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About Julie

My First Tattoo Story

If you follow me on Instagram, you were the first to see a glimpse of me getting my first tattoo. I have wanted a tattoo for at least 10 years. I’ve always liked the way they looked and would look at other’s longingly, wanting one of my own.

Of course, I wasn’t without the common tattoo fears….the pain, the permanency….both sort of freaked me out and I think that’s why I put it off for so long. But 10 years later, I was still talking about wanting a tattoo and something in me just went off. So frickin get one Jules. Stop talking. Do it.

For my design, I decided on the lyric “sigh no more” from one of my favorite bands, Mumford and Sons (ever heard of them? ;] ) I have always been really into lyrics. I was that emo girl in high school/college that wrote lyrics on her notebook and put them in her AIM profile (remember those??) to cryptically share what I was feeling about whatever boy I liked. And in general, I am a pretty stressed out person. It’s hard for me to let go, and not worry about things. I worry a lot. Too much. I need to chill. Relax. Chillax. This tattoo is my reminder to not sweat the small stuff, and not take life too seriously.

The morning of my appointment, J drove me to the tattoo parlor. I was freaking out. I’m pretty sure I kept saying “omgomgomg” out loud. We had to wait a while before getting started and it didn’t help my nerves. I was nauseas and asked J if he could go next door and pick me up some tea. I sat there, foot bouncing (twitching?), mind racing, until the tattoo artist called me over. As soon as he started prepping my arm, I relaxed. I guess it was just those initial “leading up to the big moment” moments that made my anxiety kick into overdrive. Actually going through the motions of getting one felt natural because it was something I knew I wanted.

The pain….I mean, yeah, there was pain. I’ve heard a lot of people say “it didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would.” That wasn’t the case for me. It did hurt. Did I handle it with a damn good poker face? Hell yes. I’m pretty sure J excepted me to cry out a bit or something. He told me I handled it well. Damn straight.

Do you have any tattoos? Where? What? Why? Did you become addicted, like so many people say? Tell me! I’m curious! xo JA

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Join the discussion 32 Comments

  • lolly says:

    I have always been a lyric girl myself. It’s actually something I’m quite proud of but have been slacking with it lately. But yes – in the AIM profile and away messages, for a while I would start out each LiveJournal entry with lyrics that fit what I was writing about, I would write them on my notebooks and put them all over my bedroom walls.

    Anyway! I love your tattoo and the reason behind it. That has been my only problem with not having a tattoo yet. I am not nervous about the pain or anything, only want to be sure WHAT I put on my body is meaningful to me.

    Wow, novel much? 😉 Xo

  • Daisy Bisley says:

    Totally addicted, although I only have 2. I got one when I was 18 and the other when I was 19. I really want another one, but I won’t until I have the right design and meaning. The first was part of the grieving process of losing my Grandpa, I was really in to The Crow of the time and the meaning etc. So on my back I have a fiery crow, with the meaning that my Grandpa’s love and my love for him will always be with me. And the Evenstar for lord of the rings to represent the eternal bond I have with a few friends from high school.

    I love your tattoo, it’s beautiful and the meaning behind it is one everyone can relate to. We should all chill and not sweat the small stuff.

  • wfayew says:

    I have 3. I got the first when I was 18, after wanting it for about 3 years – a Chinese symbol meaning “Nirvana”. Nirvana had been my favorite band since I was a child, and still is. I got my second on a whim when I was 19. A symbol from my sorority. Meh. Not too fond of that one. (Never get a tattoo on a whim.) I got my third and favorite when I was 24. My father’s signature across my wrist. He passed away when I was young. It’s a neat concept and a nice way to remember him. If I could get away with it, I’d probably be covered. I will likely get more — but I will think long and hard before I actually get one. I don’t want another shamrock on my ass situation.

  • gina says:

    I don’t have a tattoo – because of the pain and because I have never really been interested. I think they look amazing on other people and I love how simple yours is…but they’re just not my thing :).
    I think if I ever had a baby I might get his or her name tattooed – but I don’t know…I’m a huge wimp!

  • Lovely tattoo story! I’ve been a lyric girl since middle school, too. I even added Ani DiFranco’s “I might wait for you to look for me and then I might be gone” in my senior yearbook description in anticipation of people looking me up years later. ;D

  • My first one is a full color peacock feather on the top of my foot…go big or go home, I guess..!
    It took 4 hours in 1 sitting, and the coloring in hurts worse than outline.

    My second one is black outline only, song lyrics on my side – that one was much easier, but maybe only by comparison!

