This post is a 50-word writing challenge that was requested of me from my stream as a Channel Point Reward redemption, courtesy of Twitch user BoneBoi51n5.
The original prompt request was rather long, so I shortened to something more manageable for a title.
Original Prompt: Area 51, the capitol, you’ve raided their secrets, at great cost to your sanity, you have achieved ultimate power… You are Florida Man.
I fuckin’ KNEW IT! I told everyone and nobody would listen!
Well, fuck ‘em. It took a lot of work but I proved them wrong.
Everyone doubted I could get into Area 51. But I showed them! I stole it ALL!
Now I alone control the aliens through my squirrels!
Educational Note: For anyone reading this that’s not aware, “Florida Man” is a meme about the wild and unbelievable news stories that come out of Florida. It’s not just that everyone living there teaches their pet crocodiles to ride 4-wheelers, or stabbing each other with squirrels over a petty squabble. State and Local governments of Florida operate under the “Sunshine” Law, which (in brief terms) increases government transparency by making all records public as soon as they are available. This includes making arrest records available to the public, which is where the “Florida Man” gets its outrageous origins. According to the text of the law itself, there ARE exceptions, but otherwise almost nothing is locked up behind bureaucracy and red tape. There, that’s a thing a you know now. Have a great day!
This post is a 50-word writing challenge that was requested of me from my stream as a Channel Point Reward redemption, courtesy of Twitch user TheBigPapaPanda.This request also originally came with an angry, but again, the titles don’t like those characters. So here’s some more. >:[ >:[ >:[
We couldn’t believe it! We managed to beat the next boss together and felt invincible! We were VIKINGS! Our overconfidence carried is into the Plains far ahead of planned.
Poor Darth never saw it coming.
Her scream haunts us, but mostly she’s screaming at the first deathsqito that obliterated her.
When I first started writing this post, I felt like I had a good idea of what I wanted to say. I got through several paragraphs of rambling about some things from my past and trying to connect their lessons to an experience I had earlier today. Instead, I deleted all of it after talking with a friend and thinking out loud about what happened to make me want to write this post in the first place. Personally, I felt I was on the right track but not for quite the right reasons.
Although I felt like it all related and could have helped explain where I’m coming from, I realized that what I REALLY wanted to write about wasn’t specific examples of my past and how I feel I’ve come to develop some measure of self-respect. I just wanted to talk about the present experience.
Now I’m just going to write about the experience itself.
I understand that there are people out there that have good intentions when they gift some a game, whether that be digitally or physically, but sometimes you have to take other factors into account. I meant no offense in the way that I was trying to not accept something, even if it WAS supposed to be received at the beginning of next month. There were a few things that bothered me about the situation, though, and I felt like I wasn’t respected. The person in question, who I’m assured by a friend is just being nice and does this kind of thing often with no expectation of anything in return, just came across the wrong way to me. I probably could have handled it more tactfully, that much is for certain, but I’m not put into this situation very often so I kind of had a knee jerk emotional reaction.
The discussion started with trying to get final confirmation of some details for a game night. We were supposed to play D&D. Unfortunately, the DM had to cancel, so my friend and I were thinking roughly the same thing. In the absence of D&D, we could stream! My friend suggested that maybe we could co-op stream something. However, at this point it should be noted that the conversation was happening early in the day while I was at work and so I didn’t have every opportunity to respond and keep up. The conversation spiraled away from the original intent. My friend had started to ask what games I had that we could possibly play together, and others in the group started to chime in. One game in particular was brought up and everyone else had it but me. It was brought up that it was available through Microsoft’s Game Pass service and that it should be relatively inexpensive to get access to that. My initial response was filled with honest hesitation at the thought of spending money. I mentioned that I was cutting off my spending for a couple months and would prefer to play something I knew I already had in my possession. It was that things started going kind of sideways. One of the other people in the group said they would buy it for me on the first of the month. Not a second after that message came through was when I followed up my first message with a comment about how I had already spent more than a few hundred dollars on games. This was especially important to me to mention because I recognized that I had bought SEVERAL games in the last 6 months and not touched any of them. (Seriously, I bought New Pokemon Snap on release and still haven’t unwrapped it.) So I didn’t want to spend more money on something that I may not actually use. The other person must have done the same thing as I did, following up with an immediate message because my last message came through simultaneously as theirs, with them saying something that gave me the impression that I wouldn’t have a choice. That they would buy it for me and that was that.
So here’s the point where the title of this post comes into play.
My knee jerk reaction to that last message….
“No offense, but please don’t pressure me…”
Their response was that they weren’t pressuring, they just like buying games for friends. This is a great sentiment, and one I resonate with because I like to do the same! The problem I have with this situation is that out of this particular group, I know two people fairly well (having known them for 2-3 years minimum through Twitch) but the rest I haven’t known for very long at all. A handful of D&D sessions over the internet on average, but I haven’t actually met any of them and they all know each “In The Real”, so to speak. Additionally, I only ever talk to most of them for D&D related things and that’s all I have involved myself because I have all kinds of other games and social commitments. I even tried to point out that it feels like being pressured into a social commitment, but they made it clear that they didn’t intend for it to come off that way and that just because they had gifted me a game didn’t mean I absolutely had to play with them. They would never try to make it out to be that way.
