Introducing my tribal phoenix.
It took 2 hours to get this work inked on my back, but it was worth it.
Why a tattoo? I’ve been considering a tattoo for the past couple of years. For me, it embodies artistic self-expression – a statement that is both permanent and significant. That alone was enough pressure for me to come up with the perfect design, since I had feeling it would be the only one I’ll ever get.
I decided on a phoenix, a mythical creature that lives for 100 years and is reborn out of its own flames and ashes. It is immortal. I believe it represents life, hope, resiliency, and strength.
This design is a dedication and testament to the past 25 years I’ve lived; the challenges I’ve overcome to transform into the strong, young woman I am today. All of my hard experiences, from an unstable childhood, family trials, unhealthy relationships, to moving away to Los Angeles, teaching in an inner-city school, and to a series of difficult decisions, played a pivotal role in my life. I used to be angry at my circumstance – at its unfairness. I used to think my obstacles somehow reflected failure. I thought running away was the answer, at least temporarily.
For my 25th birthday, when I made a commitment to love myself, I meant it. Loving myself despite the flaws, despite the ugliness of reality I had to face. That meant confronting all of the painful experiences I tried to bury and run from; embracing them for making me a stronger person. Loving them for the pain and for the lessons they taught me. Talib Kweli says that the struggle can be beautiful. He’s right.
This phoenix is the story of my beautiful struggle.