    Those are my only two, so far, but they ARE kind of addicting!
    Just takes awhile to choose something you won’t get tired of in 20 years 🙂

    I love your tattoo!
    Thanks for sharing.

  • I’ve been wanting one for over 10 years now (wow.. time really flies) but I am still waiting to find the thing I want to put on my body permanently. The one with the right meaning, and right design. Things, feelings and opinion change so easily through the years and phases, I’ve been worried I’ve chosen a thing that just meant something for me only a short period of time.

  • enelya says:

    My first one is on my back, high up. It hurt a lot, but I love it because it was designed by my soulsister. It is a goddess figure with a dolphin with lots of swirlies. It respresents my bond with Danu and my totem dolphin.
    My second one is on the outside of my lower right leg. This one took 4 hours and is in full colour. It hurt way less, maybe also because I knew what to expect.It is a picyure of 3 poppies as a symbol for my recovery after a severe depression, to remind me things will grow again even after dark times.
    The tird one is on my left lower arm, inside. I only got it a couple of months ago. It is a black swirl with yellow flowers and deer hoof prints. It represents my connection to deer as a totem.
    I will probably get soulsister and I are planning a matching owl tattoo on our ankle, but we firsthave to save up!

  • Being from another generation, have to admit I don’t see the attraction. However, hope it’s helping you – and that you don’t regret it. All the best. Always go for what you really want, because you’re the only one who’ll achieve it (with help from others, of course, on the way!)


  • love it. all of my tattoos have meaning. i love yours:)) good choice,

  • Cara says:

    Its beautiful and I love the placement. I think tattoos are totally hit or miss but some of them look absolutely gorgeous. One of my friends has one on her hip that says “she flies with her own wings” in Gaelic and I just absolutely love it. I’ve always wanted one but I’m also the kind of person that changes my mind every 5 minutes so my only real concern is that I’d get tired of it after time. I have been having dreams about getting a tattoo and getting it removed too so I’m not quite sure what that means, but I still struggle with the idea of getting one. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • I love it! I really like the placement and have been planning on getting one in the same spot. I have 9 tattoos. I’ve been getting one each year for my bday since I turned 18. A couple years I got two. Haha I make sure I want one for a couple years before I get it. None of them hurt very bad really. The one on my ankle was a lil painful and the one on my back wasn’t painful, but it felt like something hot was touching me. All of my tattoos have meaning and are so very special to me. I’m only planning on a few more 🙂

  • Love your new tattoo! I’m not a big fan of tattoos for myself, but I love them on others and think the placement (and meaning) of yours is perfection:)

  • Erika says:

    love it!!! <3 yay!!

    you know what’s weird about mine is that I always forget I have it… and I think if someone asked me if I was tattooed I would say no– just because it’s never something I think about anymore!

  • so don’t know if my last comment went through, so let’s try this again. 😉

    thanks for being honest – most people have told me “it doesn’t hurt that bad.” but for someone like me with a low tolerance for pain – eh, don’t think i could handle getting one without me bawling my eyes out. but love this outfit post (esp that skirt) and your tattoo so much! love the story behind it too.

    and yes, i was that same girl who wrote lyrics all over her notebook and AIM profile. and i still just might. 😉

  • I love it!
    I got two new tattoos this year:

    My husband and I got tattooed for our 1 year wedding anniversary:


    My camera:

    And now I’m hooked and pretty much want a 3/4 sleeve on my left arm 🙂

  • Cara Howard says:

    CONGRATS!!! You are no longer a tattoo virgin – YAY!
    I have 4 tattoos. My first one is a big piece with the word ‘grace’ written in a gorgeous script with black flowy vines surrounding it. My second and third were done on the same day: an outline of a heart on the inside of my left ankle (small) and a small anchor on the inside of my right ankle – right across from each other. And my fourth and most recent is a Sailor Jerry gypsy girl on my left bicep, her name is Florence. And yes, I’m addicted. LOVE tattoos.

  • It’s a beautiful tattoo!! Congrats on getting your first one!
    Sincerely, Sara

  • Alyson says:

    I love the placement of your new tat! I got my first one a year and a half ago and didn’t walk three blocks without already wanting another one. It is a calligraphy A (since my name is Alyson) on the inside of my left wrist that I have wanted for a few years now. And I got impulsively while in Hollywood on my last day there with my sister visiting a friend so it is a definite fun memory too. I love it and def do not regret it! (even though my husband thinks it silly) I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to Ink & Piercings. I know I want a dolphin, a quote and something Harry Potter related just need to figure which quote and where I want them:)

  • allie says:

    I love this! Very cool placement. You are my inspiration… I’ve been contemplating a lyric tattoo for a few years now, just haven’t got the guts to do it! I was so close one day until the tattoo artist was a complete @$$*#@! and tried pressuring me into something I wasn’t comfortable with getting. I want to get the lyrics from a Brand New song (I know you’re a fan, too!!) “Hold on to who you love” tattooed on my side. My husband wants to get the lyrics from another BN song, our first dance song, “You’re wasting your time if you’re trying to impress me, I waste all my time just thinking of you.” Thanks for sharing your story!

