For those of you who know what kind of video games I like, you know that I’ve always loved Animal Crossing. It’s one of the first series I name whenever I’m asked what my favorite games are. But for those of you not in the know, or not that into video games in general, this might be coming out of left field a little bit. Animal Crossing is a series of video games in which you play a human character living on a town/island with an array of humanoid animals. You can customize your living space, interact with the animal villagers, or go fishing, dig up fossils, and catch bugs to add to your museum. These are just some of the things you can do, but most activities fit within this laid-back and relaxing theme. What makes the series uniquely different from most others is how the game progresses in real-time, meaning that the season, the time of day, and certain key holidays all coincide with how they do in the real world. It’s a really unique characteristic that sets it apart from most games.
On the surface, it might not seem all that appealing and it might not seem like the kind of experience you’d be looking for from a video game. And honestly, for a lot of people, it actually isn’t. It’s an acquired taste and you certainly have to have an appreciation for this kind of game to get full enjoyment out of it. It’s definitely not for everyone, even though it seems like more and more people are jumping onto the bandwagon as the series goes on, especially after Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out right at the start of the pandemic. But Animal Crossing as a series has always held a special place in my heart, and the recent announcement of a buttload of free new content just has me thinking about it again.
I actually feel a strange amount of guilt for not staying devoted to New Horizons like I had planned. For a solid several months I had made a point to hop on at least once a day, but after I finally missed a day I haven’t picked up the game once since. And at that point, even over 100 hours in, I still had plenty of work to do on making my island what I wanted it to be and fully utilizing all the features. So if I still had plenty more to do back then, now I feel an even more overwhelming desire to get back into the game since there will be so much more to do come November 5th with the new update.
It’s hard to explain what exactly drew me into Animal Crossing and what has made it stand the test of time as one of my favorite series ever. On paper the concept seems so bizarre, but something about the laid-back nature and relaxing charm of the series has stuck with me. I give a lot of credit to Animal Crossing for pushing me towards my love of life simulation genre games in general, too. In the future, when I have more time, maybe I’ll go into more detail on my love for the series and what it means to me. But for now I just wanted to throw my love for it out there since it’s top of mind for me at the moment. I guess we’ll see come next month just how much time I put into the game again.
Videos I Posted This Week:
Things I Enjoyed This Week:
Midnight Mass (Netflix series) Metroid Dread (video game) GG Melee (YouTube channel) Pentatonix – The Lucky Ones Deluxe (album) Little Mix – Confetti (album)
Please excuse me being behind on all my shit. Not only am I behind on editing, I’m behind on filming, plus I have a lot of catching up to do in terms of television and other things I would like to talk about. It has all just sort of piled up. Which of course can happen from time to time, especially with so much on my plate, but I have full confidence that I’ll be back on the proper horse in no time. But we never miss the weekly blog post, you understand me, we never miss those, so that’s why I’m doing this before everything else I’m behind on.
In recent times I’ve had this habit of going for walks at all hours of the night. While there’s definitely a lot more you can do during the day, and I love me some good daylight, there’s something about the night time that makes me want to go outside. A lot of the time it’s not so much a desire to go out as it is a desire to go out, you know what I’m saying? Probably not, but that’s okay. Mostly it comes down to me feeling too cooped up when I’m inside in a small room by myself. So the only real alternative is to go. That can come in the form of a late night drive, just sitting outside, or a full-on walk around the town. In addition to feeling cooped up, these late-night activities are often inspired by a desire to be alone with my thoughts as well. Don’t get me wrong though, I am also the kind of person who would probably be down for almost anything if someone were to call me late at night. I love the idea of spontaneously doing things at night, even if it’s something as simple as a quick drive or a long talk. Especially if I know I have the following day off from work, you can literally catch me out in these streets walkin’, bro. I’m a whole night owl, a creature of the night, whatever you wanna call it.
There’s just something so alluring about night time in general. Not only are things you only see at night like neon lights so aesthetically pleasing and cool, but a lot of great experiences come out of the nighttime vibe. I feel like a lot of the most important/thought-provoking/interesting conversations I’ve ever had were at night. There’s something about the night that tends to get you a little more vulnerable and introspective/reflective, from my experience at least. And those are the times I remember and appreciate the most. But hey, that could just be my perspective. Regardless, that undeniably all feeds into why I appreciate the night time so much.
