It is official. I have begun my 28×28 bucket list. I thought it was best to start the journey on my 27th birthday. I chose something that I was the most fearful of to kick things off. As you can guess, I got my first tattoo. I was so nervous the morning of. I had booked the appointment almost a month in advance. It had taken me that long to work up the courage to step foot in the tattoo parlour. I chose a symbol meaningful to me. A semicolon on the inside of my middle finger. The meaning behind my choice being that a semicolon represents the continuation of a sentence when the author could have chosen to end it.
For me choosing a symbol that would be permanently on my body was daunting. How big should I get it, what is the meaning behind it, there were so many variables to consider. When I came across Project Semicolon and what it represented, so many things jumped out at me. Project Semicolon is a non-profit dedicated to providing hope to those struggling with mental health issues. I have been ridden with anxiety since May 20th. Debilitating anxiety attacks that make me feel like the world is falling out beneath my feet. I cannot breathe. My heart races. I cannot focus on what is in front of me.
What also brought me close the semicolon was the definition behind its punctuation. The initial movement and flicker of hope on my left hand was my done by my middle finger (of course). For me that meant that the function and ability to move wasn’t going to end. It didn’t stop. It didn’t end forever. The flicker of my middle finger meant hope that my hand was going to come back to life and begin to move again. It was a pause, not an end to something that I am so grateful to have. Really, it is a continuation of my story.
The semicolon represents what has happened to my body. It could have ended and stopped there but it didn’t. My body could have chose to end movement in that side but it didn’t. There was a pause and then continuted on moving again. It kept going. My hand came back when it could have ended but it continued and I am so happy for that.
The tattoo didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought. The heparin shots definitely took first prize in that needle category. Those are blood thinners to prevent blood clots. The tattoo artist treated me with kid gloves, which I was very thankful for. My left hand was down and out from the nerves already so I could not control it. He had to hold it down and contort it to make sure that he could successfully ink me. Every time I look at it now, I can see what could have been and what is now and am so grateful.