  • I love this! And the placement is perfect! I only have one tattoo so far but am dyingggg for more. Mine is on the top of my foot and (seriously) didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would, but it did hurt. Mine is also lyrics for the same reasons you listed, but with a different song lol Hope you love it and trust me, you’ll want more soon even if you hated the pain. They’re like a drug haha


  • chelsea says:

    Lovely tattoo! I love the placement of it, simple and sweet. I have a couple and want about half a dozen more. I started taking tattooing classes while in Italy, it’s such a fun medium! They’re so addicting in more ways than one!

  • steffi says:

    What a nice tattoo, I love how it’s symbolic and meaningful to you. I have a tattoo on my arm of a sun/moon, just because I like it haha. I also want to get some butterflies on the inside of my wrists too soon. It’s addictive!

  • It’s lovely. I have a few tattoos and am saving up for the “last big one” (yeah, okay)… but that one’s been 10 years in the making also. It has to be perfect.

  • Misty Smith says:

    I have 5 and I’m saving money for #6 although I want two of them removed or covered up haha (what can I say I got married young really thought it was going to be forever and if I had my way it still would be forever but yeah you know, at least he’s in the same boat as I am right haha)
    For my 6th one I actually want a Mumford lyric too, I was the chorus to “After the Storm” on my ribcage with watercolored flowers in-twinned in it. That song really helped me this past year and a half after he left and I just want that reminder of things will be better and I will find love again. I love that song lyrics can do that for you <3

  • I was also the emo lyric girl in high school, haha! 🙂 I have a tattoo on my foot that says “compassion, strength, laughter” that’s meaningful for my two besties and I. And good personality characteristics either way, no? It was SO PAINFUL. And I did NOT have a good poker face about it. The tattoo artist had to stop for a break after two letters and was so sweet, he went next door to the liquor store and bought me a Cactus Cooler (I remember because, um, how random is Cactus Cooler?!). I would love to get another one, I just started having the itch in the last couple of weeks; I love the location of yours! There are so many phrases I would get tattooed: “I am not afraid. I was born to do this.” “Courage can’t exist without first the presence of fear.” “Your journey is unfolding exactly as it should.” We’ll see if I actually get another one. It’s been three or four years since I got the one on my foot, so I wouldn’t exactly call it an addiction…

  • P.S. these photos of you are awesome. That first one, especially, is gorgeous! Pretty lady. 🙂

  • I have three tattoos and yes I am totally addicted and want more! Do you think you want more now after doing it once? My first was definitely my most painful and they seem to get easier over time…maybe that’s just my imagination though.


  • Firstly your tattoo is awesome an secondly you’re story is so similar to my tattoo wanting ! I have wanted one on the back of my neck for what seems like forever, and I too wanted a reminder for my stressing personality and really want “Let it Be” (I’m a total lyrical personal as well) Loved reading this hopefully i’ll find my kick ass motivation and get mine soon!

    P.S. I love Mumford & Sons I’m going to there concert in September and I’m so excited!

  • Dawn says:

    Thank you for sharing your story about getting a tattoo. Getting one is something I’ve been thinking about recently. I’m not sold on if I will get one or not, but I am contemplating it. Something small, simple, clean, uncomplicated. That’s precisely why I like yours. (And I certainly can’t object to the Mumford lyrics reference!) How long did it take you to settle on a design? Anyway, it looks lovely, and I’m glad you survived through the hurt to get it. It’s a nice reminder to have. Sign no more, Miss Julie, especially with the craft fair weekends!

  • I technically have 3, but I added to one so I feel like it’s four (four sittings at least). I got my first one at 18 for my birthday and have been addicted. I love the feel of it. It doesn’t hurt me as much as a I thought, and I’m pretty stoic about it too.

    I have my first and 3rd on my upper back between my shoulders, my 2nd was on my inner wrist, and my 4th was on the back of my neck. I always forget about them, but I love the way they look. I can’t wait to get my next one, but I promised my boyfriend that I would wait.

  • Although you meant it as a lyric from Mumford and Sons, the line is also a lyric and title of a song within Shakespeare’s play, Much Ado About Nothing. I thought you might like seeing the source of that other meaning: 🙂

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