Your story is not over yet. ;

For years I’d been wanting to get a semicolon tattoo ever since I’d been introduced to the Semicolon Project. Not only am I a grammar nerd but I also love what the semicolon represents on a deeper level.

What’s the Semicolon Project?

The Semicolon Project was founded by Amy Bleuel in an effort to combat suicide and raise awareness about suicide. While Amy unfortunately succumbed to taking her own life, her work lives on.

Why does the Semicolon Project resonate with me?

I’ve been dealing with suicidal problems since I was 12. I remember being fascinated with a knife in the middle of the night, daring myself to either slit my wrists or plunge it through my abdomen. I did neither of those things at the time but it kicked off a lifelong obsession with death and taking my own life.

Suicide has always seemed to be the answer to everything. Are kids making fun of me? If I jump off the balcony, that’ll end that. Is work going terribly? Walking into oncoming traffic will solve that issue. Have my emotions plunged into the abyss of nothingness, never to resurface? Well, why don’t I just bring my physical self to where my emotions already are?

Enter the semicolon.

I tried explaining the meaning of the semicolon to my therapist who simply thought I got the tattoo because I love grammar so much. That’s the surface reason; but I love the fact that there’s a deeper meaning to it that reflects who I am.

What did I try telling my therapist?

A semicolon joins 2 complete thoughts. What really could’ve been a period, indicating finality, is replaced by a semicolon, which represents an interruption—a brief pause in the middle of a story.

Consider the placement of the semicolon. The first thought is complete and can stand alone. If someone wanted to, they could end their story (that first thought) right there. But the semicolon indicates that there’s more to the story—there’s more to come. A semicolon represents a “blip,” if you will, in the middle of the sentence. The sentence (like my life) could’ve ended there but it didn’t. The semicolon means that my story can continue, that the second half of the story (the second complete thought) can happen before a final ending (the period).

My story will end eventually (period), but the semicolon reminds me that I don’t have to be the one to end it. That I can continue my story. That whatever I’m going through is only a blip—an interruption—and that there’s more to come.

I suppose I suck at the layman’s terms for this. Basically it means “your story isn’t over.”

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