Never thought something as small as a semicolon – a punctuation mark which is used to join two clauses – could be used metaphorically for such a big cause that would go so viral. The semicolon tattoos that sweeping all over the web, aren’t just another mystifying trend. Let’s extricate the purpose behind this tattoo through some sample designs.
In 2013, after losing her father to suicide, Amy Bleuel founded a faith-based nonprofit organization named Project Semicolon to raise awareness among people struggling with mental illness, addiction, depression, and those having thoughts of self-injury and suicide. She started this campaign as a tribute to him, and chose a semicolon for its symbolism.
Every tattoo has a story waiting to be told. It is brimming with hidden meanings. It can be personal and intimate, or it can be global and expressive. It may prompt a smile on your face, or it may deeply move you. The tattoos we’re talking about today is one such case.
You may have seen the social networking sites flooded with images of people flaunting their semicolon tattoos with hashtags #projectsemicolon, #SemicolonTattooProject, etc. Do you think these people are inking their love for punctuation? Well, they are not semicolon enthusiasts, nor are they cults of grammar nerds. (That’s another story that I would really support them, if they were!) As mentioned earlier, a growing movement has adopted the semicolon as a symbol of solidarity. This campaign encourages people to post pictures of their semicolon tattoos, and thus share the emotional story behind them.
Meaning and Symbolism of Semicolon Tattoos
The Project website reads, A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life. The simple punctuation mark has a deeper meaning. It is a perpetual reminder that you are strong; that you’re the author of your story and you’ve come this far. Don’t lose hope. Keep going. Don’t let your story end.
It says, that it’s okay to pause and move forward. But do not stop. It represents continuity when things could have ended. It is not just a representation of the difficulties people face, but also the power and will to overcome adversities of life. A symbol of personal triumph over internal struggle!
Semicolon Tattoo Ideas
▶ These tattoos are most popularly worn on wrists, done in black ink.
▶ But the designs have evolved over time, while the placement of tattoos have always been a personal choice.
▶ Since it works as a reminder, lettering plays a crucial role in inspiring the bearer. Needless to say, avoid negatives. These tattoos are meant to inculcate faith, love, and hope.
▶ They are not just worn by those recovering or going through the struggles, but also by those who stand in support (families and friends).
The Semicolon Evolution
▶ Year 1, the Semicolon denoted as a symbol of life and the choice to carry on.
▶ Year 2, the Semicolon Trinity, celebrating the effort of moving forward.
▶ Year 3, the Semicolon Sol Invictus is the final step to wiping away all darkness.
Information Source: The Semicolon Tattoo Project
A Semicolon says a lot …
A powerful punctuation―can be inked on any body part―a symbolic representation of the power within!
Infusing it in a word …
Using lettering that inspires you to stay strong … to keep going on … every time you look at it, is another way to get a semicolon tattoo done.
Or two words …
As Rudyard Kipling rightly puts it, “Words are of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Words can make or break you. The choice of words for this kind of tattoo have to be well thought out.
Quoting it …
Lift yourself up with a quote. Ink yourself a message.
With another element …
Getting a butterfly inked sure stands for freedom. The wings signify a feeling of freedom from inner demons, a desire to fly high, and never stop. Amalgamating a semicolon with it adds to the purpose of deciding to live … free!
Yet again, the cross symbolizes faith. The spiritual factor meliorates the spirit of never losing hope.
Symbolizing Faith-Love-Hope …
When your beliefs start opposing your experiences, to keep the flame burning, to keep the hopes alive, this tattoo comes to rescue.
‘Hybridizing’ all …
These tattoos work as a daily dose of medicine to rejuvenate downhearted spirits.
Project Semicolon has inspired and helped thousands choose the path to transformation and enlightenment. May the force be with you … give you the power to move ahead in life.