Since I’m a night owl, naturally I’m not much of an early bird. In an ideal world I could always stay up late and never have to wake up early. Though I fully concede that regularly waking up early is probably the healthier option long-term, especially in the typical work week structure, it’s just not in my nature. Whenever I have to wake up absurdly early it throws off my whole mojo and I inevitably end up crashing in the middle of the day after I’ve finished whatever I needed to be up early for. So for now I am a true night owl. The one thing I’m missing is a way to realistically play basketball at night. Then I’d be set for life. I’ll just have to wait until I get my own personal indoor basketball court.
Videos I Posted This Week:
Things I Enjoyed This Week:
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl (Game) The Circle (Netflix series) Little Mix – Salute (Album)
As I sit here I am freezing cold. The fact that just a couple of days ago it was hot and now it’s cold, that’s pretty wild. We went from sweaty weather to sweater weather real quick, and my clothing choices have not quite caught up to the changes yet either. I’m in a damn tank top over here. I’m up writing this in the early morn, colder than I’ve been in a long while, because I literally didn’t possess the energy to go on after editing a video late into the night last night (and I won’t have any time to write this for the rest of the day today). So I’m here, colder and more exhausted than I’ve been for some time, just writing whatever comes to mind since I had nothing specifically planned to write about. But hey, that’s the beauty of life or some shit.
Can we talk about how cold it is right now, though, for real? It’s legitimately 48 degrees outside right now, which for some reason translates to it being even colder indoors for me. I am not nearly equipped enough to fight this fight; I should be cozied up with multiple layers and hunkered down, but ain’t nobody got time for that because I’ve got to write this blog, finish uploading my video, and then get ready to fly over to work in just a couple of hours. I really feel so spent right now, it’s hard to be motivated during these times.
Naturally this is going to be a shorter blog, so I guess I’ll take this time to give another update on where my head is at exactly. The past few weeks I’ve really just had this overarching feeling of “I need to get out of here.” Not just in the sense that I’m unhappy with where I’m at in life, which I’ve established before on these blogs, but more-so in the sense that I just have this feeling of not wanting to be cooped up for too long. Not so much in the freezing cold like this, but in the nice weather we’ve had for the past few weeks I’ve definitely taken the opportunity just to go outside at random points, whether it be at night or in the day. A lot of the time it tends to be at night that I get this urge to go outside and at least get some fresh air because me being cooped up in a small room for too long tends to not be a fun combo lately.
I haven’t been all that shy about the fact that I am a bit of an emotional wreck these days. I mean, this past week in particular hasn’t been particularly bad comparatively, but it’s something I continue to deal with. Mostly what I mean by “emotional wreck” is that in general I tend to get emotional over things far more easily than I used to. I could be in a fine mood one minute but then something often largely insignificant could happen that just wrecks my mood for a period of time. And on top of that, I just feel sad in general way more than I’d like to (or should). This is all stuff I’ll have to continue to work on, but I would like to at least note that I am incredibly grateful for my support base of friends and family during these times as well. Not only do I have a good group of friends that are consistently there for me in general, but this past week especially, since I have frustratingly been without a car, they have all been giving me rides at crucial times when I otherwise would have been screwed. I feel bad because this past week I have been like a bum trying to hitch a ride every day, and I’m so out of the way for most people so it’s a real inconvenience, but they have been there for me nonetheless so I am definitely grateful for that.
That being said, it’s frustrating being without a car. It feels like just another setback for me which I really can’t afford right now. The thing is, I have no need or interest in a nice car, I just need one that functions. As long as I can get from one place to another with some amount of safety, that’s all I care about. And yet, my 2003 Toyota Solara isn’t doing too hot for me now and I’m not sure where to go from here. I hate depending on people and being an inconvenience, but that’s just where I’m at until I can figure something out unfortunately. But of course that’s just a minor distraction in the grand scheme of things. I have so much about my life that I still want/need to change in order to better myself and get myself in a happier place, and I need to get started on that pronto.
If you don’t want to hear any details about the newest season of Survivor, now would be the time to avert your gaze. Honestly, Survivor has been top of mind for me ever since I watched the premiere of season 41, so I felt like it only made sense for me to write about it here. I need to do a serious brainstorming session and figure out what I should write about for the weeks to come, though, for sure.
