Today’s quote is a bit odd in its origin.
It’s a tattoo on my back. It’s the state motto of Kansas. It’s engraved on a plague at the Apollo 1 launch site, honoring those who fell. It’s used on Pall Mall cigarette packages.
What the heck is it and what does it have to do with Endometriosis???
“Ad astra per aspera.”
Many years ago (yes, before my Endo diagnosis), a friend helped me find myself once more. I had been lost and floundering and he pulled me out of a deep, dark pit. He came to visit for the weekend to make sure I was okay. Before he left, he wanted to make sure I remembered our long talks, our soul searching, and our discoveries.
It was to be memorialized in a tattoo. The only condition was whatever phrase we both chose, it had to be in Latin. So we scoured the internet for our independent phrases. And I found this one: Ad astra per aspera.
I’d seen it translated in two ways:
- To the stars through difficulty; and,
- Through thorns to the stars.
And I knew I had to have it.
When I was a little girl, I was molested by my grandfather on numerous occasions. While going through counseling as a young teenager, my counselor would have me draw and she’d analyze my drawings. One day, I drew a rose growing out of a fly-covered pile of poop. She reminded me that something beautiful could grow out of the worst, most disgusting, conditions. And that I was the rose.
The phrase reminded me of that rose. It encompassed my sexual abuse, my divorce, my losing myself. I could – no – I WOULD rise up. Through thorns to the stars!
And every time someone asks me about that tattoo, I have a renewed sense of strength. I can, and I will, rise to the stars.
And it’s made moreso relevant because of my Endo diagnosis. Through thorns, through difficulty, through a fly-covered pile of shit – we continue to reach up toward the heavens, the stars, to beauty and vast possibilities. Yes; that means you, too.
You are beautiful. You will endure. And you will flourish.
Always remember that.
…and to that friend from many moons ago, thank you. You know who you are…