Rise.

Guys….I did it. I finally freaking did it.

I got a tattoo.

When I starting talking about going to get it and arranging the appointment, many of the people in my life were shocked. I’ve never really had a connection with anything that was strong enough for me to commit to a lifetime tattoo, and while I love them on other people, never really thought I would be a fan of them myself. Yet here I am, joining the club of tatted females.

To be honest with you all, the tattoo I ended up getting was one I have been wanting to get since I lost my dad in November 2015. Shortly after he died I stumbled across this picture and thought that it would be a perfect tattoo for me. I kept in on the camera roll of my phone and looked at it pretty much daily.

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I shared on facebook, but for those not connected to me there, Rise has been my word of the year ever since January 1, 2016 hit. I never shared much about the word, but it was the one I kept going back to and what motivated me. Choosing a word for your year has a purpose: to help you face each day with resolve, make decisions, and keep you centered. Rise was and is my word, and Still I Rise is my phrase.  I have LIVED this phrase every  day, and it has become who I am.

When I lost my dad unexpectedly in November 2015, I was devastated and became severely depressed. Did I allow myself to stay down? No. I chose to RISE.

Throughout that time and since I have been battling additional forms of grief stemming from losing animals that I loved more than words could say to mourning the loss of my grandmothers to being forced to deal with some challenging personal situations that have made me question everything. Have I stayed down? No. I have chosen to RISE.

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I did it!

I WILL CONTINUE TO RISE EVERY SINGLE TIME I GET KNOCKED DOWN.

I have been knocked down more times that I can count, yet still I rise. Knock me down seven times, this girl will get up eight. And each time I get up believe me when I say I get up FASTER, STRONGER, MORE FOCUSED, and MORE RESILIENT THAN EVER.

My dad taught me that life was 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. So here I am, freshly inked with the reminder that I have the CHOICE and the OPPORTUNITY every single day to not sit around and lick my wounds, but instead bandage them up and live a life that would make my loved ones proud. This tattoo symbolizes so much for me. This tattoo reminds me I always have to get back up, regardless of how devastating the fall.

So finally….after thinking about it nonstop, I made an appointment at a tattoo shop where a high school friend worked, made the hour drive, and got a tattoo. I am beyond thrilled with it, and no, it didn’t hurt. Yes, I already want others.

Remember, you always have the opportunity to rise. It’s just making the decision if you accept the challenge or not.

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