I’m In: My investigation to the evil empire of Gamer’s Abbey

I can’t believe it. I’m in. I’ve infiltrated the inner circle of Gamer’s Abbey. And you wouldn’t believe what I’ve discovered. It chills me. To the fucking bone.

Get this, right? I’m fucking around at the Game Grid in Lehi. Just waiting for some Melee, yeah? Tim, fucking Tim, messages me to see if I can help run the brackets. I go rigid. This was the opportunity I needed. Now I could finally see what heinous shit goes down from the inside.

So, he sends me the spreadsheet for the Thursday tourney. I open it, and time freezes. This? This is not what I expected. Venue fee? $69. Tournament entry? $420. And what the fuck does it mean a portion of one’s humanity? Payout? 1% of the total pot gets given out. The 99% remaining goes to Tim. Not to streaming equipment. Not to gaming equipment. Just straight into Tim’s offshore bank account, never to be seen again.

I couldn’t believe it. The stories were true. Tim was using Game Grid tournaments as a giant cash-grab pyramid scheme. And I just became their newest member. The bottom of soulless money-grabbers determined to suck the fun out of Utah Smash forever.

A week later, I spoke with Tim again. “How does the power feel?” he asks me. His eyes glow with predatory instinct, trying to corner me into servitude. It’s taking everything I have to not let the fear show. I crack a smile. “It feels like everything I hoped for.”

“Good.” he says. He puts out his hand. A seemingly friendly gesture. I take hold, expecting a simple handshake. But something was off. Something was in his hand. The hand that was slowly crushing mine into dust. He releases his grip, never letting his eyes leave mine. “For your work.” he says. I look down at the wad of money in my hand. Five hundred fucking dollars sits in my aching palm.

I look up at Tim, a question on my face. The smile he gives me makes me want to do nothing more than run screaming. “Consider it a gift.” He turns and leaves. I stand still, not wanting to move, breath, or even blink. Anything to make sure I arouse no suspicion. A gift. Bullshit. It’s fucking hush money. I got paid so I wouldn’t let word out.

They’re fucking watching me, man. They think I don’t know, but they can’t hide it. Every time, every fucking time, I enter a Game Grid. I see their shifty little eyes dart to me and away. I’m not safe. I’ll never be safe. But I had to get it out. I had to tell Utah the truth. We’re being played! Tim and his fucking goonies are playing Utah, man! They’ll take our money until we’ve nothing left! They’ll spread tournaments so thin that Utah will have its talent shrivel into worthlessness! They have to be stopped! The madness must stop!!!

I’m going to go into hiding. I won’t be safe here. Don’t look for me. I’ll slip away into nothing, never to be seen again in Utah. I hope this information helps. Somebody has to do something. I’ve done all I can. Take the mantle, Utah! Fight the good fight!


Now that I’ve capped the extreme end of this debate, can we just let this shit go? Just do what you want. Go to whatever tournament you want, and just keep playing Smash. If you don’t like how tournaments are run, don’t go. If you like them, go. Capitalism, baby.

Click here for the post that inspired this

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The Call to Wanderlust: Why I added myself to the Genesis 4 Compendium

I’m living out of my car. No house, no address to speak of, and limited space to keep belongings. It was not a fact I’ve tried to hide, but it wasn’t one I was broadcasting. Now, I stand here and advertise it. I want to be clear. This was a choice I made, and it has turned out for the better. This is a single move toward a greater scheme I’ve had.

Some people don’t feel at home in a single location. They are wanderers by nature. Vagabonds that couldn’t feel relaxed without some motion being put into their life. Now, there is the internet that allows communication, finances, and resources to be ubiquitous. The number of vagabonds has grown quite a bit over the years. I suppose I’m now one more in that number.

The feeling of wanderlust has existed in me for quite a while. When I was young, I would walk my small rural town for hours. No purpose, no destination. Just walking until I felt tired. When I gained the ability to drive, I would then drive throughout my local county. I found a sense of relaxation and excitement, all at once. I would explore roads that I had not even known existed, and love it. When I went to college, I would take weekends to travel to other towns. No reason to visit them. I just wanted to.

Then, I spent my first summer with a serious devotion to Melee. I traveled Upstate New York every weekend that summer. I went to any tournament available. From Buffalo, along the Canadian border, to Albany, along the Hudson River. I was exploring something I had never found before. A community. A community of people who were so diverse and unique. So many different lives that came from different backgrounds. All of them coming together to play a classic party game turned sport.

