After months of contemplation as to how to move forward, I think I’ve arrived at my decision regarding my semicolon, and it was something that happened today that made me arrive at this decision.
So I’m off for Labor Day so I figured I’d go kill some time. I stopped in to the local Olive Garden for unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks (because those are just beyond reproach) and my server noticed and goes “I have to ask – what’s the semicolon for?”
Of course, this gave me the opportunity to go into the spill about what it means and my own personal battle with depression and suicidal ideation. That’s the thing with these things – if you just saw me on the street you’d have no idea what I’ve been through in my life because my emotional scars are invisible to everyone but me and those closest to me. If you randomly encountered me on the street you’d think I was just some other random guy and that there couldn’t possibly be anything wrong or “off” about me (well, other than my short shorts that is, but is that really wrong or off?).
The semicolon takes my invisible emotional scars and makes them visible and every now and then someone asks about it and I have the opportunity to explain. I like being able to share my story with others. It’s cathartic in a way and I hope that somewhere along the line I’ve inspired someone to carry on.
As such, I have decided to keep the tattoo and integrate it into a more elaborate design at some point. What that is, I don’t yet know, but there will come a time it’s no longer a standalone tattoo. Religious connotations aside, it has meaning other than that and apparently people of all faiths and lack thereof are represented in Project Semicolon. I guess it’s not unlike my favorite hobby in that way (change ringing). Yes, I’m an atheist. Yes, the bells for change ringing are most often hung in church bell towers. That never stopped me from pursuing ringing though because it means something different and deeper to me than the religious connotation. The semicolon is the same.
Thus after months of careful contemplation I have the right solution I believe and I am finally at peace.