I’ve wanted to get my tongue pierced since the beginning of high school. I know, that’s a weird concept to grasp. Most girls just wish that by their 18th birthday they can finally get their belly buttons pierced without their parents knowing. Or they want to get some cool cartilage piercing to just hint at the idea that they’re edgy without actually committing to what the image of “edgy” implies. I was different, I wanted a tongue piercing.
Many people don’t understand why people pierce themselves to begin with. Ear piercings they understand. They say, “Oh, they’re to accessorize yourself.” Anything else beyond ears, beyond belly buttons, beyond nose rings, people assume it’s not about “accessorizing” but about trying to give off some image. Well, fuck that.
Do you know what was one of the biggest reasons why I wanted a tongue piercing? Because I was scared. I was scared of the idea of having any kind of needle penetrate my skin, anywhere. Even getting my ear lobes pierced was an event filled with tears for me. So no, I didn’t get my tongue pierced to give off an “edgy” vibe, because that’s honestly the furthest thing I am. I might be different, I might give off bitchy vibes sometimes, I might refuse to back down from my beliefs, but I wasn’t “edgy” by far, I’d say.
I was just scared. The pain aspect, yes of course, but more than that. The past year I had done a lot of things I had regretted and a lot of things that I hadn’t. It was a year filled with what if’s and second guessing. It was a year that I had decided I was going to be loved. It was the year I decided I needed to move to the East coast to learn to survive without the backbones of my parents. It was the year I abandoned all my friends, my home, and moved to a place where I knew nothing. It was the year I learned what real friendships were. It was the year I learned what faith was. It was the year I learned what love was. It was the year that despite any “what ifs” or regrets, in the end, I was proud of myself for all that had happened, regrets or no regrets.
So when I was sitting there, next to my friends who had been deploring about how all the tattoo artists were all booked, my eyes went to the little piercing parlor located next door. And I stood up, and said, “I think I’m going to get my tongue pierced.”
Life is about jumping. It’s about taking leaps of faith, not knowing what you’ll find when you land on the other side, but jumping anyways. It’s about doing things that scares you, that could break you, but doing them anyways. So I texted a few people from back home, telling them I was about to get my tongue pierced. The reactions were all over the place. Some asked why, some told me not to do it, and some were ambivalent, telling me to do what I needed to do. And that was when I realized, as I was texting out explaining just why I was doing it, that I didn’t need to. I didn’t need to explain my reasonings to anyone. I was doing it for me. I was getting my tongue pierced because it was something that I had loved about other people. It was something that I had always wanted also for some strange reason. And it was something that terrified me.
I didn’t want to deal with the after effects, they terrified me. The countless boys asking me to suck their dicks or to make out with them just so they could finally feel what it felt like. I didn’t want to deal with the judgmental looks I’d get from other girls or parents when they’d see what a “trashy piercing” I had. I didn’t want to deal with meeting my parents and trying to explain to them I wasn’t throwing my life away because of a silly little piercing. I didn’t want to deal with all these social connotation that would come with such a stupid, tiny thing living inside my mouth, a place that hardly anyone would even get the chance to see. But all these reasons that terrified me were all the reasons I needed to get one.
Because all my life I had to deal with people judging with nothing but an image they had to base their opinions on, and I was through with letting such opinions scare me from doing what I wanted. Getting my tongue pierced was just as simple as a, “I want it,” for me. And so why couldn’t I get it, then? Some people say they want red hair, so they dye it. Some people say they want to eat raw fish wrapped in seaweed, so they eat it. I wanted this, so I did it. Simple as that. It wasn’t to give off an image to other people. It wasn’t to suck dicks better. I just wanted it, and I did it. Despite the fear, of people, of pain, of opinions, that had almost made me run away from the needle, I did it anyways.
And that’s all you can do. Do things that scare you, for you. Don’t let stupid things like other people, society, even your parents, stop you from doing things you want. Life is short. Who cares if you want a tiny little silver ball on the center of your tongue. Who cares if you want the world tattooed around your arms. Who cares if you want to major in a “silly thing” like women’s studies. Who cares. If it makes you happy, jump. Take that leap. You might find yourself finally happy for yourself on the other side.