Yesterday I accompanied my brother into town for a visit to the opticians, the unspoken knowledge shared between us that I was using the visit as an opportunity to take outfit photos. After questioning why he chose Boots Opticians over Specsavers for the millionth time (not a plug, I just think Specsavers are the best), I left him to get his peepers looked over and wandered off, ready to pass the time. I only had one task to complete – to buy contact lens fluid – and this was sorted relatively quickly, especially owing to the fact that the bottle were about two steps away from where Joe was waiting.
Now what? My usual plan of action for when I have time to waste is to grab a coffee, browse the shops or possibly head to WHSmith and pick up an exceptionally expensive magazine (sidenote: on the way back from Amsterdam I picked up The Gentlewoman, which, as I found out, costs a lot more overseas). This time, however, I was feeling a little restless and an alternative course of action quickly popped into my head. “Get your ear pierced”, the little devil in me said. Let me provide some context: around the age of 16/17 when I was rebellious and anxious to not conform (basically the thread which runs throughout my teens), I had quite a few ear piercings. Most of which were all in one year, may I add. From memory, I believe I had two helix piercings, my conch, my tragus and two lobe piercings. I know for some that’s not a lot, but for a 16 year old working in Sainsbury’s sporting all of this metal in one ear, it was a party.
I always loved my piercings. Slowly, however, they either became uncomfortable or fell out and I was just left with my two lobes. It was always my intention to pop at least a couple back in, but it just never really happened. Piercings when you’re younger are a big event – I used to plan my days around them – but annoyingly, as you get older, practicalities take precedent. This day was different, however. Fuelled by the fact that I was alone and acting on impulse, I made my way to the old corner piercing shop I used to frequent so often, both nervous and excited for the pain and resulting adrenaline rush.
Impulsiveness gets a bad rap. Often seen as the lesser, brasher younger sibling of planning and premeditated thought, impulsiveness is assumed to lead to bad decisions. Well, you know what they say – when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me, sir. I’m here to write a love letter to impulsiveness, a trait I think we should embrace more often instead of ushering our gut feelings to one side and ‘thinking about it for a few days’. Because, actually, how often do we think ourselves out of things? Instead of embracing our instincts, we give way to what we see as rationality, when in fact it is our instincts which can often be most telling. How many times have you talked yourself out of a gaudy accessory in the place of something more wearable, levelling that something in black will be more timeless? How many times have you decided against a last minute drink with friends because, well, it probably wouldn’t be kind to your wallet, you have work to do and you need at least a few hours to mentally prepare for a night out anyway. How many times have you spoken over that little devil inside your head and gone with what you think is best, rather than what you feel is best?
I’m not here to encourage you run to the nearest tattoo shop and have “Wild ’n’ Free” emblazoned across your forehead – measured thought definitely has its place in decision making. I’m just here to say that acting on that first gut instinct – that first flare of impulsiveness – might not be as bad as it’s made out to be. When the thought of a piercing first flitted into my mind yesterday, I walked straight to the piercing shop, determined to not talk myself out of it. Let impulsiveness reign sovereign, if only over the smaller decisions in your life. The next time you’re scouring the Zara site and you’re unsure as to whether you should grab those shoes in a classic black or a bougie pattern, go for the unexpected. Spice it up a little – be Salt Bae.
And do you know what’s best about this post? It was written completely upon impulse.
P.S. I shot this photos an hour after getting my piercing, so yes, that is a little bit of dried blood! Apologies to the squeamish amongst you, but at least you know I’m not bullshitting.