March 25, 2008

A Minor Retraction

While nothing I said yesterday was untrue, a fair bit of it is, in fact, tied into my emotional state, which is, of course, inexorably tied into the Guildhall. There was a lot to be gained just by venting, and I'm glad to hear from a number of you that I have a great deal of support and good faith behind me (not to mention that you all are in fact reading my humble little blog on occasion). Venting around here can be a bit difficult as it's hard to vent to people who are going through the same thing. Sometimes it's good to commiserate (say over a tasty beverage), but other times it's like trying to spit into the wind. Everyone's complaints and bitterness sort of build on one another and ultimately I think it makes people feel worse, at least it does for me.

There are a couple things I (and anyone who was/is worried about me) can take solace in:
  1. This is transient. I've only about eight more months of time (six of classes) until the program is over and I am on my way to my dream job. Everyone without exception has said that actually working in the game industry is easier that the Guildhall, oftentimes, much easier. Crunches are far less common, far less severe, and more completely shared by the entire team (i.e., everyone feels it). The industry is trying to get away from the intense work that has characterized it in the past, and it's getting there, but it's a long journey and the the industry is still relatively immature. Luckily, the Guildhall has taught me something else about what I want and how much I am willing to endure, and that will help me find the right job when the time comes
  2. It's always darkest before the dawn. Due to the term change it's hard to compare exactly what we are going through, but generally it seems that everyone says Terms 3 and 4 are the hardest. Considering we more or less had the two of them smashed together, it seems very likely that this is as bad as it will get. Yep, it sucks sometimes, sometimes it sucks really hard, but it's already week 3, and after this term, it is theoretically "all downhill from here."
There is one last point which dawned on me today. Or more appropriately, Rick helped illuminate it over our past few discussions, as have many others. A great deal of this is on me. While that is not to say they don't push us extremely hard, they do, but I push myself even further, and do things that undermine my own sanity. I don't want to delve to deep into what's going on inside my head, but suffice it to say, there's a lot in there, not all of it good, and not all of it valid. I am working to be more reasonable in my expectations, more forgiving of my failings (real or imagined), and more confident in my approach, but it's an ongoing struggle, as I'm sure it is for many.

I just want you all to know that I am fine, and on some level I am happy that I am here. Maybe not happy...proud? The point is, it's getting me to where I want to be, and looking back on it I am very proud of all that I have managed to accomplish. It has challenged me more than anything else in my entire life, and more than I expect most things will, but I have continued to succeed, and despite my misgivings have been called upon time and time again by my fellow students to lead our projects. I am still a student, as a level designer, as a young professional, and as a leader. Sometimes the lessons I learn are painful (sometimes seemingly without reason), but I recognize how I have learned, and how it is allowing me to become the person I want to be. (yeah, I know that was a bit corny, but I needed to offset the despondency of the last post)

It's easy to get bitter, depressed, and jaded here, especially when you are surrounded by other bitter, depressed, and jaded individuals, but my goal from now on is to somehow try and rise above it. I'm sure I won't always succeed, and there's a good chance I'll be back on here complaining about something before too long, but that's the nature of things. Anyway, I've got some things to do so I should be going. Take care, all!

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