Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Balance is Key

Stereotypes piss me off. I just need to put that out there, and now I think I'll go on a short rant before getting to my real point. For those who don't know, I'm 21 years old, female, a senior in college studying Forensic Psychology, and I work 12-20 hours a week with no pay. I live by myself, but have two guinea pigs as pets. I'm an artist. I'm a gamer. I'm a nerd. Yeah, I play computer games. Yeah, I play Xbox games. Yeah, I go to comic conventions AND enjoy cosplay, a lot. I have fears, anxieties, weaknesses, but I am working to fix them and learning to live with the stuff I can't fix. To sum up, I'm me. I am not the stereotype of a gamer or nerd. I am a unique individual with a past that I hate, and a future that I hope for. Gaming is part of my life. It is something I have come to enjoy (though my bank account doesn't like it as much as I do). But here's the thing, it's only one part of my life. If you know me, you know that my two biggest priorities in life are my family and my education. My hobbies come after that, and that's the way it will always be.

Now more to the point of this post. One one of the major stereotypes of gamers is that they spend all of their lives and all of their time gaming. Personally I hate that stereotype, but I have been the exact opposite. I only really got into gaming this past summer, and at first, I felt like I was doing an injustice by not playing every day. I felt like I was wasting my $15 a month on WoW if I wasn't playing at least a little bit every day. And then, when I got a Hearthstone beta key, I felt like I was doing something wrong by not playing, because the point of the beta was to be testing the game. Over time though, I have come to realize that it's okay if I don't play games every day. The point of it all isn't to feel an obligation to play, but to do so when I want to. It's okay to let life get in the way. It's okay to take a break for a few days to focus on other hobbies. It's okay to buy a game because it's on sale, and not be able to play it for a week or two (thank you Steam sales and Black Friday sales). At first that was something that I struggled with, but now I am finding myself to be more okay with finding that balance. I don't think I have it completely yet, but I'm getting there. I think, with all things in life, balance is key. At this point in time, I am writing before starting my last day of classes for my last Fall Semester as an undergrad (I graduate in the spring). My finals started yesterday and they won't be over until next Friday. The last time I played any video games (aside from two minutes with my dad's new PS3 this past weekend) was Thanksgiving night. My focus has turned to getting all of my papers done and studying for my finals. On top of that, I also have things I need to work on for personal projects. In this process of finding the balance, I am finding that I am enjoying gaming even more because it is on my terms, when I want to, not when I feel like I have to.

Whether you feel like it's too much, or not enough, with any hobby balance is key. Figure out your priorities and make sure those come first. Then fit the rest in where it seems to fit naturally. Even if through circumstance that balance needs to be adjusted, it will all work out.

Balance is key. It's not always easy, but you don't need easy. You just need possible.


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