I did the thing

Eleven months ago I had art commissioned for a tattoo of my favorite Pokemon, Raichu.

And then I sat around and thought about it and changed my mind and went back and forth about a million times.

Finally, the official Pokemon Facebook page reminded us all that Pokemon Day was coming up on the 27th. This year will mark the 21st anniversary of Pokemon, and the 17th or 18th year, roughly, of my love of Raichu.

And that was the moment at which I sort of went, self, this has been a thing in your life for nearly two decades now. It is okay if you want to get a tattoo of it.

So I emailed my artist, who happened to have an opening the next day (and doesn’t work weekends, so that’s another thing).

And I did the thing.

Disclaimer: these are fresh ink colors and not true to the final tattoo. Also, as you can sort of see, my arm was HECKING IRRITATED.

There are three hidden meanings-slash-important features to this otherwise cute Pokemon tattoo:

  1. I have significant acne scarring on my shoulders (my left one more so than my right) from using shampoos/body washes/perfumes/detergents with sulfates, dyes, etc. It took me a couple years to realize just how sensitive my skin really was, but by then a lot of damage had already been done. Happily, this covers the majority of the really bad stuff. My artist rocks.
  2. The art is based on a specific Pokemon card, but my sister’s first word was “balloon” and we spent a lot of time playing Pokemon when we were kids, so it’s a partial tribute to her. 😛
  3. Semi-accidental, semi-on-purpose reference to my favorite Paramore song:

Overall, I’m really happy with it and can’t wait to see how it looks when it heals up. Might have to get a retouch for more accurate coloring once that’s done, just to make sure he’s not too light (or alternately, too orange, if it doesn’t blend like it should) but I won’t mind.

Oh, and as for the pain — the memorial flowers were much worse, and my gallbladder attacks were still worse than that. 😛

Punching a hole in the universe

I saw this tweet shortly before the end of 2016:

And I kept going back to it, because it resonated with me. About what I’m trying to do with a few things — with my work for WooCommerce, with convincing people they’re able to create content, with (most recently) my talk at WCUS about overcoming your fears and speaking in front of people.

Sometimes it feels like I am punching, and punching, and punching — theoretically, of course — but nothing is happening.

But I kept going back to that tweet, and reading it again, and thinking about it. And everything that I am doing, and, ultimately, the kind of difference that I want to make in this world. And I’m sort of on the right track, but something was nagging at me — like I wasn’t 100% there. The depression hasn’t helped (it hasn’t really softened since September, though I’m starting to believe Prozac just isn’t the right choice for me at a higher dosage, based on some of the side effects) but I think I also just needed a swift kick in the ass.

So, I cracked my knuckles, made a fist, got really brave one night and volunteered for the Girl Scouts.

Where I end up and what I do is TBD, but I’ve been approved as a volunteer already. Ultimately, I want to follow in my mom’s footsteps and be a Brownie or Junior troop leader. There are actually multiple established troops in the area that don’t have leaders or co-leads, so there’s a good opportunity there.

This kind of thing resonates with the kind of dent I want to leave — the kind of person I want to be. I want to be known as someone who can help others, and solve problems, and be a good role model. And I want to spread kindness, and see more of it in this world.

This is just one way for me to punch harder. And harder. Until maybe one day I punch clean on through to the other side, where the air is clean and nobody dares frown and I can say with confidence that I’m worth it and always have been.

WordCamp US: How to Overcome Your Fears and Start Sharing Your Knowledge

This is a prescheduled post. If the Liberty Bell falls on my head or… whatever, you know the drill. Enjoy the slides.

First things first: you can grab my slides from my WordCamp US talk on overcoming your fears and sharing your knowledge through talks right here.

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-1-08-23-am

Download ’em now (PDF, 10 MB).

If you care to read more about why this talk was so important to me and what I’m feeling about it, continue on.

Continue reading