Asking For Help Is Not a Sign of Weakness

I was always taught that I should be able to take care of myself, that I need to be able to look out for number one because no one else would. In truth, that is not an unfair or unrealistic statement, but I realized that in my years of adulthood, I have a very difficult time asking for assistance when it comes to matters of life and the heart. This mentality somewhat ties into my Paladins write-up about not wanting to be a burden to another person or admitting that you cannot always be the strong one that others look up to.

There is a large portion of my life that is dedicated to connecting with people whether that be through professional or personal connections. I enjoy networking and I find it rewarding when I cross paths with someone who has similar interests as myself. One of the best things about meeting and e-meeting people is that you establish connections all over the world. Even better, you find that many of these people are genuinely good people.

Fun fact: I don’t like bothering people.

Time and time again, I have conversations that goes like this:

Me: Yeah, that part of my life was incredibly rough. I don’t know how I survived that.

Friend: Why didn’t you ask for help???

Me: I didn’t want to bug people with my issues.

Friend: DUDE. Ask for help! Friend help out friends. That’s what we do!

Similar conversations have happened in the past, and I can’t count how many times they’ve occurred. I would say that my reluctance to ask for help is comprised of many feelings and emotions including stubbornness, pride, and fear. The last one is a big one. I   have two fears when it comes to asking people for help. One, I’m scared of being rejected and two, I’m scared that some form of payment is expected at a later time even though this help is being offered to me under the guise of friendship/ the goodness of someone’s heart. There have been many times in my life when accepting help from someone has backfired on me later down the road. It’s essentially “well, I did this for during that time you needed me. Now you owe me.” That is a very scary statement if you think about it.

I’ve learned to shed the poisons out of my life, but a small level of paranoia stays in the back of my mind. In present day, I find myself in a pivotal moment in my life. I know what I want to do, and I know what I need to do, but I have to come to terms with the fact that I cannot do it alone. As much as I want to be the epitome of unwavering strength, I have to think about my life in realistic terms. I have to understand that yes, I am strong, but I don’t have to carry the weight of life and the world on my own every waking moment.

I asked for help. And I’m getting it. And while I’m still scared, I don’t feel nearly as alone as I did. I am reminded that I am loved, and that I have good people in my life. These people understand me, and understand the difficulties and the hardships I am experiencing. I had a good talk with a friend and she told me she believed in me. I was nearly brought to tears because I had felt so much weight lifted off of me. I could literally breathe easier. And she’s not the only one who is willing to stop moments of her life for me. That hit me so hard, and realizing that these people care that much about me made me feel like I can take anything on. How is that weak? It isn’t. It was empowering. Knowing when you need that little extra bit of help, and lowering your guard in order to initiate the request is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it’s a sign of strength. It’s, I suppose, a form of baring yourself and allowing vulnerability for a moment or two.

I am in a very odd cross section in my life, and I don’t know if what I wrote made any sense. I’ve been thrown a lot of obstacles in the past year, and I am finding out more and more about myself and how I want to live my life. Hurdles, epiphanies, heartache, disappointment, and doubt have filled my mind in recent days, but I buckled down and told myself I can push through all of it. I just need a little help.

And I’m getting it.

And I am grateful for it. Forever and always.

Paladins. I Don’t Necessarily Mean the D&D Ones.

I’ve had quite a few of these conversations lately, and that has lead to me writing about this topic. Everyone has a rock, someone they lean on for strength, support, and encouragement. We all have one or two, and in truth, it’s healthy to be able to vent to someone who is wiling to listen to you and not pass any judgement.

What isn’t healthy is if that is the only types of interactions we have with these specific people. There should be a healthy balance in any type of relationship, but once it becomes incredibly one-sided, it starts becoming toxic. People who are rocks are essentially paladins. They are altruistic, empathetic, and selfless to the point where they won’t openly admit when they themselves are crumbling because they don’t want to show the people who rely on them that they can no longer be supportive. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard “it’s nice being able to talk to someone because I’m usually the one people come to.”

Imagine being the journal, the ear, the foundation to multiple people who are struggling for various reasons. Now imagine instinctively carrying that weight in your mind and heart even though the conversation ended with “thanks for listening.” Paladins don’t shake those conversations, those worries or those burdens off.  Paladins accept these as their own because they feel it’s their way of contributing to life, to the world, and to their loved ones. It becomes part of them; that’s part of being empathetic.

