Getting a tattoo is a big investment in the world of permanency. They’re costly, time intensive, and they can be painful but yet we all know someone who has been “inked.”

I was young, probably too young, when I got my first and only tattoo. I flipped through a book of designs and didn’t see anything that called out to me but when I browsed through a box of drawings I noticed the outline of a Monarch butterfly and knew I wanted that image for no other reason than it was aesthetically pleasing. The appointment was made, the ink was set, the healing had begun. 

It’s been well over a decade since I made that decision but it wasn’t until recently that I learned the how much that tattoo really meant to me. 

Monarch butterflies are symbols of change and remembrance. They are an insect that goes through metamorphosis to become something different than how it started, and that resonated with me after traveling down the long trail of loss. I had to shake loose of the shell I was used to and bloom in other ways that weren’t always my choice. But I changed. Again, again, and again. And I bloomed. 

Isn’t it funny how some decision we make as youngsters can follow us, for the better, through our life? They are the little treasures we choose to keep close and remind us, you’ve always known who you are.