If you want to see my actual reaction to the premiere and immediate thoughts afterword, be sure to check out the video I just posted today on the Tarqaron YouTube channel. Or, if you want to take a step back, check out the video I did with my friend Rusty where we talked about everything we knew before the season began, including a full cast assessment and draft! I’ve got a lot on my plate so I’m sure it will be overwhelming at times, but my plan is to do a video for every episode of 41, in addition to going through Survivor: Palau with my friend Alec concurrently (starting in a few days)! So for all you Survivor fans, there will be no shortage of Survivor love on all of the things I’m creating.
The reason that 41 is such a monumental season is because of the show having the longest break between seasons that its ever had, courtesy of COVID-19. If you followed any of the pre-season articles/interviews, you would know that they went into Survivor 41 with the full intention of doing something significantly different and marking a new era in the show. Whereas traditionally fans had always been the ones to retroactively define the different eras of Survivor in their own terms, this would be the first time where the showrunners themselves would declare a new era before it even began. In all the pre-season talk, Jeff Probst emphasized how they were ramping up the “danger” in the show by making changes like decreasing the amount of days from 39 to 26 to make for a grueling pace and only offering meager supplies and very minimal rewards. Players would have to fight for everything they got; nothing would come easy.
While I was concerned by talk of things like potential “controversial twists,” I was here for the ramped-up pace and miniscule supplies, and was optimistic about what a “new era” could do for the show’s health and longevity. I am happy to say that the premiere really sold me on this new direction for Survivor. Everything from the lively cast to the awesome changes in cinematography really breathed a whole new life into Survivor. It felt like I was watching a different show entirely at times. But at the same time, it retained so much of what I love about Survivor and it was honestly just really refreshing to not only see Survivor again but to see so many people (including Jeff) thrilled to be there and interacting with each other. A combination of COVID and a break from Survivor made every interaction that much sweeter throughout the whole premiere. Though I am definitely someone who loves to think and talk about the strategy of Survivor, the human/social element has become more and more important to me over the past couple of years especially, and on that level it was great to see a bunch of smiling faces on my screen.
And in terms of the strategy aspect, I felt like the premiere also delivered in that regard, and I suspect there will be no shortage of exciting gameplay throughout the rest of the season. Even the new twists/advantages that have been shown and teased don’t seem too unreasonable so far, and this idea of everyone’s votes constantly being vulnerable could make for some interesting shenanigans down the line potentially. The Survivor 41 cast seems so solid, not only in that they are entertaining to watch, but also in that they are all so excited to be there and as a result are there to play. All of them are fans if not super fans, and if you combine that with this new break-neck pace, then I think we are in for quite a fun ride. No one will go quietly.
I just wanted to express overall how excited I am for the season and new direction as a whole, as well as how impressed I was with this first episode specifically. Maybe I’m just a sucker for some new Survivor love at this point, but almost everything really landed for me in this premiere, from peeling back the curtain and showing more of the behind-the-scenes crew to the epic slow-mo shots. I’m here for it all!
Now, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t blow it with some controversial twists toward the endgame, but for now I am just excited for what is to come. If you want to hear my thoughts on the specific happenings of each episode throughout Survivor 41, make sure to check out the Tarqaron YouTube channel and continue to stay tuned!
I can’t concentrate enough to write anything very deep or complex so I figured I would do a fun leel exercise of positivity. I’m literally just going to name a bunch of things that I love.
Pizza Playing basketball Throwing a frisbee Having philosophical discussions My friends My fam Making YouTube videos Watching YouTube videos Making people laugh Nice weather Board games Watching movies Watching good TV Road trips with good company Playing video games Listening to music Passionate people Discovering new talent Having meaningful conversations Piggies Laughing Iced tea Relaxing in a pool Eating chicken Chicken tendies Chicken nuggies Halloween vibes Life simulation games Fresh air Watching and making fun of awful movies Yogurt Christmastime Being a part of teams/communities Coming up with creative and fun ideas Learning more about people Kind people Empathetic people S’mores Love Knowledge Learning about different cultures History Stress-free days Heartfelt human moments Art that moves you Dreams
This was an interesting little exercise, actually. It’s nice to think in a more positive way, whether it be meaningful, thoughtful things like spending time with people you love or stupid, mindless things like chicken tendies. It’s also interesting to see the different ways my mind thought about this exercise, as I just kind of wrote what came to mind in the order that it came. So I essentially started with thinking about pizza and ended with thinking about dreams. This is definitely something I could do a follow-up to in the future as well, whenever I don’t feel like I can devote my full attention to a more detailed blog. And since I specifically left off specific things like specific music artists, video games, movies, shows, etc., I could always do something with that in the future as well (otherwise I would have been listing hundreds of specific movies and artists that I love).
