Pokémon has been a huge part of my life since I was a child. I still remember that Christmas day in ‘99. I just could not believe my eyes. A purple Gameboy Color and Pokémon: Yellow Version. It was the happiest day of my childhood. The joy I felt ripping open that box cannot be compared to anything. I can still remember the smell of the manual. When that Gameboy powered on, my life changed!
My love for Pokémon grew from then on. I started to collect Pokémon cards and dragged my mom to several events and movie theaters to get all the promos. To this day, I still have some of those promos. My Ancient Mew and three Legendary Birds are some of my most precious possessions. Growing up, it was definitely difficult to express my love and passion, due to the stigma that games are more catered to boys than girls. This was especially hard throughout middle and high school. I couldn’t be myself. I would hide who I was and pretend to like other things just to avoid being picked on.
After high school, everything changed for me. I met some incredible people who brought me back to my love of Pokémon. They bought me my own copy of Pokémon Y, and I fell in love all over again. My friends not only accepted me and my affection for this franchise, but they also showed me there was no reason to ever hide who I am or what I love. It felt so great to just be accepted and not have to hold back. That game quickly became my number 2 favorite game of all time (after Pokémon: Silver Version). I put in over 600 hours!
Around that time, I started hearing about Pokémon Tournaments on Reddit. I decided I wanted to join in on that, so I joined several subreddits and did some breeding and training to get my perfect team. My friends and I would meet every weekend to practice and battle with each other. I played at several VGCs (Video Game Competitions) and even scored 21st place out of 550+ participants! I still have my promo cards from those tournaments. These tournaments really opened my eyes to just how big Pokémon truly is. So many different people from all over the country, all brought together by our collective love of Pokémon.
Pokémon is and will continue to be a huge part of my life. Here we are, 25 years later, and it is still going strong with no signs of slowing down!❤️