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haloman30

IMG_20201121_130055533.jpg

 

Well, it finally happened.


I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. I just didn't know for sure when it would exactly happen. And after being there through the vast majority of my life that I was able to still remember, he definitely made an undeniable impact on me.


Back when I was a small child, as in 9 or 10 years old (roughly speaking, I don't know the exact year), we got a chihuahua named Chico. My mom and grandma were coming to pick me up for something, and Chico was in the car with them. At that moment, in a strange twist - I knew I wanted to have that dog. Which, at the time, was unusual as I largely wanted nothing to do with dogs - I was exclusively a cat person. But Chico came along and changed that forever.


It's no exaggeration to say that I grew up with him. He was there as I went through basically all of my schooling, from 4th grade until I graduated High School. He was there when I got my first several jobs. He was there when I met new friends online through Xbox LIVE, and he was there when I brought an online community back from the dead. Through nearly every significant event in my life thus far, he was there.


A few years ago or so, he started having a serious coughing fits. After taking him to the vet, we learned that he was in the very early stages of congestive heart failure, and that he had a heart murmur. Good thing is it was largely treatable through special food and a few medications. And after the medicines kicked in, he was fine. No more coughing, and everything was back to normal. Mostly. He did still have what seemed to be potential blindness, as his eyes were found to be very cloudy, and he couldn't jump up onto the couch and things like that without considerable effort - but otherwise, was entirely fine and healthy.


Originally, I didn't plan to get another dog immediately after he eventually passed. But seeing as Chico was fairly important to me - I wanted to have another dog with me. Not just any dog, but one that was one of Chico's descendants. In early 2019, that opportunity presented itself - and Landon, Chico's great grandson, joined the household. At first I had some regrets as he started tearing things up left and right, but eventually things settled down, and things were put away properly enough - and we of course kept him.


Fast forward to a couple days ago. Chico seemed to eat less than usual, though that wasn't a cause for concern by itself, as he'd sometimes not eat for a day but was otherwise normal and would eat the next day no problem. However, he also seemed to start walking a bit funny, and his breathing seemed to get faster. My sleep schedule was backwards, so I woke up yesterday afternoon and notice he needed a slight push to get out of bed, and he stumbled a bit when he got off the bed. But hey, he kept walking, so not too much concern yet.


But later that night (or rather, early this morning I suppose), it became clear that something very bad was happening - and I pretty much knew where it was heading. I went to give him one of his medicines for the night, and when I went to move him to give it to him, he was extremely weak. I moved him, gave him the medicine, and he pretty much went right back down. He was on a blanket and pillow next to a corner by the couch on the floor, which became his sleeping spot after some reorganizing in the living room. That weakness, combined with the fact that he refused to take his two pills - even the one he normally takes no problem, it was clear where things were headed, and that his time was coming to an end.


I'd already called dad earlier, but that was before things progressed to this point. I had originally intended to head to bed, but seeing how weak he was, it was clear he wasn't gonna be able to make it to the bed - so I stayed up and stayed in the room with him. Mere hours later, I turned around to check on him and watched him take his last breaths.


And that was it. Chico had passed on. His fairly long and rich life had come to an end.


The one plus of it being so abrupt as it was, is that he at least didn't spend a bunch of time suffering. I did my best to give him a good home and a loving companion, and he gave me the same in return - plus the gift of being able to love and appreciate dogs.


Rest easy buddy - you might be gone, but your impact will stay with me for the rest of my life.

haloman30

Jobs. Employment. Work.

 

I've had a long and bumpy road since 2018 as I've bounced around jobs. After graduating High School, I didn't really know where to start - nor did I really care at the time. I was just a dumb kid who was happy to be free of the nightmare of High School. I was so fed up with teachers, assignments, and needless bullshit that I didn't care what happened next - because in my mind, anything was better. And for the most part, I still hold that belief. However, unlike back then, I can somewhat understand where other people come from when they say they miss their High School days. After having worked some pretty awful jobs, I can imagine that I'd yearn for those younger days had I stuck with those jobs. I had this idea before graduating that I'd find some nice office job or something like that. Imagine my dismay when the only job I could get was at Walmart.

