Ep. 56: Looking back: 15 Notable Accomplishments of 2023

As the year wraps up I like to look back upon it with grateful eyes. I like to look back through the photos in my phone (piling up in the tens of thousands), and remember the people I have met and the work I did on most of the new people I'd met. 

I like to appreciate all of the ways in which this year was sweet to me, all the things that happened that brought me peace and joy and contentment. 

This is how I like to close out every calendar year. 

I took some notes as I was thinking about this episode and wanting to share this practice with y'all, and I ended up with fifteen points I wanted to talk about. 

From meeting those amazing new people to starting to make retro gay pony stickers,  going to Ireland to see a friend I haven't seen in twenty years, mentoring young talent, making this weekly podcast, hitting (sorta) my reading and gym goals, tune in and listen to me rejoice in these measurable wins, and then make your own list and share it with your people (and me too, please).

You can connect with me, Micah Riot, as well as see my tattoo art on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/micahriot/

Micah's website is www.micahriot.com 
The podcast is hosted on Buzzsprout but truly lives in the heart of Micah's website at:

episode transcript

Micah Riot: 

You, hello, hello, y'all Fine people over on the podcast listening end of the mic, or my darlings, as I also like to refer to you Happy almost New Year. You have by now heard me speak about New Year twice in the life of the podcast and I will say it again. No problem, I have a special relationship with New Year as a holiday. I grew up celebrating it hard. I grew up with it being kind of the main holiday. Russians celebrated the way that people here celebrate Christmas. There's a tree, there's presents, people stay up late and I guess the late part is less like Christmas, but people usually stay up past midnight. Kids, I love to stay up late. It's a really special day. There's all these little rituals, like the specific food that you eat a lot of cold salads covered in mayo, and also meat jello another one that is often eaten on New Year's and caviar the red caviar, the cheap one. People are supposed to wear something new, like new clothing, so you're supposed to buy yourself a new piece of clothing or gift somebody else a new piece of clothing right before New Year's so they can wear it on that evening, and there are such things. One of the rituals or the customs is that they start selling little figurines of whatever the next Chinese year is like around Western New Year time, and people also buy those little figurines in plastic or in rubber, metal, whatever, and then gift them to each other for New Year's. The gifts that people give each other for New Year's are usually like they can be things like that, like small things, or they can be like bigger things, so they can be book or clothing, of course, sometimes just champagne. I mean, it's a special time for people who are from the Soviet Union and I still think of it as very special. I do like to give gifts for New Year's Now. I just say happy holidays when I do, and I like to go away. So my partner and I are going to go to Mendocino and we got a nice hotel and we're going to go with the dog and just chill for a couple days. We are leaving on the 30th, so this is the last episode of the year and I thought that it would be really fun to recount all of the ways in which this year was good for me and my business, and I'll start that countdown in a second, but I wanted to mention that this is the thing I like to do around New Year's. I like to look back on the year and note all of the ways in which it was amazing. Of course, it's easier to note things that sucked because they stand out more, and there were a couple that did, but this year was a pretty good one in my life, so I will recount for you the successes and the beautiful things I'm grateful for that happened over the course of the last year. And before I get to that, I'm going to ask you one more time to please subscribe, follow, review five stars, please. I mean, that's what helps, and if you're here listening, I hope you're enjoying it, and if there's something that you need from me or want me to do differently or have any feedback, please message me. You can find me easily on Instagram, at Micah Riot, and there's also a in my bio, and on Instagram there's also a link to anonymous form. If you want to live anonymous feedback, that is fine too. And now I will recount 15 gains I made this year in my business and a little bit of my personal life. Some wins, some beautiful things that happened. There are 15 of them that I counted when I took notes, in no particular order. And here we go One, raising my rates and doing away with the tips. This was the development of the last few months of the year and I have found that it's working for me. I'm taking more responsibility for actually charging closer to what my rate is and not leaving it up to the client to make me feel well compensated for the work that I do and that's really working for me. I have had a few people sneak extra money to me and that's fine. It's really cute and sweet when