This past year has been one of the most difficult of my life. Some of the challenges I’ve shared with you, like moving away from our friends and family to the other side of the country, and the unexpected, heartbreaking death of my father. Others I’ve kept private, including some betrayals from people I considered among my closest friends. Everyone goes through difficult times and I’m not trying to be melodramatic (at least any more than usual!), but I wanted to do something bold to remind myself of a simple lesson that my art teacher Linda Regula taught me when I was a kid. I came to her class one day and told her about the bullying I was going through at school and how terrible it made me feel about myself. She said, “You can’t always control the bad things that happen, but you always have the power to take those experiences and turn them into something positive with your creativity; something that can help other people, and in the process, help yourself.” That is the motivation behind our anti-bullying You Will Rise Project, and the reminder I wanted to give myself for the rest of my life every time I look at my arm and see this tattooed rendition of Linda’s beautiful phoenix painting, which is the logo for our project. Sincere thanks to the mega-talented Orlando Ferron at Iron Crown Tattoo for creating this incredible work of art that is now a part of me forever! And thank you Linda for inspiring me to rise above the challenges I faced back then as well as today.
You a rough and tumble kid that laughs when they spill blood during a skateboard sesh. You don’t care, that’s why you give yourself them jail tats yourself. (Next tattoo set is Best Friend set the long awaited)