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What’s The Story Behind Those Tattoos and Piercings?

What’s The Story Behind Those Tattoos and Piercings?

Some people are wild about body art. They become living canvases of tattoos and piercings. We were curious to find out what drives people to get such modifications.

We talked to two people who turn heads when they walk down the street because of their obsession with body art. Regina is covered in tattoos. Sam has oh-so-many piercings. What are they trying to say, and what’s it like to walk through the world in their skin?

When you become living art

Lifehack: Why did you get so many body modifications?

Regina: I’ve always liked tattoos. I’m an artist, so it fits. I didn’t intend to get so many, but I got hooked.

Sam: When I was younger, I got into metal music, and the musicians had piercings. Music was like my lifeline, and those guys were my role models. I got my labret (lip piercing) when I was 16, and I haven’t looked back.

Lifehack: What have you learned from having so much body art?

Regina: It’s OK to be different.

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Sam: I’m not afraid to stand out. Whenever I go somewhere new, I always have something to talk about with people. Most people aren’t so bad.

Lifehack: How do your loved ones feel about your tattoos and piercings?

Regina: I don’t really talk to my family. By the time my friends met me, I was already inked. The tattoos were just part of the package.

Sam: My family doesn’t mind at all. My mom took me to get my first piercing. My grandparents don’t really understand why I do this to myself, but they are ok about it.

Lifehack: How many piercings/ tattoos do you have?

Regina: I have 7 piercings and 37 tattoos.

Sam: I have 30 piercings, but I’m not done yet.

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Lifehack: How much do you spend on body modifications?

Regina: A lot. The key when you’re getting this much ink is to go to a good artist. My guy doesn’t pick up a tattoo gun for less than $150 an hour. The more color and detail, the more expensive it’s going to be. I have about $20,000 wrapped up in these full sleeves, and there’s still more that I want to do with them. I can only get a little work done each year because of the cost.

Sam: I got a few of these – like my ears – done for less than $50 a piercing. These dermals were $150 for the three of them. It just depends on the area.

Lifehack: What kind of identity are you expressing with your tattoos/ piercings?

Regina: I’ve always gone against the grain, so it makes sense that I’d do it with my body too. The tattoos are my way of carrying art on my body at all times.

Sam: I’m not going for a specific identity. I just don’t want to be like everyone else.

Lifehack: Do you get shunned by society? Do people give you weird looks or comments?

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Regina: I definitely get looks. My first few tattoos were small, so it didn’t matter, but once I got them on my neck, people started to stare. People do say things, sometimes. Just today, a woman screamed out her car window that I needed to go to church. Go figure.

Sam: The piercings on my face and head are pretty extreme by most standards. People might stare, but this hasn’t stopped me from doing what I want to do.

Lifehack: Is it acceptable for you to have this body art at work?

Regina: The tattoos are part of my work, so it’s fine. I know if I wanted to get a job in an office, I’d have trouble.

Sam: I’m a barber at an edgy shop downtown. It’s completely acceptable there.

Lifehack: Do you need to hide your body art?

Regina: It’s a tough for me to hide them now, but when I first met my fiance’s parents, I did cover them. I was afraid they’d be alarmed by my appearance.

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Sam: I can’t cover them anymore. There’d just be big holes all over my face. It looks better when they’re in. People just have to accept me.

Lifehack: Did it hurt? Which one hurt the most?

Regina: Of course it hurt! Have you ever had someone dig a needle into your skin for several hours? The tops of my feet and my rib-cage hurt the worst. It felt like the needle was hitting bones the whole time.

Sam: My nipple piercings were the worst. They hurt so freaking bad! My dermals hurt too. It was totally worth it though.

There’s more than meets the eye with body mods

We enjoyed having Sam and Regina answer our burning questions about body modifications. Our interviewees reminded us that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

More by this author

Samantha Aloysius

Samantha is an everyday health expert with a background in International Public Health and Psychology and has experience in diabetes care counselling.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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