A little while ago I read this fantastic post by Nerd Burger that talks about turning 30. In it, Cazz mentions that she is, ‘not what people want her to be’ but she really doesn’t care. It’s reassuring seeing someone who is my age be so confident in her decisions, especially when I myself only have a few months left in my 20’s and seem to constantly feel the pull over what I want to be doing with my life versus what I *should* be doing with it.
When we moved to Alice Springs five years ago, my husband and I both threw ourselves into video games pretty heavily. We were in the middle of nowhere, we knew nobody, and games like World of Warcraft were a fantastic way of hanging out with all our mates back home. It was around that time when Twitch first became A Thing, and we both loved the idea of producing gaming content.
We both set up our own websites and channels, and we had fun experimenting with it all. My husband loved the streaming, whereas I loved writing. Either way, we dreamed of one day being able to move back home and just do what we loved without us all starving to death.
Goals were met, dates were set and we were well on our way to getting the hell out of Alice Springs and living the dream.
Not long after we hit the first financial goal, my husband was offered a new job with different hours. The pay was still great, and it was doing something that he loved almost as much as streaming. He did the Grown Up Thing and accepted it, which meant putting the stream dream on the back burner.
I did the… less Grown Up Thing and had a tantrum about no longer being able to move home. I then spent a good chunk of that nest egg on a kick ass two month holiday and a bunch of shiny new toys that we so didn’t need.
Dumb move, especially since his great new job lasted six months before the whole department was shut down and the staff relocated. The new area he found himself in was high pressure and very high stress, and so my husband lasted three months before deciding one day that he was DONE and he handed in his two weeks notice.
So, we were moving home after all! Just, you know, with pretty much no nest egg and not even jobs lined up when we made it home.
It has been… interesting to say the least. My husband found a decent job, but with less stress came (much) less cash. I had a few interviews before BAM! Pregnant. Job offers fell through. I partnered up with a friend on a business that was doomed to fail. We moved house. Our baby nearly died. I lost the plot for a while there with Anxiety. And things have just kept on going wrong ever since and we’ve fallen further and further behind.
The dream, however, is still burning brighter than ever.
We have been back here for just over two years now, and my husband started streaming again earlier this year. I also took the plunge and enrolled myself in a Professional Writing and Editing course. Mike managed to find his niche — the Australian Heroes of the Storm eSports scene — and I have been able to apply what I’m learning in my course by writing for the community website he launched two months ago.
It’s great seeing him working on something he is so passionate about, and it’s even better still seeing it actually start attracting a modest degree of success, but the “You’re getting too old for this” voice of reason has been nagging at me for a while now.
You see, all the time that I am spending working on his website, or solo tanking the night time routine so he can record his podcast or stream at a time that actually works for his intended audience, or while I’m taking the kids out for the day so he can shoutcast a full day tournament, I am not working on my own content. I am not working on my schooling, and, worst of all, I am not out in the work force making money that could give our shoe string family budget a much needed cash injection.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy to do these things so that he can pursue his dream, but the old lady in me is growing more and more concerned that perhaps, maybe, I’m making a mistake by putting all of his stuff before my own.
I need to finish college so I can start scoring some freelance writing gigs and help ease the financial strain we’re under, but the writing I am doing for the community website is being seen by so many more eyeballs than anything else I have ever written. Perhaps, if we do this right, I wouldn’t need freelance work because the site could become a business?
Which then gets me frustrated. If only I had the time to be able to just sit down and write good quality posts on the community website that would really help it reach its full potential. I have SO MANY IDEAS that I would love to see come to fruition, but I seem utterly incapable of being an adult who can juggle it all.
Then there is this blog. This poor, sweet blog, which is basically the only thing I have left of my own dreams. I put myself under so much pressure to do x, y and z that I just… stopped writing. I read this wonderful post by Meghan Sara that asks, ‘are you blogging for all the wrong reasons’. Well, shit. I actually have no idea what my niche is, what my vision is, or why I’m even doing it, and my motivation to write just completely shrivelled up and died.
Like I mentioned much earlier on in this mind dump, writing about video games was what I wanted to do. But this is not a blog about video games — hell, these days I don’t even feel comfortable calling myself a gamer — I play Hearthstone and the occasional MMO (No Fallout 4 posts here, sorry).
Instead, I made the shift to more of a lifestyle blog, but let’s be honest, what exactly is a lifestyle blog? Is it just a personality blog? Is it like a magazine that showcases stuff that will help you achieve the lifestyle you want? Is it just throwing posts at your screen and seeing what the hordes of fans (Ha!) want more of?
I am definitely lacking vision, but at least I do know that I want to write. It’s just that every once in a while someone will express doubt over what my husband and I are doing. In fact, I had one family member straight up tell me to just, “give up now, because none of your ventures ever amount to anything.” Talk about stomping all over my heart!
Adding to my own concern that we’re stupid for pursuing or dreams is that elephant in the room — that we’re turning 30 in a field full of vibrant young adults. Almost all of the successful blogs I read are written by people in their mid 20’s. Popular streamers are early 20’s. A vast majority of the people I speak with for the community website are still in university; as in, they are 10 years my junior.
I just need to look at all the sacrifices I have to make in order for Mike to be able to juggle his full time job with his stream dream to understand why that is. If we were in our early 20’s we wouldn’t have all these grown up issues weighing us down — we could sleep all day and game all night! You can’t do that with kids. Someone needs to work so that they can be fed, and someone needs to be around to make sure they don’t set themselves on fire or something.
I guess what I’m trying to say in this word dump is that while I am pretty happy with where we are at the moment, I’m worried that maybe we’re making the wrong choice and it’s all been for nothing. We’re rapidly approaching 30, shouldn’t we be climbing our way up the corporate ladder in the quest for a white picket fence or something, instead of nerding out over Blizzard games?
Basically, I think I’m having some kind of identity crisis and I wish I had the confidence that Cazz has. I just need to remember that as long as the kids are fed, clothed and smiling, then who the hell cares what we’re working towards? I need to spend less time worrying about what what society thinks I should be doing, and more time working on making them happen.
TL;DR I’m getting old and I needed to vent about writing stuff 🙂