As the buzzing sound started, I knew I was in for an interesting and life changing experience. There I lay on the chair with my outstretched wrist waiting for the blood to rise and for the for searing to begin. As I looked at my marksman one more time, he spoke softly,
“Are you ready?”
“Yes,” I responded.
And so, the transformation began.
Time changes things and it changes people. Time is an interesting invention because we can never have enough of it, but yet sometimes we want it to go by faster. Time is a double-edged sword.
I was never the rebel child while I was growing up, or for much of my college years for that matter. However, when the clock struck midnight to ring in 2011, I didn’t think getting a tattoo would be one of the many new things I did in the year.
It was simple really; a symbol meaning three things: peace, love and music. I drew it in a sketch book I bought for my drawing class. I started making the treble clef; and I made the peace sign in the bottom swirl. I then added the bass clef to the upper section of the treble clef to form the heart. Everything in my life was about music: the singing, the dancing, the piano playing; all of it surrounded by the love I felt and the peace that these two clefs could bring to me. For all music is written on a staff, and each staff has a clef.
A permanent reminder of that passion now resides on the inside of my left wrist. A reminder that music frees the soul, and a little body marking can be risky. But half the fun is taking the risk and having the fun. I knew it would be controversial, but I didn’t care; my body is mine and few people feel they have complete control of their bodies. I know that I do.
The next thing I did was even more complicated than getting a tattoo. A tattoo takes planning and it takes nerve. A tattoo is something you have to live with yourself for getting; it only effects you.
Falling in love is something else entirely.
At first I thought I was smart; he walked into the bar with a certain way about him. He was quiet at first until I served him a few drinks. Then he started to talk a little more. Meanwhile I was thinking one thing:
“Don’t be stupid. You don’t have time for this.”
I knew he was interested but I wasn’t entirely sure if I was. I had just liked someone for a very long time with no avail, even though said person led me on for quite awhile. I was bitter because unrequited love never gives you closure; unrequited love is a pain in many ways, mainly mentally.
But nonetheless I decided to dance that night and he came out to dance with me. And I thought maybe, just maybe, I could see how it played out.
At the end of the night, I gave him my phone number on a bar napkin.
I didn’t know what to expect at that point. I liked his smile and I liked his eyes. He was tall and wasn’t like other guys I had met. He just seemed different. I figured I had nothing to lose because I gave him my number, so that meant the ball was in his court.
And about a half hour after I gave him that napkin, he threw the ball into play.
“Where have you been all my life.”
It was a simple text, but packed a lot of power. And I found I liked it when he texted me.
Almost six months later, I find myself still getting butterflies when he texts me. I also get them when he holds my hand and gives me a kiss.
Love. I never really could explain it before and I certainly can’t do it now. All I know is it feels right; like I’m more of myself because he’s here, I’m more able to take chances because he takes them with me, I’m growing instead of staying stationary. My heart still leaps into my stomach when I see his car pull in front of my house. I still smile when he gives me kisses. My heart aches when he has to go 227 miles away for work because he’s not holding me at night. If that’s not love, then I don’t know what love could be.
Love makes you take chances. Love makes you take risks. Love makes time seem so endless and yet, when your relationship is long-distant, love makes time precious.
Love made me try one more new thing.
I knew I loved him and it didn’t take me long to figure it out. I trusted him with my life, my heart and my soul. I felt safe with him entirely, which I hadn’t felt before. I decided to let go of something I had been holding on to since I had been born, something most people my age hadn’t held on to.
I decided it was time to give my virginity to someone that I knew wouldn’t take it for granted.
And I haven’t looked back one single day and regretted that decision.
It wasn’t entirely planned, but when is that ever truly planned? I had been juggling the idea in my head for some time-“Is it too soon? Will it ruin everything? Will I be terrible? What if he leaves?”
Then I realized how much of my life was based on the scenario of “what if?”
There were no guarantees in this decision. I knew physically it would be painful and I knew emotionally it would change some things. However, I trusted my gut and I decided that if and when it happened I would be okay with it. And when it happened, I was okay with it. In fact, I was more than okay; I felt empowered, I felt loved and I felt everything at once.
I felt like a better version of myself. I felt like all the waiting had paid off because it was special. I felt like I was emotionally mature enough. I thought about all the teen girls before and after me that lost their virginity or will lose their virginity at a young age. I felt sorry because I don’t think they are emotionally equipped to handle it, and if they didn’t feel what I felt that night, then they are missing out on a great gift. I felt thankful that I picked the right guy to share that gift with.
To this day, I am still thankful for that experience on a daily basis.
The year of 2011 is almost over. Time doesn’t wait for anyone. I know people frequently want more time; more time to do spend with love ones, more time to do mundane things. But what they forget is that time is a gift and it should be treated as such. Instead of wasting time, use as much of it as possible to live life and take chances, that way when the final day comes, you can say,
“I spent my time wisely. I didn’t ask for more because I didn’t need to.”