Over that summer, my wanderlust grew further. I wanted to explore the vast world of competitive Melee. Not just the high ranks of top players. I wanted to go to other regions. New York City sat just outside of my reach, and I ached to visit just once. I wanted to see the scene of Massachusetts, of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Hampsire. I wanted to see everything the North East could give me of Melee.

Eventually, my resources dwindled. I made the move to Utah, seeking financial stability. For now, I have it. I’m exploring the entirety of the Utah scene while I am here, and loving it. Yet, I’m a greedy son of a bitch. I still want to explore more. Moving into my car has allowed me to pool resources more efficiently for travel. I now go to every local tourney that I can afford. Winning or losing doesn’t matter as much to me anymore. The sheer chance to attend, to connect with local players, is what I enjoy the most.

My selfish desire to wander has led to one goal. A goal that I’m happy to be working towards. I plan to become a full-time esports journalist, with an emphasis on Smash and the greater Fighting Game Community. There are so many stories to tell at the ground level. Entire regions that are overlooked because they do not produce top-ten players. Regions like Massachusetts, which got so much flak for boosting Mafia to Summit 3. They have stories to tell, and lessons for others to learn. They have their own universes that they deal with. Their own heroes, their own villains. Each region having their own microcosm that is unique, and helps reflect on Smash as a whole. Those are the stories I want to help tell.

Of course, attending majors has always been a requirement of mine. I had registered for Evolution 2016, only for finances to crash down around me. Now, I have another opportunity with Genesis 4. I have two months to make this work. I’ve registered, I’ve gotten the week off, and my vehicle is getting the utmost care. I will make the drive to Genesis from Utah in my mobile home. A long 12-hour drive across two state borders. A proof-of-concept trip. I’ve rarely felt such excitement for something in my life.

So, we come to the main point. I’ve added myself to the compendium for Genesis 4. I want to try out this concept. I want to meet as many players as I can, and see what I can learn from each one. I want to write about the nameless faces of the crowd. The ones identified only as fans to the wider audience. I want to hit the ignored ground level of the Melee community. The players that are fighting their way to the top like you and I. And what better place to start than one of the most respected majors to ever exist for Melee?

I ask for a chance. I will be attending and doing what I can regardless. Yet, any amount can help relieve some of the financial strain this will take on me. I believe I am a decent enough writer to achieve this, and I want to give this opportunity my all. So, I humbly ask for nominations. The request I make is as selfish as it is selfless. I wish to fulfill my wanderlust, and I offer the opportunity to see Smash in a new light. My writing is not perfect, but I believe my skills are more than capable of accomplishing this task.

To anybody who gives me this chance, I thank you with every fiber of gratitude I have. I could never find the words to express my full thanks, and I will work to the bone to achieve and surpass your expectations. You put your trust in me, and nothing less than my best would do that justice. Thank you.


To nominate me, click here: My Genesis 4 Voting Page

Make Melee Great Again: Why I vote Santiago for Summit 3

Santiago has a message for the populace of Melee players. The game is far from over. He believes that the meta is far from where it could be. He believes that the top is the creation of sparkly-eyed romanticism. The Melee gods are only gods because we perpetuate the idea. And he says he is the man to show us what’s what.

We’ve made some bad deals, folks. We’ve evolved the system into hero worship. Let me tell you folks, Santiago knows a bad deal when he sees one. He’s good. Very good. And he has friends, good friends, in the Melee elite. They all say, all of them, and you can ask him; they’ve made bad deals. He’s going to Make Melee Great AgainTM.

Alright, parody aside. Santiago is a bit of a populist. He doesn’t buy into the talent myth. He doesn’t buy into the “god” category. To him, everyone is a player. This might just be what we need in this moment. With the move towards spectator sport, Melee is finding itself in more of a divide. Players all over are improving. But the myth of the “unmoving” gods persists. Discussions about player floating and VIP rooms have appeared. Top, vetted players are seen as normal and stable. Upsets are rare enough that they get ignored as flukes.

Santiago is a bit different. His approach to the game is minimalistic. Little practice with a big payoff. No wasted time. He finds the problem, and applies a solution. While others would attribute it to raw talent, Santiago would disagree. He sees it as a basic application of smart approaches to the game. Cutting away the fat to the pure element of Melee. And with four days of nothing but practice? This may just be a catalyst to launching him into the top twenty of Melee.

