This week I wanted to talk about the meaning behind a tattoo I got last year: it reads, “Because I’m a queen.”
I get a lot of different reactions to this tattoo – some people think it’s awesome, some people think it’s deep, and some people simply scoff/laugh at the idea that I would say such a thing about myself.
The actual phrase comes from a song, “Video” by one of my all time favourite artists, India Arie, who, in this particular song sings about accepting and loving yourself exactly the way you are.
For me, 2015 was definitely one of those defining years that required me to dig deep and find love and acceptance and most importantly, to truly value myself for getting through what life had thrown at me thus far.
‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’ (with thanks to Charles Dickens)
To be really honest, I was really happy to see the back of 2015, as it was probably one of the crappiest years of my life.
It was also, in hindsight, one of the best years, in terms of getting to know myself better and learning more about what my boundaries are, the importance of honouring my needs and focusing on what makes me happy.
My bad luck (if you want to call it that) started prior to this in 2014, when Jade and I were trying for another baby, and I experienced my first miscarriage. I was about five weeks when I found out I was pregnant and six weeks when the miscarriage occurred.
The private grief of a miscarriage
It’s a weird thing having a miscarriage, especially that early on, because you don’t manage to tell a whole lot of people about your pregnancy, so the grieving process is very private and a mixture of sadness, shock, guilt and even shame. I’m not sure if that is the universal experience for all women who have had a miscarriage, but for me, it was certainly how I experienced it.
That’s why when it happened for a second time in early 2015, I was a lot further along and it hit me hard. I managed to have two scans and got to around nine to ten weeks before the pregnancy was deemed “not viable”.
The worst part of it all was that it took a few weeks before the miscarriage actually kicked in, so when it did happen, I had to pass the actual sac which was incredibly painful, both physically and emotionally.
Pushed to my limit
In addition to the heartbreak of the miscarriages, there were also a number of other things that came to the fore last year and which pushed me to my absolute limit.
These experiences made me face the darkest places of my being, but also shone a light on my rock solid inner-strength.
My tattoo is therefore a symbol of that strength and a reminder for me to continue to look after myself and honour the woman that I am, warts and all.
And in the words of India Arie, “I learned to love myself unconditionally, because I am a Queen.”
Well sort of, I’m nearly there 🙂
Music video by India.Arie performing Video. (C) 2000 Universal Motown Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.