people really insist on giving me extra, even when I'm really clearly saying like it's okay, you don't have to, but I also don't expect anything and it's nice to not have that be a part of the interaction. It's really nice. It's a weight off my shoulders. Number two starting my first mentorship apprenticeship with Sailor, and this is also the last few months. Although we have been in touch and talking to each other for a while now a while longer. I've just been so delighted at how easy and smooth it's been and how easy it's been for me to have her in the shop Almost every day. There's been a few days she's not in there For whatever reason she's got appointments or other things happening, but she's basically there every day and it's so easy and I've been alone for so long that I wasn't sure If that would take my system time to adjust to. But it's just been lovely and she's amazing and perfect and, yeah, I'm really happy I waited this long to take on the right apprentice. Three shifting the shop to accommodate two people. So we're still in process. But people come in for their appointments and they notice that furniture is moving around. I've already bought a piece, got rid of a piece, got rid of a few pieces and Moved around a couple pieces of furniture in the shop. So it is easier for us to move things around to create more space for sailor. And the last Sort of big change we're gonna make for the year will be the big Table that I've been using as my desk. It needs to go so that Sailor can have her massage table there and her station, and so that's happening, that's going. I'm gonna move it out in the next Day or two and we'll set up a sailor station. So starting in 2024 she'll be ready to tattoo. I Also had her tattoo herself Last week. I mean she felt ready and so I decided that was the first step in her. Tattooing other people is also her tattooing herself, and so she did and it was great. She's doing great and so she's ready. And, yeah, shifting the shop to accommodate both of us was is a change, is a big change. It's been a lot of work but absolutely worth it. Number four working On more big, on bigger, more complex projects. I have taken on a bunch of work this year that was challenging to my skill set and made me grow. I did a couple of more realistic animals that I have historically not been that great at and I feel like I did a good job. I'm working on a really complex full sleeve for one of my dears. It's a reproduction of a painting that his friend Created and the painting is absolutely stunning and so detailed and there's so many Painterly elements in there that I could never paint on paper. But I'm making it work on the skin. It's going really well. I've been taking it slow and you know really being meticulous with the details and it's, it's, it's looking really good and he's very happy. And, yeah, there's been, there's been a bunch of projects this year that have Leveled up my skills a bunch and it's, it's cool. I have also been I'll just add this in a dendym to this point point for that. I've been using my iPad for this. Last year I wasn't really using it Very much. It's from 2018. I think about in 2018 the iPad and I haven't really used it. It was sitting around and I was kind of like, why do I have this iPad? But this year I started to use it for drawing and for fine-tuning my drawings and it's been amazing. It's such a good tool. Where has it been? All my life it's been sitting on a shelf. So there's that. It's really helped me Do better work this year, so I'm happy about that. I and so the iPad Was an inspiration. Using my pad was inspiration from my friend, wolf, who is one of the owners of the, I think, swallow tattoo, and Another suggestion they made that I took to heart this year is buying a rotary machine and figuring out how to use it for my purposes. So I finally figured out what that rotary machine is good for for me. It's a really good color packer and I've been enjoying doing better color packing, more saturated color, and using it also to do some some watercolor work too, which is a little bit softer, but yeah, sorry, technical speak. Taking suggestions on from Wolf. They're working for me. Number six is releasing an episode of the podcast a week. For the entirety of the year, there literally was one week when I put up a really short kind of a cop out where I was like on vacation. I didn't have the the wits about me to pre record an episode early in the year because actually, funny enough, recording episodes of the podcast was quite difficult early in the year. It kind of took up a lot of my energy. I would think about it for days, I would psych myself out, I'd have to have I don't know time and space and I ended up doing it at like 10pm, which actually is not a great time for my brain to function. So yeah, it used to take up a lot of energy and it's not doing that now. I actually didn't really read very much for the first half the year because I just had so much of my energy went to the podcast. Maybe it was the first third of the year and then I started to feel much more spacious about it and started to read again. So anyway, all of that to say that I released an episode a week for the entirety of the year. There are 56 episodes