Fair warning, this is a mostly personal, real-life post. There will be some gaming tidbits near the end.
2016 looks to finally be my year. When I moved to LA from my old podunk town, I came with the expectation of getting my life back on track. First I needed to get my license back in order, which was one of the first things I did. I had been out of school for a while too, so I needed to get back to that as well. The tail end of 2014 was pretty much a wash, just getting accustomed to the new area and starting the process on my license. By mid-2015, I had my license back and started thinking about getting back to school. It seemed at every turn, I was being pulled in different directions, and my own self-loathing didn’t help things along. In the summer, I finally got back into school, and at this point I only have eight months to go before I get my Bachelors Degree in Business. Knowing I’m so close has kept me motivated, and my grades have been above average. I did have several interviews over the course of the year but no luck securing employment. I was living off of family and it was driving me crazy, but I couldn’t push myself to get something going, and having no one out here to “put in a good word” or give me a “foot in the door” was discouraging. I focused my efforts on being creative and trying to find ways to make money via the Internet, but it was going nowhere fast. I have built a decent following via this blog, and my podcast’s audience seems to be growing as well, but it’s not paying the bills and my guilt for leaning on family members was building. After the calendar’s page flipped to 2016, I knew that I had to put out a better effort in finding gainful employment, if nothing else to just stave off that guilt and to also get me by until I get my degree. After that point, more opportunities will most likely arise.
Scouring sites such as Craigslist and Indeed, I put out countless copies of my resume and though it wasn’t getting me immediate results, I kept plugging away. Finally, last week I received a call about an interview. I had been to this point with other employers before, so I wasn’t holding my breath. After the interview though, I had a really good feeling about things. I’m probably over qualified for the job, and it’s not paying a whole hell of a lot, but I know I can handle anything they can throw at me, and that’s a good start. I was told I’d hear back if they wanted to have a second interview, and they called me back the very next day. After the second interview, I felt that the job was mine, but I was told that the final decision would be made this week. The call came in today, and I start work tomorrow. It’s going to be part time hours to start, but I think before long I’ll get more hours and will make more money. I see potential to grow, but in the event that it is one of those dead-end situations, my degree should save me from floundering in obscurity. I hate to toot my own horn, but I moved from a place I lived from the time I started high school up until 1.5 years ago, sorted out my legal issues, and got a job in that time. It’s not the fastest pace, but I’m proud of myself for getting this far without giving up hope.
A couple of weeks ago I received my tax return, and with that came the ability to pick up a few things that I wanted, and take care of some debts. There were other things I would have liked to buy, and other things I would have liked to take care of, but I wasn’t sure when the next bit of money was going to come in, so I thought it would be wise to hang on to some of it. Being a gamer, the obvious thing to do was to buy some games so that I wouldn’t have to spend money on anything else, and sit on the rest of the cash in the event it was needed. I picked up a PS4, which I mentioned in a post not too long ago. I also bought a new headset that should theoretically improve the quality of my podcasting and video commentary. I still have dreams of making money via podcasting or YouTube, but I’m not so unrealistic to not keep a day job in the meantime.
Unexpectedly, my school grant check came in this week as well, and it was much bigger than I expected. In fact, it’s the biggest check I’ve ever received from the school. It was big enough that I could basically fix everything else I needed to fix, and have plenty of money to save and/or blow on top of it. The first thing I did was open a new bank account. I had closed the account I had prior to that because I didn’t have an income and they’d want to charge me monthly fees. With a new debit card in hand, I took my car straight to a mechanic and told them I wanted to fix everything that was wrong with it. I needed some suspension work done which has been driving me crazy for a long time now, plus brakes and an oil change. That was completed today, and though it was a pretty penny, my car is in tip top condition again and now I’m looking forward to the road trips I can make with it. I also got some quotes for a new stereo head unit from some local shops on Yelp, mainly because the stock stereo is ten years old now and has been on the fritz for about a month. I stopped by one of the shops and picked out a new Kenwood stereo and put a deposit on the parts they had to order to install it. Hopefully I’ll have that in by this weekend, and my car will truly be back to 100%.
There are a few more doodads I’d like to pick up as well. I’m at the point where it’s time to upgrade my phone, and I’ve decided that I want to get an Android, as I’m sick of the lack of support for Windows phones. I’ve also been thinking of buying a tablet in lieu of working out a 2-monitor setup. I’ve seen some good deals on ones that will do all that I want them to do, and for only about $500. At that point, I think I’ll have basically everything that’s been on my wish list for a couple of years now, and life will be right where I want it to be. The journey back to independence has been a long one, but I feel that all the decisions I’ve made over the last couple of years have brought me to this point and I feel like I made the right ones. I feel truly happy for the first time in a long time.
As for the blog and my other projects, they aren’t going anywhere. I will still be able to fit in blog posts, podcasts and the occasional YouTube video. I did stop posting on the Digital Backwoods, mainly because I am not playing anything that lends itself to landscape shots. I’m not going to close the blog because there’s a bunch of cool screens there, and perhaps I’ll get back into the swing of things eventually, but for now it’s just going to lay dormant.
I think that covers everything I wanted to talk about. Thanks for reading, and as always, happy gaming!