Hopefully you got something out of this little blurb. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be all that deep, I guess.
I was on the phone with a dear friend of mine the other day and we got to talking about the idea of “making an impact” or “making a mark” on the world, and what we “get” out of doing certain things with our life/career choices. Is it important or helpful to think about things in these terms, or should we just be focusing on what we as individuals enjoy? To what extent, if any, should the impact of your work on others have any bearing on the work that you do? These were the kinds of questions we were throwing around, and I don’t know if there’s necessarily a concrete answer to any of them, but they’re interesting to think about.
I find myself having a hard time relating to people actively pursuing certain careers which, through my eyes, don’t seem to have much impact on the world at large or which don’t allow you to make your own mark, so to speak. Like, I get that certain careers are simply more profitable and that’s that, but what really motivates you then? I’d just really like to get inside the heads of some people to understand their perspective and their motivations that come with that. As a creative, most 9-5 jobs just seem really draining and unrewarding to me. For certain jobs, like medical professionals, it is clear to me how you could get satisfaction out of that work and feel motivated to do what you do. But for most other 9-5s, it’s really hard for me to wrap my head around. But I understand that not everyone has any interest in being an “artist,” so I’d really just like to be able to understand from that angle. Maybe this whole line of thinking is rooted in a belief that I have more to offer the world than what I can do in a 9-5 job. Heck, I don’t know. But I know the typical 9-5 lifestyle is not for me.
My friend would go on to contest that we should not be concerned or waste too much energy worrying about having an impact on the world but rather that we should just be motivated by doing what we want to do. Not to worry about what others think, just to do what we love for ourselves. And I largely agree with this mentality and the sentiment of it. My only qualm with this idea is that I believe we, as artists, inherently want to have an audience and to make an impact on others as a result. In that sense I would argue that all artists are motivated in one way or another by trying to leave their mark and as a result their individual love of their art wouldn’t be able to exist without someone being there to consume it in the first place. While it’s true that over the years I have put out countless things that little to no people seemed to care about, ultimately I love to entertain and to share my opinions so the things I create always feel more validated when people respond or care about them in some way. So while I do put out a lot of videos even though I know they probably won’t get many views in comparison to others, it’s still that idea that someone, somewhere, got something out of them, that is a big motivating factor. Even this blog was mostly started for myself, but I obviously could have kept everything private if I really didn’t care for anyone to read what I have to say. As an artist or a creative it is always so much more rewarding when you hear that what you create is appreciated on some level, even if you feel compelled to create it for your own sanity as well.
Hopefully all these thoughts were coherent and made sense in the way I presented them. Obviously all of these thoughts are formed through the prism of myself as someone who is entrenched in the creative arts side of things so my beliefs are limited in that regard, but hopefully you can understand where I’m coming from. If you have anything to add on the topics of “rewarding” careers or making an impact on the world, don’t hesitate to reach out because I genuinely would like to understand more perspectives and hear additional opinions.
As always I’m dealing with my depression one day at a time, but I’ve spent a lot of time thinking during my extended time away from work and I am motivated to make some change happen in my life. Thanks to everyone who continues to be there for me, and to this friend in particular for having this conversation with me and giving me the idea for this week’s blog. Much love to you and yours.
Depression can be hard sometimes, man. Just when I start to think I’ve figured some stuff out and am making some progress, it’ll come back and hit me harder than ever. And then I realize, yep, I’m definitely still depressed, though I might have fooled myself into thinking otherwise for a brief moment. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely in a better place than I was a few months ago, but during some particularly tough days it doesn’t feel that way, for sure. Depression has a harsh way of giving you a reality check every so often, just to make sure that you know you’re not out of the woods yet. Depression’s not something you can cure over-night, so it tends to lurk in the background, waiting for its opportunity to strike, even on your best of days.