 

Job 1: Walmart - Overnight Stocker

 

Well, it wasn't that shocking as I'd taken a few months off, and I knew that without a college degree my options would be limited. But it certainly wasn't what I expected. While I was there, I was an Overnight Stocker, which as the name implies, had me stocking shelves during 3rd shift. I got an extra 50 cents an hour as a result of working 3rd shift, which had me earning $11.50 an hour. At the time, I had horrible shoes, no work ethic, and was generally in much worse shape than I am today. I'm not in great shape today, but back then I was in particularly rough shape. Not to mention those awful 20$ shoes that I mentioned before. After being on my feet for 30 minutes, it felt as though I was walking barefoot on the hard floors. I stuck through that for a couple months, but eventually lost the job due to calling in too much - the job was just too physically demanding for me, especially when I was tasked with stocking the Automotive section, where most of the items were large and heavy. It also didn't help that most everyone at the place seemed pretty miserable - you could tell they did not want to be there. And these weren't 20 year-olds either, most of these people were likely in their 40s or 50s. Not exactly old, but getting up there. Along with that, the one thing that kept me going was being able to listen to music on my phone, which at the time didn't want to cooperate very well and resulted in me getting yelled at (figuratively, not literally) once. It would routinely pause itself due to my failing earbuds and due to the convoluted way I had everything setup. I had to bring two phones, plus a cable and rechargeable battery pack just to keep something going throughout the 9 hour shift. YouTube also wouldn't play in the background, so the screen always had to be on. No wonder the solution sucked. After a couple months, I got out of there - expecting to move on to better prospects.

 

Job 2: Recycling Center - Sorter

 

From then until mid-2019, I remained unemployed. I eventually found a job at a recycling center paying $10.50 an hour. Not as much as Walmart, but close enough. By this point, I'd started to get in (slightly) better shape and learned that I had much better heat tolerance than I once thought - as well as largely got over my silly fear of people seeing me sweat a lot. I started going on walks periodically during the blazing summer heat - and it was pretty nice. The recycling center job originally appealed to me because it'd give me an extra opportunity to get a good sweat in (since it's a big warehouse, gonna be pretty warm in the summer months), as well as be something easy that I was physically capable of doing. I'd ruled out anything very physical after Walmart, so I figured this recycling center job would be a good fit.

 

The job was a Sorter, and it also offered a consistent schedule, Monday to Friday. I kept that job the least of any job I've ever had - after one shift, I quit and never went back. Why you ask? As silly as it sounds, it was too filthy. It's obvious in retrospect, but at the time I thought that "recycling = clean", but no - the job was picking specific kinds of trash out of any kind of trash. It was simultaneously boring and stressful all at once. You had to have a relatively good attention span or else you'd miss your item and people further down would have to shove everything back down for you to grab it. Speaking of trash, the items that came down the belt (routinely apparently) include but were not limited to: dirty diapers, cat litter, old food, used condoms, vibrators, and so on. On top of that, every single thing on that belt was covered in some sort of dirt. I don't want to even imagine what it consisted of. That job was just filthy and isn't something I wanted any part of.

 

Job 3: Schnucks - Bagger, Checker (Cashier)

 

From that point until November 2019, I continued to be unemployed. I tried applying for more office jobs, to no avail. Most of them didn't even have that much in terms of qualifications, but I just wasn't qualified enough I suppose. Eventually, things started to get a little dire - so I had to shift back to retail. Eventually, Schnucks took me on as a Checker (which is what they call Cashiers) - sort of. Initially, they had me be a Bagger starting out, as they had a bunch of cashiers already, as they get some that come up for the holiday season. Come January, I could become a Checker properly. Until then, I'd be a Bagger - whose job was to, as the name implies, bag groceries. They also were set to grab shopping carts from the parking lot and bring them inside for an hour at a time, twice during their shift.

