Semicolons are Worth Loving

By: Mallory Ellington

I have a few tattoos but I think the one that gets the most attention is the semicolon on my wrist. Some people think it is a music note and others just find it puzzling to see a semi-colon forever on someone’s body. This tattoo certainly brings up the most questions and I get that, it is definitely unique.

I don’t have it because I love writing, even though that’s true. it isn’t because I teach 8th grade English. And it definitely isn’t a music note. I have a semicolon because I needed a permanent reminder of how my story has continued.

If used properly, a semicolon is used to bring together two independent clauses together to form one sentence. Each clause could stand on its own, but they become linked together with a semicolon and form a whole new sentence. For me, the semicolon represents the journey that I have been on in life. A sentence that could have ended and stood on its own, but one I think is far better now that there is an ‘after the semicolon.’

I have this tattoo because that first part of my sentence was difficult and painful. I spent years living in darkness, believing that my life wasn’t worth living. And I lived and acted in such a way that demonstrated that I didn’t believe my life was worth living or that I was worth loving. But those were lies.

The truth is that my life is worth living. The truth is that I am worth loving. The truth is that the same is true for you. It took me years to learn this to be true so if you don’t think it is true for you, at least not yet, I am here to tell you it is.

I have encountered a God who does love me, who has always loved, and has never once deemed me unlovable. My life is not worth living because I am good or have it all together. There is nothing I have to do in order to earn my love or my worth, I have it because I exist. And the same is true for you.

I decided to get the tattoo, with one of my best friends, because we wanted to remember that life is going to continue for us. That even on the hard days, even on the bad days we can keep moving forward. We do not have to stop here, there is more life to live. Each day I get to wake up and know that I am worthy, each day I wake up and know that I am loved.

There are days I don’t believe it and I am grateful for the reminders, from tattoos to t-shirts, that help tell a different story for my life. The physical reminders are helpful on the days that feel overwhelming and I feel alone. My friends and family are always quick to remind me of how I deserve love and how worthy I am. But sometimes, when I’m sitting at work I just need to look at the tattoo on my wrist and remember for myself.

My semicolon is a reminder that I am so worth loving. That my life is worth living. That I am not defined by my worst moment or darkest day. My life is defined by love, even when I cannot fully comprehend it.

And even though this part of the sentence hasn’t always been easy or fun it has been worth it. Being in this part of the sentence also means that I get to encourage those who might still be in that first part of the sentence, and maybe that’s you. Believing it isn’t worth it and believing that you are not loved. There is a life waiting for you on the other side. One that can be just as messy and complicated but one that is grounded in knowing the truth, that you are worthy and you are loved.

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