Of course, the Phoenix is a mythical bird that originated in India, but is also important in Egyptian mythology as well. Anyhow, the concept of the Phoenix, if you're unaware, is that rebirth comes from the ashes of the former life. There is constant rebirth. New beginnings. New life.
I got this tattoo last year when I was under the impression that I had graduated from California State University, Fresno (CSUF), and when I was planning on moving away to Phoenix, AZ (irony?). It felt like it was a good marker of the change that was going to happen. A new life. Done with college, moving on to a different city.
I freaked out after being in Phoenix for five days. I kept thinking about various things. I thought about how I wouldn't be able to watch Christian, Austin, and Madison grow up (my amazing nephews and niece). I thought about how more than one of the 'friends' I had in the Phoenix area had snubbed me. I determined that there was really nothing keeping me in Phoenix except for my stubborn ego, that was hell bent on "getting the hell out of Fresno." This of course, was my mindset back then. Back then I felt like nothing had me tied to Fresno, but I was clearly wrong.
For those that weren't aware, I had been back in Fresno for less than a month when I received a letter from CSUF stating that I was 3 units short of graduation. I was furious. My academic adviser let me down. He was certain that I would have no problem graduating because I had so many transferable units from Fresno City College (FCC), but didn't bother to do the minor calculations to determine that CSUF had a cap on their accepted transferable units, and that I didn't meet the residency requirements.
So the whole concept behind me getting the tattoo had been lost. I no longer had what I thought was my bachelors degree, and I freaked out and came back home after 5 days in Phoenix.
Here it is, almost a year later. I graduated in December 2008, I have two awesome jobs, I'm in the best health I've ever been in (despite the fact that I'm still very round, I'd never dreamed before that I could have run 3 miles without stopping, or be able to dance around for 50 minutes to a work out video with my friend Kim and be able to handle it, I could keep going on with examples ---but the point is that I have more endurance, more flexibility, and I've lost and kept off 19 pounds so far). I have a clear idea in mind of what I expect from my future as far as a career (to get my masters and teach at a community college level, Geography and/or Geology). I have great friends (Kim, Aurora, Erika, etc), who love me for who I am and don't expect anything from me (it's been a LONG time since I've been able to say this with confidence). I'm saving money for a new car and after that I'll be moving out. I even have a potential love life in the works!
I am the most proud of the last one at the moment because I did this all by myself. I didn't ask anyone else to let him know I was potentially interested. His name is Justin. He was the best man at my good friend Erika's wedding (he's her husband's best friend). I'd met him a year ago, but didn't think much of it because I was planning to move to Phoenix. I saw him at the wedding and was reminded that I'd been curious before, but because of geographical limitations I wouldn't have wanted to date him at that time. Anyhow, so after the wedding, the next day, I hopped onto my MySpace account and sent him an add request, and I sent him a quick message saying who I was, and that I was interested in getting to know him better. I didn't have anyone else do this for me, and I DIDN'T meet him online, either! The next day after that, he and I were writing back and forth on MySpace for about two hours. He asked me out to go get something to eat, but at the time I wasn't hungry and I was tired (this was this past Monday). I told him I wouldn't mind watching him eat...lol! He said we could go get something to eat when our schedules sort of matched up. This was last night, Friday, at 8 PM. He took me to go get breakfast at IHOP. So anyway, enough about that...I just want to say that we get along really well, and I'm even more interested in him after spending an hour, just one-on-one with him. :)
So on with the point, yes? I'm really feeling like NOW would have been the idea I had in mind when I got my Phoenix tattoo a year ago. A year ago, it was signifying that my life was changing, new beginnings. Then I discovered I didn't actually graduate. I had to go to school another 6 months. I discovered that I really did have emotional ties to Fresno, so I came back.
...Now is the life I had in mind when I got the Phoenix on my back. The time is now.