We live in a world where so many things are unpredictable. Our safety, our health, our relationships, our happiness. 

Last week, I finished my rough draft of my thesis. While my final semester as a Master’s student begins to wrap up, I’m reminded as to what this journey consisted of, how I got here, and where I am now. This year really sparked creativity and a side of learning I have never really been exposed to. A side of learning where my collaborations with my classmates were extremely meaningful and beneficial to not only my degree, but my confidence. I found a sense of belonging and built a community around things I’ve never seen a whole lot of value in. I learned to be organized and to balance. School, work, friendships, physical and mental health were what I was juggling. And it was not always easy. 

In therapy, you’re taught to dig deep and reveal a side of yourself that may be ugly and you may not want to face, but it causes you to face your fears. This year has taught me a lot of myself: my strengths, weaknesses, triggers points, emotions, and what character consists of. 

I’ve learned that I like to wear my heart on my sleeve. Not only my heart, but all my emotions, too. A character trait that is usually frowned upon, because emotions aren’t always glamorous. My tattoos allow me to do so. They help me tell my story, beautiful and ugly. 

I want to talk about the four tattoos on my arms: 

My pinky finger: Inspired by cousin, who is basically my sister. We got matching ones. Pinky for life, as lame as we sound saying it. To us, it’s a promise that we’re always in it together. We’ve had our fair share of challenges, and we’ve faced a lot with the support of each other. 

My lightbulb with an anatomical heart: This was inspired by my decision to study my Master of Digital Media, instead of rewriting my LSAT and trying to pursue a law degree. Think with your heart. And don’t let those who only think with their mind to sway you. This was one of the most emotional, frustrating, and difficult decisions I’ve had to make. It sucked. But, I made it through. 

My script: My dad wrote me a letter for my Laurier convocation last year and I keep it in my wallet. I was having a pretty low day on my way home, and I pulled it out to give it a read. For a full year, I didn’t know there was another side to the card, and I hadn’t seen it until that moment. It woke me up. “Whatever you choose to do or path you take, Tate will be walking beside you every step along the way.” It was the reminder I needed that I’m not alone, and never will be. It’s a nice reminder. 

My circle:  Everything is a cycle. Everything eventually gets better and brings you back to where you started. It’s simple, short, and sweet. When it’s bad, it’ll come back around and be good. 

Sometimes we are looking for a sign to bring us back down to earth and help us put things into perspective. I don’t have to look far to find mine…

And that’s how I’m feeling today. 

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