now, I believe, and it's so cool. There's more than weeks in a year because I released a few last December. That's why. But yeah, it's an accomplishment for me and I wasn't sure I could do it but I did it. Yay, number seven because of the podcast I ended up interacting with some really amazing humans and that's been such a gift to know people. For example, sun Medicine Sarah on Instagram. Sun Medicine Sarah, I believe I think is maybe Sun Medicine. She's a tattooist in Michigan and just the most amazing human. I'm so happy I met her through the podcast. I met her kind of by the way of Wolf, the person I mentioned just a bit earlier, because she follows Wolf and I guess they had posted about the podcast and so she started listening and told me that she really liked it and then I was like get on the podcast. And so we got to know each other and she's fucking amazing. So she's one of the connections I made. Amy Zager, who I just talked to last week. Another tattooer I met I met Brambles and Black Shannon Holm, who is in Colorado. I've really just been kind of reaching out to people, sometimes on Instagram and just saying, hey, would you be on the podcast, and it's been really, really fun to meet other tattooists that I would not meet otherwise Because, honestly, we're all shy, we're all socially awkward shy people, even if we're good with our clients, I think it's hard to talk to other tattooists. It's, you know, it can be intimidating. Number eight I mentored Gabby. She was my intern for a couple months this summer this year. She's such a cool human and I got to mentor her kind of randomly because I ended up on this list of businesses that would mentor students from UC San Diego Is it San Diego State? It was San Diego State and she really randomly kind of seeked me out from that list and I was like who are you? What do you need? What can I do for you? I don't know. And then you know she's just such a cool human that it worked out. It was just a couple months but I had a really great time getting to know her and chatting about art with her and having her help me with some of my projects and helping her with a little bit of her projects. So shout out to Gabby, you're awesome. I hope your life is good and I hope to meet you in person someday, because it was all on Zoom. Number nine I found a new artist to finish some of the work that I wanted finished. I wanted a decorative Black Work artist ornamental Black Work artist to do some work on me, and I haven't been able to find somebody. Of course, my dear Hannah can do anything, but I know that her style leans more realistic and I know that's what she prefers and likes to do, so I wanted to find somebody who is really into doing ornamental Black Work, and so I finally found. By the way of seeing work on someone else's body at my friend's birthday party, at a pool party in September, I saw work and I was just like who did that? And this person is in the Bay. We have a set up time to chat and, yeah, I'm really I'm excited to meet this person and talk to them and see if they're the right fit and maybe get this work done. Her name is Megan Wilson and she is on Instagram as Lady Wilson Tattoo, I believe, and yeah, she has an interesting in-depth process for getting to know her clients and I'm excited to be a part of that and then to potentially get her on the podcast, because you know, I'm generally thinking about what would be good for the podcast. Yeah, number 10,. I went to Ireland in February of last year and I got to reconnect with an old friend, somebody I knew when I was 20 years old, and they were a mentor of mine and a big crush of mine and they had really cool tattoos and they were definitely inspiration for me becoming a tattoo artist. They were just that person that was like, wow, you're so cool and your tattoos are so cool. They were really fairly simple tattoos. They have some dots on their face and some symbols and I was, but I was just. I was smitten and I'm still like they're still. I'm still smitten with them. They're amazing. They're such a cool person. You and, if you're listening, you're amazing. It was so cool to go to Ireland and to see you again and I brought my tattoo gear because I really wanted to have a chance to tattoo them while I was there and I did. I tattooed them, brought a few extra needles and tubes, so I actually got to the rest of the people I was there with as well, had a whole day of tattooing. It was really fun and I got you and two tattoo me, so I have a little tattoo on my hand from them. I love it. I look at it every day, of course, with some hand and, yeah, it was a gift. It was so, so good to see you and after almost 20 years and I also got tattooed in Ireland by another person, but that's another story that we don't need to go into. The tattoo from you and was definitely it, that's what I kind of went to Ireland for. Anyway, number 11, I figured out how to eat and what supplements to take to manage my PMDD. I get pretty bad premenstrual dysphoric disorder, I realized from doing research online, so things got kind of bad. I started looking at what was going on with me and figured out that's what it was. And what's been really helping me is taking magnesium. I've been taking magnesium now