I’ve had seven heart attacks… all imagined.

I’m not sure how long I’m going to make this post, but I did feel like it was time I gave a general update about what’s happening in my life. The short of it is that I’m at a crossroads, and it’s coming time to make a decision on what path I’m going to take.

Let me explain. As I’m sure the past string of blogposts have made abundantly clear, my job hunting has proven to have less than stellar results, leaving me out of school and unemployed for the past six months. As those of you who’ve been in extended periods of unemployment before are aware, this has been a major source of stress and frustration in my life, and a drain on my finances, which exacerbates the stress. (So I end up talking about it a lot.)

So this lack of success in finding employment has caused me to stop and take stock of what exactly it is that I’m trying to do. I mean, other than get a job because I need the money. What sort of job am I really looking for? The theory goes that I should arguably be looking for something that leads down my chosen career path… which is what, exactly? It’s currently up in the air. I could continue to pursue a career in game design and development. It can be a lucrative and rewarding career (sometimes even both), though even from my peripheral position, it is by no means a bed of roses (what is?).

The other idea that continues to come up in my thoughts again and again is the idea of finding something I can do to pay the bills four days a week, and spend the other three days writing, and pursuing a career of it. There are thousands of people trying to do just this, and it’s not exactly an easy path, with any sort of assurance of financial stability. That said, I keep on coming back to it, and have for years. I come to it, tell myself that there are other things I should focus on first, and table it. Well, maybe it’s time to not table it, but really go forward with it. That’s the crossroads… game design, or writing. There’s no reason I couldn’t switch gears later, or even (arguably) do both, but I feel like I should focus on ONE for right now, if only so I can feel like I have a bit of direction here.

Progress (or the illusion of it) is important for your sanity, I’ve found. I spent most of October in various states of isolation and seclusion, which in hindsight wasn’t the brightest move on my part. Just before starting my seclusion, I got some unneeded drama laid on my head, and all that time with nothing by my own head to live with did some serious damage. A lot of the work I’ve done over the past few years to improve some of my issues (slightly OCD, history of severe depression) has been washed away, and it’s definitely proving an uphill battle to get back to a good spot mentally and emotionally.

I’m heading south in a few days, which I’m hoping will restore some of my equilibrium. I’m heading to DC for a few days, and then will be continuing further south, until I reach… well, who knows. I’m not entirely sure when I’m heading back north. I may end up camping in the Keys for a while — I have a laptop, there’s no reason I can’t work on things while I’m gone, and no reason I can’t continue to send out resumes via coffee shops and other free wireless places down the seaboard. I’ve been going stircrazy looking for an excuse to travel, and this is as good a reason as any.

For the record, I’m not getting a Wii. I’m not getting a PS3. I’m sure they’re very good systems, and sooner or later, I’m sure I’ll make the investment. I’d certainly LIKE to, but it simply doesn’t make sense for right now. Maybe once the holiday crazes die down, and I have a job to pay for it. Best wishes to those of you who are getting them, hope they’re as fun as the hype says.

At this point, I’m kind of bouncing around in terms of topics. I had a more cohesive thought for this when I started it, but a series of variables are making that cohesion highly unlikely. There are so many things I want to say, and I don’t know when I’ll get to say them. I do want to say something, though: Thank you.

I mean it.  To each of you reading this, whether we’ve known each other for years, or have never formally met, lurkers and posters both.  For simply giving enough of a damn to come here and read, I want to thank you.  Whether you’ve just passed through, or gone back to the beginning and read it all, it means something intangible but important.  It says that even the small voice is valuable, even the personal is important, and even strangers can share common bonds.  So… yeah.  Thank you.  Thanks for reading.  Thanks for caring, even a little.  I’ll do my best to make that care well deserved.