Between the two jobs I alternate between when it comes to writing and the games I tend to play and the other developments in my social life, I think I have it pretty good.
Thing is, for the past few years, I think I was in a bad place mentally and emotionally, without really fully understanding what was causing it. In one sense, I knew it was loneliness, because the loneliness crept in so bad sometimes that I played games less for enjoyment and more as some kind of numbing agent. I played games because it was part of my routine, and because it was a routine I controlled, I felt in control of something in my life when other stuff was out of my ability to control.
Gosh, that was a meandering sentence… anyway.
I think I’ve finally come to terms with the realization that where I am now started because of my first job, how it ended, and how I responded to it.
Way back in 2008, I was let go from a video game newswriting job that I really felt comfortable in. It was my first full-time job, and I think that in some respects, I was devastated by it. It was something I was good at, and I couldn’t control my keeping the job even if I was good at it.
After a short stint in a call center, I felt I needed time to figure out what I would do.At the time, silly me thought that it was a good time to go back to the only place I felt comfortable in and had some control over, which was in school. I wanted to learn how to teach.
I did well enough in my classes, but I knew there was something wrong. I kept thinking that I was here, doing this, simply because I was buying time for myself. At the same time, I didn’t feel like I was moving forward and I also didn’t feel like I was actually good at teaching.
So by late 2010, I had basically shut down on a few fronts. When the classes were over and the requirements needed to be passed at the end of the term in March, I procrastinated, I moved inch-by-inch, and eventually, even though I had all the data needed to pass the requirements, I didn’t complete it by March 2011. What did I do? I got a job and played RIFT’s beta, then when simply playing RIFT became too much of an emotional butcher’s knife to my conscience, I changed games.
In 2011, I switched jobs more than I ever had. I had a total of four jobs (five, if I take my two current writing jobs separately). I tried phone support and eventually left from anxiety issues. I wrote product specifications for stuff sold on a website. I traded that job to write stuff for a start-up website, and was let go six weeks later. Then I got a job writing Amazon related news and along with that came a shot at writing a column for MMORPG.com.
Through those two jobs and the friendship of Cassandra, whom I got to know through blogging, I was given a chance to get back on track. For once, I felt like it was okay to lose control, because somehow, if I worked hard enough at it and took an opportunity when it presented itself instead of being scared all the damned time, it would work out and right itself again.
This comes full circle now to today, because I just realized that I’m playing RIFT again, and it’s going to almost be a year since those requirements I needed to send in would force an auto-fail of my classes.
I talked to my advisor in one class, who is now the head of the Education department, and she’s willing to help me out in getting back on track to finish my Masters. I just need to grab the data and do the analyses and write-up for her class, and then find out how to resolve the issue with the other class. Something tells me I might fail that second class, because I have no idea how to get the requirements for that one resolved, but the one where my teacher’s supporting me?
I will get that done on time, and it’ll be good work. No amount of RIFT play or other games will stop me from finishing my Masters, even if I have to take a class again. I just need to work my butt off, and get in gear.
It’s time to take control of my life again, and to not let the failures dictate the majority of my life.