Most people see an ampersand (&) to be just a symbol that stands for the word ‘and.’ I see a much deeper metaphor in the logogram, so much so that I even have an ampersand tattoo.
Life is a never ending series of ‘ands.’ Life goes on, just like an ampersand continues a story. However, we do not have unlimited ‘ands.’ An ampersand symbolizes a broken infinity, meaning that nothing lasts forever, but there is always an ‘and.’ Our stories continue to be written everyday, no matter what life puts in our paths.
The ampersand reminds me that, no matter how hard life becomes, no matter the pain I am feeling, my story is far from over. An ampersand serves as a metaphor for life in this way. Life is full of ups and downs; something more is always to come.
We’ve all had times where we feel there’s no going up, but everything turns out remarkably beautiful. Contrastingly, we’ve all been through amazing points in our lives, only to have everything fall apart. This is why I chose to permanently ink my body with this simple symbol. All I have to do is look down at my wrist and I am reminded that life is made of our struggles and our victories. Without the bumps in the road, we wouldn't know just how great smooth sailing feels.
You go through heartbreak and go on to find someone who was your missing puzzle piece. You drift from a best friend and gain a sister. You fight to make it through illness and end up discovering the power of prayer. We can only find beauty after disaster if we keep going, if we add our ‘and.’
There’s always tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. Just because you are going through a tough time does not mean you have a terrible life. Think of what is to come instead of once was. Continue your story. Add an ampersand.
As a writer, one of my favorite songs is Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield, so I leave you with this, “Today is where your book begins / The rest is still unwritten.”
Fun Fact: The ampersand used to be the 27th part of the alphabet. You learn something new everyday!