MANILA, Philippines -- I love piercings -- anything except a nose ring.
I'm often asked about my ear piercings. I got 11 right now: six on my right ear, five on my left. I have been called "astig," "punk," "cool," "weird," "hard core," "gothic," etc. because of my piercings. Well, I really don't give a damn. This is me, so love me or hate me.
To others, they may look like ordinary piercings. But to me, they're not just ornaments, they're a part of who I am. They speak so much about what I've gone through in life. Without them, a part of who and what I am today will be taken away.
I only got three piercings when I was in college: the usual one on each ear, plus another in the uppermost part of my right ear, which really hurt, by the way. It got infected, so I had to remove my earring after awhile.
My love for piercings began after I finished college. A few months after graduation, I had my hair dyed light brown. It was a drastic change since I had always been known for my long, straight, silky, black hair. After that, I got two more piercings just above the usual place where earrings are placed.
Then came job hunting. When I trained as a customer service representative for an American call center company, I was chosen as one of the batch leaders. That meant responsibility on my part, in addition to lots of things to memorize, quizzes, etc.
I was also enrolled in a driving school at the same time. My schedule required me to head straight for my driving lessons after the training sessions. It was so hard to concentrate on driving when I had so many things to do when I got home (I also happen to be the treasurer in our house, so I handle money matters, jeez!). Training and driving lessons added up to hell.
To release the tension, I decided to go to a mall and have myself pierced. I got two more ear piercings and it seemed to me that the physical pain eased the pressure off my mind. It sure did hurt a bit but it was worth it. (That's my own opinion, so don't give me a violent reaction, silly!)
From then on, piercings have become my outlet for anger, pressure, angst, etc. They mark the twists and turns my life has taken. Without any of my earrings on, I feel indifferent. It's as if something is missing.
Let me share a story about my ex-bf and me. He's four years younger. In 2003, he was still a university student while I was already working. We fought a lot about his drinking. I mean, I didn't mind his going out with his beer buddies, but I wanted him to give his studies a greater priority than anything or anyone else.
One day, I got tired of his childish acts, and the rebel in me wanted to spite him. So off I went to a mall to have the uppermost part of both of my ears pierced. Boy, did it hurt! I had to sleep with a ponytail so that no stray hair would touch the sides of my ears. It was torture! For about a week or two, I couldn't sleep on my side.
I also had a Chinese character henna-tattooed on my left hand. In short, I did all the things he didn't approve of. I knew then that things were not going to work out between us.
True enough, we broke up after a few months. And I found myself being pierced again. I could endure any physical pain but the emotional pain was killing me. I didn't mind being pierced over and over again to take away my attention from the pain that was piercing my heart.
My ears have been pierced probably 15 more times. Does that make me a masochist? I don't care! To each his own.
Me and my piercings -- that is me. Welcome to my world!
P.S. I can't pierce myself. It scares the hell out of me.
Jonnah Jill R. Piad, 28, is an ESL teacher in a university, and would love to have a tongue and/or a navel ring, too.
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