2016-2019

Commission for one of my guildmates
Commission for one of my guildmates. 2017

 

I think it is time to revitalize this web log as a content platform. Something to call my own, someplace to call home. Someplace to just dump huge-ass walls of text.

A recap on where I have been and what I have been up to: I started working a desk job back in 2015, at a big data firm that dealt with grocery pricing, originally through a temp firm. I was hired full time in 2016 in June. The job was pretty dry. I was a quick learner and did great work at first, and for the level of effort I needed to exert, the pay wasn’t terrible. Eventually by the end of 2016 I could no longer work the hours and stay functional nor healthy (the hours were pretty bad and I was drinking unhealthy amounts of coffee every day).

I was promoted to Sergeant back in 2015 as well, and I thought I was going to finish with the Army Reserves by the summer of 2016. I was promoted into a training unit at Fort Lee, and did a lot of growing up as a leader. It was actually a pretty good time, and Annual Training that year was a solid experience, getting to be cadre for the Army’s Cadet Summer Training. My old commanding officer called me up one morning at the beginning of 2016 saying the old platoon was about to deploy. I reenlisted. After completing my 1 year with a training unit in Fort Lee I transferred back to my first unit. I would also start pulling back my involvement at church with how taxing the work schedule was becoming, and eventually almost stop going to church because of the work schedule eventually moving me to working Sundays (I think I’ll do a separate post later on about moving away from church).

2016 ended with me linking up with a local start-up for collectible figurines. The founder had great ideas and really strong industry acumen but was pretty bad about paying his artists despite talking big about respecting artists. I would get fired from my day job just before Christmas because I could no longer stay awake, and then this start-up would let me go for pursuing other ventures since they weren’t paying me for the work I was giving them. I recently caught up with one of the original 3D artists that worked with me at the start-up and he told me that he never got paid either, they didn’t even credit him as the artist on the last statue that he worked on for them. Once the NDA expires, I will share all my work that I did for free. Even though growing up as an artist, I was always warned not to work for exposure, I somehow let myself get duped into doing it.

2017 was a tumultuous time. By the time my unit transfer went through, it was already too late to deploy with the main platoon. I ended up getting on the next deployment that would eventually be the relief and replacement of my original platoon. Pre-deployment proved to be a lot of unnecessary stress for a multitude of reasons, and some of these issues persisted into the deployment once we finally went overseas. There was a lot of back to back traveling and many long 6hr+ drives to West Virginia and back; a drive to Pittsburgh for an AT at Ft Hunter Liggett, a drive to JBMDL in Jersey, Yellow Ribbon in Arlington, and then to Ft Bragg for Postal validation.

I felt like I had to pull a lot of extra responsibility that significantly exceeded my pay-grade, largely due to the fact that our E-7 would fail to account for certain things but then get caught up on irrelevant minutia. I had a lot of really disappointing experiences, including the whole company being paid a week late for Annual Training because our long time Unit Administrator and original 1SG from when I first joined the Army had retired from both military and her civilian job, and our E-7 was the next pay admin at the time, but was too busy shamming at the MWR to even bother submitting our pay. He kept trying to pawn his weapon off to me during the first few days in the field too.

I think one of the instances where it felt like I was able to come in the clutch for my platoon was the day after our Yellow Ribbon event, it was our travel day to Ft. Bragg. I had this gut feeling that no one would have physical copies of their orders (which in my opinion, should have been a Platoon Sergeant responsibility since no one else would have access to a printer), so I spent most of the travel day just printing copies of everyone’s paperwork to ensure we could even get meals at dining facilities and properly get paid at the end of the training. Sure enough, after complaining that I showed up at the hotel too late on the travel day, the other leaders were some kind of grateful that I had a copy of everyone’s orders.

The year ended with us finally getting overseas to support the postal mission, relieving and replacing our sister platoon.

2018 started off pretty well that went south pretty quickly. There’s a lot I’ll probably write about later on, but I’m really grateful for the soldiers that served directly under me, because they kicked so much ass on this deployment and helped keep me sane when senior enlisted leaders kept letting me down.

Since getting back home, I was in big slump for the first few months. I blew through so much money getting more and more hardware for streaming. I started taking guitar lessons a few months back, and completed an oil painting (will upload later on) that my friend bought. And here in 2019, I’ve finally turned 30. I’m pursuing the path of freelancing / entrepreneurship and really going hard with content creating on Twitch, literally doing everything I know how to do. We’ll see what the next few years bring but for now I’m just excited to be ETS-ing from the military this year.