I fell in love with Transcendental literature during my junior year of high school. Instantly, upon reading the writings of Emerson and Thoreau, it was like I had found my people. Their words spoke to me. I was moved by their belief that we’re all part and parcel of a greater whole.
I studied them again in college and fell more deeply in love. And then I taught their words and shared my love of them with others.
Over the years I’ve amassed quite a collection of my favorites of their quotes. I tuck them away in documents or on notepads. Or I highlight them in books as I soak up the wisdom they’re sharing. I think maybe I was born in the wrong time period.
Throughout my battles with depression and anxiety both during college and postpartum, one quote continued to come back to me time and again.
I’ve kicked around the idea of a new tattoo for years. I even put it on my 31 for 31 bucket list. I’m a fan of tattoos with meaning (unlike the butterfly hovering above my derriere).
With my love of this quote, I wanted something to remind myself permanently that bad days do not last forever. There is always the promise of a new day. A fresh start. And it’s that promise of beginning again that helps us put those moments we wish had never happened behind us.
There is always hope.
My vision was simple. The words “finish each day” on my wrist, a place where I couldn’t help but see it and be reminded, even in my darkest moments.
Of all the ideas I’ve for tattoos I’ve had over the years, the desire for this one has never fizzled out. So today, while Dan was having work done on a tattoo of his own (which I’m not yet at liberty to reveal on pain of…probably Dutch ovens) I finally went for it.
Taylor, the artist at Mystic Owl who did this lovely piece of work, actually attended the high school where I taught. That’s kind of kismet, right?
I didn’t teach her, but we were sort of in each other’s orbits long before today, which hearkens back to the Transcendental thought that while we’re all individuals, we’re all connected, too.
We’re all in this together.
Finish each day. No matter how bad it gets, move forward. Press on. Persevere.
Tomorrow is a new day.
I will begin it well.