Yesterday on the podcast I shared an interview with Leela Francis, author of Woman’s Way Home. One of the ideas that she expressed during our conversation was that it gets easier to claim your power as you get older. You stop caring so much about what other people think. I may still be in my 30s, but I can relate to that sentiment.
I am a cautious person by nature. While other people spent their teens and early 20s experimenting and making mistakes, I spent mine studying hard, dating one person, getting married, working and buying a house. In many ways this paid off – I don’t have any debt outside of my mortgage, I don’t have any ill-advised tattoos and I found the love of my life at a young age. In other ways, though, I sometimes regret missing my chance to do less-than-sensible things at a time in my life when the stakes were lower.
One of the take-aways that I gained from my own journey towards a more purpose-filled life is the idea that I can just go ahead and do things now. I can’t go back in time 15 or 20 years and dance on tables, but I’ll never be any younger than I am today. There’s no reason not to embrace my life as it is right now. And this, my friends, is how I found myself sitting inside a tattoo / body piercing studio on a Friday morning at around 11:30am, waiting to get my nose pierced.
I’ve wanted to have my nose pierced for quite some time. I’m good with having just a single hole in each ear, and I can’t see getting my bellybutton, tongue or anything else pierced. Tattoos are way too much commitment for me. But something about the nose piercing appeals to me. Plus, like any piercing, if you don’t like it you can always take it out. I’m a grown-up, and I saw no reason not to go ahead and do it.
While I was at the studio a half-dozen other clients came through, and I can safely say that I was the oldest one there by at least a decade, probably more. The other clients talked about how supportive (or not) their parents were when it came to their body art, which is an issue for them because they still live at home. Because they’re 20. And I am … not. When one of them reassured me that getting your nose pierced was no big deal and I replied, “I’ve given birth to two kids without pain meds, I think I can handle it,” I realized that I was on the older side of this particular generational divide.
I am now officially more concerned about what my kids will think than what my parents will think. Because I love my mom a lot, but it’s been a long time since I’ve asked her for permission. Plus, she lives 45 minutes away from me, while my children follow me into the bathroom. There are big differences in proximity.
In the end, having my nose pierced wasn’t that bad. The weirdest part was the prep, when my nostril was swabbed with alcohol and my nose was handled with tweezers. The piercing itself hurt briefly, something like a flu shot. I didn’t bleed hardly at all. It stung for a little bit after, and my left eye watered for a couple of minutes (I got the piercing on my left nostril). I occasionally catch sight of the little nose ring out of the corner of my eye, and it catches me off guard. However, I’m pretty sure that I won’t even remember I have it within a day or two. I just have to remember to do a saline rinse regularly and I should be totally fine.
I’m not ready to call myself middle-aged yet, but yesterday I went and got my nose pierced. It definitely smacks of the early stages of mid-life crisis. Still, I’m happy I did it. I may have been the oldest person at the tattoo and body piercing studio, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t get to have any fun.
Oh, and my kids? They like my new nose ring. As long as we’re all happy, I’m golden.