My hairstylist thinks that I do a podcast. It was a tiny misconception that I never corrected and let build for the last four years. Social anxiety and ineptitude for common conversation left me adrift in search of a hairstylist for a long time, so when I found one that I was comfortable with, letting them believe that I run a podcast instead of a stream seemed like a decent trade-off. We have three different topics we can easily drift in and out of. Movies, travel, and my podcast. I know I’m not the hero in this situation, but there’s an appropriate level of karmic retribution when a few weeks ago my stylist once again asked, ‘How’s the podcast going,’ and the only thing I could say was, ‘it’s going good.’ I didn’t want to get into it right then in the chair, one because I didn’t know how I would handle it emotionally, and two because I had a lot of retroactive explaining to do. Instead, we shifted back to movies.
It’s been about a month since the last time that I streamed, without a doubt marking the longest I’ve ever gone without going live since the start. Questions of what’s next and post stream life are pretty common and honestly, my answer has been pretty consistently boring. Sleep. Most nights I would stream until about 10:30 sometimes 11, and by the time I fell asleep, it was closer to midnight if I was lucky. I’d sleep for five hours and then get up to go to work. Come home and repeat the process all over again. Now I’ve been trying to make it a point to be in bed by 8 so that I can read a book and be asleep by 9. So despite how boring the answer is, getting better sleep has been my first step in the after. I know it’s the right answer, but eventually, there has to be more.
It feels like I’ve spent the last four years screaming at the top of my lungs and I’ve made a very conscious decision to step back and be more directed with my online presence. Waiting until I have something to say before just throwing stuff out there. If you’ve ever streamed then you’re all too familiar with the post stream come down. The moment in between letting the channel you hosted know you’re gonna lurk and actually getting up to do whatever it is you need to attend to. It’s quiet and reflective. I feel that on a macro level, and it’s like coming to terms with an existential exhaustion you’ve carried but kept in a corner until you were ready. Maybe just not talk to your hairstylist kind of ready. There is a tinge of guilt that boils up whenever I start to think about what’s next, mainly because I don’t have an answer yet, but I know it’s only been a month so I’m trying to keep my guilt in check. In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying the ability to observe more. I made it a goal this year to watch more of the videos and movies that get suggested to me. Low stakes resolutions, sure, but attainable goals, yo. I’ve been enjoying the ability to spend time with streams I rarely got the chance to pop in and getting to know people’s communities more. I’ve also been going out and spending time with local friends, something I’ve shamefully let go by the wayside. It’s still too early to tell, but it feels as though I’ve shifted from one end of the spectrum to the other.
So much of my life was spent with streaming being the priority, and now that it’s on the back burner, I’m going back to just being Trey again. I told a friend that I felt like streaming shouldn’t be the only interesting thing about me. He said, ‘fuck you,’ and insisted that that perception was wrong. Maybe, but I know that somewhere in the middle of the spectrum is where I want to be. It’s a muscle I need to break, but not forget. It’s a phantom limb that I miss but not ready to use again. Back in early October, I took a trip to Austin before starting the last stretch of streams. Due to various reasons, I never actually got to meet the host of the BnB I was staying at until it was time to check out. As I was loading bags into my car, the host spotted me from her garden and stopped what she was doing to address me. She had a large sun hat and dress on and had been pruning dead leaves off all her plants. She looked at me and through a smile prophetically said, “You know you gotta get rid of the old stuff if you want things to grow. It’s the perfect time to do that.’ I smiled back and laughed along. That moment has stuck with me and it was more emblematic than she’ll ever know.
All right, enough waxing poetically. It always feels guilty, there’s that word again, to open up about this stuff because I never want it to come across as an invitation for pity. I expressed that same sentiment leading up to writing the last blog post and a friend of mine said that even if it feels weird, it’s good to put those thoughts out there because you never know who’s going through the same thing. She’s right, so I’m doing my best to push through and share where I’m at with others. It’s another one of my goals to write a blog post per month so it’s with that spirit that I share this first entry. So as a wrap-up, here’s a quick rundown of what January’s been like. I think easily the biggest thing was getting to attend Pax South and reconnect with old friends and meet people I haven’t had the chance to meet yet. It’s funny, leading up to the event I never had an answer for what I was excited to see the most at Pax South, mainly because the biggest draw was just the people. Pax was just the background. In fact, I think a lot of the major highlights from the weekend stems from outside events. Bar chill outs at Ernie’s, The Variety Pack dinner, the Brunch Squad, and finally trying cheesecake with Nej, Leech, Hroth, and CrackingRex. Yes. I’ve made it 29 years without ever eating cheesecake and every bite was a monument to my stupidity. I would have two pieces more by the time the trip was over. Getting to meet face to face with people you’ve become close with online never ceases to be amazing. It’s another goal this year to continue this trend of traveling to meet up with people, whether it be at cons or picking a place to go. I’ll be sure to detail where I’m going to ensure I get to meet as many people as I can. So yeah, that’s gonna do it for now. Like I said at the top, I’m definitely making a conscious decision to be more reserved but I’m still around in the Discord and reading social media religiously. I’m never too far if you need me. Until then, hope you all have a highlight worthy month.
Streamer, writer, creator. One day I woke up painfully aware of my existence and I've been apologizing for it ever since.