 

I really didn't mind being a Bagger, and originally tried to stay as a Bagger - I was still pretty uncomfortable with socializing with people at this point. The manager pressed me a bit to go forward, and so I went ahead and did so. I stayed as a Checker from January until June 2020, when I finally left. Why did I leave this time? Two reasons: One, the pay was awful. Checkers make $9 an hour, and Baggers make $8. Along with that, the hours were pretty sparse and inconsistent, which is somewhat to be expected - but combined with the poor pay, this made the job barely capable of sustaining us. It was enough, but barely so. The other reason was just... I got tired of the job. I didn't hate the job as much as others, but I'd have rather been out there grabbing carts or whatever. I didn't want to deal with customers constantly or be on the hook for thousands of dollars worth of a fine or jailtime if I accidentally didn't card someone. That risk wasn't worth 9 dollars an hour for me, and neither was everything else about the job.

 

The one redeeming quality of Schnucks was the atmosphere, although this may largely be a result of the general region more than the store being some great place. The staff were nice, although they brought in another manager who definitely made things worse. Which is a damn shame too, because she was the one who conducted orientation - and during that orientation, she was great. She wasn't an asshole by any means - but seemed a bit rougher than the others there.

 

Job 4: USPS - PSE/Mail Processing Clerk

 

After leaving Schnucks, I set out to try and rapidly find some kind of office work - which as usual, went nowhere. Eventually I repeated the process of trying for retail work again, attempting to get a job at Target and Best Buy - both of which gave me interviews, and neither of which actually hired me on. By October 2020, Eventually I landed something that I thought was close to an office job, a job at USPS. This job paid a hell of a lot better than anything else I've had - starting at $18.15 an hour. It took nearly a month after the original overview before orientation finally happened - and I stuck through this job for all of a week before abandoning it during a panic.

 

So, what was so bad about this job? Well, let's start from the little things and work our way up. The time was in a strange 24-hour time format, that seems to be specific to USPS for some reason. Hours were 0-23, but minutes were out of 100. So, if I was set go in at 8:30 PM, the listed time on the schedule was 2050. Yeah, kind of a nitpick, but it also gets compounded by the fact that you only know the schedule a week in advance, if you're lucky. The schedule can actually change during the week, without warning - so you better keep checking it every day in case it suddenly changes. Taking a photo at the start of the week won't cut it here.

 

The job itself is very physically AND mentally taxing. That "and" is important. If it were one or the other, it'd likely be tolerable. But this job was both. You had to be on top of everything, and you were essentially doing a workout the whole time. You're allowed to listen to your phone, but don't expect to be able to listen to it. You can't mentally tune out here, you gotta be on top of things. But even this wasn't the major issue. The major issue was one that I actually knew about before finally accepting the job, but made the mistake of taking the job anyways.

 

Where most of the other jobs were 40 hours a week if I was lucky, this job has you working 6 days a week - and at LEAST for 8 hours, usually more like 10 or 12. On top of that, everybody works 12 hours the day of, before, and after major holidays. 12 hour shifts, back to back to back. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after. Now, for some people - that might not sound so bad overall. But for me? I'm trying to run a gaming community and build up a game development studio. I'm not looking to shut my life down for a job that I don't even like.

 

The main reason I went through with the job was that I was distracted by the pay. I saw $18.15 an hour and didn't care about the rest - I had to get this job, it'd pull us out of poverty almost instantly. It wasn't until getting the job that I realized that this just wasn't for me. So, after a week, I quit. I wasn't gonna let myself get trapped here, I'm gonna find another job that will at the very least give me a better work/life balance and give me the chance to keep looking for other jobs if I want. The first job I applied to, the day before quitting?

 

Job 5: Walmart - Cart Attendant

 

I ended up coming full circle, ending the journey thus far where I began. I didn't apply to the same location, but to a different location - within eyeshot of the Schnucks I worked at before. Remember when I worked at Schnucks and I started out as a Bagger? The part of that job I really liked was being outside and pushing those carts around. I genuinely enjoyed it, despite it being in the middle of winter. I figured hey, maybe I can get that to be my entire job. That sounded like it'd be pretty nice. At the time, I didn't realize Walmart actually had a dedicated Cart Attendant position - I thought it was lumped in with the Janitorial positions. So, I applied to that position - and a few days after quitting USPS, got a call back. I asked how much Janitorial stuff I'd be doing, and was told that was the bulk of the job. I asked if there was a position that was purely cart pushing, at which point I found out that yes, there WAS a position for that. They didn't know if there was an opening, but they'd check into it.

