I am currently in the process of getting a phoenix tattooed on my left thigh. It's huge. It's beautiful. And as the artists in the tattoo shop continue to tell me, it's "badass!" :) I've spent nine and a half hours laying on a table while the BRILLIANT Steve Schram tattoos my leg and I have five hours to go. And oh my goodness, it's been painful! There have been parts that were just irritating and uncomfortable, but bearable. There have been parts that hurt like hell and I just wanted to scream (I've only said the f-word once so far). There have been moments where I've wanted to stop and be done because I couldn't handle it anymore. During these nine and a half hours I've had time to talk to Steve and get to know him and how effing amazing and talented he is, what a beautiful human being he is and what a loving father and husband he is. And I've also had LOTS of time to think and reflect. And this whole process of getting tattooed, the pain/discomfort on so many levels, just makes me think of my life at different times. Life can be very uncomfortable. It can hurt like hell. It can make you want to throw in the towel and just give up. And I think about this journey to a healthy me that I've been on and how hard it's been. How I've just wanted to give up because in the moment the pain seems so unbearable and so not worth it and it seems that the only alternative is to quit. And that's where I've been with my weight loss journey - I've quit. But as I laid on that table getting tattooed, I realized something...If I can push through the pain, find a way to get through it, then the reward is something so beautiful!!! And it's a reward that will last a lifetime!
All of that kind of ties into why I chose to get a phoenix tattoo. A phoenix is a mythical bird, that when it dies, it burns and turns to ash and out of the ashes, a new phoenix is born. In the Japanese culture, a phoenix represents feminine strength and beauty. This tattoo represents the last couple years of my life. When I turned thirty, I decided to get my life together. All my life I've just been this sad, lonely fat girl who just wanted to be accepted and to have people love her. So I spent thirty years living my life for other people, trying so hard to be who they wanted me to be, that I didn't even know who I really was anymore. And at thirty, I discovered running and found out so much about myself as a person and how beautiful and strong I really am. I also began my weight loss journey and the journey to feeling comfortable in my own skin. So this tattoo is a culmination of all these things and represents a new chapter in my life - a new beginning to the real me.
I have my third and final session with Steve on July 1st. It's going to be very bitter-sweet. I cannot wait for the finished product and to see this amazing piece of artwork on my body. But I'm also going to miss the process, miss hanging out in the shop, miss talking to Steve. But they say all good things must come to an end, so I'll just have to start saving up for yet another amazing tattoo!