That being said, I continue to spit-ball ideas on how I can improve. I feel like it can be slightly therapeutic every now and then to just let it all out and be sad for a little while, giving yourself some space to genuinely feel how you feel. But of course too much of that can be taxing as well, and a lot of times when I am in the sad zone I can basically become a zombie with no motivation to do anything, including not only anything productive but often not anything fun as well. I’ll just end up sitting in the same spot for a period of time just listening to sad music and doing nothing. Not a good look, I know. But sometimes that’s the only way to really get it all out and even that might be better than bottling it up forever. Outside of that I do think maybe just actively trying to have a more positive mindset could help. I haven’t put this plan into action yet, but this is a theory of mine that if I just tell myself that I am happy, even if I don’t believe it, then I might start to feel more happy in general. I used to do a better job of this back in the day, but the longer I’ve been depressed the harder it has become to even muster the kind of energy needed to give off such positive vibes on days when I’m not feeling it.
I do hate to be negative, so all of that was not to say that I’m in a worse spot than I was last week or the week before that or even the month before that, because I’m not. My point is really that it’s okay to not be okay, though I’m still finding ways to deal with that myself. For people who are depressed, one or two happy days certainly won’t make it all go away, though it certainly doesn’t hurt to have those happy days become a more common occurrence. So ultimately what I’m always working towards is trying to get myself into a position in life where I can experience those happy days more often than the sad days, where happiness is more of the norm for me rather than the exception.
Not that I have the most time in the world to work with on top of working, running two YouTube channels and this blog, but I was wondering if there might not be even more ways for me to channel my experiences and feelings into something creative. Particularly, some form of creative writing is what I had in mind. My only concern with that is I’m not sure if I have the knack for it nowadays. Other than the one screenwriting class I took in college, I literally haven’t done any creative writing with any sort of consistency since grade school, so my confidence in putting together some worthwhile stories isn’t exactly there at the moment. But hey, couldn’t hurt to challenge myself, right? The only problem with that is, like I said, trying to fit that in on top of everything else I’m working on, when I already don’t have enough time to enjoy some of my other hobbies as much as I’d like to. But that’s definitely something I’ll be thinking about in the coming weeks.
I stumbled across Pentatonix back in 2015 and it’s kind of wild to think about how much such a seemingly insignificant event has impacted my life since. Not only did it reawaken a love and appreciation for music that I didn’t really know was there, but it was a big part of what drew people in to my YouTube channel to begin with and led to many more opportunities and friendships as a result. They’re the only artist I’ve attended any concerts for and I’ve even met them a couple of times. They’re really the only artist I’ve ever actually been a part of the fan community for and that allowed me to meet a lot of cool people and then go to PentaCon in Texas where I met even more cool people (and even got to be on a panel there!). I don’t think anything will ever truly match my love of them around the 2016-18 time period and being very active right in the middle of the fandom during that time but I definitely still have a love for the group and the music that they continue to put out, and I probably always will.
After Avi left the group in 2017 I knew I would continue to support them but I always had this feeling that their music would never quite live up to the quality that it was when he was there. But I’m happy to report that I continue to be impressed by their albums, and in fact their most recent albums are some of their best ever. Their We Need a Little Christmas album, which they released in 2020, was stellar in spite of me previously feeling like maybe they should take a break from doing so many Christmas albums before they completely run out of material. Their latest album, The Lucky Ones, had no business being as good as it was. It’s a rarity that I don’t feel the need to skip any tracks in an album, and The Lucky Ones does that effortlessly. They managed to capture such a unique vibe with this album that is unlike any of their albums before it (and starkly different than their self-titled album back in 2015 which is their only other all-original album thus far). It’s this unique tone, in conjunction with the fact that all of the tracks seem to lead into each other so seamlessly, that makes the album so easy to listen to without skipping a track.
Happy Now is a song that I fell in love with as soon as I heard it for the first time back in concert before it had even been released. It’s a really feel-good song that has a fun energy to it. As their first original song in quite some time when it was released as a single, it really set the tone for things to come.
I feel like I’ve grown particularly sappy over the past year, so the message of Love Me When I Don’t really resonates with me now and it’s really important for that reason. Overall as a song I don’t know if it’s necessarily one of my favorites on the album but it’s nice enough and I tend to be partial to Kirstin’s voice so I like that she has such a big role in it for sure.
Coffee In Bed is a really nice, chill jam. The blend of Scott and Mitch as the leads works really well for the vibe they’re going for, and the backing vocals add a really nice flavor to the sound that sets the song apart from the others. It’s a nice vibe to ease you into the album.
Remember when I said that I tend to be partial to Kirstin’s voice? Well Be My Eyes certainly delivers on that front and again delivers a song with a sound that is quite unique from every Pentatonix song before it. It’s one of those songs that doesn’t break from its formula too much once it starts and more or less relies on that same sound throughout but the sound is so magical in a way that I don’t really mind it. There is also a nice little build-up towards the end of the song that I appreciate as well.