 

A few days later, I got a call back - and it started off with what seemed to be defeat. I was asked if I was interested in the Maintenance (Janitor) position, as they had someone else transfer in to be a Cart Attendant - to which I said not really, I was more looking to push carts around. After a bit of a pause, she said okay and that she'd see if she could bring someone else inside instead - and then I found myself with a job offer. Not too long after that, I was in Orientation, and pushing carts the next day. I had a bit of online stuff to do, but turns out - my old Pathways (Walmart's internal training videos and stuff) progress was retained, so I had much less to complete. All I had to do was the newer stuff introduced since 2018 and one section that was specifically for cart pushers. I got all of it done within one day, and then I got sent out to start pushing.

 

The first couple weeks were a bit tough, but not too bad overall. I never felt sick in the same way I did back in 2018. Now, at the time of writing, I'm in week 3 - and I honestly kind of like the job. This is particularly mind-blowing to me, as after so much job hopping, I figured that I'd hate every job I had until the day I finally quit and did Elaztek Studios full-time. I accepted this as reality, somewhat influenced by seeing those around me stuck with jobs they despise, and also influenced by my own experience thus far. But even with the job being physical, I find myself adjusting quicker than I expected, and really enjoying it much more than anything else I've had before.

 

You can listen to music/podcasts/whatever on your phone the whole time, which for me is now made much easier thanks to an app Jeffrey (FlipWhip on Discord) suggested that I use called YouTube Vanced, which enables most Premium features for free - namely, background video playback. No more having to keep the screen on the whole time. I use that combined with Battery Saver and the phone easily lasts the full 9 hour shift (8 hours plus a 1 hour lunch). Since the job is all physical and no mental, I can largely focus in on what's in my ear, and my body can just do the job mostly on autopilot. And you know what? I don't even mind the job itself either. It's exercise for sure, but I could use some - and I'm able to even tolerate the colder weather pretty well.

 

It also has that one thing I was looking for in that recycling center job as well, a job that will give me a good sweat in the summer months. Hell, it's managed to get me to sweat even when its 40 degrees outside. I can't help but be both curious and kind of excited to see how drenched I end up being in the warmer months. I'll probably be pretty anxious for the first few days of that - particularly when it comes to interacting with customers and/or managers, and especially the idea of my dad seeing me that sweaty. But honestly? I kind of like the idea of clocking out dripping wet with sweat on a daily basis. Considering how great those hour long walks in 100 degree weather feel, I can only imagine how fucking amazing I'd feel after pushing carts for 8 hours in that kind of weather - and how insanely I'll drench myself with sweat. Maybe I'll be able to wring my shirt out after a couple hours - who knows. I just find myself honestly looking forward to those hot months with honest, pure, genuine excitement.

 

Which, coming back to the central theme with this job, is fucking insane. I'm looking forward to a job. I didn't think that would ever happen until the days of Elaztek. And honestly, I think that this job is a better fit for me than even generic office work. Would I be happier working in an office, doing paperwork and all that other stuff? If you asked me a few months ago, I'd have said "Well yeah, of course". But now? I'm not so sure. I'm not gonna be able to listen to whatever music or podcasts during office work. I wouldn't get any exercise from sitting in an office all day. I wouldn't ever get a single bead of sweat to drip off me from organizing schedules. And I sure as hell wouldn't enjoy doing much of that when it's not in the context of my own company.

