How I Came To Term With Permanence

By Alison Eckerle

I’m definitely “that girl.” The one who can’t decide where she wants to eat. Comedians love to make fun of girls like me, but I know it’s a problem.

The worst part is that my indecisiveness doesn’t just manifest itself in my restaurant decisions. I changed my major from interior design to journalism after my first semester at UF, and I’m sure if I had all the money in the world I would have changed it at least a million times more. So, naturally, all my friends were surprised when I got a tattoo.

The girl who couldn’t decide between vanilla and chocolate if her life depended on it somehow decided on a piece of artwork that would be on her body forever. That doesn’t even make sense to me, the girl in question. But getting a tattoo and the process involved in getting one really taught me a lot about accepting permanence.

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For me, my tattoos didn’t come out of the blue. I spent a long time thinking about the design I wanted and how important the meaning behind the tattoo was. Physically getting the tattoo was very painful (especially the one on my ribs). But by the time I walked out of the tattoo parlor I was happy and at peace with the permanent decision I had made, and I’ve applied that lesson to many areas of my life since.
Like the decision to finally stick to a major – that decision has a huge bearing on my career, something that I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life. But, like my tattoos, I know I put a lot of thought and consideration into those decisions, so I’m at peace with them.

Being a college student, it’s easy to feel like every minor decision you make can completely change the course of your future. And in some ways that can be true. But tattoos taught me that permanence isn’t something to be afraid of. Even if the decisions you make hurt a little at first, they all amount to something beautiful in the end.

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