Disclaimer: If you personally don’t agree with permanent tattoos &/or are closed minded regarding them, come back another day for a post we may both agree on.
One of my absolute favorite things in this world are tattoos. More specifically, my tattoos (though I’m sure your’s are pretty cool too if you happen to have some). They tell a story. They are tiny reminders of where I’ve been & where I plan to go. They are lessons I’ve encountered along the way. Things that have kept me grounded in the worst of times. Each one serves as a constant reminder of who I am, who I’ve been, & who I want to be. I love each & every one of them and, to put it bluntly, I don’t give a damn if you love them or not.
Just Breathe ❤ : This was my first tattoo that lives on my left upper rib. The placement tells a story in & of itself. For one, this is the single most painful places one can be tattooed. I chose my left side because I was born with a congenital hip dislocation, which resulted in several surgeries at Shriner’s Hospital. I learned to walk in braces & had surgeries from the time I was born until I was nine. I got this tattoo somewhere between 19 & 21. That time of my life is a blur to me. It was a time with profound depression, anxiety, PTSD, isolation, & frequent panic attacks. It was a time in which I was the regular prey of my rapist on any given weekend. At the time, Just Breathe reminded me to do simply that-just breathe. I was having a lot of severe panic attacks that sent me into a hyperventilating mess. If you’ve never had the pleasure (sarcasm) of experiencing one, they literally feel like you’re suffocating. I describe it as feeling as if someone has a plastic bag over my head & the last bit of my air is slowly running out. Today, the tattoo continues to remind me of that, as well as how strong I was at that time in my life. If I can get through that, I can get through anything. I’ve always been a tough cookie, so to speak.
Cross: When our wedding photographer asked me what this one meant, my response was, “….ya know, Jesus.” lol It too, however, has a much deeper meaning than that. Every time I see it, I’m visually reminded of God’s grace & mercy. I, like every one else in this world, am an imperfect person. I’ve made mistakes. Mistakes I’m not proud of & still, to this day, don’t like to talk about. Despite my falls from grace, God, somehow, still loves me. Jesus died so that we could be saved, despite it all. Until recently, I’ve been consumed with being perfect. Seeing any minor error as the end of the world, real or perceived on my part. When I see my cross, I’m reminded that there has only ever been one perfect person in this world. We’re all going to make mistakes everyday &, nine times out of ten, that’s okay.
Anchor: The matching tattoo my sister & I share. She is my very best friend & has accepted every part of me. Like any younger sibling, she’s also always thought I was pretty great….even though, a lot of the time when we were younger, she probably shouldn’t have. lol Even though, to this day, she continues to remind me of the times I made her fan me with long leaves while I laid in the sun, she has somehow gotten past it as the years have passed. In the depths of my depression, she was the anchor that kept me hanging on & the reason I didn’t give up when it seemed so easy to just let go.
Semicolon: My most recent emblem. “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to.” The Semicolon Project “is a faith-based non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love and inspire.” For me specifically, it signifies everything I have (Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD) & will (infertility & whatever else comes our way) overcome in my life. This symbol is also the most obvious tattoo I have, in that it’s something everyone can see (as it’s on the outside of my wrist).
& there you have the markings that etch my life. They have made & continue to make me the person I am. I wouldn’t change a thing. ❤