Ian Tan
Student Writer

With the recent transition of summer to fall, many Messiah students are feeling the weight of the school year settling in, presenting opportunities and burdens alike. Against incoming challenges, there are different ways students can ground themselves in peace and rejuvenation, such as journaling or meditation. Today I met with sophomore, social work major Fatima Jan to discuss her unconventional method – getting a tattoo of a significant quote in her life.

Can you describe your tattoo and what gave you the idea to get it?

My tattoo says ‘This too shall pass’, on my left arm, right where I can see it. I got it because I have experienced a lot of hardships throughout my life, my childhood especially, and also this past summer. I never imagined that I could make it through some of them alive. And here I am after almost 20 years, in a better place emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. My tattoo serves to remind me that when new trials arise, they too shall pass and that if I could make it through my difficult past, then I can endure these as well. My tattoo shows me that I’m no longer a victim to things that have hurt me, but a survivor.

At what point in your day do you look at your tattoo and reflect on it?

Every single day, whenever I wake up, one of the first things I see is usually my tattoo. It’s beautiful because it’s almost like a little prayer that begins my day and reminds me of many things about God, such as how much He loves me, and that He’s holding my hand through everything. He’s embracing me when I am broken and filling my heart with joy. This gives me strength for what’s ahead.

Do you have plans to get more tattoos, and if so, what are they?

Yes, I do, though I only have some vague ideas at this point. My next few ones will have some sort of spiritual significance, as well as relevance to points in my life that have helped me mature into the woman I am today. I am also thinking about tattoos that will tell stories about my culture, like the Mandala design, which is basically the pattern used for making South Asian henna tattoos.

Where did you get your tattoo?

Twisted Mad Hatter Parlor, on 11 N US15th, towards Dillsburg. They do a great job with small, simple tattoos.