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The Bling (Ear) Ring

Senior Moments: Mary Kate Carroll

The Bling (Ear) Ring

It happens to everyone; we wake up in the morning and trudge off to our bathroom, only to be underwhelmed by our reflection in the mirror. For weeks I had been doing the same routine of looking in my mirror and being bored with what I saw staring back at me. I had been rocking the same haircut, same clothing, even the same makeup routine for years now.  It wasn’t that I considered myself unattractive or anything, I just felt my whole overall look was very “meh.”

I had always wanted to do something cool and edgy with my appearance, but being in a health science professional program limits what I can do with my look. I half-joke with my friends about wanting to dye my hair “soft grunge pink,” knowing full well no hospital or nursing home would hire me with rosy streaks in my strands. Still, I was feeling so bored and so down on myself lately that I decided something needed to be done about my appearance. I desperately needed a little self-esteem boost.

My beloved roommate  other Mary, whom I mention frequently in my former Edge blogs, has an ear piercing addiction. She has around 10 piercings on both her ears combined. A lot of the names of the piercings, I don’t even understand. A conch? Isn’t that a seashell? She suggested I get something on my ears pierced to help me with my case of the “blahs”.

Now, a bit of background on me: I hate needles. I got my earlobes pierced when I was very young and the whole experience was so traumatizing that I blocked it out of my memory. When I got older, I had to get a set of shots before I came to college. I got myself so worked up about the needles that I ended up fainting at the doctor’s office. When Mary suggested getting the cartilage on my ear pierced, I immediately said no. Then I thought more about my roommate’s offer. Ear piercings are generally accepted among the professional world; a few of my professors even had multiple ear piercings themselves. Plus, the piercings always could be taken out, right? I decided to bite the bullet and let Mary schedule the appointment to pierce our ears.

The day came. Mary, myself and our designated hand-holder Grace made the march to the piercing parlor. The secretary, who was already on a first name basis with Other Mary, asked me what type of jewelry I wanted in my ear. After careful consideration, I chose a tiny little pink stud, my power color. Then, the secretary had me fill out a liability form (gulp) and the waiting process began. After what seemed like an eternity, I was led to the back room where the piercer would see me. I’m convinced the piercer, named Missy, is an angel. She completely placated all my worries. She spoke in a soothing voice, played soft music and thoroughly explained each part of the piercing process. She even let me lay down on the mat in case I fainted when she pricked me. The whole process was over so quickly that I didn’t even need to hold Grace’s hand!

After I admired my new jewelry, Missy explained how to take care of my piercing while it was healing. However, I couldn’t stop staring at my reflection in the mirror and smiling. I felt like a new person. I never thought such a subtle change in appearance could bring about such a strong response in myself.

Now every day when I wake up and look in the mirror, I feel confident and happy. If you want that new look before school starts again, or you feel like you need a change in your life, you don’t have to go as far as piercing your body (although the staff at Sacred Piercing does an excellent job). It can be as simple as wearing your hair a different way. Sometimes change can be good and help boost your self-esteem and give you a little pep in your step!

MK earned her degree in occupational therapy in 2016 and has an affinity for naps, Starbucks, The X-Files and Kanye West. She enjoys shredding on her ukulele, and you can follow her on Twitter @MaryKateCarroll.

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