Happily Ever Inked

Firstly:

IRL Achievement Unlocked – First Tattoo 100% Done!

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After ~10 hours in a tattoo chair over 3 sessions, my first tattoo was finally finished Friday! And I apparently can’t shut up about it, so I’m sorry if you’re unfortunate enough to know me on other social media platforms.

I could easily go off on some lengthy overly emotional spiel (there may or may not be one in my drafts folder that will never be published), but the gist of it is that Lightning means the world to me, and now I feel invincible with my shero, in all her glory, etched on my arm. Shout out to Amber at Adept Tattoos in Halifax, NS for killing this project and for putting in so much work.

My tattoo has also shown me there are more gamers in the real world than I realized. It turns out a few acquaintances I know IRL are also gamers, and wait for it, like Final Fantasy XIII (not nearly as much as I do but still). I had no idea! Random people have been taking notice too. Someone thought she was from Final Fantasy XV, and another stranger called her Yuna… Then the conversation usually goes into a Cloud vs Sephiroth direction, but it’s interesting to see the Final Fantasy brand recognition is at least sort of there with non-gamer types.

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YunaLightning does exist though.

Secondly:

What makes Ellen happy?

I am honored that the wonderful WordPress Goddess of Wisdom, Athena of AmbiGaming, has mentioned me in this super-happy blog post tag thingy. Before I go into a list of 10 rare things on this cruel planet that actually make me happy, I highly suggest you go check out what the wise Athena has to say (You don’t have to bother coming back here either. My list kinda sucks anyway). AmbiGaming explores many intriguing topics like the influence of video games on our lives, the important real life connections with video game stories, and often explains just how awesome Bioware is as a game developer. I can also say the high quality articles are always detailed, entertaining, easy to understand, and very well written. She clearly knows what she’s talking about, as I expect a Goddess of Wisdom should. If you like her material, I also highly suggest you go support her on Patreon. For as little as a dollar a month, you can ensure Athena stays sufficiently caffeinated (or decaffeinated) enough to produce her best work. That’s like 3 cents a day! Come on, people spend much more than that on freemium games.

1 – Memes!! Especially video game memes. For example:

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2 – Exercise. This is a weird one I know. Back in the day, I forced myself to start working out so I could be stronger, like Lightning. I slowly worked my sad self up to a rather intense weekly routine. This had the surprising side effect of melting my negative feelings away. No matter how miserable I feel, I always feel on top of the world after conquering my ever-increasing weightlifting routine, walking home from a stressful day at the office, and/or throwing people who are twice my size to the floor during my Combat Hapkido class. I also have an elliptical in my apartment along with my weight set (Crowded gyms full of sweaty strangers judging me? No thanks!).

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I’ve burned many calories on this machine while watching Hungrygoriya conquer those hostile retro game worlds.

3 – Video Games. Glorious video games have been my escape mechanism to the land of happy since I was 5 years old.  Long story short, I almost died and had to spend 6 weeks in the local children’s hospital here. I was terrified out of my little mind whenever they wheeled me into the scary operating room for yet another surgery, had no idea who my own parents were for the first two weeks, and didn’t understand why I couldn’t just go home. One day, I noticed the other little girl in my room had booked the hospital’s state-of-the-art CRT TV, complete with a shiny new SNES hooked up to it. She invited me over to her side of the room to play Taz-Mania with her, and I’ve been in love with video games ever since. After she got to go home, I have fond memories of begging the nurses to book the TV so I could play Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past during my stay. I never got passed the intro castle level, but dammit it was a happy time. My parents bought me my very own SNES with Super Mario World when I was released. Adult me will stop at nothing to get a SNES Classic in September (I love that little console… sniff)

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Almost 25 years of escapism all started here. ❤

4 – Writing. I’m not a writer. I wanna be a writer, but my education is in electronics, and I don’t chain the wordy things together good enough to be one. After I beat the FFXIII trilogy, I started writing an original novel anyway. It was born out of a strange desert image that popped into my head one night when I was trying to get to sleep (my mind just won’t shut up sometimes, I swear). I can’t explain it at all, but there was just something special about the isolation, heat, and howling winds that inspired me to create a world around it. After I was 350,000+ windy words in, I noticed my main character unintentionally turned into a mashup of me and Lightning (my mind is evidently one tracked too). I also noticed I had put her through similar situations I’ve been in, and had her work through issues I’ve always been afraid of facing. I’ve spent hundreds of hours creating every detail of her world, and I’ve never been happier than when I was doing it. Unfortunately, I’ve been stuck in the “My writing sucks” phase since January. My progress is indefinitely stalled, but I hope I can find the inspiration to finish it one day. My characters deserve a conclusion, even if no one will ever read it.

