It's been a while since I posted, so I figured I'd let everyone know what's up.

The big update about my life is that I think I've achieved a semblance of that impossible goal of "life-balance," weirdly enough. I've been regularly working out, reading, and working on my book pretty much every day. On Saturdays I stream with my buddy Jared, when we can, and I consider my Sunday a free day to be a couch potato. I go to bed almost always at 11 and wake up at 6. It's shocking. There has been a consistency to the things I do that I am surprised by – the free-form nature of my college life made me used to staying up until 3AM, waking up at 10, doing the exact opposite the next day, and doing nothing but play Nuclear Throne or what-have-you.

To that end, I haven't actually been playing that many games lately. By the time I do all the stuff I want to do in a day, I have an hour, maybe two, to play a game, and I tend to stray towards one-offs like Overwatch or Apex Legends to unwind. Trying to dig into some giant RPG is an exercise in futility. And beyond that, I just haven't found myself that interested in games that are coming out recently, besides Astral Chain, which I devoured in a week, and River City Girls, which I played on stream. I've been curtailing my game purchases to save up for a trip to Japan next year, and in the process have come to realize that most of the stuff I find myself excited for, I don't end up finishing. I'm trying to be pickier in what I play, to prevent any more of the sensation of staring at a long list of games and not wanting to play any of them.

Besides that, I'm beginning to realize that I'm not content with how I've been spending my time. Obviously some of that can be blamed on capitalism – maybe if I didn't spend 8 hours a day in an office, I'd have more time to do what I wanted – but I can't really stop that (yet), so instead I'm taking the sickle to all of that to focus on my creative endeavors. Like most people in their mid-twenties, I've condensed my identity into the things I consume and the things I'm ashamed of not having done yet. For me that shame points toward my book. I'm progressing steadily through the second draft, despite spending a lot of time ignoring it in favor of doing literally anything else, almost afraid that if I opened its document it might yell at me for neglecting it for so long. Recently however, I read through the manuscript and, perhaps for the first time ever, realized I was making something that maybe, potentially, possibly, just might be worth reading.

Confidence? In my writing? It's less likely than you think.

It's impressive how that one tiny firefly of self-esteem illuminated the pages so that I could see them again, and this time finish them. Anyone who tells you that depression enhances their creativity is wrong, possibly the most wrong anyone has ever been in their life. I feel unwound. Like I can stretch my limbs all the way out to the end of this project that's been hounding me since 2017 and feels like it's just getting off the ground.

That isn't to say that I'm not stressed out – I am, all the time – but I feel like I'm still in control: of the things I can fix myself, of the way I spend my time, and how I can react to the problems life has been throwing at me. I want to say that this is what it's like to be an adult, but I know for a fact the rug will be pulled out from under me, and I'll have some new, harsh life lesson taught to me that I was never expecting.

But that's where I'm at. I'm already compiling my list of Games of the Year and Music of the Year. If I don't post again in a while, you can be sure those two things will most definitely be happening (they have to, I already have Mint art ready for it, heh). In the meantime, I hope life is treating you kindly, and that you are treating yourself the same.

PS: Spook Month, Spook Month, Spook Month, Spook Month, Spook Month