Why did I say he was a populist? Santiago does not believe this is unique. He appeals to his fans by assuring them that he is nothing special. Just somebody who trained properly. He believes that anybody could do what he has done, and more. While he has tended to be apathetic to Melee, he knows a passionate player could recreate his growth.

If anything, I want Summit to be the experiment for Santaigo’s ideals. He has shown that he is not just speaking of nothing. He has reason to believe what he says. So, I want to throw him to the wolves. I want to see if his approach to Melee will serve him well among the “elite.” I want to see if his ideals will hold up in that environment.

Or, I may just have green Sheik bias.


Santiago on r/smashbros about Summit 3

Santiago Vs. Westballz, June 2016

Joseph “Mang0” Marquez Accused of Domestic Violence

This may be one of my more moronic moments. On the night of September 20th, I wrote the article below. My editor told me that our site could not publish it because of how much speculation there was. I agreed that we should not have published it, and commend my editor for seeing that. So, I sent it to several teams of journalists. Since then, nothing has happened or come forth. So, I am publishing the full, unedited document on my personal site.


Joseph “Mang0” Marquez is arguably the most popular Smash player in the world. His aggressive and evolving playstyle have become iconic in the scene. He is the most subscribed Melee player on Twitch. He can play a crowd to bolster himself during swing moments of a match. It is no surprise that his fanbase is the largest in the entire Smash scene.

mangodomestic

 

On the night of September 19th, his girlfriend, Lauren, accused Mang0 of domestic violence and cheating on Twitter. She claimed that this was an issue that is long term and ongoing. She claimed that she has tried to keep it quiet to keep from disturbing the greater Melee scene. At the time of writing, her Twitter account has become protected. Also at the time of writing, Mang0 has made no public statement on the matter. His mother has defended him over Twitter, and has thanked his fans for sticking with him. Mang0 is known for being an alcoholic. Rumors have also circulated in the past about Lauren being involved in altercations.

 

Since the accusations have come forward, a community wide silence has become prevalent. Given how quick the original accusation was closed off, many might not have heard it. Though, Reddit threads and Melee Hell pictures have begun to circulate. Little discussion has been had on the topic itself. What conversation there is tends to be vague and roundabout. Some popular voices are even avoiding the topic altogether with hashtags like #juiceoverdrama.

 

The Smash scene has had various allegations of sexual assault in the past year. Most have fueled a public debate about the toxicity of the greater Smash community and the safety of women within. Some within the community worry about how this will further affect the reputation of the Melee scene to outsiders. With Smash seen as the younger brother to the greater Fighting Game Community, some worry about reputation makes sense. Add in a good number of viewers who might stop watching altogether, and this may change the future of Smash as an esport.


At the time of writing, nothing is known about where the allegations have gone. Whether the allegations were brought to the legal system is unknown. Whether Lauren has left the house is unknown. Where this will leave Mang0’s sponsorship is unknown. Where this will leave the greater Melee and Smash scene is unknown.


Author’s Note:

In all honesty, I was surprised by this incident. Mostly with the community reaction. Voices which rang out with calls of misogyny and toxicity were silent. Hashtags were made to sweep the incident under the rug. See, I’m okay with that. What I am not okay with is the selective application of principles.

As a fan, I understand the reluctance of wanting to get involved. Hell, I’m all for the community handing allegations over to the police and not making them public. That isn’t this community. This last year has shown a community that is willing to speak out on sexual assault. Yet, when Mang0 gets accused of domestic violence? We don’t need no drama, guys!

The swing away from principles was astonishing to watch in real time. As a fan, I understood why so many just wanted to turn their head away. As a journalist, I refuse to let this go by without a report of some kind. 

I am not advocating for action of any kind. At the time of writing, Lauren has made her twitter public. She has claimed that the matter is being handled privately. If this is in the legal system, then they will handle it. If the charges were dropped, then that is what happened. Rather, I saw that this incident was being passed by. So, I’m publishing what I wrote. Because it may be the only writeup of what even happened.

Singing: A small blurp on another hobby of mine

I love to sing. I’m not a fantastic singer, and I’m not God awful. I have gotten better over the past few years. When you sing for about three hours a day, you tend to get better. I’m that crazy fool who sings while he’s at work. Be it my day job installing floors, or the night shift managing a local convenience store. Mopping, cleaning machines, washing dishes, banging wood into place, or scraping tile. I sing during it all.

