"I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do."
We are, we are.
Last Monday I showed my friends from class my tattoo, and one of them asked if I was proud of it…
Yes doesn’t even cover it.
I know it has a little divot in the top from a hitch in my breathing, and I knew that when I asked for straight lines on my ribs it wasn’t going to be easy or perfect.
And most importantly it is mine.
This ink in my skin represent more than just an elite marching arts organization.
This ink reminds me every day that I am stronger than I feel. My limits are just mirages. My spirit will rise above; I will surpass them.
This symbol reminds me that no matter where I am I will ALWAYS have a Phamily, a hearthstone to call me back to where I am loved, cherished, and safe. I have sisters and brothers who bleed the same as me. We are unified through our experiences whether we shared a summer or not.
This chevron on my ribs represents a long standing tradition of dedication, pride, respect, and love that we have carried with us since 1956.
And most importantly, this tattoo represents a time in my life where I rose above, when I was lost and depressed losing my grandparents and feeling my parents’ pain. Those people, this organization represent a people that lifted me up when I was down. It was a time that tore me down and built me up stronger and more powerful than ever before.
So yes. I AM proud of this tattoo. It is mine. And like me it is imperfect.
It represents who I have become and who i am becoming: a better version of myself.
We are the Phantom Regiment, we are.