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  • Writer's pictureAja McDonald

As time goes on…

My last blog post was last August, right after I lost my familiar Leonidus.

Around six weeks after, I lost my other familiar, Hoshiko my German Shepherd. We believe she had a ruptured spleen and had no choice but to let her go and give her peace from any suffering.

It’s been a time.

Since then, I was only able to work two 3-4 hour days a week while maintaining a gym routine and keeping myself social and sane through attending loom weaving classes. My mum visited and we enjoyed life together in the same country for about two weeks. That time in itself was priceless. I felt so bad that I didn’t want to be seen in photos, but I knew she needed memories to cherish and look back on. One day I will, too.

After mum visited, I continued to push for longer working hours. I was in the waiting game of what next after finishing cancer treatments and moving forward to having breast reconstruction/reduction surgeries. Thankfully, I have been seeing a physio regularly outside of my gym routine at the Wellness Gym. She has helped so much with being able to work through both the effects that cancer treatments have put upon me as well as a neck injury I had been managing since 2020.

It’s frustrating that the year I found my cancer was the year I felt I was finally starting to see results after having two concussions four weeks apart. So all that hard work had to be put aside so I could start to fight for my life, not just my physical tolerance to living the life I’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Though I hadn’t been able to work as much as I wished, I still had many amazing clients book in and so much fun finishing up on some old and new pieces that had been put on hold.

One thing I’ve noticed being self employed is that it is easy to feel like you are in the shadows of “real” careers. It can be scary when you have to stop and take care of yourself so you can come back stronger… only to see the world rapidly change in front of you while others in the same industry are starting to work less and/or retiring to move on to something with more sustainable income. There are so many tattoo artist to choose from these days, I started to wonder if I was becoming a memory and feared that people wouldn’t want to book in with me the same since my working hours have been catering to my personal recovery.

I suppose that is why I choose to make “Wolf & Rosehip” my safe place to exist outside of “FetBlod.” I have so many creative passions, most are never seen due to the spotlight always shining down on the tattoos… and being self employed it’s so hard to keep up with algorithms and apps. I don’t know if my work is seen or of it connects to people, but I keep pushing and trying whenever I can to “fit in” enough (without losing myself) in order to exist in this strange new world post 2020.

After mum returned home, Phil and I continued with our routine while we try to find a sense of normality through it all. In November, a trip to Nelson to get away was a perfect treat just before the crazy Christmas time of year crept up. I unfortunately missed out on going to an L7 concert due to mandatory doctor appointments but we did get a puppy we named “Vincent.”

From there, I focused on him. I worked out my routine and pushed forward to make space for training, walking and all that goes into a growing large breed dog. It’s been pretty much all go since he was welcomed into our home and I am so grateful to have a beautiful and loyal Rottweiler by my side as I navigate whatever my “normal” will be once the chaos starts to settle.

Barron Vincent Von Bratwurst

As I sit and reflect on the time between my last blog post and the beginning of 2024, I feel there was so much going on that I honestly don’t remember as much as I should. I can blame the past injury of 2020, all the cancer treatments, hormone blocking treatments, all the side effects, and my ”all or nothing” mindset while tackling the obstacles that happen in life…

All I know is I am still here and I am still fighting for ME.

While I sit here catching up my blog, I wonder what’s next for me when it comes to my virtual online precense?

I don’t know if I want to continue with having an Etsy Shop, Patreon, or working it all into one fancy website? I didn’t get the engagement I was hoping for through those platforms.

I do know that I have enjoyed the more simple areas of existing in a virtual world while trying to find how I can make a honest living being creative during this stage in life with all the areas of art I enjoy.

I have also been putting more energy towards listing some things on Felt and having a Buy Me A Coffee page. Between those areas and my Instagram accounts, I feel that’s enough for now. Please feel free to click on those links and have a look.

Like, comment, share.

It’s the world we live in and I honestly appreciate any and all engagement that comes my way.





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