Today is World Semicolon Day which aims to raise awareness for mental health and inspire people to live this crazy, beautiful thing called life.
I happen to have a semicolon tattoo and would like to share my personal reasons why.
The topic of mental health is near and dear to my heart. Years ago while studying psychology, I volunteered for a suicide prevention hotline and learned from that experience, in only a few words, that kindness is everything…and reaching out is a two-way street.
In English punctuation, a semicolon is used to continue a sentence rather than end it. Continuing your story is the theme behind the marking with Project Semicolon. I was interested in drawing on this parallel with my passion for writing as well. It is a special symbol we don’t often see that I especially like to make use of. In some ways too, it reads like a pause.
Yoga and meditation offer reminders to “take pause” and reflect. To check in with ourselves body, mind, and spirit. So for me, it is also about taking a moment/breath and reconnecting with it. With practice, we can become mindful enough to not only benefit from immediate stress relief, but to find a way to live more in tune with ourselves and our world, to lessen the impact and frequency of stressors, and increase our overall quality of life. And is it a coincidence that this supercharged comma resembles a breath mark in musical composition??
Tattoos are often conversation starters and this one has naturally given me more opportunities to do just that for a subject with a stigma I want to help diminish. With more understanding of what these two dots represent, at the very least, I hope that if when someone who might be struggling sees mine, they will know I am not a stranger but an ally. You are not alone; we can talk.