And as much as paladins don’t want to admit it, even they struggle as well. They have their own share of misfortune at times just like everyone else, but they don’t like to tell others about it because they understand what that weight can do to someone. It’s a vicious one-way street for them more than it is a cycle.  They want to remain and appear strong for those who rely on them, and they will only break down behind closed doors.

Why am I writing this? I want people to have an understanding of the paladins in their lives. This isn’t to make them feel guilty about venting to their pillars of support, far from, but this is more to help them understand that those pillars are people too. Allow them to recharge. Understand that they also need time away from the crazy of the world. No matter how much they hold things together, sometimes, they need to step back and take a breather. One of their flaws is that they won’t ask for this break because they believe that they have to be helpful 24/7. I write this for those who  may find themselves all of a sudden wondering why their rock may disappear for a while. I write this for those who may even be angered when one of their friends goes dark for a bit. I write this for those who may only come to their paladins when they need them. I write this for those who may be paladins themselves. There is no one reason I’m writing down these thoughts, but the overall intention is understanding.

It is possible that some people will read this and spin negativity out of it. They may assume that I am writing this to make people who have troubles feel guilty about talking to their friends about their issues and problems. I am not. And that is an entirely different topic of discussion. I am writing this post to shed some light on a perspective that isn’t always thought about. I will throw in, however, that if you are only coming to shed troubles and leave, I won’t back down from saying that treating paladins like that isn’t healthy and it is unfair. People may assume that I speak for everyone on both sides, but I do not. As with all of my posts, I speak for myself and my own experiences. People can feel however they want with my posts, but it is no secret that my intention is to help, not damage.

Bottom line is whatever situation you may be involved in currently, if you have a paladin in your life to help you along, I’m glad for that. As I wrote earlier, it’s healthy to be able to share your troubles with trusted friends. I think you can agree that we need more people like them in the world. I am only asking that you remember that while paladins seem unbreakable, they are human.

Watching Your Community Grow is Like Witnessing a Seed Bloom Into a Garden of Awesome

I will be the first to admit that I am not always the most patient person. But I will also acknowledge that this is solely dependent on what I am waiting for. If I was waiting for someone in a store to check out and they had 50 coupons and was paying via personal check, I would just stand back and wait. However, if I were playing a video game like The Last of Us, I lose all forms of patience while waiting for a Clicker to walk by my hiding spot.

But here I am on July 26, 2016, looking over numbers and stats, comments and responses on various social media platforms that I manage on my own. I have moments where I think to myself “holy crap… I interact with people A LOT.” I remember back when I was a kid, I was very shy. I didn’t play with other kids; I just kept to myself in my own corner. My dad said he would feel bad whenever he would pick me up from school because I was always alone. I was considered a strange bird by many. I remember learning about shapes. The teacher asked us to makes squares, and I made circles. I got made fun of for it. A lot of that awkward carried over into my teenage and young adult years. I always felt out of place wherever I was. I could get along with people just fine, but I never felt like most people really understood me. There were a few, but they either moved away, physically or emotionally.

In the last couple years, I really started focusing on me. I didn’t have a solid plan, but I found the beginnings of a path that was interesting to me, and I blindly went down it. My love for video games never waned, so I learned more about the industry, the people, the products, and I found that I loved video games even more. A former co-worked connected me to Randy Greenback and he was my first look into the welcoming culture of game development. He may not know it, but the few conversations we had changed my life for the better. By the way, he’s currently working on the new Friday the 13th game. You should totally check it out.

With Randy’s helpful and wise words backing me, I delved into the world of networking. I was more active on Twitter, I eventually created the blog that is currently housing the very post you are reading, and I focused on the elements of community and bringing people together. I’ve met and e-met so many different people, good and bad, it’s quite mind blowing to me. I’ve had amazing experiences and not so great ones, but I couldn’t find a better fit for my personality.

Fast forward to now. I have a small following on the internet and it’s a fascinating mix of acquaintances, friends, family, and completely strangers. While the numbers aren’t huge compared to the bigger names on these platforms, I find solace in knowing that this is MY community. I don’t have one focus either. I update Twitter primarily, but I am active on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, this blog, Vine, and a few others. I try to create an environment where there is something for everyone. That’s why I made the GeekyFriedRice Guild. Doesn’t matter if you love just anime or video games or cosplay or movies or if you love it all… you have a place here. Nerdy? Geeky? Great. You’ll fit right in! I enjoy conversing with people of different backgrounds because it helps shape and grow my own perspective of the world.

