Still I Rise

1 Oct

Today I got my second tattoo! I got my first one in June when I was turning 30. This one I got days after signing my divorce papers. I went 30 years without getting any tattoos and then within 5 months, I now have 2. 🙂

My first one is an exact replica of Buddy’s paw print on my foot. And yes, it hurt like hell. I don’t advise getting a tattoo on the foot. Especially one that has a lot of shading. Anyway, I got it in June when I was turning 30, which was a difficult birthday for me. I just wasn’t where I thought I’d be in life at age 30. I wanted to do something to mark the occasion and I’ve thought about this tattoo for a long time. Bud’s paw on my foot means we are always walking together through life. I’ve talked about the connection I have with my dog before and this was just another way to express it. Long after he’s gone, I’ll have another way to remember the ways he touched my life. I’ve also recently explored more of a vegetarian lifestyle and I like to be reminded of the compassion I have towards not only Buddy, but towards all animals.

[insert picture of Buddy tattoo here]


I have been thinking for awhile about getting something to somewhat mark the occasion. Not to represent the divorce, but rather to symbolize the change in my life and celebrate myself. It wasn’t hard to decide on the words “Still I Rise” on my shoulder/upper back.

“Still I Rise” is a Maya Angelou poem, but one hardly needs a poem to understand the meaning in those words. We all get knocked down in life. The trick is to keep getting up. Keep rising. It’s perfect for me and every time I look at it I’ll be reminded of all of the times in life that I’ve risen above.

[insert picture of tattoo here]

Still I Rise
by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt,
But still, like dust, I’ll rise. 

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you best with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like the moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries. 

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take if awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard. 

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise. 

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

 Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise

I’m a black ocean,
Leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling
I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise
I rise
I rise.

Tattoos are a deeply personal expression and decision. Both of my tattoos are extremely meaningful to me and were done at times in my life that also held a lot of meaning. I’m very happy with them both and proud to have two that mean so much to me.

Love and ink,

Let’s Chat: Do you have any tattoos? What do they mean to you? Do you have any you regret?


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