This particular phrase has been embedded in my mind for the last 15 years. Today, I got these four words tattooed on me forever. Upon writing this, as I begin to think deeply about why this sentence is, in fact, my ultimate life mantra, a philosophy through which I live my every day… I realise that these forms of reflection are all too familiar to me. With my other tattoos, the ideals – and the subsequent desires to represent them on my body – always pass in and out of my frame of consciousness. These pictures, these words, these dates, these letters – they come to the forefront of my mind in the week leading up to and week following a tattoo appointment, but they do inevitably fade away. Don’t get me wrong, a glance down at my body at a particular time will allow for sporadic contemplation, but I will move on with my life without deep daily consideration of each tattoo on my skin.

The tattoo I received today, however, is a slightly different matter. Everything ends. The only single guarantee in the world. Seemingly morbid, perhaps, yet for me – completely and utterly uplifting and enlightening. My obsession with death began 15 years ago. As a teenager I battled with coming to terms with the fact that this, all of this, this air I feel, these sounds I hear, these faces I touch – WILL one day suddenly and fiercely be gone. I’ve blogged previously about my relationship with death and its past tendency to ignite my struggle with health anxiety. Today, those anxieties are under control. Now, I rejoice. I praise my short time here. I worship every second that I’m lucky enough to experience and truly do make decisions for each day as if it were my last.

Everything, everyone, everywhere, ends. I taste that sickly realisation every day. Well, I used to, and I’ve spent the last 15 years working to convert it into a pure sweet sensation – my own sense of fearless ambition. I believe that I now live my life in a particular way because of it. It hasn’t been easy but now that I have this personal philosophy, I’m never letting go. This person I have become, this awareness of who I am, where I am and where I’m headed, has undoubtedly grown from a life-long ambition to completely absorb these four words, and channel their meaning into every single step I take on this planet.

This is the first tattoo that I will look down at every single day and acknowledge its place within me. Its energy. An energy that already courses through my entire body and now comes to fruition on my palms.I never want to let go of this tattoo. I never want to let go of everything I currently sense around me. But I know so well that one day – any, sudden day in this beautiful, fleeting lifetime – I will have to.