A Permanent Reminder On A Temporary Body

A Permanent Reminder On A Temporary Body

My tattoo wasn't "just because," and that means something.
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When my sister passed away in 2004 at the far too young age of four, my heart broke. Although I was still young myself, the memory of her life still flooded my mind. She loved nachos and mac n'cheese. Her sass exceeded mine, which I didn't think was possible. Her little glasses were almost always crooked. She had the sweetest soul and the kindest heart. In the days, months, and years following her death, we remembered our beautiful brown-eyed girl in various ways. We celebrated her birthday with massive plates of cheesy nachos and strawberry shortcake. On Christmas Eve, we dotted her grave with little candles that shone brightly in the dark and snowy cemetery. My mom wrote a book to tell the story of our Hannah Marie, in order that we might not forget even the smallest detail of her short life.

Almost thirteen years later, Hannah's life seems to be a somewhat distant memory in the past. Momma's book sits dusty on the shelf, still full of meaningful words, but only to be pulled out and read on the anniversary of our baby girl's death. We remember her less often, as life moves on and the love of our family has partially filled the hole in our hearts. I don't want to forget my sister; I don't want there to be a day that goes by that I don't think about her long brown hair and the way she smiled with those ridiculously crooked teeth. To me, the best way to remember Hannah is no longer with a bouquet of flowers or a quick glance at her picture sitting on my nightstand. I love those memories but I want something more, something permanent.

A tattoo marks the body forever. It symbolizes a form of commitment through carefully drawn lines of black ink. To some, this is terrifying or even offensive, because once the needles push the ink into your skin, there's no going back. The lines, words, or pictures won't be removed; they will remain a part of your body even until you're old and wrinkly. To me, there are few things more unforgettable than a tattoo, which is why I chose this as my way to commemorate the four joy-filled years that my baby sister lived. Now, every morning when I'm getting dressed, I can turn my head to the mirror and see a reminder on my back of the mark Hannah left on my life. The date of her death is printed in small letters across the curve of an infinity shape, symbolizing a little girl who is forever in my heart and always has my back.

I know that choosing to permanently mark my body is a decision that some will disagree with -- that's usually the verdict with tattoos. I do it not because I want to fit in with the trend or because I was drunk one night and decided to make a random rash decision with my friends. I tattoo my body because there will be a day when I am placed in the ground for my body to no longer exist. My time on earth is only temporary, so what is stopping me from remembering the ones I love with a deep lasting memory?

Life is short, and I want to remember those who lived, loved, died, and continue to live on in my heart.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Image

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50 One-Liners College Girls Swap With Their Roomies As Much As They Swap Clothes

"What would I do without you guys???"
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1. "Can I wear your shirt out tonight?"

2. "Does my hair look greasy?"

3. "We should probably clean tomorrow..."

4. "What should I caption this??"

5. "Is it bad if I text ____ first??"

6. "Should we order pizza?"

7. *Roommate tells an entire story* "Wait, what?"

8. "How is it already 3 AM?"

9. "I need a drink."

10. "McDonalds? McDonalds."

11. "GUESS WHAT JUST HAPPENED."

12. "Okay like, for real, I need to study."

13. "Why is there so much hair on our floor?"

14. "I think I'm broke."

15. "What do I respond to this?"

16. "Let's have a movie night."

17. "Why are we so weird?"

18. "Do you think people will notice if I wear this 2 days in a row?"

19. "That guy is so stupid."

20. "Do I look fat in this?"

21. "Can I borrow your phone charger?

22. "Wanna go to the lib tonight?"

23. "OK, we really need to go to the gym soon."

24. "I kinda want some taco bell."

25. "Let's go out tonight."

26. "I wonder what other people on this floor think of us."

27. "Let's go to the mall."

28. "Can I use your straightener?"

29. "I need coffee."

30. "I'm bored, come back to the room."

31. "Should we go home this weekend?"

32. "We should probably do laundry soon."

33. "Can you see through these pants?"

34. "Sometimes I feel like our room is a frat house..."

35. "Guys I swear I don't like him anymore."

36."Can I borrow a pencil?"

37. "I need to get my life together...."

38. "So who's buying the Uber tonight?"

39. "Let's walk to class together."

40. "Are we really pulling an all-nighter tonight?"

41. "Who's taking out the trash?"

42. "What happened last night?"

43. "Can you help me do my hair?"

44. "What should I wear tonight?"

45. "You're not allowed to talk to him tonight."

46. "OMG, my phone is at 1 percent."

47. "Should we skip class?"

48. "What should we be for Halloween?"

49. "I love our room."

50. "What would I do without you guys???"

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Gabaldon

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To The Girl Who Doesn't Have It All Together

You are going to be OK.

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Does life ever hit you so hard that the only thing you can do is laugh? Everything in life comes so fast. Days speed by and when you think back at the last three months all you can remember is how many dumb moments you've had and you've had no other choice than to laugh at yourself.

Your mistakes blend together and the only way you can organize your thoughts is going through all the pictures your friends have documented.

It's funny every once in a while but eventually, the laugh turns into a force of habit. You feel so stressed out about everything that you just opt into doing nothing to avoid all the responsibilities life throws at you.

I've come to find that who I used to be has become lost in who I am now and everything I do now is about pleasing other people around me. I find myself agreeing to do too many things at one time out of fear of disappointing other people, that I never have time to sit to myself.

You've turned into the person that does not think about what happens next, you just live life day by day and hope for the best.

You leave in the mornings with no sense of what that day is going to hold. You have turned into the person it is easy to make fun of and you learn to take it and roll with the everyday punches because you'd rather feel loved and associated with laughter than someone who can't take any jokes.

You feel pressured to uphold the clueless nature and please the people that enjoy your airhead presence but you know there is more to you than a stupid comment and a bad joke. You feel like you are getting lost in the stereotype you have formed for yourself and start believing the comments your friends make about you.

I promise, you are more than a bad joke, you have so much more to offer and you are not other people's words.

You are you, even if you don't know who that is yet. There is always time to change, there is always time to be who you want to be. You do not have to impress anyone, you can be whoever you want to be at any time you decide to be that person. You are in control of your own life and no one has any say in the decisions you make. It's never too late. Take a deep breath, be yourself, don't lose yourself, love yourself.

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