I didn’t think I would be here. I didn’t think I would be attending or volunteering for conventions and building relationships and friendships. I didn’t think that people would actually care about me or the things I love doing. I didn’t think people would come up to me and say “you don’t know me but I wanted to say hi and thank you for what you’re doing.” I didn’t think I would ever be that type of influence for people, but it’s happening, and I recognize that, and it makes me want to do better. And this isn’t all on me either. You guys help me a great deal as well. This is a two-way street here. I hope you all know how much I appreciate you.

I just recently identified my community as the GeekyFriedRice Guild. I’m not sure exactly what the future holds for it, but it warms my heart that you are here. For real. I’m being super cereal. Thank you for being my community. Less than three you!

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Livestreaming Bloodborne to help a friend beat cancer

I was going to do a write-up on Bloodborne as I completed the game a couple weeks ago, but since then, I received some distressing news from a very dear friend. Shelly and I have been friends since about 8th grade, and while we drifted apart after graduation, we reconnected about five years ago. I was ecstatic to find that we had similar interests in video games, cosplay and shared a common love of the geeky culture. I was also very saddened to learn that she had many medical ailments including Crohn’s disease, iron deficiency and a very weak immune system. When we would plan some outings, there would be times when she couldn’t make it simply because she was too weak to leave her home. Even through all that, she still managed to help me with a couple video collaborative projects and she made time for me when she could.

She has never complained about her condition. She never blamed anyone else for them and has never projected any negative feelings in general regarding them. With her, it was always about living life to the fullest and never taking anything for granted. She has always placed others before her, and I believe, is the very definition of altruism. Very recently, she found out that she had colon cancer. You know what she did? She shed a ton of tears, she informed family and friends, and then she went out and voted because what happens in her country matters to her. She and her husband are currently traveling to Ohio to seek treatment in the medical facilities there and as of today, they are waiting for results from numerous biopsies to determine if more surgeries are needed or if they will go straight to chemo.

I want to help her. Every year, I participate in video game related charity livestreams to raise donations for sick children and their families. This time, I will be livestreaming for someone close to my heart and I will be featuring her gofundme page on my channel. I don’t have a lot of money, but what I can do is entertain people and bring awareness to what is going on in her life.

Why Bloodborne? As I said, I completed the game not too long ago, and I told myself that I wouldn’t play it again because it was set at a level of difficulty that was pretty devastating to my psyche. I know how that sounds. But when you play something over and over and over again and you fail at it over and over and over again, it begins to affect you. I don’t know how I managed to beat it, but I did and that was quite an accomplishment for me. I was quite proud of that, but I said that I would shelve Bloodborne for the foreseeable future. And then I read about Shelly’s update. As weird as this sounds, Bloodborne seems like the perfect game to play for something like this. No matter how angry and upset I will be at the game, those feelings pale in comparison to what Shelly is experiencing. To me, that is fantastic motivation to livestream as long as I can. If she’s going to battle cancer, then I can take on a video game to help her in her fight.

Thank you to everyone who has shared Shelly’s page and/or donated. Seeing people come together to help her has warmed my heart. There aren’t enough words to express how grateful I am, how thankful she is. I text her a few times over the last couple days, and she cried several times because she is in disbelief that so many people who don’t know her are willing to help and support her. You guys are wonderful. I hope to see you this weekend.

Kicking cancer’s ass livestream starts March 5, 2016 at 9am PST

Twitch.tv/geekyfriedrice

You can donate here: gofundme.com/shellylarson

If you would like video representation of the stories above:

 

Blood related or not, a mother’s love is a mother’s love

When I was much younger, I always thought your mother was someone who strictly gave birth to you, and that’s it. I believed that no one else who could be your mother; the idea of a mother figure was nonexistent. I am blessed to have my birth mother in my life, and she’s still here to this day. We don’t always see eye to eye on certain things, and we do argue, but she’s always done what she felt was best for me and my little brother. She put us first before her own needs and she fought for us when she felt we were wronged. My mother has always done her best to provide for us and even when life threw us curveballs, she adapted and didn’t let anyone push her or us around. She’s quite a strong woman. Tiny, but strong. And she’s the best.

