Welcome to the return of my blog! I’ve been MIA for a couple months due to a case of very bad WRITER’S BLOCK! This has never happened to me before. I’m going to point a big finger to stress as the cause of it, but I’m feeling better now. Actually, better is an understatement. I’m feeling motivated now.
Co partnering a fledgling new studio has kept me busier than anticipated, so I needed to make some changes. I decided to take a step back, examine what I was doing with my life, how and why things are the way they are. A little introspection and contemplation was necessary for me to move forward with different parts and projects in my life.
One of those changes was taking a much needed break from roller derby for the summer and I’m considering retirement. This is a very hard pill to swallow for me. Eventually, that day comes for every derby girl for various reasons. The very first derby bout I attended was about ten years ago. It was love at first sight. It took me about three years to get up the courage to give it a try myself. It’s been an experience which has entirely changed my life for the better, but not without sacrifices. I’m not sure if I’m interested in making sacrifices at the expense of my career any longer. This doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been in a state of mourning and depression that I may have to let something go I love so much. On the good side, I’m considering giving up something I love, so I can focus more on something I love. It’s not a terrible trade, but I’m not sure I can walk away from nearly ten years of something that’s made me so happy.
I’ve reasoned with myself that after five and a half years of playing, I had a good go at it. I’ve seen many women come and go in the span of a season. Hell, in the span of time it takes to complete roller derby boot camp, there are always a few ladies that skate away and are never seen from again. I’ve seen skaters break bones in their first six months and some in the first few minutes of a bout. About half the time these breaks are a career ender. I’m fortunate that’s never happened to me. I’m part of a very elite crew of Detroit Derby Girls that’s over forty. I’m even more of a league minority as one of the few mom’s skating who has more than three kids (and that’s not including my step kids). Balancing career, derby and family make it nearly impossible to accomplish everything and do it well. Something falls short somewhere.
So, what I did was make up a wish list of things I wanted to change. On another piece of paper I wrote down what I needed to do to have what I wished for. It’s not like I wasn’t aware of changes I needed to make in my life, but writing it down was my way of owning it. Seeing my own writing was a very tangible way to get some clear cut clarity. The applicable quote of eastern based wisdom here would be “The answers you seek are within.” Look, I know that’s some magical swamy bullshit, but there’s some validity to that.
My goal with Under the Gloves is to actively help people within the tattoo community by sharing and blogging what I know. Basically, I research useful information so you don’t have to. Then I post it all in one conveniently located spot with pictures, links and everything. I’m not some tattoo guru. I know more than others, less than some, but I’m ultimately interested in helping out the tattoo community that I love so much.
The most important part of our industry is the tattoo artist. Our industry is fueled by us. It’s the tattoo artist that has shaped this industry into what it is today. We’re all vessels here to create art and many of us don’t limit our artistic capabilities to skin. In order for us to keep doing what we do and do it well, it’s important for us to realize that we are human and we need to take care of ourselves. We can’t continue to create and do well at our jobs if we’re falling apart from not taking care of ourselves. We are whole people, whole entities. We are more than the great pigments we use and the awesome machine we hold in our hand. We’re more than our art or that coveted write up in a magazine. Any of us dedicated to our craft realize that being a tattoo artist is more than a job. It can affect nearly every single aspect of our lives.
Information about products, techniques, artists and conventions are merely a mouse click away. The one thing that I’ve noticed is that there isn’t too much information out there that focuses on the well being of the tattoo artist. This is my mission. To focus on what can help tattoo artists live healthier, feel better and make their lives a little easier by sharing what I know. Living healthy isn’t for everyone,(though I feel it should be) which is why I focus on living BETTER. Who doesn’t want a little bit of “BETTER” in our lives?
Also, I wanted to say thanks to those of you out there that are giving me a read. You keep reading and I’ll keep writing! Also, if there is something you would like to see me write about; send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org