IRL Achievement Unlocked – First Tattoo 100% Done!
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.
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:
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!).
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)
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