You have a hard time committing to what you will eat for breakfast, let alone something that will permanently mark you. Any long-term decision requires stress and often, more than a few sleepless nights. However, somehow you made the decision to ink yourself.
You found something you can’t not have on your body and decided it’s worth the pain and money. This isn’t to say you aren’t having some second thoughts; you are a commitment-phobe, after all.
1. What if I hate it?
It doesn’t matter if you’ve liked the potential design for months or years and have been dreaming about how it will look. The second you sit down in the chair to get it done, you start thinking about how you will look in your 30s, 40s and 70s with a tattoo on your shoulder blade.
Sure, you like it now. But, what about in 20 years, when you’re no longer the hip, young thing you are today?
Plus, what if you just don’t like that Taylor Swift lyric after you get back together with your ex?
2. Couldn’t I purchase something else instead?
You’ve been saving for months, so when you finally make the decision to take the plunge and face the needle, you’re aware that you're dedicating a considerable amount of money to your physical appearance.
As you sit in the chair, you realize that with all the money you are spending, you could have paid off a student loan or booked a trip to place you’ve always wanted to visit.
You wonder if it’s too late to quietly slip out and whether anyone will notice if you do.
But, part of you is too afraid you’ll offend the tattoo artist by doing so, and you don’t want to hurt his or her feelings.
3. What will my future significant other and children think?
The truth is, you never thought about having children before this moment, and you’re not too big on the idea of getting married, either.
But, somehow, marking yourself makes you think about what the hypothetical people in your future life will think of this decision down the road.
Will they think it’s cool? A harkening back to the days when you were up on it? Or, what if every time they look at it, they cringe in embarrassment? It’s your body -- you know that. But, the opinions of the people you care about (or will care about) matter, too.
4. Will I have to hide this from my parents?
Not that you’re getting anything too distasteful, but you remember when your sister got her first one and your father had a heart attack.
You think of the summers you spend on the lake and the times when you can’t avoid wearing a bathing suit, like during your trips to Hawaii.
You’re not sure you’re up for that look of disapproval every time your mother and father see it, which could be for a good many years, considering they’re healthier than you are.
5. What if I get addicted?
Not one of your friends has escaped the pull of the addiction of getting inked. Every single friend who has one tattoo has also expressed interest in getting another; the days of the solo tattoo are now over.
Here’s the thing: You think you only want one. This thought immediately brings you back to the days after college, when you thought you might develop an addiction to cronuts because all you wanted to do was sit around and eat them.
Those were dark days, and you’re not sure if you again want to tread in that territory.
You can think of a whole host of other thoughts and worries, but the artist just finished your tattoo while you sat there, freaking about it. It’s here to stay, and it looks awesome.
Now, just don’t start thinking about other commitment-related things.