 

I honestly believe that I've found something special with this job, that I've finally found the job I can finally hunker down and stick with for a number of years. It's not what I expected, but I don't find myself dreading the workday like I have with every other job. I find myself looking forward to it, which is something I didn't expect to find for another decade. I don't know why I feel compelled to share this in a long form blog post like this, but I'm just... excited. I'm excited that I've actually found something that pays decent enough and that I've found a job that I actually enjoy, without having to go into deep debt in college or bust my ass for a decade just to bring into fruition. Don't get me wrong, this isn't my career - my end goal is for Elaztek Studios to be my job. And this job I feel is best suited to allow me to both reach that goal sooner (due to having a better work/life balance), as well as enjoy my life between now and then.

haloman30

Disclaimer


 

This blog post is very personal in nature. It's something that has been in the works for several days now. The contents of this blog post will, for some people, be gross or unpleasant to read.

 

Topics such as sweating, body hair (primarily underarm hair), as well as gender dysphoria and social anxiety will be discussed heavily. If any of those topics make you uncomfortable, grossed out, or you otherwise don't want to read a blog post where those are the primary things being discussed, then I encourage you to stop reading here and go do something else.

 

You have been warned – if what I say here grosses you out, that’s on you.

 

Additionally, I ask that any replies/comments NOT be shitpost-y in nature. This is a fairly personal blog post that covers issues that have caused me an excessive amount of anxiety, awkwardness, and other negative feelings. I’m only just now comfortable enough to write them down, and even still I'm not exactly confident in posting this – so I ask that you give a basic level of respect to that and not just reply with memes or shitposts (or if you do, at least have something else with it).

 

So, uh, yeah. This is gonna be a fairly personal blog post. This isn’t a rant, or me bitching about something or anything like that. No – this is something else. There are a number of things that I’ve been uncomfortable as all hell even acknowledging or accepting about myself. Things that I feel are all linked to a more general issue I’ve had – and without sounding like a hippie, things that I’m starting to accept, embrace, and love about myself.

 

I guess we’ll start with where my realizations of things started – when I decided to get an Oculus Rift. VR seemed like a pretty cool thing – and I figured it’d give me a good excuse to both play games and at least try to be more active. Something that I realized pretty early on is that my experience was very hindered by the fact that, at the time, I had next to no room to actually move around in. I had basically enough room to stand up and take a very small step in any direction – but that’s it. As a result, I couldn’t exactly get immersed in most experiences. That being said, I had quite a fun time with a few games – Skyrim VR (sort of), Beat Saber, and Minecraft (via Vivecraft). Skyrim VR was fun, but I was limited both by the fact that I wouldn’t be able to carry over my progression, as well as the fact that my main Windows 7 wouldn’t actually be able to run it due to some obscure issue that I’ve yet to resolve. It also was rendered harder to get fully immersed into due to the space limitations. Minecraft and Beat Saber on the other hand were much more enjoyable as they didn’t demand nearly as much extended movement (though Beat Saber had a few moments where more space would’ve been nice).

 

The first moment that really kicked things off though was something that happened in Minecraft. I was trying out Vivecraft and enjoying it quite well – and one thing Vivecraft offers that the official Minecraft VR offering (which is on Bedrock/Windows 10 edition only where Vivecraft is on Java Edition) is a wide array of room-scale interaction options. Things like using a boat, swimming, and breaking blocks is something that can be done either with a button – or by physically hitting the blocks. Another thing you can do is actually break blocks faster by using both hands. After breaking a couple blocks of stone this way and getting a bit out of breath as a result (imagine someone wildly slamming their fists into a point in the air as fast as possible), Wind decided to put down a piece of obsidian. At first I opted to be like “no way in hell you’re crazy”, but then I decided, nah – why not? Let’s do it and see what happens. After spending a good 10-15 minutes (or however long) going to town on this piece of Obsidian, I’d worked up a bit of a sweat – hardly realizing until I’d finished. My back was noticeably wet, armpits slightly damp, and my forehead had put a bit of sweat into the foam pad that goes on your face on the headset (as well as leaving a bit on the strap that goes above your head). I’d actually caused the lenses to fog up a bit – just from sweating. I felt out of breath, yet I also felt good in a way.

