I have wanted a tattoo since I was 15-years-old. However, I knew this was a lifetime commitment, so I waited, and waited, and waited. Nearly 15 years later, while preparing a mythology unit for my high school students, I came upon the story of the phoenix. The phoenix is a mythical creature that would live for 500 to 1,000 years, only to set its nest on fire. The bird would be consumed by the flames and later resurrect from the ashes. This bird also became popular in early Christian art and literature to symbolize the resurrection.
The image of a phoenix has several meanings for me: it represents the victory I feel over my abusive past, the joy of finding my true career path as an educator after crashing and burning in journalism, a new start in the city of Phoenix, and a restoration of my faith. I know that many people see my tattoo and make assumptions about me. They believe that I’m just one of those girls who saw something pretty and got it done one night. When in fact, I am not trying to follow the cultural trend, but provide an opportunity to share my personal resurrection story.