“PokemonGo is better than a Fitbit!” I couldn’t really argue with that, because I had never used either of them. Growing up, I didn’t watch Pokemon or play the games, but now at the age of 26, I found myself looking for something new. I had recently quit my job to stay home with our newborn baby. During this transition period, I had a realization. When you go to school, you get grades and your grades give you validation. When you go to work, you get a paycheck and your paycheck gives you validation. When you are a stay-at-home mom, you have messes and cooking and within hours or even minutes of completing these tasks, they need to be done again. I loved my baby but found myself wondering where the validation was in the dirty clothes and spit up? I was searching for validation in my new role, and here was my friend Brett, telling me that I should be searching for Pokemon instead.
I finally decided to download the app. The camera function was on and instantly the ordinary world around me was filled with magical creatures! The day I got PokemonGo, I not only found Pokemon but I found validation! I found validation with every kilometer I walked as I hatched Pokemon from eggs! I didn’t know how to pronounce their names, but I knew that they were SUPER CUTE!
With my newborn strapped to me, I walked and walked as I worked to become a Pokemon Master! My baby loved the gentle rocking movement and being outside. When we finally got home, I opened up my Pokedex and I found even more validation! Together we had caught a small army of adorable Pokemon!
Rather than carrying a Togepi in my backpack, like Misty, I carry around my little girl in a baby carrier. She’s my official, ever present, Pokemon Buddy! I never switch her out for somebody else and we’re always together; collecting Pokemon items and doing the grocery shopping.
When my husband started dental school, we moved to a new state and I felt as if I had lost all my social ties. Then, I got the special research goal to “make 3 new friends”. Once again, Brett gave me some advice. He helped me get added to the local University’s PokemonGo Facebook group. At first, I just stood around the edges of the group during raids, but soon, I realized that I had found community! A group of fun individuals who help me take down large and dangerous Pokemon! Not only had PokemonGo given me a sense of validation, it had given me a community! And, most importantly, it gives me something to do with my baby that we both enjoy!