As I wrote, I am lucky to still have my mother in my life. As a kid, I never imagined my life without her. I never once considered what it would be like to look up to another woman as a mother. That concept just didn’t exist for me. It wasn’t until I played FFVI, that I realized a familial bond could exist between a child and a woman who is not his/her biological mother. I love FFVI for many reasons, mostly because all the characters were captivating, the villain actually succeeded in destroying the world, and the female characters were pretty badass. Terra Branford remains one of my favorite video game characters of all time. Terra is the first playable character in FFVI, and her story begins with her feeling lost, used and fearful of the world around her. Her memory was wiped, and she had to learn to trust people again. She began as a shell of a person but blossomed beautiful by the end of the game. Throughout the story, she begins to find herself, finds her purpose in life. It isn’t until she becomes a guardian for several orphaned children that she comes to terms with who she is and what she wants to fight for.

It was one of the most touching scenes I experienced in a video game. And it made me realize that there are many women out there who look after the people in their lives whether blood related or not. Who knew that I could learn such an important lesson from a video game? So to all the women out there who are actual mothers, mother figures, or play a similar mother hen role, I wish you a happy mother’s day. May you feel that you are always cherished, treasured, and loved by those you look after every day of your life. Thank you for your love, for your strength, for your wisdom and your patience.

Never forget that you make the world a better place.

Happy mother’s day!

Did I ever tell you about my first family dog?

While I am waiting for my flight to PAX South, I can take some time to tell you about my first dog, BJ. He was our first family dog and my parents got him while I was very young (I was maybe one or two years old). BJ, at the time, didn’t have a name. My parents told me one day we were out for a walk, and I was being pushed in a stroller. A stray dog came at me, and BJ chased him off. So my dad named him Baldijac. Baldi means protector and Jac was just my name shortened. Hence, BJ.

I don’t have many memories of him as he was an outside dog. But fast forward almost thirty years, and all of our dogs are rescues and adopted. Progress. One of these days, I will adopt another Beagle and I will make sure he/she will never live outside. I’m thinking of naming him/her, Bagel. Hee hee.

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Play Video Games, Save Lives, & Make a Birthday Wish Come True

It is no secret that I am participating in Extra Life for the third time this year. For those who have followed me since the beginning, thank you so much for your continued support. I certainly didn’t think I would ever be in a position where I could do this for three years straight, but I am, and I am incredibly humbled by my friends and family who have come along for the ride. This year, I decided to lead a small team in an effort to raise $2,000 and here is where we stand as of today.

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We have reached 88% of our goal and I am at a loss for words. A very recent donation from my father’s friend gave us a huge jump, so a very big thank you to Jim for his more than generous donation. One of the reasons why I love this program is that while it focuses on gamers doing what they do best, you don’t have to be a gamer yourself to show support. Every year I have done Extra Life, new names pop up on my donation list along familiar ones and I am taken by surprise each time. There are tons of causes to donate to and I am ecstatic that people have chosen to support mine.

Extra Life is very simple. Play games for 24 hours and all donations go to a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. That’s it. I am just about $50 from breaking my record from last year. My personal goal to raise is $1,500, and I am very confident I can reach that. I will be starting my 24 hour marathon on November 8th, and I hope to have my set up complete in order to livestream at least some of the event.

Throughout the day, I will be tweeting pics, inviting friends to join in on the fun and asking you all what you would like me to play next. Extra Life is a very special program to me since the official date of launch happens in the last week of October. I’m an October baby, so I treat this is a unique birthday party. I encourage friends and family to donate to my page rather than giving me presents, and if I reach my goal of $1,500, it truly will be a birthday wish come true.

We also have some cool things in store for those who donate as well. If you donate $15 or more, you will be entered into a raffle to win prizes! Donating to ANY of my teammates’ pages will qualify you. Just to give you a little taste of what we are giving away…

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Some of my teammates will also be giving out other awesome stuff, so please check out their pages for details. Many of them will be gaming this weekend as well. Winners shall be drawn November 9th at the end of the day.

I cannot wait to spend the weekend with you all, and again, I am beyond grateful that you have decided to support a program that truly is dear to my heart. And I am beyond grateful that you are joining me for my birthday celebration.

FOR THE KIDS!

My Extra Life Page

My Team: Ninja Nerds

‘Twas the night before Christmas when I started to write…

‘Twas the night before Christmas when I started to write

What would I jot down?  Many nails did I bite.