It’s the details that make singing fun. Feeling the tiny movements within your throat is both exciting and weird. Hacking the breathing apparatus of the human body to produce sound. How the diaphragm gets pushed and pulled as I force air in unusual ways. The different sounds produced by changing the amount of air through the nostrils. How I run out of breath on lower notes faster than higher ones.

There are the moments of clarity. I hit each tone in the proper order and pacing. In these moments, the world vanishes. The world is gone, while I focus only on my breathing and vocal control. Some moments are just befuddling. I use the techniques that worked before, and produce a new sound altogether. Little changes in how I feel that day can cascade into singing in a different style altogether. Some days are just me finding my vocal limits. Then working on extending the range of notes I can hit and transition to. Some days I just stop singing out of pure frustration. Only to start again ten minutes later. I have my tried and true songs that never feel wrong. I have those songs that never seem to click in place. And some days, I crack open and sing with notes I’ve never produced before.

There are days where I can change genres and have no issue. There are days where I skip half a playlist because I’m in a particular mood. There are days when I can hit sequences of notes, but never connect them into one good song. There are days where I realize I’ve been hitting the wrong note all along. There are days where I just listen and learn. There are days where I realize a tiny half-note change in a song that I thought was constant. There are days where I lose familiarity with everything I hear, as if they are all new. Sometimes, there are just days of nothing.

I don’t seek out approval for my singing. I sing because I enjoy it. There are customers that go out of their way to let me know how I’m doing. It’s a good feeling. There are people who tell me that I’m terrible, and that I should leave it to the professionals. It hurts, but it never stops me. I just smile and sing some more. The bad days can out-number the good at times, and I just consider stopping to preserve my ego. Tomorrow comes, and I sing again. It’s never an activity I do for gain, or for vanity. It’s because I love the sheer act of singing. Sometimes, that’s all I need.

Singing is a simple hobby I do because I can. Melee? Melee is a passion that keeps growing. Yet, look over this again. The two may be more similar to me than I had given credit. Though, that just may be Melee addiction converting everything into a metaphor. If you see me speeding down the highway yelling “It’s Melee! Everything’s Melee!!” assume the latter.

 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: My examination of the most confusing event in my life(yet)

Not going to lie. Today messed with my actual expectations of life. You think you have it figured out. Then, bam. Fuck your expectations, you know nothing.

Most of us did not think the US would be where it is today. We grew up told that racism was a thing of the past. We saw the horrible sins of yesteryear in history class. Jim Crow laws, race rioting, the rise and fall of black supremacist movements opposed to white supremacist movements. We figured those days were over. Move on to our new utopia of equality and freedom, right? Well, strained race relations are back. Add in all-new global plot twists. Jihadism, the EU in disarray, a turbulent election cycle, and a new cold relationship with Russia. Welcome to the new age. 2016 is the year that historians will point at as the unraveling of what was supposed to be a better future. We thought we were progressing forward through a new era. Yet, much like the US in the 1920’s, we did not pay attention to how it was collapsing.

Yet, this story just has me baffled. I can not fathom how such events reached an odd culmination as they have in Utah today. 2016 has rocked us, but the events here will have us confused for months. The examination of this event will take a long time. Yet, it may hold a key in understanding just how odd our position is today. I recommend the full story on the Salt Lake Tribune. It is something that must be read to be believed. For here, I’m just going to try and understand it from my perspective. I am no expert, but this may be my only method of coping.

To begin, a man enters the administrative office of an elementary school. Mask on, he tells them to evacuate so nobody is hurt. And he just walks out and goes back to his car. Hanging out in the parking lot like he didn’t just threaten a school of children. While the school evacuates, he sends a mass email to everyone he found important. All the way up to the fucking Secretary of State, John Kerry. Calls himself “the radical Islamic jihadist Muhammad Allah Al-Khidr.” Informs authorities that he has explosives. Panic ensues. Police on the scene, parents freaking out. The whole shebang. Informs everybody that he is combating nationwide racism.

Now, here is where I thought I had the story pegged. Crazy Islamic radical decides to jump on the BLM bandwagon for attention, right? Trying to hijack the moral quandary of another movement to secure more attention for his? Nope. Tells them “And This Day I go to kill myself in jail in honor of the most racially targeted group of humans = white police officers.” Well. I got nothing. Not what I expected at all. Proceeds to call black men “the most racist, bigoted group of homo sapien primates.” Then I’m just gone. This is where I realize that I knew nothing about what was happening. Somebody advocating against racism targeting whites. By being racist against blacks. By emailing every media outlet he could find. Advertised by threatening to blow up a school.

