Welcome back! I told you I wouldn’t let you go too long without hearing from me again. Like I said in my last post, I anticipate to have a better running schedule starting this summer of uploading posts and building my content, but for now I aim to just get something new posted every couple of weeks so you don’t think I’ve disappeared again.
This ones going to be a little different. While I was travelling last year, I got two significantly important, but minimal tattoos, in different Countries. This mostly pulled together my entire travel experience, but I have a few more details I want to add to my first, like the coordinates of the town I grew up in pulling together the full travel aspect and I want one more piece done from exchange that would wrap that segment of my tattoo story up.
I’ve really always wanted my tattoo’s to be small, separated, but connected in some form by meaning to create a wholeness appearance, but rather than be all connected in the same space I wanted them separated. I started with my shoulder blade, a plane representing that no matter where I go I will always be home in some form. I put the coordinates of where I lived on my exchange – and I eventually want to add the coordinates of where I grew up pulling together the wandering part.
In Europe I got my second. 5 triangles that really stuck out in meaning to me after my adventure started – here is a little back story on that one. I was in love before I left on the plane from Canada, I had every intention of coming back to Canada at Christmas to be with family, but most importantly, to be with the family I was creating on my own, to be with the guy I had given my all to for the three years prior… Little did I know, 4 weeks after me setting out to fulfill this dream of mine and creating this part of the story, he would leave.. Crumbling me.. Leaving me in the dark and unsure of what was ahead for me.. Unsure of my next move and unsure of myself and everything I had built over the 3 years prior. That’s really where these 5 triangles came from. It started with deciding that I needed to be ok with creating my own reality – I need to step out from the life he and I had together and focus on me, create a life that I was solely in charge of and happy with and be better to myself. I had all this time to focus on me, and it was time I really did that. The next means openness to change with a slight opening in the top of the triangle, really meaning that it was ok to accept this change, it was ok to be upset about this change, but opening myself up to it and the changes that would come with it. I would have to move back home with my parents. I would have to let new people into my life, things were about to really change and I needed to be ok with that. In the middle, connected x’s – where there is a will there is a way– I could do anything I wanted at this point, I had no ties and I could make any choice I wanted and those choices would reflect and create different outcomes on how this next year was going to go. Never stop exploring and adventure are the last two. Two things I needed to remind myself about through this experience. This was an experience of firsts, changes, new beginnings, new friendships and crazy things were going to happen. I needed to remind myself to say yes to all new adventures, no matter how challenging they may be for me to step out and accept them and to continue to explore, not only on the other side of the world, not only through this experience, but coming home as well. These are my years to shine and focus on me.
It has since been a year since I’ve been home and almost 2 since I added these reminders to my body and I have done many things since then. The biggest one – I graduated. 5 years later but I did it, and so as a token to the last specifically 4 years, I added a Wug to the collection, a bird created through Linguistics that symbolized the ending of a chapter, and the beginning of the next chapter.
They all tell a story, but my 4th tells the biggest story. The story that started when I was young, probably 8 or 9, and the story that continues throughout my life. The story of mental health. I’m not going to open up about it fully here, that’s a post in its own really, but the basis of the story goes something a little like this.
I struggled with bullying in my own home, my sister was my bully for most of my life creating a hostile situation to grow up in, so much that with my parents being divorced I flipped my life around so that I never had to live with or see my sister for a number of years. I took quite a beating, literally, in elementary school where guys would come up to me and kick my legs or punch me, but it was never visible to the naked eye, my shins were never really bruised but you could feel the dents in my shins from his foot. I was cyber bullied in the same years and this took a toll, I was the girl called down to the office because the police wanted to talk to me, they needed statements, the needed records of the messages. This created talk and chatter about why I got the police involved, why things were the way they were… but the biggest affect on my mental health was a relationship that I was in from 15-18 – manipulative, emotionally abusive, cheated on, just some of the acts that I felt I could never escape from.
He was older, in college already and I was till in high school – the first guy I was ever with, the first guy who told me he would be there for everything. It started out great, but he moved back to school just 3 months in, not to long after that he cheated with the girl he told me I would never have to worry about. As young as I was, I built walls, but I stayed, I put trust back in that nothing would happen again.
Forced into doing things I never wanted to do, doing things I wasn’t ready for. Scared what saying no would bring in the form of consequences. Manipulated into allowing things to happen because “they were what was best for our relationship.”
Terrified that I might get hit because he came all the way to watch me in a hockey game that I wasn’t able to finish because I was injured, but he never got to see any of the game because he was late, but it was my fault and he made sure I knew it and I felt bad about him driving all the way.
Terrified to leave the relationship because I would have to watch my back and every move I made because I didn’t know where he would show up next. Using his vacation from the country as the perfect escape, only to find out he had been talking to my best friend who then continued to give him my locations at different times so that he could show up.
All of these play into why I got my fourth tattoo – a local artist ran a month long promotion for mental health, a semi colon project and this was the perfect time to remind myself that my story has continued.
I drew up exactly what I was thinking, and exactly what the title of this post holds the most meaning to “don’t sink.” I put the colon in the edge of the anchor, which truly symbolizes that my past was rough, but I will hold myself down and continue on because my story isn’t over; because I am bigger than any of the demons that have played into my mental health and I can hold myself down, propel myself forward and keep on writing the rest of my story.
Until next time,