While based on a book, this is a recovery tattoo. I read The Bell Jar for the first time right around when I started treatment for anorexia in high school, and it was a book I could really relate to. I fell in love with the quote, “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart: I am, I am, I am. “ and I knew I wanted to incorporate it into a tattoo at some point. I chose the handwriting of my dad, my mom, and my boyfriend because they were (and are) all very important in my journey of recovery. Not that they were the only people…but there was only room for 3.
I went back and forth for over a year about what to get with the quote, but finally settled on a fig. In The Bell Jar, there is a part where she says, “I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children…and another fig was a brilliant professor…and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America…I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose.” So to me, the fig represents the path of life I have chosen.
It was done by Dana Powell at Ink Junkeez Tattoos in White Plains, Maryland.