The fresh ink was a mystery. When Angelina Jolie stopped into celebrity-loved tattoo shop Bang Bang in NYC in late August for two new designs, the artist, Mr. K, blurred them in his Instagram post. But fans still had fun speculating on what she had inscribed on the middle fingers of both hands — with “F–k Brad” being the consensus. While Mr. K later insisted “it’s NOTHING related” to her ex, “it’s a good sign that she chose to have them done,” says a source. “Tattoos have always been so symbolic for Angelina, not just what she gets, but when and where. This definitely signals a new phase in her life.”

Call it her New York City era. “Her time away from L.A. is doing wonders for her — she’s reinvigorated and it shows,” says the source. Between opening a cool new artists’ space in Jean-Michel Basquiat’s graffiti covered old studio, brunching with new friends, and effortlessly nailing the “quiet luxury” style trend as she gallivants all over town with her kids Pax and Vivienne, “Angie hasn’t seemed this content in years.” With her painful separation and legal battle with ex Brad Pitt seemingly winding down after seven years, “she’s turned over a new leaf and is thriving.”

It wasn’t easy for her to let go of the past. “Angelina was stuck in a rut during the drawn-out divorce,” says the source. “She gets pigeonholed as being moody and difficult, but that’s because she was going through a lot of heartache and healing.” Now that she and Brad, 59, are close to settling the details on their split and are even inching toward mediation regarding Château Miraval, their old family home and profitable vineyard in France, “she seems so much lighter.”

She’s also been keeping busy. As always, her priority is spending quality time with her kids — especially aspiring artist Pax, 19, and 15-year-old Vivienne, who’s helping her bring a show based on the classic novel The Outsiders to Broadway — “and she loves having grown-up conversations with them over dinner,” says the source. “But they’re also old enough to be pretty self-sufficient, so she’s putting herself out there, working on other projects like her fashion line and making new connections.” After so many years focusing solely on her children and on her deeply meaningful but emotionally taxing international charity work, adds the source, the Oscar winner, 48, “is letting herself have a little fun.”

Angelina Jolie Is ‘Living Her Best Life’ After Finalizing Brad Pitt Divorce: ‘Thriving’
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

That means opening herself up to love as well. “There’s no shortage of interest — men and women are lining up to date her,” says the source. “After everything she went through with Brad, she finds it terrifying, but she’s up for it.”

She’s up for anything. “Angie was always good at reinventing herself, and she’s finally in a good place, emotionally and creatively, to do that again,” says the source. “She’s living her best life.”

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at