A Little Space is pretty wild, and it’s definitely a jam as well. It has such cool groove to it, and it really allows some of the other voices in the group to thrive, like Kevin, for example, who also provides a whole other layer to the song with the really cool vocal instrumentation. I love the whole vibe of this song and it’s one I can always jam out to for sure (the music video they released featuring ATEEZ was a really cool version as well).
Again, the songs really flow into each other well throughout the whole album, but it’s the cool subtleties that really set them apart and give them each a unique sound. Side feels more mellow than a lot of the other songs, but it provides a nice little contrast halfway through the album, and is really effortless for Mitch’s vocal prowess. As much as I love to hear Mitch belt out with his wild vocal range, this is a nice, warm side of his voice that is refreshing to hear every now and then for sure.
Scott and Mitch are the driving force of Bored, as they are a lot throughout the album, but they again combine to make a cool blend that works well, especially when combined with some cool vocal effects and the backing vocals from the others that compliment the sound as well. Overall this is perhaps the most repetitious of any of the songs in the album but it still works as part of the overall album’s vibe.
For whatever reason Exit Signs just really stands out to me. It’s another mellow song that isn’t exactly a fun vibe like Happy Now but it’s weirdly alluring. And hey, it’s a whole lot of Kirstin, so that’s always a plus. But I just really love the feel of the song overall and much like a lot of the album, it’s one I can just really chill out while I’m listening to it. And for what it’s worth, I love how Kirstin sounds particularly at the end of the song when she really goes for it. It adds a lot!
Never Gonna Cry Again is the obligatory “wow, this is a cappella?” song of the album, where it just feels so full and stylized that you almost forget this is all done with just their voices. Mitch thoroughly kills it with this one. Such a cool sound.
Oh, hey Kirstin, nice to hear you again. This album gives a sufficient amount of Kirstin love, never gonna hate on that. But as I listen to It’s Different Now, and as I’ve listened to each song as I type this, the realization is finally setting in that this album is super chill, so I could see how it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. You very much have to bring a similar chill energy for the album to work for you. It’s not the most hype-inducing album in the world, so you really have to be in a certain place mentally to fully appreciate it. But heck, I love It’s Different Now all the same, I guess I’m matching that energy pretty well right now.
The album comes to a close with The Lucky Ones, which I feel like is a really good song to have the album named after because it really captures the tone and vibe quite well. I almost feel like a more up-beat song would be more fitting to book-end the album with Happy Now and take us out of our more somber vibe we have going on, but this is still a really cool song so I’m fine with it. Maybe a good song to end on in the sense that it eases us out of the album rather than leading us to expect more.
Overall I really love their latest album, which makes me all the more excited for everything they have planned for the future. It captured a style unlike anything they’ve done before, and is so wildly but pleasantly different from their first album of originals that they could go in any number of directions for their next album. The fact that they were able to come out with such an excellent product during these times we’re living in is particularly impressive and just reinforces my faith in their vision moving forward.
I so sleepy right now. I don’t even know why, exactly, because I feel like I got a decent amount of sleep last night anyway. Maybe it’s because I’ve actually been exerting energy outside more regularly and I’m a weak little boy so I can’t take it. Maybe it’s because I eat junk and so I don’t get enough energy in that regard. Regardless, I’m glad I am more active again and I’m grateful I have some good friends that have helped “keep me busy” more recently and as a result I can spend less time dwelling on the negative. I feel like I experienced some genuine happiness this past week, which is a nice change of pace compared to the usual weeks where even during the good times I feel like I always have something negative looming over me.
In terms of the video-making side of things, which is always a big part of me “keeping busy,” I have been lacking when it comes to solo videos (though still going strong with Tarqaron). That ultimately comes down to the conditions I’m working with rather than motivation, though. Simply put, the summer heat, in conjunction with not being able to run my air conditioner while recording since the noise is so obnoxious, does not make for the most ideal conditions. It’s hard enough enduring it for the few hours of Tarqaron recording each week, especially on particularly hot nights. It also doesn’t help that I still feel very limited when it comes to equipment, lighting, and overall space. So those elements combined don’t make for the best video-making environment, but I will continue to make do the best that I can. Ideally one day I can have a lot more space to work with and I can film videos without having to worry about sweating to death or my internet connection being spotty or my laptop not being up to snuff. I love making videos, but all this technical and behind-the-scenes stuff is what I hate dealing with the most.
