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We walked into the tattoo shop with nervous excitement. Its mid-April 2011 and I’m in Boston visiting my friend Jenn. It has been four months since my ex and I broke up, and about three days since Jenn has been blindsided with a breakup from her ex of almost a decade. We’re taking a road trip from Boston to New York City and decide on a whim to get tattoos. Jenn calls up shop near Harvard that is able to take us and we both decide on a similar design. The word “Believe.”

Believe. To accept something as true. For us, to believe at that time meant hope. We were choosing to believe that things would get better and to believe that every step from that moment on was a step forward into a new adventure for us. With this tattoo, we needed a visual reminder of what we were coming out of and where we were going. We believed that every experience from this moment onward was happening to heal us, help us and guide us to happiness.

They say that getting a tattoo can be healing and therapeutic. By this point, I already had two larger tattoos and was opting for the word believe with two small cherry blossoms to go on my ribs. I knew it would hurt, but with pain comes beauty, right? Jenn was getting the word believe along with a ladybug on her foot. This was her first tattoo and she picked one of the more painful spots.

Okay, back to the tattoo shop and that day in April. We walked into Hourglass Tattoo and were greeted by a beautiful woman named Suze. I would describe Suze almost as an oxymoron. She appeared tough and came off as strong, but her smile lit up a room and her personality was warm like sunshine. She was one of those people that made you feel at ease and like you’ve known her forever.

We got settled into the tattoo room and told Suze our ideas. I went first and as Suze was tattooing me, Jenn and I opened up about why we were getting the tattoos and what we were going through. At one point, Jenn even broke down recounting how her breakup had come out of the blue. It was then that Suze opened up to us. She told us about her past relationship, being with one with guy she thought was the one and then having that relationship dissolve. I will never forget her telling us how things fall apart so better things can fall into place. She beamed as she told us about her new boyfriend Lee and how he was so supportive and loving and treated her like she had always deserved to be treated. She promised us things would get better and that we would find real love and happiness.

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I remember sitting there as she told us these words and so openly shared her story with us. My throat burned as I held back tears. If ever there was a time to believe this was it. We could have gone anywhere for that tattoo and got any artist, but we met her. We connected instantly and the tattoo had so much more meaning because she was the living proof of what can happen when you believe. That day was one of those days where you know everything happens for a reason. We left empowered, hopeful and excited for the future.

Fast forward to July 2015. Another road trip to Boston, but this time with the love of my life, my husband. Guess where we stopped during our trip? To see Suze at Hourglass Tattoo. Yep, she was still at the same shop, now engaged to Lee. She designed a beautiful floral piece for me and we chatted about being me being married and happy. My husband paid for the tattoo for me and when I look at it now all I see is joy. Talk about a full circle moment.

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I wanted to write this post not only because this is a pretty cool story to share, but because believing in the good that will happen is such an important thing to hold onto. It can be so easy to focus on the negative or list the reasons why you think something won’t happen for you. Believing isn’t the easy thing to do, but having goals, hopes and dreams for the future and believing in them is so powerful. Never lose your ability to believe that the best is yet to come or that you are worthy of the best.

What is one thing that you are believing for?
Do you have any tattoos with special meanings?

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Written by Tracey