I love my new tattoo. It symbolizes so much.
The thorns symbolize pain and obstacles in my life. The blossoms symbolize birth (literally and figuratively) - the births of my children, the births of my ideas, how I reinvent myself continuously, and how I am constantly creating as a writer.
The roses in full bloom represent my maturity and the rewards of my oneness with God. They are symbols for my physical self - Trina Rose.
Then there is my favourite line from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet that stuck with me from the first moment I read it till now. "What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." That line represented so much for a girl who grew up in a small town with a well-known family name. A name that was equated with crime, violence, aggression, anger, and fear. A name that conjured images of beer, tattoos, and Harley Davidsons.
I grew up stigmatized by the name I'd been born under. And while I'd learned many valuable lessons about family and the world from the man who gave me that name, all the world despised him. I learned early the burden of a name.
For the first time, I hid from it under an assumed name - not for shame but for survival. I was an A student but teachers expected much less of me when they knew who I was. So for awhile, I took my mother's maiden name. One that is so generic that had I not been such a loud-mouthed, sassy, little bitch, I may not have been noticed at all.
And now I will most definitely be noticed for the roses and thorns that stretch from shoulder to shoulder across my back. A symbol of my life on this earth - what it has been, is now, and will be.
There is one more significant element of my tattoo that may just be the most important symbol of all - the leaves. They are there to remind me of what to "leave" behind.