I got my tattoo when I turned 45. It was my birthday present to myself. Some would view it as the product of a mid-life crisis. I just viewed it as my time for a tattoo.
I found the design online at luckyfish.com. The designer is Pat Fish. She has a studio in Santa Barbara. You can buy her tattoo designs online though. That's what I did. Then I took the design to a local tattoo studio -- Slave to the Needle. It took the tattoo artist about four hours to copy the black portion of the design onto my arm. I went back three months later to add the green shading. That was another two hours.
The design has two celtic dragons intertwined in internal battle on my arm. It completely encircles my arm. And yes, the worst part was when the tattoo artist was working on the underside of my arm. But all in all, it was worth it.
I can't really verbalize why it was worth it, but I have never regretted getting my tattoo. I don't hide it. I am not self conscious about it. And I don't feel like a silly middle aged man for getting it. It is part of me and it will always be a part of me. It wasn't a whim. I thought about it a great deal before I got it.
Tattoos aren't for everyone. I probably won't ever get another one, but this one, well...this one is mine and it is me.
I like my tattoo. I feel comfortable in it and it helps remind me to always be comfortable in my own skin. That is an important thing to remember.