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I probably just spent too much time sliding around the Dead Dunes in Lightning Returns.

5 – Blogging. I love you WordPress folks! I look forward to reading blogs, rambling on my own corner of the internet, and interacting with awesome people via comments and such. Few things make me happier after a stressful day than all the encouragement I find on WordPress! I don’t say anything other than occasional sarcastic remarks in the real world, so it’s nice to communicate with great people online. I also appreciate everyone tolerating my constant Lightning love.

6 – Helping people I consider real friends. I have a really hard time connecting with people and forming meaningful friendships. If I consider someone a true friend, there is nothing in this world I wouldn’t do to help them, and I’m very pleased whenever I’m able to do so. My friends are rare, and I’m truly grateful to know them. People have taken advantage of this in the past, but that’s what the #INFJDoorSlam was designed for.

7 – My cats. I’ve had my two little monsters since they were 2 months old. They are now 7 years old and have been with me through my best and worst times. I know I’m just their food dispenser, but they do seem to actually care if I come home. I can’t help but smile when I see them waiting for me at the door every night. They demand my attention for 10 minutes before I am free to go play video games.

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An actual photo of me in approx. 10-20 years. I can’t change it… It’s my destiny! (Image credit to the Goddess of Wisdom. Thanks!)

8 – Coffee. Feeling down? Hello stimulant in the form of a cup of coffee!! When Tim Hortons (Canada’s favourite heartless coffee peddling chain) does this Roll up the Rim event where you can win FREE coffee/sweet things, I can’t contain my excitement.

9 – Amiibo. Cute plastic figures resembling beloved Nintendo characters are the best thing ever! I don’t care what they do in the games, I just want to see them accumulate on my shelf. It’s so much fun tracking them down and keeping tabs on upcoming launches. In the dark Amiibo shortage days, I had fun chatting with local addicts in store lineups (it’s good to know I’m not alone). The answer to the question of how many I have is still ALL of them.

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I have more than this now… Help me!!

10 – Driving. I got my first car to commute to my previous job (that didn’t end so well). Whenever I struggle with difficult thoughts, nothing eases my mind like cruising along an open highway with my music cranked to the max. It’s hard to describe but I just feel so free, and it’s like I’m no longer trapped in my life. I’m blessed to live in the beautiful Canadian province of Nova Scotia so I get to see stunning ocean views and tranquil forest settings whenever I drive places.


Does anyone out there have a special connection with a fictional character? Feel free to talk about any special imaginary idols or things that make you happy in the comment area thingy below!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go stare at my arm in the mirror for several more hours. Thanks to anyone out there who read this! I appreciate it 🙂

53 thoughts on “Happily Ever Inked

  1. Excellent list! And thank you for the shout-out AND the very generous Patreon promotion!

    I definitely agree with your #6, and empathize with your #3. I’m always impressed by the number of amiibii you have, and am jealous of the countryside you can drive around in. Hooray for suburbia?

    Oh, and #7? Challenge accepted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂 My whole province could be considered a rural area compared to most other places in the world, haha. I love it here.

      Challenge exceeded! I’ve edited my post to include your masterpiece. I appreciate it 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Incredible ink! I’ve been really thinking about getting a game related tattoo lately, likely Bloodborne related, but I have to scrounge up the money first.

    I’m sorry that you had such a traumatic event as your intro into video games. Stuff like that sticks with you. I am glad, however, that it introduced you into such a wonderful, robust and fulfilling medium.

    Also, you are absolutely a writer. Look at how many words you just put out into the world, and how cohesive and wonderful they are. As far as I know, there’s no imaginary gatekeeper telling you when you have officially become a writer; if you are writing regularly, you’re a writer already! Keep at it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the encouraging words! I haven’t played Bloodborne yet but I bet there are plenty of awesome tattoo ideas for the game. Video games are the king of escapism. I find no other medium is capable of taking us to other worlds like games can. I’ve never been confident in my writing abilities, even if I enjoy doing it. I can at least say no gatekeeper has shown up to tell me to stop yet, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That tattoo is very impressive! It looks like money well spent to me. It is nice to see that you could do that and maintain your Amiibo addiction at the same time 😄 Don’t be too hard on your writing either. I enjoy reading all of your posts and you never know what the future will hold or where your writing may take you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I’ve been saving up for my tattoo since I beat the first FFXIII game years ago. It’s a dream come true to finally see it on my arm 🙂 Amiibo will definitely be the thing that bankrupts me someday, haha. I really appreciate your support!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is awesome and I applaud your commitment and dedication to getting the tattoo. That is no less impressive than having a huge Amiibo collection so to have both is really excellent 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That tattoo definitely came out really well! That time was certainly well spent and it’s really cool that people recognized her. (Even if they didn’t get the name right at times) I sometimes do underestimate how mainstream some of these titles have gotten. Video Games have come a long way since they were a niche

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your tattoo is looking really sweet. Congrats on getting it done!

