Long time no see, huh? I guess the first thing I’d like to say is I hope you’re enjoying your Sunday morning. I hope you’re drinking something warm, wearing something cozy, and feel rested and ready for the week ahead. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a byline over here on Irrational Passions, and I must admit this one is a bit bittersweet. This one is my goodbye.
When I applied for the staff writer position here at IP a year ago, I did so without hesitation. In a matter of minutes, I was writing my bio in that google form. I was listing off the various ideas I had for the site, how I thought someone like me might be a good fit, and hoping the guys would see it too. There were absolutely no second thoughts, and I feel it’s important to tell you this for two reasons.
The first reason, and the most immediately obvious when I reflect upon my choice, is because I felt working with IP would be an incredible experience- a wonderful place to grow and learn as I navigated games journalism. I knew the people there were kind, talented, good humored, and (sorry guys, I gotta say it) irrationally passionate. I knew these were the kinds of people I wanted to surround myself with, and, even when you are looking to pursue a career in something as seemingly isolating as writing, I firmly believe you are only as good as the people around you.
The staff at Irrational Passions are the kinds of people you want around you. When I struggled, they jumped in to assist. When I fell, they picked me back up. When I had concerns, they listened and, more importantly, sought out ways to resolve them. Now, I don’t need to tell you Alex O’Neill is genuinely one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, because it’s a truth you discover within minutes of knowing him, but I will remind you- Alex O’Neill is genuinely one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I loved calling him boss almost as much as I love calling him my friend. And through his kindness, he’s assembled quite the crew. Jarrett, Jurge, Quinn, Scott, and Mike are all such a pleasure to know, and if I could only take away one thing from my time at IP, it would be getting to know them. Thank you all so much. For everything.
The second reason I bring up the immediacy with which I acted, is because I think it better explains why I am leaving. Before working at IP, I was starting to work a bit more with my dear friend Cailtin over at their blog Your Geeky Gal Pal. Prior to me applying to IP, Caitlin had started to toy with the idea of rebranding YGGP. They pitched me this idea of creating an outlet for marginalized voices, a space where writers and creators could talk about important issues in addition to whatever their heart fancied- in short, they pitched me what grew to become Uppercut. While I reacted with unbridled enthusiasm and immediately volunteered my support, it wasn’t until later I realized how integral a part Caitlin wanted me to play, and how disheartened they were when they heard I was going to another outlet, assuming I was no longer going to be a part of the vision they had.
But I swore up and down I could do both. Swore I could. I bounced between brainstorms and meetings, tried my hardest to keep up with everything. But it didn’t take long for me to realize the pressure of working at two sites was getting to me. However, it did take far too long to realize I couldn’t keep doing it. I tried. I tried hanging on for months despite feeling overwhelmed more or less constantly. Over the past year, I felt myself fractioned- pulled in so many places by so many people. And god, I really don’t say this with any intent to make anyone feel guilty or anything like that. I say this because for the first time, I realize how important it is to admit that, and finally I have the strength to. Absolutely no one was getting the best version of me, including myself, and I can’t live that way.
So I had to make a choice.
I cannot thank Irrational Passions enough for the opportunities they gave me. They walked me through my first PAX, my first PR interactions, my first official game review, and much, much more. And that’s because IP knows the ropes. They have a lot of knowledgeable guys over there who have been doing this for nearly a decade. Irrational Passions was an established outlet absolutely killin’ it long before I came around, which made me certain they would continue to without me. And that’s not to say I don’t think Uppercut would kill it without me, because I know Cailtin’s will and my god is it mighty. But I helped shape Uppercut. Uppercut is a core part of who I am. And I like to believe it needs me because I know I need it.
I believe in vulnerability above most things, so I really wanted to be open about all of this with all of you in hopes that you, not only better understand me, but take a moment to reflect upon your own workload, limits, and stress. The idea that we are only worth what we make is one that is ingrained into our society. For many of us, productivity reigns supreme, and the journey to realizing productivity is actually a god damn tyrant is a long and strenuous one. Sometimes, self preservation means making hard choices and leaving things you love. I do love Irrational Passions, but all the love in the world cannot give me more hours in a day nor a higher mental bandwidth. So, this is me saying goodbye. But not like, an intense, teary-eyed one, you know? I know I’ll be working with these guys again sometime. I know we’ll be sharing drinks at the next con we all go to. And I know, with certainty, I’ll always be irrationally passionate about all these boys and the work they do.
All my Love,