 

Shortly after that experience, I sought out a copy of Beat Saber and gave it a whirl – looking to get an even better workout. Sure breaking obsidian is a bit of one, but it’s a very repetitive and uninteresting exercise consisting of a single movement on repeat. First trying a couple of the built-in songs, later installing a bunch of custom ones via a custom utility. Beat Saber proved to, on harder difficulties, get me sweating a bit more than those obsidian blocks did – particularly during long play sessions. One in particular had actually managed to leave sweat marks on my shirt – something that up until this point had never happened before. Eventually, though, I got bored of it – and stopped.

 

The experience however led to me starting to embark on walks in the great outdoors, originally only walking on train tracks – looking to spend as little time as possible in front of other people. My goal was to get to the tracks and stay there for a bit, only going off of them to go to/from my house. These also were (sort of) a brief period of time that led to another hiatus for a while. Eventually, as it started to get hotter, I decided to embark on one – on a day where the heat index/real feel was 102 degrees. I came home with sweat running down my back and face – and I felt incredible. After a couple of those, I finally decided that I was tired of hiding and forced to go at such a slow pace on the train tracks. I was going to walk out in public – along the street, where a potentially large amount of cars passing by could see me.

 

Now, you might be wondering – why such a big focus on sweat? Isn’t the point of exercise to get fit and healthy, not to sweat? Yes. Yes it is. And for most people the sweating is just an annoying side effect; a necessary evil. It was those initial exercises within VR that got me sweating that made me realize I didn’t hate sweating. I was sweaty, but hardly bothered by it. This is what led me to start doing some of those outdoor walks on the tracks. And again – even in the blazing heat, I was unbothered. The part that always terrified me was the idea of other people seeing me sweat. As silly as it sounds – the idea of people seeing me walking along the road with a sweaty shirt and face mortified me. After sharing some thoughts on Discord, I – with the encouragement of several others – decided to try and face this internal anxiety head-on. I was tired of walking at such a slow pace, having to watch every single step, and feeling to scared to explore more interesting scenery. So, I set out to start walking around town a bit. Every day, I would do some amount of walking. Not in the secluded train tracks, but out in the open.

 

After doing this for a couple weeks, I finally loosened up. And it was around this point I realized something – I really, really enjoyed those walks. They felt incredible. I wasn’t exhausted or tired – the walks actually had the opposite effect – I had more energy than I’d had in a long time. Along with that, I realized something else – about the sweat.

 

You see, I’ve had a fairly interesting relationship with sweat. For most of my early/middle childhood I was neutral (or rather just didn’t know any better) towards it. I hardly even noticed it was a thing that existed. As I grew older, I’d more or less linked it to P.E. class – a class that I’d always hated. I hated it in Elementary School, Middle School, and High School. I did as little movement as possible – both out of laziness and, by High School, to avoid sweating. High School was particularly rough as P.E. was the first class of the day – so if I ever did happen to get sweaty, I’d be sweating through the next class, which obviously wasn’t ideal. Any time I felt my forehead get slightly damp, I’d wipe it. Most of my body didn’t really sweat at all – except for one time during the dreaded mile run (or for me, the mile walk and jog) where I was basically dry – except for my back. I’d soaked the back of my shirt a bit and didn’t even realize until changing back into my regular clothes afterward. Other than that, I avoided sweating at all costs. Which seems absolutely insane because, well, literally every other person there was sweating and were all going to another class afterwards. Though granted, part of it was laziness as I was still quite out of shape at this point (even more so than I am now).

 

So for a while, I didn’t like to sweat. Which is made easier by the fact that I rarely, if ever did anything that made me sweat. If I ever did sweat, it was a very small amount and was only for a brief amount of time. I never went outside – I lived in my house and did nothing outside really. It was that experience in VR that made me realize, “hey this isn’t so bad”. That’s where I was with it for a while. If I was alone, in private, then sweating wouldn’t bother me at all. It was around other people where I became a ball of anxiety. Heaven forbid I walk down to the dollar store or somewhere else, or otherwise be out in public and people see me sweat.

