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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Best Revenge

Gather round, boys and girls, and I'll tell you the epic tale of the past two and a half months. Ok, maybe more list than tale-form., but it has been epic, indeed. 

At the end of 2011, something clicked. I can't really explain it in more concrete terms; it was like I felt the first sprouts from a seed of possibilities. I hadn't felt that way in a long, long time and it felt really good. I didn't even have much to go on, aside from just this vague feeling. Still, the fact that it was there, was kind of a big fucking deal for me. 

Maybe it was the fact that 2012 marked my sixth year in Germany; maybe it was because I had finally gotten my permanent contract. I don't want to over-analyze it too much. I want to enjoy it as it is, but still take a moment to not-so-humble brag (in no particular order).

1.) My Sexy New Job (Title)

Community Management is decidedly un-sexy. It's probably one of the most demanding jobs that I've ever had. It's a 24/7/365 job, particularly when you're talking about a community and product(s) that never sleep. The rewards are almost entirely personal, because let's face it, they are not financial. I like to think that I was a good community manager. Or at the very least, a pretty goddamned decent one. Unfortunately, with the scope and requirements of the English-speaking community, it became clear over time that I had to either really commit to being a community manager for the long haul or flip a coin and decide where to go next. I didn't see any room for growth, personally or professionally. Fortunately, by some crazy stroke of luck, the decision was made for me. The company decided to create a new Narrative Design department within Game Design and basically (literally?) from one day to the next, dropped me into it.

So now, I'm a Game Designer. Specifically, I'm a Narrative Designer for games. What's a Narrative Designer, you ask? Well, dummy, we're better than copywriters. We design and execute the plans for the narrative (story) tone of the games in conjunction with the system designers and other game developers. Background, history, timelines, audio design, etc and so forth. To be honest, I'm just getting my feet wet, but it's incredibly exciting. Also, such a sexy, sexy job title. *sizzle*

I need new business cards. Stat.

At first, I was a bit overwhelmed, as I only have a cursory understanding of game design. But, as I read in the book, The Art of Game Design, the first step to becoming a Game Designer is to say the words, "I am a game designer" out loud. Done and done. 

I've got some cool projects in the pipeline, meeting awesome new people, and I get to see my super friend every friggin day. Also, lots of internet research (which I kick ass at) and it gives me a the opportunity (nay, obligation) to write my ass off. 

I've even started a group creative writing blog called Ten-Minute Tales.

2.) My Completed Therapy

Well, not quite, I have a handful of sessions still. Am I "healed"? I dunno. But I got a lot of necessary shit of my chest and worked my way through some issues and I'm feeling good. Perhaps I could have done it without a weird lady whose complete shoe collection consists of shape-ups in various styles. However, seeking out a neutral third party remains one of the best decisions that I've ever made.


If this were a list based on awesomeness of the news, this would definitely be #1. This year, I finally qualified to apply for permanent residency in Germany. If you know me (or have been following this blog, particularly around 2006-2008), then you will know that this has been a hellacious journey. Emphasis on the hell. However, barring major felonious activity, I do not have to step one foot in the immigration office until 2018, when my current passport expires.

Re-hashing the entire story seems like such a waste of time now, but it was an incredibly trying time for me involving lawyers, judges, proposed deportations, the death of one of my parents, some major broke-ass-brokeness (as opposed to the general broke-ass-brokeness of the present), tears, worry, massive (MASSIVE) self-doubt, and quite possibly the original catalyst of my depression and anxiety. 

Heavy shit, on the reals.

But I fucking made it.

4.) My New Digs

What started out as a search for a new flat with my now ex-roommate, turned into some unimaginably horrible & dramatic bullshit that I'm about to completely gloss over. Because it doesn't matter. Every story has two sides and we're both firmly of the opinion that we were each in the right. We're probably both in the wrong, each in different ways, and there are lots of things that bother me now in hindsight, which didn't necessarily bother me before. So, it's best to just drop it and move on. 

 I busted my ass for 3 weeks looking for a new place, including spending a valuable week off while Frosty was in town. Shortly before my (personal) deadline of August 24th, I received not one, not two, but three apartment offers in the span of just as many days. And the offers increased in terms of my preference. So, I ended up with one of my top choices!

 A  nice, sunny, 2-room, and QUIET place with a balcony. Hallelujah!

5.) My Awesome Friends

I haven't been an awesome friend. Admittedly, I've been dealing with some shit over the past few years, but that's not a good excuse, because everyone is dealing with some shit. I can take comfort in the fact that I have been fortunate enough to have come in contact with, hands down, the most awesome people ever. It's enough to make me cry. That's how awesome my friends are. 

My boyfriend kept me sane through the apartment search, even after the rejections started pouring in. He encouraged me get up and get at 'em, even when I knew the apartment viewing was going to be shit. He helped me keep my focus, when I considered taking less than optimal (read: shitty) apartments. He packed my shit after I had to go back to work and coordinated the pre-move-move. He painted my old room!

Super Friend, Sarah D. let me store my shit in her basement for 3 weeks and housed me and Frosty after I moved my stuff out of the old place.

Bu volunteered his car and muscles to help schlep my crap on multiple occasions.

And even after the guy with the moving truck canceled on Sunday (after postponing until Sunday), I had a troop of awesome friends who stuck by me and moved the majority of my shit from Sarah D's to my new place via shopping carts. And Seth, in particular, who convinced us to make three trips. I'll never forget that.

I don't even know how to say thanks for that, but I think it may involve commemorative t-shirts. And probably booze.

Everyone's kindness through all of this has knocked my socks off. I'm barefoot now.  I have no idea what I've done to deserve such caring people in my life, but I appreciate it more than I can express in words at this time. Hence, the t-shirts.

6.) My New Glasses

This is the least big deal of them all. My previous pair lasted through all of the above and more. About 8 years, to be exact. They were truly on their last legs and I should have replaced them long ago, but life and other shit got in the way. Today, I took them off to clean the lenses, as I've always done, and they just snapped in half in my hand. On the one hand, it was a nightmare, because I'm incredibly nearsighted with piss poor depth perception and I had to feel my way to the optician because I don't have a backup pair. On the other hand, it was kind of a fitting end to an era.

I've managed to muddle my way through a lot of things over the years. Right now, I'm at a pretty good point in my life. I've got debt up the wazoo, that's for sure, and I don't know what's coming next. Work and lots of it, I guess. But mostly,  I couldn't even plan for it, if I knew.

I guess the difference now is the excitement of the unknown, rather than the dread. That's new. Maybe not entirely new, but a long lost feeling. Ambition...

I'm looking forward to December 31st, when I can take a full look back at all that I've accomplished (with a strong team behind me). It's not all going to be positive -- I have to prepare myself for my mom's passing probably sooner than I'd like to think -- but now, more than ever, I think I'm mentally better equipped than before. 

"They" say that the best revenge is living well

...and I say, bring it on.


Diana said...

Get it Girl!

The Beech said...

Congratulations on everything! And you have friends cuz you're only half as horrible as you think you are! ;)