To be clear, I felt flattered that they considered me a friend, but aside from the two, I barely actually know these individuals and to feel pressured (even if that wasn’t their intent) into doing something just feels weird and off-putting.
I felt bad for the way I reacted, but I also needed to explain to them that for me receiving a game like that comes with an obligation for a social commitment that I didn’t think I could fulfill because I already had a full plate. Any more and it would stress me out, and I would feel guilty if I couldn’t properly engage in that kind of social interaction, especially since that was the whole point of starting down that path of gifting. To be a part of the group and game together.
I’m sorry if there was a misunderstanding of good intentions. I didn’t want to cause any problems or hurt feelings down the road, but maybe in my attempt to head that off I caused hurt in the present.
For those that know me, you know that I’m not shy about self-reflection and being transparent about those moments. So I want to start this off with a brief recap of some of the events of the last 2 years followed by a little self-reflection to offer some perspective on the thanks I’m about to give.
Late Spring/early Summer of 2019, I forget when exactly, but I was dealing with some space issues. One of my roommates had gotten a puppy the year before, and as cute as he may have been he was a handful. At that time I had my gaming and streaming setup in the basement, and I shared the space with that roommate and his puppy as well as our main roommates dog. I didn’t initially mind the situation but at some point I decided I needed a little more privacy. So I made space in my bedroom and packed everything in there! It was nice for a while.
Then things started to take a turn in December of 2019. The news broke of a new coronavirus and COVID-19. We were starting to talk about it at work. Shortly thereafter we were planning for the impact it would have and the actions we would need to take. We started rotations on my team of some of us working from home and in office, and alternating. So I made space in my setup to bring work home. I had plenty of equipment that I could be flexible and not have to bring too much additional stuff home to be able to do my work.
Late March rolled around and we shifted to everyone working from home full time. We were encouraged to use webcams for meetings. For my team it was easier because we are a tight knit group, so we opted to have daily checkpoint calls with cameras on so we could get comfortable with the idea. (They also knew I occasionally streamed, so that helped too, I think.)
A few months went by like this, almost never leaving the house and rolling out of bed to directly be at my desk for work, and I needed a change. I rearranged my room to freshen up the vibe of my space. Then I hit a bit of wall, and that’s how I ended up writing about my thoughts on Screen Time Burnout.
I struggled through it for a few more months until I talked to my roommate (the other one had long since moved out prior to the start of the pandemic) about moving my computer setup back to the basement. I had realized I needed another change. To separate my work and home boundaries again. That more or less brings us to the present as it relates to my work situation, for which all told I am INCREDIBLY fortunate and grateful because I know that work (or lack of) was a major stressor for a lot of people over the course of this ongoing pandemic.
On the non-work side of all of those events was streaming. I don’t want to give too much credit to the platform in question because of their shitty handling of a lot of situations, but they do get SOME credit because they brought people together in a time where we couldn’t actually BE together.
Streaming, and watching current friends stream, connected me to new people. Individuals that I may not have encountered otherwise on the platform. So over the course of the last 8-10 months, I made a lot of new friends, and this is where I need to express my greatest heart felt thanks.
For the sake of respecting privacy I won’t use anyones real name, but you’ll know who you are.
To my friends in Colorado: Thank you for sticking it out with me for all these years, and for showing up to support me in everything, both on stream and off.
To my Twitch friends that I knew from before TwitchCon ’19: Thank you for including me in your lives on and off stream, and for helping me build a place for myself.
To the friends I met AT TwitchCon ’19: Thank you for the great time I was able to have at my first major convention in another state! You helped make that IRL adventure worthwhile, and I’m excited to watch you grow and succeed in endeavors.
To all the new friends I made over the last year: Thank you for being so warm and welcoming! Getting to know you through your streams, while playing games together, and even just chatting through discord, has been awesome.
And last but far from least, to the three new friends from Texas and Newfoundland that I probably spent the most time online with the last 10 months: Thank you for the love, support, and encouragement. You helped me pick back up the things I nearly gave up on. Without you three I feel like this post, and many, many others, wouldn’t exist.
There is one other thing that inspired me to write this post. Something I want to share with you all that popped up on my FB memories. I looked at it and realized how right, and also wrong, it was.
After seeing this again, I noticed that third item, “Very few friends”. I realized there is some truth to all these items listed, but that one in particular didn’t apply to me anymore. I have a lot of friends, and I appreciate each and everyone of you. You’ve all reminded me or taught me different things that I feel should be added to this list: Be patient; Don’t be afraid to fail, and forgive yourself when you do because you need to learn and improve somehow (okay that one got long); and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
So once again, THANK YOU to all of my friends that have helped me maintain my sanity, cheerleading and pushing me forward, spent time with me on those late nights and early mornings, and for letting me vent or mentally decompress when I felt overwhelmed. I know my returning to the office full time will change how much we interact with each other but I hope it doesn’t change us walking along the same path as we move forward through our lives. Thank you, so so much for everything.