But I did want to do something to mark the occasion. And mark it in a big way. Permanently.
So, I got some ink.
I've been wanting to get more work done for a while, and for my 40th, I wanted to get something big in a spot no one can ignore. So I tattooed my hands. And when you get your hands done, which is a pretty huge commitment in itself, the theme better be about something that you love so much that you'll spend everyday for the rest of your life showing people that.
And I went with something that has literally made me a different person and guided me and entertained me for 36 of the 40 years I've been on this planet; Star Wars.
Let's say goodbye to these babies...
I decided that I wanted it all done in American Traditional style, and I had seen several examples of R2-D2 and Darth Vader done in that style that I loved, and so my tattoo artist got to work sketching up the templates for these. I wanted roses (a common American Traditional theme) around R2 and dead roses around Vader.
I wanted R2 on my right hand, which is my drawing hand, the one I create with, so I thought the positive energy should be represented there.
First he put the stencil on...
Then we went to outline...
Make no mistake; This. Tattoo. Friggin. HURT.
There's zero meat on the back of your hand so all of my hand bones and tendons were taking a beating.
We went ahead and did the color on R2 before moving on to Vader, but I want to save that for the end.
Vader, obviously, went on my left hand and he and the dead roses represented decay or destruction to me, and since I'm a southpaw (which came in handy in my boxing training) I thought it only fitting to make my punching hand represent the darker side.
After it was all said and done, we were almost hitting the 6 hour mark and my hands were dying. The swelling over the following couple of days was practically comical. I could barely do anything for myself and even drawing or working a mouse at work was tricky, but I grunted through.
In all seriousness, I couldn't love these tattoos more. Josh down at Underworld Ink in Puyallup, WA did a fantastic job. I'm not gonna lie, part of me was pretty nervous about making such a huge leap by getting my hands done, but every day I look at these babies and love them even more.
The punchline to all of this, though, is that they're not even done! I fully intend on taking them further with a Rebel Alliance symbol going up the tops of my wrist over R2 (with yellow rays coming off of it) and an Empire symbol over Vader (with red rays), and then we're gonna top off the whole thing with the letters S-T-A-R on my right knuckles and W-A-R-S on my left knuckle. Go big or go home, I say.
Then the Force will truly flow through me.
I'll be sure to post the next phase once it's done in a couple of weeks! In the meantime, I've still got some healing to do.