pain, part 2

Tribal Phoenix

Tribal Phoenix

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.



Filed under epiphany, simple things

6 responses to “pain, part 2

  1. awwww *sniff sniff* my young twin is growing up. very poetic in deed twin. now I only wonder why you never wrote like that for TFB =P
    all good, lipstick on paper suits you very well.

    oh, and have FUN in the city! I assure you one month will not be enough. But it should give you a sense of how life will be if you ever do decide to live there long term!

  2. your korean bootyfly

    pline – you inspire me. I’m so thankful to have you around. love you~

  3. hapfrap57

    Pale Ale- I am absolutely in love with you and your tattoo and when you call me J-Boo on gchat as I type sweet nothings to you.

  4. Tri

    the poster above is funny. he should meet John. haha.

    but yeah, the tat looks well done, and a nice little story behind it too. mine is a chinese character of “dog” with tribal wire around it. i tell people that i hope it says “dog”, not “bitch”. haha

  5. awesome! stay strong my Asian American sista!

  6. Tri, that will probably depend on how nice you were to your tattoo artist.

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