And then it hit me, so I began to type

Hurriedly, quickly, the ideas were still ripe.

 

Here, let me tell you of my adventure so far

The start of the year was less than sub par.

For I was broken, but not of bone mind you

My heart was in pieces, blackened and blue.

 

I was hurt but not lost; I trudged on ahead.

I was down but not out, I was far from dead.

Over few months time, I could smile once more.

May opened up my first happiness door.

 

Hosting RT Vegas was a dream of mine

Rooster Teeth Vegas fans, ‘twas our time to shine.

Thank you Dane, Daniel, Dustin, Michael and Nick

You guys are so awesome, my very top pick!

 

And extending my thanks to the very group

that threw our party for such a huge loop!

What group you ask? Why it’s the B Team!

It took much willpower not to fangirl and scream

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But my thanks for Rooster Teeth ends not in May.

July 5th is marked as such a special day.

I’m an RTX Guardian, hip hip, hooray!

My happiness level is more than I can say!

 

I was a noob but paired with a great crew.

Surrounded by friends some old and some new

Thank you so much to our leading lady

We couldn’t have done it without you, Caiti!

 

A fantastic con, my words are at a loss

Demarais, my fav Hobbit, you’re such a cool boss!

Such great memories I will cherish forever

My love for these people will never be severed.

 

Parts of 2013 had also brought tears.

Two friends were taken, too early in their years

Always remembered, their legacies live on

Through those they are still here, never truly gone.

 

What to learn from this, answers there are many

I say cherish loved ones, more than dimes and pennies.

Mike and Knuckles you are thought of every day

You both are missed, so much more than I can say

 

And then in August, my dad became dog sitter

For I was off to DragonCon thanks to friends from Twitter.

A weekend full of panels, drinking and more

So many cosplays I saw were seriously hardcore!

 

I could not believe how happy I felt.

I met new friends, they made my heart melt.

Dauna, Emma, Kelly, Eric, Kathleen,

DA2 cosplay group, best cosplays I’ve seen

 

Karissa, Liz, Miranda and Scott,

Best roomies ever for the con ticket I bought.

Tymber, Adriaan, Amanda, Eric, Susanne…

HUGS ALL THE FACES, as many as I can

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Aaryn, Aidan, Dave, Bioware men I adore

Team Fangirls sends kisses, hugs and more! (as in love ya pervs =P)

I drank with Steve Jaros and Chris Avellone

Leading men in the industry, mind = blown

 

And to my leather making friends Misty and Lance

Heart your faces for giving cosplay a chance.

Dragon Age Tallis debuted at this con.

Be proud you guys, many hearts it has won.

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And as it does annually, my birthday was here

This one was special, the best in many years.

So grateful for all who came to celebrate

Shots, bull riding, beer pong… God it was late!

 

Looking back on everything, I couldn’t believe

How I started the year in sadness and grief.

But how that has changed because of family and friends,

I want to hug all your faces, my lovely godsends.

 

Shortly after I found myself in a pinch!

Surely this would make me a Grinch!

I lost my job, but I held my head high.

Company merge be damned, I refused to cry.

 

I feel liberated so it’s a blessing in disguise.

Seriously, don’t feel bad for me guys.

I’m keeping busy, finally raising life’s bar

A writing project called Fallout Lonestar!

 

Many doors will fly open, at least… I hope.

Writing is medicinal for it is how I cope.

But life is a mystery, destination unseen

You continue being better than you have ever been.

 

And now here we are on Christmas Day

I want to tell you one more thing, if I may.

My dad has worked for the last twenty plus years

Through this day but now we’ve switched gears!

 

He has the day off and now we can spend

The holiday as a whole family again!

So comes an end of my twenty thirteen tale.

It was full of win and of some fail.

 

How you spend today, I wish you this

May your holiday season be full of joy and bliss,

So to you my loves, I raise my beer

I say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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I know it’s not beer… work with me here…

Allow me to tell you about my Rooster Teeth family

Over the years, the Rooster Teeth “community” slowly evolved to Rooster Teeth “family” and this past weekend affirmed my belief. I was fortunate enough to attend the annual Child’s Play dinner and auction in Bellevue, WA. I spent months going to the gym, trying my best to fit into a dress that wouldn’t zip up all the way years ago.  Two days before the dinner, I tried the dress on and you can imagine my victory shout when I realized the dress fit me comfortably. I was also being hosted by the lovely community members SailorTweek and SirNarvy. If you are unfamiliar with these two, they were the head Guardians of Rooster Teeth’s annual convention two years in a row and they are absolutely wonderful people.

