My parents and I just joined a new gym. The reason why we changed gyms is a bit of a long story that’s kind of irrelevant at this point so I just won’t get into it. Anyway, I had an appointment for a “fitness assessment” with a nice young man. We talked about where I am and where I’d like to be fitness-wise. He asked me if I had anything I was particularly looking forward to for which I felt like I really needed to be in shape. After talking about conventions, we ended up talking about just some general nerdy stuff. I talked about my six-month stint as a QA tester and I talked about what it was like to turn thirty. Then, I gave him some advice.

Positive Pragmatism

When I talk about being a QA tester, I always feel like I have to be fair about it. On the one hand, it was a great experience to work in the gaming industry. I got to meet some wonderful people and work on some fun games. On the other, there are a few drawbacks. There are the insane crunch-time hours, the only okay pay, the occasionally mind-numbing things you have to repeatedly test, and, on top of that, most testers are contract employees who will be gone as soon as the big project is over. Being honest about it makes me feel a little bad for causing the lights in folks eyes to dim. It’s not that I want to crush dreams or anything. I want people to understand where things are and how they could be improved. Inspire enough people to try to make a difference, who knows what you might accomplish?

I told the nice young man at the gym all of these things. He understood and chuckled. Then, I told him that if it was something he was passionate about, he should work hard and get in there to do what he loved. I don’t think it’s really what he wants, but it’s pretty great blanket advice to give people in general

We talked about age. I mentioned that turning thirty was one of the things that gave me a wake-up call about desperately needing to get back into shape. The nice young man at the gym was all of twenty-five. It’s only a five-year age gap and some of my readers out there are rolling my eyes as I start talking about age because, to them, I’m still young. While he seemed a little freaked out by the idea of turning thirty since it seemed so far away, I assured him of one simple truth I learned about getting older: no one really has their stuff together.

As a denizen of the Internet, I spend a great deal of time indulging in social media. It’s really hard to look at people doing awesome stuff on Facebook and wonder why you’re not among them. Just recently, I’ve had friends get engaged, get married, have babies, and announce new and exciting job opportunities. For every one of those posts, I have to remember that the person posting them is just as human and flawed as I am. Not everything is as easy as it sounds and no one is as perfect as their pictures on Facebook. So, I told that nice young man at the gym that no one has their stuff together. I may have used a four-letter synonym for excrement instead, but I try to keep profanity limited in this space.

What I’m trying to say here is that I wanted to remind the nice young man at the gym to keep things in perspective like I endeavor to do on a daily basis. I’m pretty sure he got the message. Then, we did some fitness stuff that kicked my butt because that was the point of being at the gym in the first place.

Speaking of the future, I’ve got a few things up my sleeves that I’ve been eager to tell you.

Just Tegan: Going Forward

While I don’t want to spill all of the details about where Team Just Tegan is planning to take this site, I figured I’d take a few moments to talk to you about some of the things we’re planning to do in the future. We’ve got plans for video content as well as a Just Tegan Podcast. Micah has some pretty grand and exciting plans for us here including adding some more folks to the Just Tegan line-up. First thing’s first, though, I’ve been working on funding angles.

This is the part that’s hard.

See, I started this site as a labor of love. Then, Micah got involved as a favor to me and became my website guru. The design and logo and everything? That’s all Micah. That’s hours and hours of hard work he’s poured into my pet project without compensation other than tons of thank-yous. Each month, I pay for hosting and every year, I pay for the domain. At the very least, I’d love to cover the site’s costs as well as give Micah a little something for all he’s done and intends to continue to do. By the end of the week, I’m going to have a Patreon page where people can offer us some financial support in exchange for some perks.

I’ve never been great at asking for help. In my household, we’re kind of stubborn in our desire to do things ourselves and in our own way. Sure, I may ask for a hand opening jars or bug my brother to help me through this one freaking stupid level in a game because I can’t bloody do it. That’s different. It’s the reaching out to my friends when I’m struggling or asking complete strangers on the internet for a helping hand that gives me all kinds of trouble.

Giving won’t be mandatory and, of course, everything will keep going on its normal schedule. If you feel like kicking some money toward us, that would be awesome. If you can’t, that’s a-okay. You can just read the site and tell your friends and everyone you know about the latest blog post, review, or list. Spread the word about Just Tegan. More people = more awesome. Have I already said awesome too much? Awesome!

With Just Tegan, I realize that, yes, it may have started with just me, but I don’t want it to be all about me. That’s why I love getting feedback from you all. It lets me know what you liked, what you didn’t, and what I can do more of in the future. For that, I thank you. Keep being the fantastic people you are and let’s just see where we go from here.