THE BACK STORY
I first had the idea for my tattoo when I was 17 years old in the summer of 2011. There was no light bulb moment where I thought to myself, “This is exactly what I want inked on my body for the rest of my life.”, but the idea developed slowly overtime. My parents had separated the summer before and that year was one of the most difficult of my life. I wanted something to symbolize that hardship of what I had gone through. It’s difficult to say why, but a tattoo just felt right. Sure, I could have hung up a poster with a cheesy motivational phrase on it or written about my past year in a notebook, but I needed that experience of being tatted. I needed to go through the pain to release the pent up
emotion I was feeling. It was some sort of fucked up cathartic release. The hour and a half pain that I ended up going through to get my tattoo was one of the best experiences of my life because at the end of it, I knew. I knew the past year was behind me and the healing process could begin.
Those that know me well would probably say that I am confident. Sometimes a little too confident and I get big headed. My parents separating, however, changed that. I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me. My life was changing dramatically one day to the next. There was, however, one constant. I would say the phrase everyday when something went wrong. It calmed me and made me feel at ease. It had no power to change any of the events that were happening in my life, but it had the power to transform my mindset. It uplifted me from a dark, negative place to feeling hopeful and optimistic. These four words changed my life for the better.
This too shall pass. It reminded me to never get too high and to never get too low. These words reminded me to stay grounded and to believe in myself. Anytime anything went wrong, which happened a lot in that year, I would remind
myself that what I am feeling and going through is temporary. My situation will get better and I will come out of on the other side a stronger, more resilient person.
I grew up going to a French school, Lycee Francais de Chicago, for 10 years and speak fluent French. I decided to honor that stage of my life and translate the phrase into French for my tattoo. Besides, ceci passera aussi sounds a lot nicer than this too shall pass 🙂I also decided to place
my tattoo on my back symbolically. I wanted to tell myself that everything is behind you. I wanted to show that I could keep moving forward with my life while simultaneously remembering my past.
I remember the week before I turned 18 in January, while I was still 17, I went to The Tattoo Factory in Chicago (which I highly recommend for any ink!) to sketch out the drawing of my tattoo. I felt nervous knowing that this was a permanent decision, but it still felt right. It felt like this was what I should be doing. The week was dragging by, but eventually I made it to the day before I had my appointment to get my tattoo. Unfortunately, the day before I was supposed to get my tattoo, I dislocated my right knee playing basketball for my high school team. Luckily, not
hing was torn, but I went back and forth whether I should wait to get my tattoo or go ahead with it.
Most people would decide to postpone it for another day or push it back a week, but I realized I am not most people. I am a nutball! I figured I was already in a lot of pain so why not add more fuel to the fire!! So on January 8th, 2012 I hobbled into the tattoo parlour with my mom to have a tattoo gun drill into my back for an hour and a half. While externally in the pictures, it looks like I am either going to kill someone or extremely focused, on the inside I was smiling because I knew ceci passera aussi.