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.