My oh my, it has certainly been quite some time since I’ve written in my blog. To say that life has been happening at full speed over these last few months would be an understatement. I’m long overdue for a blog update about my recent life happenings and travels over the last few months, but I’ll save that for another time.
I recently had the honor of meeting one of my favorite authors: Mandy Hale, and I must say that she is one of the kindest people I’ve crossed paths with thus far in life. She just recently released her newest book titled You Are Enough, and by popular demand, she has created a 30 Day Blogging Challenge for anyone to join in and share their stories, through their writings, along with her. I’ve been in such a creative block with writing for months now, and I’ve been trying to figure out the best thing to do to get back into my groove. This is just the perfect fit, and the timing is impeccable. So, without further ado, here we go with Day 1’s topic: Talk about a tattoo you have that is meaningful to you…or if you don’t have any tattoos, the tattoo you would get if you were going to get one.
I told myself for years that I would never get a tattoo. I sat with exes and friends in tattoo shops till the late hours of the night watching the entire process, completely amazed by it, but telling myself I would never do it. I’ve never been one to be afraid of needles, but I had myself convinced that getting something permanent on my body was something that I just couldn’t do. The truth is: I was lying. I think I tried to tell myself that because I was surrounded by many closed-minded people who thought tattoos were incredibly tacky and somehow, having one would make me less of a person. I was told by a family member that “people with Masters’ degrees don’t get tattoos,” and I still to this day don’t truly understand that logic. That being said, it’s no surprise that I got my first tattoo without telling many people. There were only 2 people who knew about it: my friend (who also went with me to get her second tattoo & played a huge role in convincing me to actually go through with mine ) and my sister (who actually helped design my tattoo for me.) Other than the two of them, no one else knew. It took me awhile to decide what I wanted to get. I’ve always lived by the motto “la bella vita,” so I knew that I wanted to somehow incorporate that into my tattoo. For those of you who may not know, “la bella vita” is the Italian translation of the phrase “a beautiful life.” It could also be interpreted as “the good life,” but I’ve always preferred the beautiful version of it. I can’t exactly pinpoint where or when I first became so enamored with this phrase, but I can tell you exactly why it means so much to me.
You see, I’ve been through my fair share of ups and downs in life. In the past, when the downs hit, I’d let them consume me, and I’d get so drained with negativity. It was absolutely terrible. I’d look at each bad situation life threw at me, and I’d refuse to see what good could possibly come of it. Until one day, I just got so tired of exuding all of that negative energy. It had turned me into a person that I didn’t want to be, and it got to a point where I didn’t even recognize the person staring back at me in the mirror. It took an intense heartbreak to stir up 20+ years of emotional wounds that I hadn’t dealt with, that led me to a few years of therapy, in which I finally realized that beautiful things can come out of the most heartbreaking situations, just as long as I choose to see them in a positive light.
Have I mentioned that I’ve also always had a fascination with infinity symbols? If not, then now you know. I wanted an infinity symbol with the words “la bella vita” inside to serve as my own personal reminder to choose to see the beauty of everything in life, even on the days when it seems absolutely impossible. To remind myself that good things can come out of sad and heartbreaking situations.
To make it even more special, my sister is a graphic designer, and she and I created this tattoo together. I told her what I wanted, picked out some fonts, determined the best placement of the words, and told her to have her way with it. I picked one of the first designs she sent to me, and I just went with it. Originally, I wanted to get my tattoo on my ribs, but I decided against it because I wanted to be able to look down and see it everyday. What was the point in getting my own personal mantra tattooed on my body if I couldn’t see it? So, instead, I decided on getting it placed horizontally on my left wrist. That didn’t exactly turn out as I envisioned because my wrists are just too small. So, the tattoo artist, Katie, played around with the sizing for a bit, and eventually, we decided on the above. I fell in love with it immediately, and I’m still in love with it. To this day, people often compliment me on my tattoo, and explaining the meaning behind it just makes my heart happy.
This tattoo also serves as the beginning of my journey of breaking free from the life that I almost settled for. A life that held me back from living up to my greatest potential. Getting this tattoo was one of the first moments in my life when I had actually truly done something for myself, without giving in to the opinions of others and letting them dictate my decisions. It was a small step in the right direction that proved to me of my strength within.
…In case you’re wondering, my family and friends did eventually get over the initial shock of me getting a tattoo. They certainly didn’t think I’d be the rebellious one, yet here I am. As my father so sarcastically put it: “as long as it isn’t a face tattoo like Mike Tyson and it didn’t cost me anything, I’m fine with it. If it makes you happy, then that’s really all that matters.”
And, he’s right. Doing even the smallest things in life for ourselves that make us happy is so worth it. We’re only given one life to live, so we’ve got to make the best of it. We’ve got to remember that we are enough, even when we don’t feel like it. We have to remember that beauty surrounds us, but we’ve got to be willing to open our eyes and see it for what it’s worth.
P.S. I’m currently contemplating ideas for another tattoo, so feel free to offer any input!