Well, it’s been 5 months now. 5 months of sleeping 3 to 4 hours a night. 5 months of struggling to stay awake at work. 5 months of extremely limited personal interaction with friends and family. 5 months that I wouldn’t trade for absolutely anything in the world. It’s been 5 months since I began streaming on twitch!
Looking back on everything that I’ve endured and accomplished, I want to reflect on and share my experiences from my perspective. It’s so much harder than I ever expected it to be, but that is nothing compared to how fulfilling it’s been. Every time I press that “Go Live” button I feel a rush of excitement that makes my heart beat a little bit faster. I’m confident that I’ve chosen the right path for myself with the decision to become a streamer, but a lot of people have asked me how I made the decision. Well, let me give you a bit of back story to explain my thought process.
I’ve loved gaming as long as I could remember. I was playing sonic on my brother’s Sega Genesis since before I could even speak English (struggling more than playing, but trying at least!). I lived my life cherishing and trying to master all of these games I grew so attached to and loved, while always getting excited about the next thing coming out. If you love gaming like I do, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The nights you play your favorite game a 37th time, because maybe you can beat it a little faster or find something new. Or the nights you have a sleepover with your buddies and play smash bros until you hear your parents footsteps upstairs, quickly turning the TV off but leaving the N64 on so you can get right back to it when mom catches you “sleeping” (sorry, mom!). If you’ve had a night like this, than you’re just like me. A gamer.
So why does being a gamer automatically qualify me for being a Twitch streamer? I enjoy playing games, why should I bother doing it online? It’s not like you have more time to game when you get on twitch. In fact, between managing and setting up a channel with high production value, a huge portion of my free time is spent not playing games. So for what reason would I still be thrilled about being a streamer 5 months in, if I could be using my free time to play games without worrying about my audio being synced and my frames not being dropped?
Aside from gaming, I have an unreasonably strong passion for laughter (as lame as that sounds). Ask 10 people who know me to say one thing about me and I’m willing to bet that 9 of them will tell you that I’m the kind of person who makes you want to smile and laugh alongside of them. Person 10/10 might say something catty about my hair, but I’m pretty sure they’re just jealous of it.
I try my absolute hardest to always keep a positive attitude, and I love to bring a very enthusiastic and positive energy to everything I do. I like to make people cheery and have a good time. Throw that in with my love of gaming, and BAM! You got xwater on Twitch.
When I finally realized I had traits that would be suitable for a streaming lifestyle, I toyed around with the idea in my head. “Wouldn’t that be something, playing video games and having good times as a job?” It was nothing more than a fantasy, really. These guys out here that I watch have thousands of followers. How could I pull that off? I let that fantasy stay unexplainable to me, and continued with my young adult life studying computer science in university.
So let’s talk about after I got out of school. Woooo go Miki! Graduated from university at the age of 21 with a bachelor of computer science, specializing in software engineering! Way to go man, time to go get started on that whole ~life~ thing. After taking a few months to enjoy my last bit of freedom, I began applying for jobs around town while doing contract work to make a bit of money. I was able to eventually score myself a full time job at a very reputable vitamin company.
Wooooo, go Miki! Now you got your foot in the door, and you can start workin’ your way up in the world! I was so excited. I sat down to my desk and saw a phone with more buttons than I knew what to do with. I had a drawer that LOCKS. Silly rich, you can’t get into my snack drawer, it’s locked. Those are my fuzzy peaches.
Anyway, the honeymoon phase was great. I was learning new things, feeling more confident, and best of all, making grown up money. But after the honeymoon reality hit me like an f-smash to the face. I don’t like it here.
All of the work I was doing lost its “new and exciting” feel and was revealed to be simple, monotonous, and boring. I sometimes would dread coming to work just to sit at a desk for 9 hours, creating software I don’t care about and solving problems that don’t have any real influence on me or the world. The magic was gone, and I became another one of the people who were simply living for the weekend. I got bored, and I wanted to find new things to keep me at least sane during the workweek.
I started to listen to podcasts at work. I had never listened to a podcast before this, so I had no idea which ones to choose or where to find them. I downloaded a podcast app on my phone and just searched “gaming”. I was lucky to find the podcast Rebel FM. I loved it. It was a group of dudes who work in the gaming industry and get together weekly to create a new episode of this podcast, where they just talk about their gaming and their lives. Listening to how genuinely happy these guys were with their career choice made me realize then and there that I needed to make a change to involve my passions in my professional life. I decided I was done just getting by with this average Joe job. After all, I’m 22 years old. Right now is the best time to make mistakes and try new things.
I started to think about streaming again. The fantasy of it was starting to turn into something different. I felt like a kid on the high school basketball team, who dreams of nothing but being in the NBA. It’s funny too, I actually have a friend I grew up with that had, and is working towards that dream. It made me realize that It’s not a fantasy, it’s just difficult to obtain. This friend of mine is now playing professional basketball in Europe. They’re about as close to being in the NBA as you can get, and I know he’s going to keep working at it until the day he does get there.
I wanted to be like that. So I decided to put my all into becoming a twitch streamer. I’m going to live that life that I saw as a fantasy. I’m going to believe in myself. Step by step, I’ll slowly work towards my goal and make it a reality. Failure is not something I see in my future, but if it happens then I know I will be able to overcome it.
So, it’s been 5 months now. 5 months since I’ve been unsure about my future. 5 months since I’ve been living for the weekend. 5 months since I’ve had to spend a day thinking about how I want to spend my time.
Yup. It’s been 5 months since I started streaming on Twitch.