I guess I start with the obvious. This man believes the the basic principle of consequentialism. “The ends justify the means.” He is advocating for a cause he believes in. By any means necessary. It just so happens that the means are threatening to blow up children. This is a move the Machiavelli himself would see as ridiculous. There are points to argue about the greater good vs one’s evil actions. Yet, even in the context of Machiavelli, the ends have to outweigh the means. Pragmatism is required to know what means are required for what ends. Staging a giant threat to start a conversation about racism defeats the purpose of the conversation. Nobody is going to care what this man has to say because of the means used. In essence, his goal was unreachable the moment he pulled into that parking lot. People will be so focused on the event itself that his point is lost to noise.

So why the over the top theatrics? Threaten a school? Email Mark Cuban and John Kerry? Read a book to a bomb sniffing robot? Why do that? Attention. Plain and simple, he wanted as many eyes as him as possible. Well, he got quite a few heads to turn. Maybe not the ones he wanted, but beggars can’t be choosers. This is the usual spot where people tend to parrot the line, “don’t give him attention.” See, the colloquial idea is that if somebody like this wants attention, you take power from him by not giving him any. Like how the alt-left deals with radical Islam. The problem lies in the physicality of the approach. See, the advice, “don’t give them attention,” is for those online. Online, people only have words and pictures to get your attention. If you engage them they see the chinks in your armour, and keep prodding. For a guy threatening children? That strategy doesn’t work. Hundreds, if not thousands, were displaced from their schedules and safety. Like it or not, he has our attention.

Yet, with that attention, we gain information. We examine what he says, what he does. We find the method to the madness. And we learn to prevent this in the future. Sure, it seems counterintuitive to spread the story of this guy. It seems like a bad idea to let people know his reasoning and where he is taking this conversation he tried to start. Though, I find usefulness in having the greater society dissect this guy. The more we understand his insanity, the better to combat such radical ideas in the future. Don’t know how much better to put it at 3AM.

Now, for the other issue I had. His advocacy against racism of white people. Police officers, to be specific. With the events in Dallas and Baton Rouge, there is a conversation to be had there. I know this is tantamount to social suicide, but I won’t pad it. Racism against white people is at a high point, and it needs to be discussed. I’m not the one for that discussion, and neither is this man. See, when one talks about racism, it’s not good to start with racism. Calling an entire race “racist, bigoted… homo sapien primates” is not how to have a conversation on racism. It defeats the whole purpose of trying to evoke the conversation to begin with. I can’t believe this is something that needs to be reiterated these days. Racism does not solve racism.

There is so much more that could be dissected out of this event. Did the fact that he call himself a jihadist change anything? How does the public handle something like this? How do the parents handle this with their children? Good luck hiding this information from them. One good Google search, and they can read it all. How does a parent explain this entire microcosm of 2016? I can’t answer that. I can’t even tell myself how to think of it anymore. These are the moments in human life that just make you wonder how the fuck you even got there. If thirty years from now I understand even an ounce of what this means, how it happened, and how it shows our future, I will consider myself a genius.

Rage Against The Machine:

My struggle for control of my life

I’m going to take a moment to wax philosophical about myself. It will be pretentious, arrogant, and meaningless. There are tens of thousands of Melee players in the world. My personal self is not important in relation to the larger picture. At least that is how I perceive it. Yet, I’m here and I have a platform. Let’s use it to stroke my engorged ego.

Life is hard. Not hard in the way where bad shit happens and you’re stuck with the pieces of a puzzle that don’t quite fit. I suppose that is a symptom of it. Life is hard because it’s a constant battle for control. What that control is tends to change from person to person. As Eurythmics put it, “Some of them want to use/abuse you. Some of them want to be used/abused.” Whole discourses have been had on the differences of people’s goals. I’m not well versed on the more academic side of the discussion. I just know what I want and why I want it.

Control is not something I’ve had over my life for a long while. The past year has made me feel a beggar in my own life. Going from point A to point B has become a hassle by asking for rides. Money leaves as soon as it comes in. My career has stagnated in dead-end loops of corporate ladders. Little to no control over my choices and direction. Before that, I had no idea what my direction was at all. College life had me spinning through loops of indecision. Did I engage in politics, the sciences, creative pursuits, etc.? Before that was the crushing existence of small town public schooling and a broken family life. I can’t remember a time where I felt I was in full control of where I was going, or how to get there.

Then along came Super Smash Bros. Melee. Looking back, it seemed natural that I would fall into such a competitive game. At the time, it was a whim. After playing a few college tournaments, I wanted to try the larger Upstate New York scene. This was one of the few summers where I had a pretty penny to spend, a car to drive, and free time aplenty. I found the closest tournament two hours away. Having family in the hosting town, I decided to spend a weekend there. The concept of paying to play a videogame for a day confused them. Why drive two hours and pay $15 to hit buttons for a while? They couldn’t understand that I wanted to do it just to do it.

The tournament came and I was knocked out with the traditional newbie 0-2. My family took it as a sign that this sort of thing was not meant for me. “You paid to lose” seemed to be what they held onto. Yet, they missed what I saw. I drove two hours to do this. I paid with my money. I hit the buttons. I lost. Me. Not my parents. Not my friends. Not my roommates, teachers, manager, or anybody else. I did it. This was a series of choices I made. It was control over something in my life. Even in the game, the decisions I made led to the outcome of the matches. I didn’t lose because I rolled bad dice. I lost because I made the wrong choices in the match. Nobody else could say they did it for me.

That summer, I went to every tournament I could. The drives ranged from an hour to four. I fought, learned, relearned, shouted, cried, laughed, and fought again. I had control over my life and where I wanted to take it. It wasn’t long before I was looking further beyond Upstate. I wanted to go as far as I could and play as much as possible. I wanted, and still want, to reach the pinnacle of Melee. Nothing was going to stop me from this, and nothing will.

Yet, life is hard. Soon, my job was gone, and the money with it. Scraping a lower job, I was lucky to make it to work and back. My car lost a headlight, and I couldn’t even afford a replacement. Ticket after ticket was laid on me, further draining the empty account I had grown used to seeing. After struggling with the decision, I made my way to Utah to live with family. I gave up my car, my $1300 PC, and my personal library to make the trip. While pulling myself out of the financial hole I dug myself into, I found myself losing the opportunity to even attend tournaments. Gaining a night job left me working during local tournaments. Living rent free meant I had to make payments in other methods. Living under the rules of someone else turned into a struggle between my need to shape my path and conform to another’s standard. I gained a car, only to lose it in an accident three weeks after. I negotiated with my work to give me a day off for tournaments. Yet, I have to ask for a ride there and back. I have to dance around the expectations of a family that gets only a few hours with me a week. I picked up a second job, only to find that both fight for my loyalty away from Melee. I’ve fixed my financial problems, and thrown myself into other issues.

I’ve found the direction I want to go. Now, I’m blocked on every opportunity by obstacles that take time that is wasting. I feel trapped, as any headstrong young man in my situation would. I don’t have my life going where I want it to, and get punished if I try to force it back. The past year has been hell on my mentality and my emotional well-being. Even when I get the rare opportunity to play, I let the anger and frustration blind me. My gameplay in recent tournaments has been nothing but a red haze of rage. Crudely, it sucks, and I hate it.

Yet, this is something I will not let go. Life is fighting me on every turn, and I imagine it will continue to fight. But this is my life, damn it. I refuse to let little details stop me from what I want. I will not lose control over this. Little by little, I can pull it together. I don’t care if this takes years. Melee pulled me out of some serious shit, and I will not let that be taken away. This is my corner of the ring, and I will hold it as long as I can.

I apologize if this sounds like a giant set up for a sob story. I want to be clear. I don’t believe that I am the only one going through this. I don’t believe that my story is something that should be cared about. Hell, nobody has to care about me. I don’t want pity, and I don’t want people believing they can solve this for me. I don’t even think it’s that bad. Plenty are dealing with much worse than I, and still kicking ass. Rather, I want something to be understood. Life is hard. Life sucks. Life will kick you because it can, and it will kick you again for the pleasure. But that won’t stop me. Why should it stop anybody?

Somebody you know is pushing through life right now. I know plenty of others who are worse off than I am, and still pushing through. Why? Because we have something we don’t want to let go. We have something that gives us that feeling of control, that our life is in our hands. We treasure that above anything else. Sometimes though, it gets heavy. I didn’t write this post to gain sympathy. I wrote it because writing helps me find focus in life. This post is more for me than anything else. But, somebody you know is dealing with shit just as bad, if not worse. And sometimes, they don’t want to tell you it’s that bad. Sometimes, they just need and want somebody to tell them that the fight is worth it. Their pride won’t let them ask for help. Don’t let their pride think they are alone. They aren’t alone. They have you. And sometimes, that’s all they need.