My friend told me the other day, “I can’t picture you without earrings.” That was about the craziest thing I ever heard, because I spent 94% of my life without piercings. Most of the people who have known me the longest barely know that I have my ears pierced.
Have I ever told you about getting my ears pierced?
Probably not, because it’s a risky thing to be public about on my blog. If you’re one segment of my readership, that statement probably sounds silly. But if you’re another segment, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Where I come from, it’s not okay to pierce your body.
Nevertheless, I did it, and today I want to talk about it. It’s my way of becoming more definitively—and confidently—me.
I see a lot more people expressing their truth lately. How they prefer to dress, who they want to be—or not be—with, what they believe in, where they would rather live, why they made a life-changing decision.
My piercing story is another part of my truth, and I share it to honor those of you who are courageous enough to live your truth, and to offer encouragement and support to those of you who are still learning what your truth is.
I was never someone who wanted to get her ears pierced. I remember in fourth grade when one of my classmates came to school with brand new studs in her ears, and she talked about how her mom cried to see her baby growing up, and how excited she was to finally wear earrings. It’s almost a non-story to me; the only reason I remember it is because I was so perplexed about why she was so overjoyed. It was not something I ever desired, and I didn’t care that my parents didn’t allow it.
Fast-forward several years, and at some ambiguous point, I started noticing people’s earrings, and thinking that it might be cool to wear them myself. But I couldn’t even see myself wearing clip-ons at that point.
The implications of piercing my ears were too deep, too complex, too telling for me to grapple with at that stage of my life. In 2010 I attended a life-changing workshop, which I talked about in several different blog entries. (Click on the previous link, and read the next couple blog entries from there, to catch up.) I had a moment during the last day of the workshop where it almost came down to me getting my ears pierced. Weird potential outcome, huh?
But I didn’t. It wasn’t the right time for me, and I was concerned that, given the weight I had assigned to the act, if I did it for the “wrong” reasons, I would live to regret the holes in my ears. They would carry an eternal negative emotional charge, constantly reminding me of an angsty time in my life.
No, if I got my ears pierced, I wanted it to bring me joy.
I waited several more years, and finally I had a supportive friend, an opportune moment, and a clear conscience. We went to the piercing place and got the deed done! It was easy. Not painless, but not overly painful.
The guy doing the piercing (who himself was pierced, and tattooed, everywhere) told me of a 67-year-old woman who came in to get her ears pierced for the first time. When he was done, she said, “My mom is going to be so mad!”
We never get too old to wish for our parents’ approval, don’t you think? But we can’t live our lives to please them, or others.
I was still a little afraid of how my family and old acquaintances would react, but I finally felt strong enough to be comfortable with making this decision for myself.
I was very happy with my decision. And I now understand my little fourth-grade friend’s excitement over finally getting her ears pierced.
Now, when I wear a new pair of dangly earrings every day, I can’t believe the compliments I get. I love trying different styles, sizes, colors.
I think earring-wearing Ev is the real Ev.
My grown-up friend is right, I can’t be pictured without earrings.
Who are you? What truths are you living? What do you still want to let out? Give it a try. It feels great to be the real you.
You might also like: