“In order to rise from its own ashes, a Phoenix first must burn.”
I got a tattoo. A big, beautiful, loud, colorful one.
I got it a couple of weeks ago, so it is finally healed up to where I can show it off a little. And I know some people may think I’m a little crazy, especially for getting it right on my forearm, but this was actually very well thought out and planned for months and months.
I have actually been thinking about getting one for a number of years and even decided on what I wanted about three years ago, but I finally made the decision to officially go through with it last December. Due to other issues like a broken wrist, surgery, half-marathon training and having to fit the artist’s schedule, it got pushed back almost a year.
There is a lot of symbolism involved in my choice of image. I always knew if I was going to get a tattoo that it would have to be an image that really meant something to me. My original plan was to get her on my back and neck, but just a few weeks before my scheduled appointment, I thought about the fact that I would never actually get to see it. Sure, I could see a reflection or a picture of it, but would never actually see it with my own eyes. And this was such a profoundly personal symbol for me that I wanted to be able to see it all of the time. So my forearm seemed like the right place.
In mythology, the phoenix, at a certain point, ignites and burns to ashes, but from those ashes, the phoenix is reborn. This idea of rising from the ashes really speaks to me. We all have our struggles and battles that we fight. And while there may be times that we feel like we have been completely consumed by it and reduced to ashes, there is hope in using those ashes to rise again, even stronger than before.
There have been times where I felt that Crohn’s had destroyed me. I felt like I had nothing left. And it’s in those moments that we really find ourselves and show what we are made of. I love having that reminder every day that no matter how bad things get and even when we feel like we have been consumed by fire and turned into ashes, we can that and make it into something beautiful and powerful. We will fly again.