I think that’s really what is keeping my video-making operation from running like complete clockwork (other than all of the time I have to spend on my non-creative work). Once I just have a comfortable work environment then I think I will have no problem sitting down to crank more videos out. Part of why I have been able to be so consistent with Tarqaron is because it is a consistent weekly schedule of recording and editing, one that I haven’t quite been able to get down with my solo videos recently. It doesn’t hurt to have another person involved to hold you accountable as well. With my solo channel it’s a lot easier to brush off or put on the back burner since it only really concerns me. That being said, I have so many things I want to do with my solo channel specifically, so I feel bad about the inconsistency. That’s something I want to work towards and prioritize for sure, because at this rate I can barely get anything going.
I have a week off from work coming up, followed by another week off soon after, so that will be much needed time for me to buckle down and really focus on not only working towards a more consistent production schedule but also working towards getting other aspects of my life where I want them to be, and prepping for more drastic change in the near future. I feel like I’m nearing a fair sense of stability in the social part of my life so I need to work on the other parts of my life that have contributed to my depression in many ways. Now all that’s left is for me to make the most of the time I’ll have to work with soon.
One thing I’ve noticed about myself over the years is that I really do value friendship and being around good company. I am a sociable person! Growing up and even into high school to an extent I would often describe myself as a “loner” and say that I’m okay just being by myself for long periods of time. Looking back, though, I see that was more of a coping mechanism and a way to justify those times where I just was alone. So instead of conceding that I felt lonely, I would embrace it and pretend that it is just part of my character in some way. But as more and more time has passed, I’ve realized just how friend and community-oriented I seem to be naturally. I’m not a social butterfly necessarily, and I’m usually not a fan of larger, less personal gatherings like parties or weddings, but throughout my life I’ve always felt happier the more I am around good company.
From online forums to in-person friend groups, I’m usually drawn to being a part of some sort of community at most points in my life. Maybe that’s just human nature, that natural desire for like-minded groups to come together and connect, but more often than not I’ll find myself actively starting groups or organizing community events rather than being a passive participant. Even in the parts of my life where I wasn’t a part of any in-person groups and just did a lot of community things online, I would still spend a lot of my time with my best friend, and those were some of the best times that I had. Now more than ever I value genuine friendships and bonds so much, and love bringing good people together. I rarely ever will turn down spending time with good company in favor of spending time by myself.
And that right there, that community-oriented trait, is not really a trait of mine that I was cognizant of throughout most of my life. Maybe that’s why I’ve felt so much regret about how I handled certain parts of my life. I would describe myself as “the weird kid”, or off-beat, or a bit of an outcast as a means of explaining why I don’t need friends, and as a result was dismissive of some of the true feelings of loneliness I would go through. A few years ago is when my depression really started to sink in as I finally acknowledged my issue for what it was: Loneliness. I wasn’t a “loner,” I didn’t want to be alone, but I found myself in this spot and my mental health was struggling in many ways. As I went through college feeling this way, even though I understood that I wanted more friends and more of a sense of community in my life, I didn’t make enough of an effort to actually make this happen. This is a big part of why I didn’t enjoy a lot of my college experience and also why I remained depressed for several years.
As I’ve discussed a lot, I still deal with depression now but in terms of friends I am in a much better spot than I was for most of my college years. Though I still battle with a sense of loneliness which I’ve also talked about on these blogs a lot, most of my depression now is rooted in my position in life rather than just the social element. Now I have some really good friends who I care about and who seem to care about me so that’s a good feeling to have to help with my depression overall.
The biggest takeaway from all of this is that I feel like I’ve realized a lot about myself over the years. Like, maybe I was the kid that sat by himself a lot because I was a “nerd” or because I was a little different than others, but that didn’t mean that that’s the way it had to be. I could have stepped out of my comfort zone more back and changed that narrative then but I didn’t. I could have branched out and done more to change that narrative in college but I didn’t. So now I’m doing the best with my life to live with less regrets and to make the most of my time with the people around me who I care about, now that I fully acknowledge my desire to spend time with good company. Not to mention that I love to make people laugh and have fun rapport with people so a lot of time alone can be particularly draining for me, especially with my continuing mental health struggles. But I’m doing my best and will continue to improve on other aspects of my life now that my social life is in a much more sound place than it was even just a few months ago.