Tattoos Are for Life (plus six months)

I recently decided–after ten short years of mulling it over–to get a tattoo. A BIG one. And within four days, I had found an artist, created a design, and was under the needle, so to speak.

I got a couple of small tattoos in my late teens/early 20s, one of which is so awesome that I plan to have it removed with my first tummy tuck. But for this artistic endeavor, my motto was GO BIG, OR GO HOME! (With the caveat from my friend Lisa, “But stay employable.”)

What is it? I’m not totally sure what I designed. I mean, obviously, it’s a bird. But it’s also in bloom, a thing of movement and beauty. It’s organic.

Perhaps it’s a peacock. There’s a story I love about peacocks eating thorns–those very things that are meant to wound–and from them they are nourished to grow their plumage. Spectacular beauty arriving from an unlikely and painful source: I like.

This could also be a phoenix, that mythical creature that plunges itself into fire every 1,000 years, only to be born again from the ashes to live anew. Like that, too.

The whole impetus for getting a big, badass tattoo was about honoring a wish I’d had for a decade and always dismissed as impractical and expensive. I don’t know what made me take action, except perhaps the desire to live big and be my most authentic self. And the most authentic Leah has a giant peacock-phoenix-flower design on her back. And she loves it.


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