2019 has been an insane year.
In March, I met Grandmasters Eric Hansen and Aman Hambleton at the ending of the United States Chess Championships held in St. Louis. What began as a consult turned into an internship, turned into an entry-level graphic design position, turned into the-best-job-I’ve-ever-had to date.
The Canadian-founded brand known as Chessbrahs is a Twitch brand as well as a lifestyle calling for the “millennial” chess player. The anti-chess-stereotype is a revolution aimed at the seemingly boring, “nerdy” board game.
In March, they flew me up to Canada to fully experience the streamer lifestyle. I got to experience (very briefly) nightlife in Alberta and dance like an idiot in front of hundreds of people.
From there, prospects have only grown. The two Chessbrahs acquired a professional eSports team called Desperado. An entirely new field of work has brought me all kinds of learning opportunities in the world of graphic design as well as video production.
More work doesn’t always mean more money. And in my case, it didn’t mean a better lifestyle, either. Sometimes I would be working 70 to 80 hour weeks, not having any time to take care of myself.
Letting others dictate my schedule and what I would be doing throughout my weeks made me realize just how important self-care is. I went from living out of the back of my car to being able to do laundry regularly.
While all of this was transgressing, I’ve been bouncing around from parents’ house to friends’ apartment to, finally, my own apartment. I’ve slept on couches, the floor, in my car, and not at all in an attempt to find an optimal state to exist in.
I’ve taken up classes again at a local community college, though continuing with teaching chess and my new jobs in the graphic design industry, the question still lingers in my head. “Is getting a college degree really necessary? Can I even do it?” With 3 hours of classes every night and assignments to color in squares with a sharpie as my introduction to graphic design class, I really need to ask myself whether or not it’s worth it.
In a minor update to last year’s viral post, Truman State University is now being sued by families, a step in the right direction to ensure the same tragedies never happen again.
I think the theme for this year is time. More specifically, what is my time worth? $10 an hour? $14 an hour? $30 an hour? Valuing myself and learning how to say no has been a huge breaking point in my life. Having other people schedule your time and worth is possibly one of the most toxic things that we all need to prevent in our lives.
In an article publishing sometime next week, I talk about the future of human labor and what it’s really worth.
Eventually, realizing that I have just a lot of ridiculous ideas floating in my head led me to start writing again. Just 500 to 1000 words a day. Maybe it’s just a rant, maybe it’s journaling, or maybe I actually have something to say.
More on life lessons and good things to do coming (possibly) soon.