Life: The One About Setting Things Down and Moving On

I’ve always had a strange relationship with the idea of quitting things.

When I was a kid I remember the things kids remember: there comes a day, you’re probably five or six, and you’re taken to or made to do something you really could care less about, all for the “experience,” which will make you a more “well-rounded child.” Speaking generally this could be sports, or dance, or playing an instrument, or going to a play–all of which land in a variety of different places on the spectrum of many children’s interests; I wasn’t any different.

I loved playing baseball when I was a kid, for example–I made and solidified a lot of my childhood friendships in that space and interest, but when I got a little older and more interested in music and art and things of that ilk, that interest started to wane.  I, as to be expected, wanted to quit.

My mom wouldn’t have it (that seems like my mom). She wanted me to see it through. So as we moved into more intense, more legitimate baseball, I was, to the sport, six years wizened, and a year or two “done” with playing altogether.  I remember that year being my worst scoring season, I remember wanting out more than ever before, and at the end of it, just trailing off with a muffled whisper like a sad little comet–different than the bang most sports players would like.

Over the years I think orchestra took that spot, art too, perhaps even a camp or two–all of which I’m glad I did (except for a couple of those camps. They were horrible) for one reason in particular: that they made me who I am.

When I grew up and started to realize the impact the things I once hated were playing on my life, I restructured my thought process toward quitting things.  I had such a strong distaste toward quitting anything because I had no earthly idea how that experience would lay out in my life down the line.

It was strange. I couldn’t, and still can never, find a happy medium, which isn’t a good thing, I don’t think, because sometimes it’s okay to quit things, sometimes things just don’t work.  It isn’t a knock against you or your character to set something aside for something else–in fact, it’s probably a sign of a higher level of maturity, to know when something needs to go.  It says that you can handle your time and your priorities responsibly without blindly taking everything as it comes. It’s about choice, and that’s an adult thing, right?

About a month ago I posted about a YouTube channel I was starting called PaperBearPlays (if you’d like to read about it, you can right here).  It’s been something that I’ve enjoyed and have been going at hard since I launched it initially.  It’s been something like 30+ days since I began and I’ve put out over 50 videos so far.

It’s been crazy! And I’ve loved it.

Being a part of the Let’s Play community has been so much fun. Revisiting old games and playing games I wouldn’t play otherwise has been too…

But–and this is a big but–I’m going to be setting it aside for the foreseeable future beginning the first of November.

GASP!

GASP!

The decision doesn’t come lightly. It’s been something I’ve been diving into very deeply over the past month and, up until a couple of days ago, I had no idea I would even be quitting this.  I figured I’d be in for the long haul.

Boy, is this awkward…

A lot of it has to do with the amount of time it’s been taking up.  I originally planned it out as being a small side project that would allow me to play games and have a fun outlet to do it, but, as is consistent with me and creative pursuits, that didn’t last.  What was initially planned to be a once a week venture became an everyday, sometimes twice a day, thing involving constant recording, editing, rendering, and uploads that prevented me from working on my art, from writing here, from doing a lot of different things.  And while it is something I enjoy and have enjoyed wholeheartedly, I think it definitely falls within that “adult” umbrella of making choices.

Sometimes the responsible thing to do is run down your list of priorities and and hack off what is the least important.  Sometimes it isn’t worth doing; the channel lands about there.

I want to work on my webcomic. I want to write. I want to have time to enjoy other things and while I did enjoy doing it, it became apparent that the rewards were few and far between and my time would be better spent elsewhere.

That being said, I’m glad I’ve been doing it and I’ll be glad in the future that I did it. The vigorous upload schedules that I placed upon myself taught me a great deal of discipline. It taught me how much time I actually did have when I was having to squeeze out as much as possible just to make it on time.  It taught me a better understanding of filming and editing and that making a video–even a simple one with little in the way of technical happenings–requires a lot more than just turning on a camera.

It’s been beneficial. And as I dig back into my webcomic and my writing and everything else, what I learned will certainly influence what I do, even if the channel is left behind.

Thank you though for everyone who’s been keeping up with it. I’ve had such a good time and I hope you guys have too. Maybe it’ll be something I pick up later on down the line once I have the ability to really dig into it. If so, come back. If not…well, those 50 videos will still be up there.

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