I was so excited to attend the Child’s Play dinner with my friends because you see, we are from all over the place. The internet brought us together, and we formed very unique and cherished friendships. I also met up with fellow community members OboeCrazy, Luke McKay, Count3D, RagingTerror, and Trocadero’s leading man, Nico.

I flew in the day of the dinner, got settled and dressed, and we were rocking those dresses and suits shortly after. About two hours into the silent bidding, I told Tweek that I felt very dizzy and hot. It hit me rather quickly, and I remember placing my hand on one of the tables and Tweek asked me if I wanted to sit down. All I remember after that was saying yes. The next thing I know, I’m hearing voices and I’m staring at the ceiling. When logic finally took over, I looked down and realized that I was not in my PJs and I was on the floor in my dress. My next thought was “holy crap, did I hit my head?” but I felt someone’s hand on the back of my head and no pain. A jacket was pushed under my head and we waited until security came.

When I was able to sit up, I was continuously asked if I knew my name and the date and where I was. I answered all the questions correctly, but I was not confident I could stand. The paramedics came and they took my blood pressure and tested my blood sugar. On the upside, all of them were pretty cute. They again asked me a load of questions, one of them being “are you pregnant?” and I just went “HEEEEELLLL NOOOOOO.” They helped me to my feet and tested my blood pressure again, and it dropped to an alarming level. I felt that same dizzy spell hit me again. They gave me two options: leave in an ambulance to go to the hospital or leave with a friend to go to the hospital.

I. Was. Livid. I wasn’t mad at the emergency response team; I was mad because I had been looking forward to this night for months and after the anger passed, I was just heartbroken. I wanted to meet up with so many people and I wanted to take a picture with the DoubleClicks. There was so much I wanted to do. And there was a gorgeous hardcover of The Neverending Story that I wanted. Wasn’t meant to be I suppose. Because I was laid off from my job a couple months ago, I opted to not take an expensive ride in the ambulance even though I always wanted to experience that. SirNarvy left to get the car, and I was wheeled out of the event. Tweek has a picture somewhere, I know she does. I told her to take one while I was flashing a peace sign. In moments like these, I had to find humor wherever I could.

So off to the hospital we go. I told SirNarvy that he could leave me there and go back to the dinner, but he never left. I volunteered to be a Guardian for RTX earlier in the year, so I had the pleasure of working with him and Tweek. I don’t remember the exact wording, but I heard “I have to make sure my soldiers are all right.” For the next couple of hours, I had blood drawn and an EKG done and we ended up talking about various topics. The whole time, he kept open communication with Tweek and she kept texting back that they missed me and they loved me.

After more questions about my health and inquiring once again if I’m pregnant and once again me vehemently responding “HELL NO”, the doctor told me that everything looked fine. And because this was a first time occurrence, my episode could have been a combination of standing for along period of time in heels coupled with the exhaustion of traveling. He discharged me a few minutes later. By now, it was 10:50PM and Child’s Play would end at 11:00PM. I told SirNarvy that we are not missing the last few minutes of Child’s Play because of my stupid body. So he drove us back to the event, and we managed to hang out a bit more with everyone.

When people saw that I was alive and well, I was getting bits and pieces of the story about what happened while I blacked out. After I said I was dizzy, Tweek walked behind me because she saw that I was not capable of standing any longer. She caught me, and asked the guys for help. Nico held my head while SirNarvy bundled his jacket for me. They said I was out for about 15 seconds. I have no recollection of those 15 seconds whatsoever and that scares me to no end. When the EMT guys said I had to go to the hospital, SirNarvy and Count3D both offered to take me, very well knowing that they would miss the dinner.

Guys, I cannot express how incredibly lucky I felt that night. Had that happened while I was alone, I don’t know what would have happened to me. It’s unfortunate, but it couldn’t have happened around better people. I cannot believe that SirNarvy sacrificed his night and stayed with me at the hospital. And I cannot believe how many messages and tweets I received that night from tons of people just checking in on me and sending me positive thoughts.  I can’t believe the friends who were still at the event were that worried about me. These are people that I essentially met on the internet and met up with face to face because of a geeky convention. As time went by, we went from acquaintances to friends, and now from friends to family. I would do the same for them in a heartbeat if they needed me to. It is in that moment, that I found such joy.

