When I was 18, I did what a lot of teenagers can legally do at that age. I got a tattoo.
It wasn’t on my birthday in some whimsical shop where I chose a burger as my choice of permanent ink; I took my time in thinking this out. In fact, I decided on what I wanted and then waited six months after my birthday to make sure I still liked the idea before permanently engraving it into my skin.
So let’s start with why I chose what I did. I was in a really rough state of mind at the time I started thinking of ideas. Senior year of high school after my family took a huge hit with personal dilemmas did not treat the brain kindly and I was feeling very weak and frail. I would tell myself to overcome these issues and rise above to what is yet to happen. Overcome.
For a while, I thought this is what I would get on my body. After about a month, I didn’t like how it sounded anymore. Overcome had this connotation for me that I was always going through something and would be a constant reminder of tough times. It had a melancholy ring to it that didn’t sit right with me.
I started to love the word courage. I compared it with the word strength but what I wanted was more than strength to me. Courage embodied the fight to get through something and face it head on no matter what fear ices your heart. Strength left me feeling like I could just wait the storm out where as the word courage made me feel like I would run head first into the eye of the storm and find a way to handle the disaster I knew was coming afterwards.
However, so many souls have courage tattooed on their bodies and I couldn’t just be like everyone else. I needed a small phrase that would lead me to take strides when my legs feel broken and tired. A phrase to help me last one more minute in agony because I know happiness is waiting on the other side.
Courage Is Infinite. It popped into my head and stuck. Courage doesn’t run out. Courage can be summoned at any time and you will always have it within you. You will never run out of the courage to do what you want. You don’t get 100 instances to use it. You have an unlimited supply that can pull you through the roughest of times if you fight.
That’s what I loved most. I am a fighter and this is my mantra. Courage is infinite. It does not run out in the middle of a battle, we can always find it within ourselves or the world around us. The courage to leave the country in chase of travels, the courage to tell someone I love you after a dozen heartbreaks, the courage to forgive those who hurt you, the courage to push yourself one minute further on that run you didn’t want to take, the courage to go up to a stranger and say hello for the first time.
Courage will never expire. It is always hidden within us as long as we know how to access it.
It was perfect for who I am and the words I need to call upon when I feel stuck.
I can’t tell you how many times I have looked down at those words scrawled on my foot and have repeated them tirelessly until I believe it. It has been an incredible reminder to keep pushing forward even when you feel like you can’t muster up the strength to move your big toe. Courage will last a lifetime if you let yourself become friends with it.
That’s why I got a tattoo. I made an amazing decision to get that phrase on my skin so when I feel like I need it most and don’t know where to go next, I am constantly reminded by my own skin that I have the courage I need to get through anything.
When it means that much to you, it has to be right.
Plus, I can’t wait to see what it will look like in 60 years. 🙂