My first tattoo.
I had known for 2 years what I wanted and where I wanted it. Finally I turned 18 and was able to get it. But when I was 16 I had no idea that the meaning of it would grow and grow.

Hope is the thing that broke me. Hope is also the thing that made me get up again.
When I was dancing and I had auditions I would always get my hopes up, I would get overconfident. On the one hand that’s what you have to do at auditions so they can see that you know exactly what you’re doing, but on the other hand if you don’t get picked the disappointment is even bigger. Before every audition I would get my hopes up and convince myself that I would get this one, that I would get the part, or get into this or that school but I never did. In the end I went from being a very big hopeful person to someone with no confidence at all.
For months I didn’t know what to do with myself, even as I picked a new study I never got my hopes up again. The first 6 months were hard but after my first round of exams (and a couple of total break downs) I saw that I had passed them all and I thought “I can be good at something other then dancing.” And a little confidence came back.
3 years later, I’m still not overconfident, I still don’t get my hopes up very easily but I have learned to live with disappointments (or at least I try). I do have hope, I always hope for the best but I’m expecting the worst. In that way I try to protect myself from getting that hurt again.

Hold On Pain Ends


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Allison, 21, BA of Arts and MA of Media Studies (Comparative Literature and Theatre Studies) at Leiden University.

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