This is the Rooster Teeth community at its very core. We all signed up on the site because of funny videos, but what we truly get out of being part of this community is so much more. I am so lucky, so grateful and so thankful. I truly do love you guys with all my heart, and thank you so much for being there for me.

Mr. and Mrs. Tweek, you guys are unmatched in the love you show for your friends and family. I don’t know what I did to deserve your friendship, but I am so happy that I have you both in my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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Below photo taken by Dom (Count3D)

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MY HEROS (taken after the hospital visit)

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The next time you believe you have nothing in your life…

I am currently looking for job which means that I am stuck at home for the time being. I can’t complain very much because I get to spend a lot more time on personal projects, plus I get to hang out with my three little dogs. In the past week, I’ve been diligent in taking them to the park. Every day, I came across an old man who pushed around a mini cart and scoured the park for trashcans. Living in this city has taught me to be wary of people regardless of how innocent they may seem. For the first few days, my dogs and I walked on by without so much as a hello. I kept my eye on the man, however, and he would just mind his own business and dig through all the trashcans he could find. He didn’t bother anyone else at the park, never asked for money or food, never really approached anyone.

Today, I saw him moving on to another trashcan and he looked right at me. I assume he’s in his sixties or seventies and he was nothing but skin and bones. I’m around 117 pounds and his arms were tinier that mine. They were dry, completely wrinkled and he moved so slow. Most of his weight was shifted onto the cart he was pushing. I said hi. He didn’t respond. I walked away with my dogs.

I thought about him when I dropped the dogs off at home, and I thought to myself, I’m still in a pretty good place. I set off to the grocery store and purchased a few items. As I was going up and down the aisles thinking what I could buy that wouldn’t spoil as soon as it was opened, I stopped and thought about what I had and he didn’t. I couldn’t get some foods because he didn’t have a fridge; I couldn’t get others because he didn’t have a microwave.

I settled on the following:

Bread, peanut butter and jelly mix (NO IDEA THOSE EXISTED), honey buns, Cheezit crackers, mandarin orange cups, a pack of spoons, and a gallon of water.

It cost me roughly $14.

I went back to the park and searched for the homeless man and I found him about ten minutes later. True to nature, he was reaching into another trashcan. I grabbed the food I bought and slowly approached him. I kept calling out to him, saying hi and hello. He at first didn’t respond. I called out louder and this time he lifted his head and looked behind him. I was directly in front of him, so I’m lead to believe he could have both a hearing and sight issue. When he finally saw me, I waved. “Hi! Do you remember me?” I asked him.

He didn’t speak English. Frack. So ensued a horrible round of charades on my part. “I saw you this morning. Do you remember me?” I asked again. I pointed to the spot where we saw each other and then I placed my palm on my chest. He responded, but I had no idea what he was saying and I didn’t recognize any of the words he was muttering out. I took some hardcore Spanish in 8th grade, trust me, but everything he said to me didn’t register. I showed him the bags and said, “I bought you food. You’re hungry, right?” He said something else. Nothing. I walked around the trashcan and placed the bags next to his feet. I pointed at the food then to him. “This is for you. Take it.” He said a few more things and I shook my head, “I don’t understand.” I again gestured toward the bags of food then lifted my arms like I was giving them to him. “These are for you.” He said “bueno.” THAT I UNDERSTOOD!

There was nothing left to say. I just waved at him again. “So… take care of yourself, ok?” And I went back to my car and drove back home.

I don’t know how long that food will last him, and I have no idea if he has any family that can take care of him. When you stop and just think about everything you have in your life and you compare it to someone who has nothing, to someone that was searching for plastic bottles and scraps of food, an epiphany hits you and you begin to have a newfound appreciation for everything. The fact that you are able to read this on a phone or a computer already says that you have a pretty good life.

Don’t take the people, the things, or the opportunities you have in your life for granted. We are human, so it happens from time to time, but try to train yourself to be grateful for what you have. I sometimes look at the people in my life and I want to say ‘you have it SO good! Why can’t you see that?’ but I hold my tongue. I can only hope that experiences like these serve as a reminder to not let the good people slip through one’s fingers, that having a roof over one’s head is in fact a pretty sweet deal. I may not have a job right now, but I am very wealthy in family, friends, and dogs that care for and love me. New exercise: remind myself of that every day for the rest of my days.