“The peace sign,” the man called out.
I repeated the words in my mind and then cried, “Oh! That’s me”. It was the moment I had been waiting for. I felt pale as the blood rushed to my face, my palms became sweaty and I had goose bumps everywhere.
“Is this your first?” the man asked me.
Before I could answer my friend replied, “It’s her third.”
I heard the words and could not understand why I was so nervous. Then again, I remember being nervous every time I got a tattoo.

I got into position so my back was facing him. As he was getting ready I heard the needle buzzing which made me even more anxious.
“Stay very still ‘cause they’re a lot of thin lines in this.” The man said just before he started.
I felt a sharp pinch in my skin and became very hot in the face. I felt myself sweating everywhere as he continued. I tried to stay as still as I could, and kept telling myself not to move: it was all I could think of. When he stopped to get more ink I took a deep breath in.

Getting a tattoo for me is like swimming; I take a deep breath when I’m over the water and release it slowly when I’m underwater till I have to come up again. Five minutes later I was counting the seconds for it to be over. I had only got to ten when he said that it was done. I thanked him and started moving forward when he stopped me and told me he needed to clean it and cover it.

I love tattoos and I will probably get loads more, but it doesn’t change the fact that they hurt and there is always the risk of infection. Tattoos are permanent so thinking carefully about what you want is crucial. I chose a peace sign because my name means peace.