Top 5 Questions About My Semicolon Tattoo

This past June, I went to an art opening. A friend of mine (a fellow Mom at my daughter’s elementary school) was showing her work at the opening of a new gallery. It was located, of all places, at the front of a new tattoo shop. Not really my thing. But supporting friends is my thing. So off we went.

I walked into the Book of Life Tattoo shop and was immediately surprised. This wasn’t scary or seedy at all! (Confession: I had only seen Tattoo Shops in movies.) It was sleek and sophisticated and fun. I knew a ton of people there- other elementary parents. And I realized how many funky artist-types there really are in our PTA here in the capital of preppy. (I mean really. Tommy Hilfiger lives here. Really.) It was a great evening, and I thought “ya know, if I ever DID want a tattoo, this is totally where I would go.”

Except I knew I would never ever want a tattoo.

And then came The Semicolon Project.

And I knew I was totally going to get a tattoo.

And you guys. I totally did.

You have to understand something. If you knew me, and you made a list of all the people you knew who were least likely to get a tattoo, I would probably be at the top. Not because I don’t like them. I do. But it just… wasn’t my thing. Until it was.

So you probably have some questions. Here is a list of the Top 5 questions you probably have. It’s like FAQ, but presumptuous and imaginary. Plus I heard that blog lists are cool. So.

1. Why a semicolon?
The Project Semicolon website explains it so well, and I want them to get credit for the idea. So check it out there.

2. Wait, so you have depression?
If you have this question, you either are brand new to my site (hi!) or haven’t been paying attention. I hope it’s the first, and welcome! Yes. I have suffered from depression my entire life. I remember having symptoms as young as 7 or 8. I started getting treatment when I was 28- a combination of anti-depressants and therapy. While it is always a part of my life, I currently feel pretty gosh darn healthy.

3. So, what happens if this whole semicolon trend ends?
Yeah. It will. That’s what happens with trends. But the thing is, my depression isn’t going away, even though it’s well-managed. And even if I became completely symptom-free without any kind of treatment someday, this disease is part of how I developed as a person. That’s why I got a tattoo instead of, say, a piece of jewelry. I can take the jewelry off. I can put it away if it’s no longer the fashion. But I wanted something permanent. Something that, at a glance, can remind me to pause, and then keep going. Something that will let people who are aware of the trend know that yep, this is the face of depression. Something that will open a dialogue with people who don’t know what my tattoo means. I can’t see myself growing tired of any of that.

4. Did it hurt?
I mean, it’s a needle. But I have a pretty high pain tolerance. And it’s interesting how we respond emotionally to pain when it’s for something we want as opposed to something that is happening to us. But this only took ten minutes, tops. And Danny was really awesome. It was not nearly as bad as anticipated.

5. Do you like it?
I really, really do. I like how it looks. I like what it represents. I like that it has already served me in a practical way. (Yesterday I had to run several difficult errands. I looked at my semicolon A LOT yesterday.) I like that it can help to open dialogue. I like that it’s very easy for me to see, but not terribly noticeable to others. (In fact, no one has actually noticed it yet. I had to point it out to my husband. And when I sent the picture below to my Mom, she saw only the Starbucks cup. One of my friends teased me that it was as small as Phoebe’s friendship dot. But. I have small wrists.) And I have to admit, I like being a person who has a tattoo. Because clearly I am a bad ass.

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So. There ya have it. I have a tattoo. And I love it.

Wanna see more pics? Here ya go. (And follow me on Instagram for more! ThoroughlyModernMommy)

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