My Tattoo

A big thing happened in my life a couple of weeks ago…I turned thirty. Thirty. T-H-I-R-T-Y.

Like I said…a pretty big deal.

To commemorate leaving my twenties, I decided to get a tattoo. By that I mean I started researching and planning for this four months prior. That meant everything from figuring out what I was going to get, to where I was going to go, to what type of ink the artist was going to use.

I’m not a spur of the moment kind of person, guys.

I’m not going to lie, it was pretty intimidating walking into the shop and telling them I wanted a tattoo. Then selecting a font and watching the artist stencil a design that was about to be imprinted onto my body for the rest of my life. But this was a rare opportunity for boldness, and I was going to go through with it, dammit. And I did.

And I freaking LOVE my tattoo.

Check it out: here’s me getting ready to get inked:

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And here is a close up of my totally awesome tattoo:

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Arise. That’s the word I wanted inscribed on my arm, carved deep into my skin. It’s taken from one of my favorite songs by the band Flyleaf, back when Lacey Sturm was the lead singer. This song has one line in particular that gets repeated, over and over again, for an entire minute: “Arise and be all that you dreamed.”

A few years ago, when the album that contains this song came out, I listened to it pretty much nonstop in my car. My job at that time was incredibly stressful, and every day it was a battle to wake up and face the many fears and worries and doubts in store. The album as a whole provided a great deal of comfort during this trying time. But on the hardest days, as I was pulling up to the parking lot, I’d skip straight to this song, turn the volume way up, and sing at the top of my lungs, “Arise and be all that you dreamed.”

Several years later, these words are still an anthem for my life. They tell me to be strong when I am anxious, courageous when I am afraid. They tell me to press on toward my goals, to reach for my dreams, no matter how crazy they are. They tell me to keep going even when I fail, to keep pulling myself out of disappointment and dismay. To have hope. To believe.

To arise.

There’s a reason too why I chose to etch these words onto my left wrist. My left hand is the non-dominant one–vulnerable, flimsy, exposed. For some reason, the veins on my left wrist stand out more than the ones on my right, spidering up through my skin like gnarly green branches. It is there, in that place of ugliness and weakness, that I wanted a reminder to arise.

It feels really good to have this new ink on my body. So good, in fact, that I’ve already started thinking about the next one I’ll get. I’m thinking, maybe, the word “Juicy” in big letters across my lower back.

Just kidding.

Or am I…