreal that I got a tattoo (and it’s been a month).

Hope you enjoy your new tat!


By Sock the Walk

You can talk the talk but can you sock the walk? Feel free to join this amazing community & follow//sockthewalk@gmail.com//

1 comment

  1. Thanks for your tip about checking every tattoo shop that I can find in town. I’ve been thinking of getting inked since I was 17 and now that I’m 18, I feel like I don’t need my parents’ permission anymore. I’ll also try to look online if there are any well-recommended shops around our area.


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