2019 is going to be my year. how about you?
I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I feel as if a massive shift is beginning within me. With that shift comes a restless, inspired, almost frenetic energy that I know I won’t be able to contain – and I don’t want to.
2018 was a year of struggle, depression, loss, and pain. It was also a formative year that allowed me to be able to start on my journey to God knows where.
2018 taught me that I can be broken down beyond what I thought I could be.
2018 taught me that I care more about you guys than maybe I’ve let on, when we lost Gimp and I shut part of myself down for a long time. That was wrong of me to do, and I realize that now, especially due in part to some very wise words from some very close friends.
This is also why I’ve been so encouraged and buoyed through all the low points – because of you guys. Had I not been pushed to visit Mixer and then stumbled upon my first regular streamers, had they not been the amazing people they were, had the chats not been so positive and welcoming, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Every interaction, every kind word, every shoutout, every host, every follow, every like, every retweet, every word typed…all of that contributes to the person writing this to you.
It’s never been a secret that it’s a huge passion of mine to have a community built around togetherness and support. Since starting my time on Mixer, becoming a mod, then a streamer, joining communities, meeting new people and creating ideas and goals for myself, it’s encouraged me to start back on self-improvement. A lot of times we forget that very important step because things are going alright enough and we’re comfortable enough trying to balance everyday life. Sometimes that’s all we can do and all we can muster, and that’s okay. Those days are needed occasionally because we can’t be 100% all the time. I’m speaking of the rest of the times when we have more to be grateful for instead of more that’s plaguing us. Seeing friends begin their journeys on Mixer, seeing friends smash milestones and goals, and being able to celebrate with them is nothing short of addictive. There are few things more exciting and overall just feel great than when you witness people you care about get lifted up and supported in such big ways.
Gimp had a lot to do with how excited I get over even the smallest things. In all things he was grateful, thankful, and a lot of people’s biggest cheerleader, despite his unfortunately health-troubled situation. He would put us all to shame with the way he could convey such elation for someone else. It was contagious, and rightfully so. He was far from innocent, and sometimes a little clueless, but he always made up for it with enthusiasm. He was one of my earliest and biggest supporters who also quickly became a friend. He believed in me and my reluctantly revealed aspirations. He relentlessly pushed for me to share more of them, and was among the absolute earliest friends to suggest that I go for partnership. I demurred often, but the idea was there. A lot has changed in the landscape of partnership, and for a long time I was disenchanted with the whole idea. I was happy staying in my little corner of the platform. Even though that was on the back burner, I finally did start to explore the dormant creative side of me through painting and singing. Things were looking up, regardless of me not playing super popular games, switching games so often, and streaming inconsistently despite having a loose schedule. I was getting encouraged.
When we lost Gimp in July, I shut down. It hurt to want to do a lot, knowing we’d not see him pop up in chat with a quote-worthy comment. I didn’t want to sing. I didn’t want to paint. I barely wanted to stream, despite how I felt when I hit the broadcast button. I kept going because I didn’t know what else to do. It was a routine that I enjoyed, but I was more aimless. It was still fun, but was there really a point to it? I loved my community, my friends and streaming, but I was entertaining thoughts of slowing down or stopping altogether. I wanted to stop before it became a negative source in my life, and it was fast approaching, despite having recently changed careers which was a huge positive push for me and things going well in general.
Then, I attended PAX West.
I can’t tell you I remember any of the games I demoed.
I can’t tell you I remember how many booths I visited.
I can tell you I remember the excitement from finally seeing my friends in person and getting to hug them at every opportunity.
I can tell you I remember the general sense of contentment and happiness felt from spending time with these people who, for some, had been on this journey for the better part of a year.
I can also tell you that really and truly remembering that there are people behind those usernames whose lives I’ve become a part of in some fashion is something that slapped some sense back into me.
I can also tell you that some of the most memorable, entertaining and genuine streamers most of you know and adore on Mixer are even moreso behind the scenes, and I’ve been so glad that I’ve met who I’ve met and learned from who I’ve learned from in the past year and a half.
I can also tell you how ashamed I was of how I was feeling. Gimp wouldn’t have wanted me to feel any of that, and especially not because of him. He would’ve told me off six ways to Sunday, and he would’ve been right to do it. (Thank you, Val. You’re absolutely right.)
I started painting again. I started singing again, albeit very slowly. When I hit 2000 followers on stream, I sang.
I sang for Gimp. I sang for me. I sang to remember. And I sobbed, openly.
I was tired of crying behind a ‘be right back’ screen. I was tired of keeping the sadness to the side because I didn’t want to offend someone else. I let it out, and I let it go. I gave up that reluctant, self-imposed block.
I’m back on this journey.
I’m going for partnership.
I’ll continue to update my content.
I’ll strive to open more lanes for myself.
I’ll keep trying to make my message heard.
I quietly started this website in 2017, and haven’t done much with it. In 2019, this is going to change. I have plans that I’d like to get off the ground, which include contributing more to this once I have the general layout figured out.
It’s because of this whole experience thus far, and the possibility of what’s to come because of each of you, that I am pushed to do more, achieve more, and be more. This has expanded beyond streaming, mixer, and the internet in general. This extends into my personal life. It’s about time I had a mantra that I can focus on throughout anything. I needed something to hold onto last summer, and I didn’t. And I saw what happened when I didn’t have something to ground me, and I don’t like what I saw. So this year, and going forward, I am going to be more.
be meaningful. be matchless. be magnanimous.
be oriented. be openhearted. be outstanding.
be resilient. be radiant. be receptive.
be encouraging. be exceptional. be enjoyable.
Be the best you that you can possibly be, because there’s only one you to be it. Be straightforward and sincere, because you never know how you are inspiring or influencing others, even if they never tell you about it. Be prominent and uncommon because you deserve to be. Don’t limit it to just one adjective. Be what you can to whomever you can, but also remember to apply these things to yourself even when you don’t believe anyone else is doing it.
I think we could all use a gentle push, a reminder of why we’re all here and why we all matter. That we can do things with the help of others, and that we should learn to trust what others see in us, despite what may be lingering inside our own heads. We are all we’ve got. We deserve to treat each other better, and uplift each other regardless if it’s to hit a goal, offer a kind word, or just to check in to make sure someone is seen and noticed and valued.
Of course, I would love to hear from you should you decide to join in, but this won’t be something that I’ll necessarily be pushing onto others. Think of this as more of an open invitation.
In this year, and far, far beyond: