My Guts Go On The Page

It’s a humid Saturday night, and I’m in a progressively darkening mood. Since I tend to process my feelings best through a stack of written words (because I can’t just copy and paste the same four letter word that rhymes with bunt over and over and call that a blogpost, and because I can do better for myself than just smash things indiscriminately), I’m going to write what I imagine will be a rambling but cathartic post.

I’ve noticed that I experience anger differently than I used to. When I was younger, before all the drugs and the medical things and the doctors and the therapies, my anger felt like lava – a slow-moving constantly hot, landscape changing force. It left no prisoners, it wasn’t held back by anything. Eventually everything burns.

But now, post therapies and post life events and post medical science adventures and post reality checks, my anger is more steam: scalding initially, but dispersed with a change in airflow.

It’s not that I don’t still get angry about the same stuff, I do, the betrayal and the heartache and the pandering and the placating and the kool-aid sipping and the horsefeathers politicking and the pointless materialism etc etc all still hurt me, and I ache and rage, but more and more I’m starting to notice that I’m also getting equally angry with myself. Angry with myself that I was so stupid, that I don’t immediately choose a better response to situation. Angry that my first thought is “Yes, I do want to mash that person’s face into a jagged metal juicer and strangle the life from their pulpy remains” and not “I will be the better person who can just find the good.” Sometimes, I still want to tell the good to play a great game of hide and go fuck itself. I don’t like that about myself. It feels corrosive. It feels bad or uncomfortable or even unnecessary at times. It makes me feel guilty for not being a better person.

I guess that’s self-loathing. I’m not really sure what else to call it, but it’s a part of myself that I loathe, even if in those immediate instances I feel it, there’s a glint of pleasure and glee. I’m pretty sure that speaks volumes for how my head is still wired, even with all the therapy and everything going on. And yeah, that reinforces the loathing too.

The inescapable fact is that in a few weeks there are events on my horizon that would and will test me, and in these preparatory days, I don’t like how “off” I feel. This probably needs more explanation, since people reading this aren’t currently clued into the conversation going on in my head between the stream of thoughts while I write this post and the angry voice and the scared voice in my head.

In July there is a convention I attend, and at this convention there is a yearly game, a game I helped develop, and a game I have in the past help run. It is a big huge spectacle with big huge emotions and expectations. It’s a lot of fun for the participants and at times, has been fun for me to organize and wrangle. But within the last year and change, there have been some world-altering changes to my life, and I find this game now to be something that more promotes a sense of dread or frustration rather than enjoyment, and that’s the first sign I need to do something about it. Put bluntly, there are people attending this game that I’m not entirely sure I can comfortably be around. Some have hurt me, and some I worry I will hurt or make a scene or in some way fail to divorce my own feelings from the atmosphere. I don’t want to color the experience of 90+ people because John can’t be in a room with a few individuals. I mean, I could stand there, I wouldn’t burst into flames or something, I’d just be grossly uncomfortable or worse, hostile and unpleasant. None of us deserve that, even if my personal feelings towards these people are far less civil. So, I am going to do what I can to prep other people to run the game, and I’m backing away. And that hurts. It hurts because this is thing I helped make, and this is a thing I like seeing run (because I like the ego stroke, and I like seeing people have fun), but there is more to me than just the things I’ve done, and my priority is taking care of myself mentally, physically, emotionally and otherwise. It’s not really taking care of myself if I’m going to be on edge for 10-ish hours trying to not have interactions with people while trying to have genuine interactions with others.

Now, the really scared part of my head says I should go one step further and not attend the convention entirely, but that seems to be too big a move, because I’ve already promised to run other things there, and there are people I do like seeing who will be there. And running away isn’t really my thing anymore. It’s somewhere between letting terrorists win and living in fear, and I don’t want either of those things to happen.

What’s interesting to me is that the angry part of my head, the angry shouty voice that’s all like “How dare other people not hurt the way I hurt, how dare people ignore or belittle or hurt me” has never said, “fuck everyone over”. I’m pretty proud of myself that the idea of sabotage isn’t an option. That shows some real growth. Go me. Hashtag celebrate-the-good-when-i-find-it.

Because the reality is that while I’ve moved forward with a lot of things in my life, there’s a difference between moving forward and moving on. I got burned, I got hurt, and no I’m not really feeling like amends or apologies are in order. I did the best I could, I continue to do the best I can, but there are times, be they moments on social media or emails or just twinges of thoughts, where I am taken right back to being hurt. I have moved forward and sort of moved on, but there’s still more moving to do. The people (yeah, more than one) who I thought would be along for the ride aren’t, but that’s cool, because there’s a whole unexpected group of people who have taken their places. And for that, I remain thankful.

I know there’s been an expectation that I should way more public and vocal about the good things, but one of the life lessons I learned in the last few months is that so much exposure, so much publicity, made the pain worse. It hurt more. It was harder to manage. I wanted to pull back and retreat and keep a smaller circle, and I have come to value the idea that there are very special things that are very dear to me, and I don’t need to slap them on billboards to give them appropriate meaning.

(As an aside, I’d agree with you if you made a case for my publicity as an attempt to make not-working-things work out)

There are times I hate myself. Pure hate. The kind where I want to lock myself away for a while or take on Herculean labors to earn back what I feel is some reasonable amount of worthiness. Here I sit, with that exact feeling, the complete root and heart (heh, there’s a John pun) of why I ever drank or did any drug or lived recklessly, and I don’t always know what to do. Some situations still hurt. Some situations still make me angry.

I’m not saying I want to be anti-anger, in some Smoochy-verse where I suddenly snap in the third act (spoilers for Death to Smoochy), I’m just saying I wish I didn’t have such conflict in me over what amounts to a game that a hundred people play. I wish I didn’t look at bigger events on the horizon and ask myself, “How am I going to explain to people how everything fell apart? Will they pity me? Will they resent or hate me?”

All these questions, and me with few answers. But at least I put myself out there, no applesauce or window dressing or pretending everything’s fine. Because while some things are completely amazing, other things aren’t fine. I think that’s life sometimes.

Thanks for looking at these guts on the page.

My 2015 GenCon schedule (updated!)

Today’s a good day. The air is warm and humid, I took a nap, I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Seems like the perfect time to write up my GenCon schedule.

It’s worth pointing out that Gencon is a little earlier this year, from July 30 to August 2. I’m totally okay with the change, since it gives me a chance to stay in town a little longer and doubles up my conventions in July, which is a nice bonus.

So here’s what I’m doing. It just the right amount of busy and relaxed and very very full of awesome things.

THURSDAY

SEM1569497     Making Your First Game: From Idea to In Print     Thu @ 10:00 AM
Location: Crowne Plaza :: Pennsylvania Station C

Mark Richardson and I are going to talk at you for an hour about what it’s been like to take our games from some abstract ideas that we make jokes about to things we’ve playtested and have actual spent money on. We’ll cover the scary stuff and the fun stuff and lay out a lot of the problems we faced along the way. Also, I’ll give him grief for being Canadian.

RPG1569129     Noir World: A Crime To Kill     Thu @ 3:00 PM
Location: Marriott :: Marriott Ballroom 8  SOLD OUT!!

Noir World is back at GenCon, and this time, I actually know what I’m doing! This is really exciting for me, because the game in some ways doesn’t resemble what people last year got to see. The game has grown and matured and it’s in excellent shape. I’m really proud to show it off.

FRIDAY
SEM1569493     Mental Health 2015: How Are You?     Fri @ 10:00 AM
Location: Crowne Plaza :: Pennsylvania Stn C

I’m back to do another mental health panel, sharing my story (a lot has happened since last year), with a not-entirely finalized guest hanging out with me, and I/we’ll talk about our experiences with mental illness while be in the industry as well as being avid gamers ourselves. It’s a candid discussion of scary things to make them less scary. And it’s a chance to not feel alone.

RPG1569128     Noir World: One Day At A Crime     Fri @ 1:00 PM
Location: Marriott :: Marriott Blrm 9 :: 7 SOLD OUT!!

More Noir World goodness. You’ll want a seat at this table.

SEM1569494     Getting Started In The Industry: How Do I Do This?     Fri @ 3:00 PM
Location: Crowne Plaza :: Victoria Stn C/D

I love helping people get started in this industry, demystifying it, given people good answers to tough questions and helping them figure out how to do what they want. Friday afternoon, me and my dear friend Matt Jackson (who you probably aren’t following on Twitter, but seriously need to be) are going to talk about how to get into this industry and what strategies we use to stay in it and even more than occasionally pay our bills because of it. Also, this is a great chance to get questions answered if you’re just not sure what to do. Bonus points if you come to hear Matt and I laugh for an hour.

SATURDAY

SEM1569495     Getting Your Game Out The Door     Sat @ 10:00 AM
Location: Crowne Plaza :: Victoria Stn A/B

I have terrible luck picking co-panelists. We figure out what panel we’re going to do, then they go and get themselves voted GenCon Guest of Honor (really you guys, vote me in for 2016). So, I don’t know who’s on this panel with me, but someone will be. And we’ll be talking about how to make a thing and finish a thing and then make that thing available for other people to play and purchase.

SEM1569496     Publishing Your Fiction: Getting Yourself Out There     Sat @ 11:00 Location: Crowne Plaza :: Victoria Stn A/B

This is the companion panel to “Getting your Game out the door”, only this time I’m/we’re focused on working with fiction, no matter if that’s game fiction, your fiction, anthologies or whatever kind of word-awesome you’re working with. And just like the above panel, I have no idea who my co-panelist is, but it will be awesome all the same.

RPG1569130     Noir World: Crime Is On Your Side     Sat @ 3:00  Location: Marriott :: Marriott Blrm 8 :: 7  SOLD OUT!!

The final installment of Noir World at Gencon 2015 is Saturday afternoon. If you haven’t played yet, and you want to, this is a great chance to do that. (The next time Noir World will see players, it’ll be Metatopia 2015)

Of course, as this schedule gets more clarified (if I find co-panelists or if they change rooms or whatever), this will get updated.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled May evening.

Honesty in Passion

It’s Mother’s Day. I’m writing this just over an hour since dinner, where I made my mom salmon en papillote, which is a fancy way of say salmon that got steamed in a folded up piece of parchment paper with some vegetables and a broth. It’s one of her favorites, and thanks to a now fully armed and operational kitchen, I can produce very nice dinners for myself, my friends, and my family.

And this leads me to thinking about what I love about cooking. There are so many things, from the flavors to the colors to the tastes to the textures, but there is something unique that happens regardless of whether I’m thinking about steaming fish for my not-so-food-adventurous mom or developing a dinner party menu themed around cookies for very dear friends. And then zooming out even past food, that same uniqueness exists in all creation. It’s what I want to talk about tonight, while I wait for brownies to bake.

There is an honesty and purity to cooking. You can’t lie about a chicken or piece of pork being cooked, it either is or it isn’t, no matter whether we’re grilling it or have in a pan in the oven. You can’t miss whether or not you’ve washed something in the sink, you can still see the dirt. What you have in front of you is what you have. That’s how it is. You have to accept it. And then you have to deal with that.

To me, that’s different than a lot of what the internet or social justice or anti-social justice or whatever colored pills are going around the internet (these things all get conflated, and I have neither the time nor the interest in getting a crash course). There are people out there who will weave intricate amounts of bullshit, spinning words and buttressing facts with “You gotta understand…” and various forms of “I’m offended.” For reasons ranging from insecurity to a need for attention to a need for being right to whatever else, they wield dishonesty and claim it as “their honesty”, which turns a simple binary fact (it either is or isn’t something) into some kind of competition – who is “more” honest or “more” correct.

Truth isn’t a competition. There isn’t a competition. There’s just whatever you’re doing, for whatever reason you’re doing it, with whatever expectations you hope to have as an end result. The rest of us wouldn’t even know your views about how some group of people is ruining gaming or how some other group of people just need more sex or how that third group is hated because they’re different if you didn’t take the time to use a form of media to broadcast it. You are absolutely encouraged to broadcast it, you’re capable of forming thoughts ranging from coherent to vitriolic to fugue, so by all means, speak your mind. But understand that when you express yourself, you’ve opened yourself up to have those statements absorbed by other people.

Other people who might pass judgment. Other people who might disagree. Other people who might agree. Other people who might say you didn’t say enough. Other people who might do a lot of things in response to whatever you say.

Maybe that’s intentional, maybe you like to put some idea out there, and watching twist and bend and fly and move and evolve over time. Maybe you find comfort in some internet-capable version of telephone where you start by saying you don’t like a company’s product and then by the time it reaches two thousand more people, a SWAT team is kicking down the wrong person’s door under suspicion of terrorism. Maybe that thrill does something for you. For me, that level of development looks a lot like the shit-stirring I used to do in my early twenties, when I was all hot with anger and frustration, but still really enjoyed avoiding my responsibilities or maturation.

Maybe it’s unintentional, and you don’t realize just how far-reaching your touch can be. Say something, let it reach other people, and when you meant that you didn’t think a company was helpful to you one time has now become practically a witch hunt for every person who uses any company providing that same service. Maybe that happens, and you feel like you can’t stuff the water back in the firehose, and the torrent rages. You might be sorry, but by now the idea has grown bigger and wilder, and loads of fresh kindling has helped it scour the social landscape.

What doesn’t change, regardless of your intention, is the clarity and honesty you feel when you have the idea, before you share it. It’s yours. It’s pure and undisturbed. No one has come to you and said some people are unrepresented in it. No one has said that it lacks certain nuance. No one has challenged it based on their own judgments. It’s your idea and it is pristine.

This is usually the point where some people say, “This is exactly why I don’t share my ideas.”, and I understand that. When your idea, be it a story or a tweet or a script or a meal or a want or a diversion or a who-knows-what leaves your mind and takes some kind of form, it’s susceptible to loads of exterior forces. If you listen to the far ends of the spectrum, people wait in the shadows to steal your idea and claim it as their own or maybe they wait with shivs to puncture your liver for daring to express yourself.

I think the reality is closer to the idea that when you share an idea, you’re exposing yourself to vulnerability. You put something out there, you’re sharing a part of yourself. Maybe it’s telling someone how you really feel about them. Maybe it’s making new food. Maybe it’s admitting something difficult isn’t really in the cards for you at this time. Maybe it’s revealing a big secret or taking a bold risk. Vulnerability is not weakness, it’s evidence of courage. If you didn’t try, you wouldn’t be actually making things. You’d just have a head full of ideas.

But if you seize that honesty, and admit your vulnerabilities, you get your passion into gear. You can do amazing things, transformative things, when you get out of your own way and listen to your honest voice and gut instinct, putting the doubt and the unknown to the side.

It’s what happens in a kitchen. You’ve got a recipe, you’ve got the ingredients, but it still comes down to whether or not you’ve got the skills to perform what the recipe says in the way the recipe says it. So, when you’re making this thing, you’ve got to take the voice that screams, “You’ve never done this before, you’re going to screw it up” and stick it in the same box where you keep those vague memories of random Tuesdays in middle school, the mental recycling bin you can right-click and empty later.

Yes, fine, there’s a 50-50 chance you’re gonna mess up. Your book won’t get finished. You’ll burn the steak. You’ll find out that they only like you as a friend. If that 50-50 is enough to stop you, then let it stop you. It’s okay if it does. Just know that in closing yourself off to the chance that it might succeed, the only thing you’re guaranteeing is that it never will. It’s also worth pointing out that that if a thing fails, you’re only going to how things were before you got started. Maybe you’ve lost some materials and time, but you’ve gained experience.

But what if it doesn’t stop you? What if you see that 50 percent that it will work and you think “Nah, that’s applesauce, I got this, I’m gonna kick some ass, this is gonna work”, what then?

In those moments of honesty and passion seizure, you find the catalysts for change. You find new avenues you’ve never explored — what if you got in the car and drove there? what if you wrote that email or made that phone call? what if you wrote a little bit every night? what if you steeped yourself in the sort of culture and climate that energized you, rather than depleted you? In short, WHY NOT TRY?

It’s Mother’s Day, it’s late, my brownies are almost done, I’m spending the night happily talking to amazing people. There will be much love and laughter and teasing and chatting and fun. Because that’s where my honesty has taken me.

Where does yours take you?

Here, Have A John Health & Life Update

I’m writing this while bundled up in a thick bathrobe. Yes, I know, it was in the upper 80s yesterday, and it’s in the mid-60s now, but post-treatment, I get incredibly cold … but we’ll talk about that in a few paragraphs. I wanted to write a lengthy, honest, and detailed update, because it’s easier for me to be transparent than panicked and quiet. And because I’m tired of worrying today, I’ve been doing it for nearly 5 hours, and I’d like to be doing something else with my day. Like napping, or depending on what the construction crew finishes up today, cooking.

So let’s start at the beginning. I continue to be dying. It sucks. It sucks a lot. It’s hard to stay positive all the time, and I often feel the need to put on a brave face to save people the effort of trying to say the same six things about what I should believe in, or how they don’t really know what to say or how they heard on the internet that the exact solution to my problem is some potion or unguent made from things I’d never believe. I’m dying from a heart that doesn’t want to be a heart anymore, and yes, it is physically painful at times. I ache and wheeze and cough, usually at night, or when people really get me laughing, so that’s a mixed blessing. The original timeline had me dead within 5 years. News like that has a way of galvanizing a person into prioritizing actions, and immediately forgiving the people who break your heart and act like you didn’t/don’t matter. It allows you peace, different from that peace that comes from being suicidal, because you learn that some of the stuff we talk about just isn’t really that big a deal. You learn who can stand with you, and who wants to stand with you, and who wants to run away, and probably my least favorite, the people who just want to appear to others that they’re standing with you, but it’s all for appearances. I have a huge problem with people who are overly conscious of appearances now. They leech energy from me I don’t have.

Once you get past the initial scare, the shock of “my dog is going to outlive me”, you start to try and continue to live. It’s tough, because you start asking yourself, “Is this the last time I’m going to be ______ ?” where the blank could be anything from buying this brand of shampoo to wearing a particular shirt to thinking about buying holiday gifts for your mom. It took me a good two weeks to realize that even in 5 years, I’d be doing a lot of showering and pooping and eating french fries, so I wasn’t exactly on a farewell tour yet.

I also started to realize that a lot of people didn’t know how to interact with me. They didn’t call so much. They didn’t want to make jokes about completely funny things. They didn’t return emails. The offers they made about work dried up. When I would pursue these things, I’d get one answer: “You should focus on your health.” or “Your health is more important than anything else.” I’d like to talk about that a little.

No one is disputing how important health is. But there’s a difference between “focusing on your health” and “sitting in a chair staring out a the world, constantly afraid that if you get excited or turned on or even eager about something, your heart will give out.” In the absence of work, you do a lot more of the second than the first. I can focus on my health by going to the many doctors’ appointments and seeing the many specialists, but work also provides me two things: an income and a chance to feel not like a cardiac leper. I want to work, I can still work. I do a lot of sitting, and that means I can do a lot of editing, developing, brainstorming, whatever-ing. I’m still good at it. I still love to do it. I am not giving up.

Let’s get real about the finances. I’m practically broke. I have money in bond funds and retirement accounts, but the thick stacks of virtual cash in checking accounts has dwindled down to double digits. Because the bills I receive and have to pay have at least two zeroes before the decimal point, and that’s even with a payment plan. Getting sick, really sick, in this country is terrifying, and money vanishes so quickly when eleven bills come rolling in at once. The medical bills have been paid off, but the utilities are past due, and I’m already getting phone calls from people asking if I can do more than give them five dollars here and there. To combat this, I’ve got two things you can do:

Hire me (more on that below)
Buy things I’ve written

Now, if you’ve followed me on Twitter, you’ve been seeing photos of my kitchen getting remodeled. If you’re about to say, “John if you were going broke, you shouldn’t have remodeled the kitchen.” let me point out that I set the kitchen remodel up LAST YEAR, when I wasn’t even aware I was as sick as I am. Also, the kitchen’s paid for, this is just a matter of installing it. I won’t even bring up how badly the kitchen needed both updating and repair. The fact that the stairs have a railing (great for me with the cane), makes it so much easier to traverse my house.

I am incredibly disgusted with the state of health care and health insurance. I have health insurance. I pay for it myself, and it’s several hundred dollars a month, and that number seems to be climbing. Even with insurance, I’m still paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for medications and tests and appointments, and that’s just a fraction of the actual cost. As I told a doctor this morning, if I had no insurance, I would have killed myself the day after my diagnosis, since no one can afford to live while this sick. And that saddens me. It frustrates me. I’m not sure who’s taking my money when everything is all said and done, but i have a sneaking suspicion that there’s a dude in a suit somewhere just pocketing a corporate salary while I’m trying to figure out how not put more money on a credit card.

But there’s hope. I have hope. I’m receiving an experimental treatment that has so far improved my heart 31%, and I can happily say that this morning I was removed off two lists for emergency transplant and extreme medical care. I’ve lost weight and am wearing clothes in sizes I haven’t worn since high school. I’ve put on muscle. I’ve learned to take the intense waves of pain and shove them to the back of my mind, allowing me a chance to do things like write blogposts or read or have conversations at speaking volumes above a whisper.

The newest lifespan projections for me have me at 20 years or more, meaning I’ll be well into my upper 50s or early 60s before I slide back into the state I’m in. Those are estimates, they’re guesses based on equations no one can explain to me, but I’m buoyed by the idea of being able to live long enough to complete a few goals of mine. Now’s a good time to talk about those goals.

I want to see my name on more products, which means I want to work. I want to help people get their stuff out there. To readers, to players, to whatever audience. I want to see people excited about their futures and their opportunities. I want people to have that feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, and I want to be able to say that I helped.

I want to produce my own stuff. The tough part about being a guy who helps is that you don’t always get credit, and sometimes, a little ego stroke isn’t a bad thing – recognition for hard work builds esteem and confidence after all – so it’s something I want to do. Of course, the money I was going to use to put art on Noir World has gone to pay medical bills. I spend a few quiet moments regularly wondering if it will ever be more than a Word document or an artless, layoutless PDF that I made.

I want a family. One of the weird things that no one talks about when you’re young and your heart sucks is that doctors really want to know if the rest of you works. You put a lot of different fluids in a lot of different jars and I don’t know whether it’s so i can get cloned later or just stored like the Ark of the Covenant by top men, but nearly every doctor’s visit makes mention of how the rest of my body is in good shape for everything from sex to exercise to yoga. Yeah, I don’t get it either, but I’m not going to argue when the doctor says one of the things that reduces my symptoms and helps me feel better is “a lot of hugging and cuddling”. I might be sick, but I’m not oblivious. I want to know I’ve left a legacy, and if I’m lucky, that I’ll have a direct hand in raising a small human to be far better than I could ever dream of being myself. That really means a lot to me, and while it’s been a dealbreaker in past relationships, I’m excited to think of the future when it won’t be.

I like living. I have joked that when I was suicidal and unmedicated and un-therapy-ed, I kept trying to die. Now that I want to live, everything’s trying to kill me. Which isn’t true. Not everything. Not everyone. There are a lot of great people who support me and love me and have offered to have meals with me and spend time with me. There are great people who have listened to me cry or complain or even just wheeze and try to laugh. I love these people, and although we do not share a surname or blood, I call them family. They make my life better. I want to keep living. I’ve finally made that distinction (thanks to heartbreak) that you can’t do things in your life for other people, because sometimes even when you do, the people don’t appreciate it or because it doesn’t bring you the satisfaction you thought it would. No, you’ve got to do things for yourself, to help yourself, to take care of yourself, and support yourself. So, I’m worth it. I’m worth the effort of staying not dead.

The plumber has informed me that the water’s shut off for two hours while he and his plumber goon set up the appliances. He warned me not to shower or use the bathroom, and of course, that’s exactly what I want to do now. I’ll settle for sitting here and trying to stay warm.

For the people reading this who don’t know how bad it’s been, I am sorry I haven’t been more forthcoming. There’s a lot of shame involved with admitting you’re doing to $75 dollars and whatever’s in your fridge. There’s a lot of combatting a sense of personal failure that you just haven’t been alluring enough or have said enough to make someone want to hire you for a job. (sorry, I dozed off for a few minutes while writing, I do that, it’s a thing. I used to laugh when it happened to my grandfather, now I don’t find it anything other than sad)

Please, please take a moment and spare a good thought and then some for me. If you can, lend a good thought and a chance to help you do something. I can work, I want to work. Let me show you how good I am at what I do. Let me show you how even with IVs and coughing and rough pain moments, I can still help you make your dreams come true, because when it all comes down to it, you guys help me make mine come true all the time.

After two thousand words, I think it’s time to lay down for a while. I think it’s time to rest and rekindle that sense of hope and confidence that I’m going to be in the small percentage of people who beat the odds and who overcome obstacles and whatever other cliches you can put in here … I’d even take a Rocky montage.

You’re such good people, you’re amazing and you’re talented and you’re good enough and you’re capable and you deserve success. I hope you continue to keep creating and being awesome. Don’t you dare give up, because I want to be there celebrating with you.