    That is a really touching story of your introduction to video games. Thank you for sharing! And I’ve got to say, as someone who has multiple stories on his hard drive that nobody is ever going to read ever, there is something really valuable just in the act of writing for yourself. Being read and having people resonate with it is a significant thing, but just the act of putting a story together is a pretty powerful piece of development in oneself. It’s satisfying and important in a completely different way than being read is.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You are a good writer, madam, it doesn’t matter if your degree is in electronics, knitting (i.e. underpants repair), or creating new types of mouthwash, you can still write if you’ve got the natural ability to do so. From what I’ve seen, it’s all good! Plus, so long as the book of yours doesn’t go “and then they went” as a narrative device, I’m sure it’s miles better than you realise! If we’re in a world where 50 Shades of Grey can become a sensation, then anyone can write good.

    Exercise? I hear that! Gyms? I hear that! I can’t see the appeal of watching people sweating and grunting. I got an exercise bike (I named it Gerald) and an electronic drum kit (Bruce). I can also do 7,000 press ups in a minute… I think. I might have made that one up.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, sir! Perhaps I should have pursued a degree in underpants repair. That sounds like an in demand career path! Or maybe I could write the next Twilight with sparkly zombies instead of vampires!

      Gerald and Bruce sound like awesome comrades 🙂 I totally believe your press ups per minute total… really.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Your tattoo looks awesome! I’m not a Final Fantasy fan myself (I’ve never played any of the games, but would love to someday), but I think it’s so cool that you’ve got a tattoo of something that really means a lot to you (especially since it’s video game related).
    This is also a really great list, and I’m so impressed by how many words you’ve written for the story you talked about. I hope you feel like writing again sometime soon, and you can finish it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my god, I love this! Way to go with the tattoo, it looks so good! Congrats!

    That top ten of yours is inspiring, especially about your writing. I really want to read that story of yours, it sounds really interesting! I hope you get out of your slump, hang in there!

    Also, +1 for love of coffee!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I can’t help you with your Amiibio, as I’m busy with my ceramic ducks.
    Don’t let your cats get tattoos!
    If you know what’s good for you, just let them lay around and purr!
    Games are fun!
    😀 xo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. cats can be so demanding when needing attention. Mine does some funny stuff to put himself in a certain position and demands we pat his butt… so weird

    cool tattoo btw!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Good tattoo artists are better than good hairdressers, because at least a bad style will end tally wear out. She did a fantastic job, and like I said, now you can punch haters with your Lightning arm 😆

    We share a lot of the top 10 list! I was tagged in one of these thingies so I’m going to do it this weekend. People REALLY don’t understand what video games can mean to someone.

    One more thing. If you write you’re a writer! *flies off into the night*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amber is the only person in the world allowed to draw on my skin permanently! I may or may not be saving up to have it turned into a full sleeve next year… Oh and I’ve been working on my left handed Snow Punch for just such an occasion 🙂

      I have so many stories about how video games have helped me at various points in my life (not just FFXIII, but that one is probably the most important experience, haha). I wish people would understand… sigh.

      I’m looking forward to reading your happy list! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. It was fun reading all these things about you! Your tattoo is beautiful! I’m happy for you. I wish I could chill while driving but unfortunately I despise it. I use to make my partner drive all the time but his health hasn’t been so good so I’ve had to take up this panic-inducing task to take him to his appointments. Any tips? Please help! lol

    Thanks for the post and I hope you have a good weekend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😀 I’m thrilled she’s finally finished! Sorry to hear about your partner’s health issues. I wish you all the best. I was actually terrified of driving when I first started, lol. I guess confidence came with practice, and now I find it calming. Just watch out for idiot drivers and you’ll be fine, haha.

      I hope you have an awesome weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, your tattoo is so awesome! I’m so happy it came out perfect like that! 🙂 I share a lot of your top 10, as well. It’s amazing how so many people share similar feelings about video games, yet they still get passed off as “a waste of time.” Oh well, they don’t know what they are missing! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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