I finally did it. I finally went and got my cartilage pierced.
Yes, this is a big deal for me. Big enough to get its own blog article.
You see, getting my cartilage pierced meant more to me than just having a hole stabbed through my hearing orifice. It meant freedom. Adulthood. Rebellion.
I wasn’t a risk-taker. I wasn’t a rebel. I pretty much obeyed my parents and was allergic to trouble. But I had decided that this was something that I wanted to do. It was my adult decision. It was going to be my mark, even if that meant that it would be my scarlet letter.
I had mentioned to my mom a few months earlier that I wanted to do it. She thought I never would- that I didn’t have a high enough pain tolerance to actually go through with it. I couldn’t find the right time to do it- I always had a show, and it would not have been acceptable to have my cartilage pierced in any of the parts I played. Plus, I had to wait a full three months for the ear to heal before I could even think about taking it out.
So three weeks into college, when my cousin said “Hey, I’m going to get my ears pierced next week,” I said, “Sweet! I’ll go with you.”
My stomach turned at the salon. Let’s just say this wasn’t your little-girl Claire’s fair. There was no earring gun. Needles and corks. Ladies and gentlemen, I was in the big leagues now. And the nearly two hours that I had to wait for the guy to finish a tattoo, pierce my cousin’s ear, and pierce his friend’s belly button did not exactly make me feel any better.
But I had made it that far. I was sure as heck not about to turn around. I sat in that chair. I forced my breathing to stay calm. I refused to tense up. Yes, it was still painful.
But I walked out of that salon so happy. So proud. I did it. I actually did it! My mom thought I never would, and yet, there I was with a new hole in my ear to show for it.
And when I went home a weekend later, my mom was thrilled to see that I’d done it. WHAT?! That’s not how she was supposed to react… But then I realized, that despite my preconception that my mom would freak out and not like my piercing, she was proud of me. She was actually proud of me. She knew that it took a bit of courage for me to go through with it, and so she was proud of me.
And beyond that, she was proud of my ability to be an adult and make my own decisions.
And even more importantly, I’m proud of myself.