for I don't know, probably four to five to six months. I take it daily and it really helps my mood. It helps me not get too depressed and the other thing I'm doing is managing my blood sugar with the glucose revolution book tips. That person is also on Instagram is glucose goddess, and I know that they that she's helped a lot of people be better at managing their blood sugar and be happier, because it affects literally everything your energy level, how you sleep, your, your, your mood. I mean those things right. They're super important. I've been following those tips. I did talk about it in the previous podcast. I'm not going to go into it now, but it's really kind of changed my life and really helped me manage my anxiety and my mood, which is huge. So I'm really I'm happy I got to do that this year. Number 12 is gym gains. All my numbers are up. I'm squatting, I'm benching, I'm lifting more than I ever have before and I'm happy about it. It's, it's really been a matter of doing it a lot, enjoying it and pushing myself, but knowing when to stop. Having good friends in the gym to sort of get inspired by shout out to Kirsten, my gym boyfriend, and having an amazing coach, coach Brooks, best coach I've ever had. I love all my other coaches, issa. I love you too, brooks, I you're on a pedestal. I'm sorry. I know it's not the best being on a pedestal, but you just are. And thank you. Thank you for all the ways in which I have gotten better at gym stuff. I told you that I am fine being mediocre and I am, but it's also really fun to be better. Number 13, finding my way back to James Olivia's page and putting myself in spaces with them as a spaceholder and a teacher and it's been really cool to get to know them and other people in their spaces. I'm happy to be part of this community and I feel like I have gained a friend, inspiration, mentor across the board, so that's pretty cool. Number 14, I got my shit together and ended up reading almost as many books as I read last year. I read 24 books last year. I decided that was a 24, something along those lines. Right, there are 12 months and I decided that if I read 24 books, it would basically be a book every two weeks, which is a really relaxed space for book reading. For the most part depends on who you are and how fast you read, and I did that last year and this year. I was like I'm so behind because of the podcast. My energy was so tied up in the podcast that I just didn't didn't have it in me to also read as much. So I lagged behind for a long time in the year and then in the last six months I read a bunch and so I think I'm at like 22 23, so almost as many. And now it's not really like a numbers game, but it makes me feel good to know that I read enough books to feel like I'm reading, because reading is important to me and it feels good and I like. I like it as a as a hobby. I like to pick out the books I want to read. I like to order them from the library, I like to go pick them up, I like to be excited about them and I like to read them and then I like to have read them. I like to mark my little red in good rates and if you're a reader and you don't have good rates, you should get it, because so it can be friends on good rates. And the last number, 15, it's not the last thing I accomplished this year, because I'm sure there were more, but it's the last thing on this list that I could think of when I took these notes. It was starting my little gay pony sticker collection, which happened around Pride. This year. I started drawing ponies, my little ponies in kind of a queer context, and I now have three full ponies and a pony head, a pony that's listening to the podcast. I have a little sticker for the podcast as well, with the head. But yeah, I have a trans pony that's lifting weights, I have a chubby cheerleader pony and I have a badass like a fam queer fam like boxing pony, that's all pink, that she's based on my bestie, my best friend, andy. I'm excited about my gay pony collection. I am gonna put them up on Etsy and try to sell them, but also I just like having them in the shop and I give some away here and there to folks. And yeah, these are the things I did this year, some of them that felt good to me, that felt like accomplishments, and I really hope that you have a list similar. I hope you look back through a year and you figured out where you really felt accomplished and proud of yourself, where you made beautiful connections, where you did projects, completed projects that you weren't sure you were gonna complete, if you took trips that you've wanted to take, if you read things you wanted to read, if you ate in a way that made you feel better, if you moved in a way that made you feel better. Whatever your life gains are, I'd be happy to hear about it. So feel free to drop me a note and let me know how the year went for you. I hope you appreciate all the ways in which it was good and, as we enter next year, I'll be here every week with you, talking to you while you walk your dog or wash your dishes or drive, or just sit and listen. I love you very much. Thank you so much for making the podcast worth making because you're there listening and I so appreciate you being here and until next time, happy new year you.