Monday, October 29, 2012

Twelve Years

That's how long I've had my nose pierced.

A lot has changed since then, and it's left me debating how long I should keep this fashion trend going.
{Kind of like the toe ring I'm still sporting, despite my sister-in-law insisting that fashion trend ended a decade ago. Sigh.}

At the ripe age of like 18+3 days in October of 2000, I went with friends on a dark Friday night to the streets of San Pedro, California to create a statement. We jumped in my friend Josh's burgundy Acura Legend in Redondo Beach and hit the 405 to the 110 freeway and found ourselves at So Cal Tattoo and Body Piercing. Part of this whole decision was out of rebellion, being 18 and wanting to exert my rights as an official adult {My parents came around & I actually took my mom to get her nose pierced in 2006}. Part of my decision was based on my friend group being punk rockers and all having piercings of their own. But most of the decision was because I thought they were cute and California is flooded with regular beach girls (also me) with tan skin and nose piercings. {I regret the tan skin far more than the nose piercing--and frankly, I still don't regret it. That's reserved for ex-boyfriends, mostly.} Or tattoos. But I wasn't about to ink my skin because I still maintained my levelheadedness in knowing that I just might regret said decision later and taking out a nose ring would be a whole lot easier to manage than regretting a tattoo. That, and tattoos are just not my thing. They never appealed to me personally. So a nose piercing it was.

At one time, I loved it. While I don't dislike it still, I don't know if I care either way. When I first hopped on the bandwagon of having a cork shoved up my nose and a needle pushed through at lightning speed, I was a much different person. Having recently been back to So Cal, it's still definitely popular among the early 20-somethings.

That was twelve years ago, and part of me thinks it's time to move on.

I'm 30. I've had two children and been dealt a world of grief. The girl who went into that piercing shop 12 years ago was young, carefree, and didn't have much concern for anything. I was attending the local university and staying out late and being a regular ol' teenager/young adult.

Nothing could break me. I was invincible.

Six years ago. October 2006. Five months of dating my future husband and he took me skydiving in San Diego for my birthday. My parents asked him on the drive down what would happen if I didn't survive. I believe his response was, "Well then the drive home would be pretty awkward." Note: it was a blast, but there is no way I'd ever skydive again.

I guess it's me growing up, but somewhat wanting to let go of who I used to be, because what she was is no longer what is living within my body.

I've been taking it out for years-- when I interviewed for my first teaching job and every single day I taught. There were a few days I forgot, but I managed to pull the plug quickly enough before any of my fifth graders saw. I took it out for our wedding day and still take it out for every business dinner or gathering we attend. Except in Germany-- their culture is quite accepting of piercings and tattoos. While I don't find it personally offensive, we do live in the Midwest and this sort of thing isn't as accepted. California's culture is much different.

I remember first meeting my future in-laws and wondering if they would be accepting of me because I had a nose piercing-- like it was something I couldn't change. It was a bit silly, but they also live in a culture much different than the hippie, California lifestyle I'm used to. I was aware of the stereotypes and judgement placed on those who acted with such rebellion to mutilate their bodies. Surely I didn't think it was such a big deal, and it honestly wasn't, but I knew that others may view my decision with less-than-stellar appeal.

Recently, I took it out because I was blowing my nose about 3,004 times/day and didn't want to deal with having to adjust it each time. Since I've been asked this the last 12 years of my life, I might as well explain that blowing your nose is not a big deal... but the current one I have been using needs to be pushed back in each time and it's just. plain. annoying. So out it went. The cold is subsiding now and I haven't put it back in... yet. And might never.

It's kind of like throwing away that dress you bought and wore a thousand times and love so much... but that you know should be sent packing. It saw some great days of your life and some amazing memories were made while wearing it. And some sad ones, too. And yes, I was wearing my nose ring on the day each of my sons were born.

Just take it out and be done with it, already? Is that what you're thinking? It's a lot easier said than done! Anyone else experience a similar silly, yet monumental decision/change?


Heather (Live.Love.Laugh.) said... [Reply to comment]

I never take my toe ring off.

I had my tragus pierced in college and it fell out at 22 and closed up. Jan of this year I decided I wanted it back so I went and got it done again. 29 with a 2 year and I don't care I like it. I say keep it!! and the toe ring!

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

I honestly didn't notice a nose ring while you were visiting, like at all.

I went at 16 years + 2 months old to get my belly button pierced. I friggin' loved that thing and liked to bejewel it- blue stones, "diamonds", purple and yellow gold (school colours in university)... Pink. Yep, those were the good old days... Mind you, I had a bellybutton worth piecing back then- now mine's all sad and gross. ha.

Anyway, just wanted to say I think you should keep if it you want to, get rid of it if you don't. Simple, and yet not, right? ;)

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

I still miss my belly button ring. And my former flat belly... I totally get what you're saying here, but I don't think you should necessarily get rid of it just yet. You're not the same person you were when you got it pierced, but the joys and sorrows of motherhood haven't destroyed the person you were. You're just more finely tuned, wiser and sadder. But you're still a cute California girl and I think it gives you a nice edge--a hint that someone's first impression of you may not get the whole picture--which, of course it wouldn't now. Plus I think nose rings are cool.

Kristi said... [Reply to comment]

I wore a toe ring continuously from college until I got sick during my pregnancy with Joel (my feet were so swollen that the toe ring started to pinch). I went through a similar minor/silly struggle as to if or when to put it back on. I haven't yet, but thought about it again this summer and again about 2 weeks ago. I guess I still contemplate the issue. I really like my toe ring, but do I still wear it? If I still wear it, do I get a new one or wear my same one that I wore for years (including on our wedding day, in which that was the only thing on my feet)? Curious to know what you end up deciding on this...:-)

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

In the two years that I've "known" you (ha) I've never even noticed! Now I'm going to creepily look at past pictures of you... Well, your nose.

Alison G. said... [Reply to comment]

When you were here I found myself thinking about your nose ring...nothing specifically, just thinking. Maybe about the past, I guess. All I can say is while I do have the regrettable tattoo I did take my toe rings off a decade ago;)

Amelia said... [Reply to comment]

I went the belly button route the day after my 18th. Took it out while pregnant with G and decided I was done. My belly never really bounced back anyway. It's interesting where we go with our bodily adornments as we get older.

Ben and Katie said... [Reply to comment]

I had my bb pierced but after I got married it kept falling out so I just got rid of it. Now I have a massive scar that has replaced it...I have always wanted my nose pierced but at almost 33 (gawd that sounds super old!) still cannot bring myself to do it!
Ben took my skydiving about 1.5 months after we met! Called my parents on the way out! Loved it and would do it again in a heart beat!