The ONWARD Month in Review - February

by Jessica Brookman in


In addition to keeping a private diary, I also keep a visual diary on this blog.

Diaries (of any kind) are a way to record experience. As a reader of this blog pointed out, I am a conscious observer. I spend a lot of time taking photos and people-watching. 

I start more than my fair share of conversations with strangers. I talk about what I see and learn. The process itself brings me happiness;  which is why I spend the *rest* of my time finding new ways to crystallize experiences and generate a discussion around them. 

So, a small while ago, I got to work on another kind of visual diary - the one I keep on my body. I've written about my tattoos and what they mean to me before. But briefly, my tattoos are a way to condense transformative experiences permanently and artistically.  They are inextricably connected to vivid moments in my life. They serve me as both reminders and conversation pieces.

My first tattoo -- the one on my left arm -- is the word ONWARD and people are always asking me what it is and what it means. This is mostly because it's vertical and in my quasi-illegible handwriting. But, in the spirit of recording and discussing...and moving on from each month, the visual diary on this blog The ONWARD Month in Review. 

Here's some of February:

What were you up to? 

xoxo, Jessa

oh, and by the way:

My body is a journal in a way. It’s like what sailors used to do, where every tattoo meant something, a specific time in your life when you make a mark on yourself, whether you do it yourself with a knife or with a professional tattoo artist.
— Johnny Depp