Senior public relations major Kenedy Kieffer’s experiences in life have impacted her so much that they’ve become artwork. Her tattoos represent what she has learned and the way she hopes to live her life.
How many tattoos do you have and what are they?
I have three. “This is the day” on my forearm, a pineapple on the outside of my left ankle and the “&” sign on the inside of my right ankle.
When did you come up with the ideas for your tattoos?
For the “this is the day” one, it was when I was sitting on a tire swing in the middle of Uganda, my friend Anna and I were discussing the importance of this phrase. The power of presence, living in the current moment and the value of intentional relationships, were some of the most impactful things that I learned during study abroad and ones that are going to be essential to who I am the rest of my life.
As for the pineapple, one year ago, I was getting back to America I was frustrated with our country’s hospitality after being in a place that loved so hard. My boss in the admissions office gave me a card with a pineapple on it, which is the symbol of hospitality. This card had a quote on it that will stick with me forever. “Never lose sight of the impact that you have on other people at a given moment. The choice you make to smile (or not), to be empathetic (or not) or to follow through (or not) makes a bigger difference than you will ever know.
The “&” sign has always been a reminder of living in the tension of onward & upward, present & fully prepared, competitive & compassionate, slow to speak & the first to speak up. It is so important and so hard and such a beautiful thing that we are able to do.
When and where did you get the tattoos?
I got “this is the day” on the first weekend of my junior year (2016) at York Ink, the pineapple a year after returning from Uganda and the “&” sign during J-Term.
Was it planned or spontaneous?
Spontaneous. Two of my friends and I were on a hike, and I kept thinking about the conversation that Anna and I had on that tire swing. I thought back to when we were joking around about getting it as a tattoo and decided that day I was going to go. I brought my friends with me, and it did hurt, but not as bad as I was expecting.