Have you ever seen the Harry Potter movies or read the books? There is a mystical bird called the Phoenix that goes through what they call a Burning Day. The Burning Day happens when the Phoenix is at its brightest, its strongest, it’s smartest, it’s most beautiful. At that moment when the Phoenix is on top it bursts into flames and from the ashes is reborn into what looks like a plucked baby turkey. The Phoenix has to then grow and become bright again only to burst into flames and start over. I am that Phoenix and I have had my Burning Day multiple times. This is my story.
My first Burning Day happened when I was in college. I was in my Senior Year working towards my degree in Chemistry and in Physics. I was a college student, barely eating, barely sleeping, and stressed. I had started out younger than everyone else and away from home and my strong support system. I had grown and made friends and blossomed into an independent young woman. This is when I started getting sick. I started getting headaches and my menstrual cycle had completely stopped. The doctors told me I was stressed. Again, not eating, not sleeping it was plausible. Then I started gaining and losing weight without reason. I would gain 20 pounds and drop 10. Then drop 10 and gain 30 all within a week. Again the doctors said stress. Then about a month later I started producing breast milk and I was an emotional wreck. I would cry over a broken pencil. I left school to return home to be subjected to testing. The result, a pituitary tumor in the brain. Burning Day number 1. I was told I needed to stay in Phoenix to get try medicines, MRI’s, and possibly surgery. They told me my chance of having kids was slim to none due to the medication. I was completely defeated. I was again that little plucked turkey with no direction and having to grow my feathers so I could spread my wings.
My second Burning Day happened 3 years later. I had a different job while trying to finish school that required some traveling. I was very fit, exercising daily, living at home with my parents; I had a new path and was happy with where my life was. I was happy. Two weeks prior to this burning day I was t-boned by a red light runner on the driver side of my car. I was bruised but ok. I went through scans and test because of the brain tumor and all was ok. Two weeks later I was in Houston Texas for work. I woke up to an unbearable pain in my back. I woke covered in blood. I called 911 and was rushed to the emergency room. They prepped me for rectal surgery. As I was being prepped a nurse asked me to lie on my back. I protested of course because of the pain but she insisted. She asked me push like I was going to the bathroom. When I did there was this sense of pain in my stomach and an odd since of relief. And then………… a cry. Welcome my daughter to the world. At that moment… Burning Day number 2. I was in Houston, alone, with a newborn that had no prenatal care, and I as a Mom. TLC should have been banging on my door for I didn’t know I was pregnant. Luckily, none of my brain tumor medication was in her system and she was healthy. The MRI’s, the X-rays from the accident, nothing had harmed her. I had my menstrual cycle the entire time and never showed a bump.
A few years later, two weeks before my wedding, my fiancé came home from his bachelor party in Vegas with a stripper. He had found his soul mate. Burning Day number 3. Now I am a single mom.
When my daughter was about 7 we were watching Harry Potter and the scene came on where the beautiful Phoenix burst into flames and the wizard explains why. I suddenly had my tattoo idea. A Phoenix. A brilliant, brightly colored, in full flight Phoenix to remind me that even though your life is going the way you want it too there is always going to be another Burning Day. Burning Days make you stronger, wiser, and have experiences in life that had you never had a Burning Day wouldn’t have ever happened. If my first Burning Day never happened, I wouldn’t have ever tried Roller Derby and have the friends I have now. I would be working with the dead in a lab somewhere no leading and teach people in a career I love. I wouldn’t have a daughter who is the love of my life. I would have married my high school sweet heart and missed out on all the love, the new adventures of new places, dirt bikes and motorcycles, with the comings and goings of loves in the past few years and the ones to come. Some people say, everything happens for a reason. I say, Burning Days happen for a reason.
I wrote this after Burning Day Number 4. I thought I had found the love of my life. We never fought, we loved each other’s families, my daughter looked at him like a father, he had helped her grow and trust men, and after 5 years he just said he didn’t want a relationship. I was again devastated, my family structure a mess. And worst of all it seemed like this time… it seemed like my Phoenix wasn’t going to emerge from the ashes. I kept telling myself I was strong, but I didn’t believe it. I kept saying these things happen for a reason, I wrote this trying to make myself believe it, but I didn’t. I was a lost little Phoenix just looking at my ruffled feathers, and ashes everywhere, and couldn’t see what I was to blossom into. I couldn’t see my bright colors through all the well… ash and shit. Then a very kind mostly stranger found this little bird and could see through the disaster. He had faith that this little bird could pull through.
And this year….. THIS YEAR IS MY YEAR!!!! New Job, new look, new outlook. Healthy, Happy, and confident.
I was promoted in my company. I am excited about the new challenge. I got my motorcycle license and love riding my Victory. My daughter will be entering Jr. High. I am a proud mom. I am healthier than I have ever been and have found a new passion in going to the gym. I have friends and family I will forever be thankful for. I am painting with an amazing studio. I have gotten to show my photography in two different art shows and sold some pieces. I am still single but hey we are only 5 months into the year. There is a plan for this Phoenix. I am just going to spread my wings and fly confidently. Burning Days happen for a reason.