 

However, after keeping up the daily walks, and once I finally got over the feeling of a million imaginary eyes staring me down as I sweated like crazy on a walk (as if people have nothing better to do than watch a slightly overweight man sweat), I realized something – I liked it. No – I loved it. Feeling the sweat running down my back, dripping down my face, and progressively soaking my clothes – it felt amazing. I wasn’t just okay with it, I genuinely loved every moment of it. The feeling of my clothes sticking to my body didn’t annoy me at all – it felt wonderful. My favorite walks are when it’s really hot outside – when I sweat the most. I don’t know why I love it so much, when so many other people are grossed out, embarrassed, or otherwise see it in such a negative light. All I know is that I’m in love with it. As I continued doing those walks, I’d also noticed that I was sweating more and more. The earlier walks left my back, face, and armpits wet – but that was basically it. Currently, my walks leave my back slick with sweat, armpits soaked, face dripping, and a small (but still noticeable) amount of sweat on the entire rest of my body. Whereas before I’d only have some wet spots on my shirt, now the entire top half of my back is soaked, the armpits and the area just below soaked, and sometimes I’ll even manage to sweat through my underwear into my pants. Hey – I warned you that it might get a bit gross or uncomfortable to read. But realizing this got me excited. The idea of going outside, walking or perhaps running, and coming back home completely soaked from head to toe makes me excited. Along with sweating more on the walks, I’ve noticed that other activities that normally wouldn’t evoke sweat now do get me sweating. Not a lot, but just enough to where I notice. I realize that I’m probably gonna end up being one of those people who sweats at the drop of a hat – and I’m thrilled. As I said before – I don’t know why, but regardless of what I’m doing, if I’m sweating, I’ll be happier as a result. I don’t hate sweating, I’m not just okay with sweating, I don’t even just like sweating – I love sweating. Something about it just pushes all the right buttons in my head. There’s no upper limit either. There’s no point where if I sweat too much then I’d be annoyed. The sweatier I am, the better. The thought of sweating so much that all my clothes are completely soaked to the point where sweat is dripping off of them, that my hair is thoroughly soaked, to where sweat is flowing down my back and chest, and dripping from my face – the thought of getting that sweaty sounds downright incredible.

 

The only people I’m not comfortable being sweaty around are my family. Which I know – it sounds ridiculous as if anyone would be okay with it, it’d be them. But alas, I avoid sweating around dad like the plague. I time my walks to only take place after he’s come over (or until I’ve confirmed he isn’t coming over at all). Sweating in front of strangers has little to no significance in my mind now.

 

However, it’s not just sweat that I’ve had a complicated relationship with. The other major thing that I’ve had a (relatively) tough time with is body hair. More specifically, armpit hair. Yes, I know – of all the body hair to be embarrassed about, armpit hair just seems like the dumbest one considering most people (guys especially) never give it a second thought. And I’d have to agree. And it followed a similar route as sweating did, though with not the same exact time frame.

 

Now, as a guy, this might sound stupid – but from the time I realized I was growing hair under my arms, I’d located a razor that had sat unused in a box in the closet and shaved it. I did this for years. Lord forbid that my family or friends (not that I exactly had any outside of Xbox LIVE or CU) saw that I had hair in my armpits. I kept this up for quite a while. Beyond that, I don’t know why I entirely did it. Perhaps it was sort of like, an “I’m not ready to be a man yet” type of thing? I think this may have been at least part of it – as just a few days before my 18th birthday I decided to put the razor down. I decided that for my Senior year of High School, I’d do it as a man, hairy armpits and all. I’ve never shaved since, and I don’t think I ever will again. I’d never let the hair even fully grow in originally, as soon as I noticed it was starting to be a thing I shaved it to get rid of it. But now, after I’ve had it left alone for a while, I find that I greatly prefer my armpits hairy rather than clean shaven. Even so, I was (and still mostly am) afraid to raise my arms around other people, and of course especially family for fear of the hair poking out and revealing its existence.

 

Now granted, I don’t have super long or thick armpit hair. Most of my shirts cover it just fine. I do have a couple that have shorter sleeves, and on those the armpit hair will poke out to some degree or another pretty much no matter what. Most of my shirts will let it poke out slightly if I raise my arms however. I’ve also never had odor issues either, some people claim that having hairy armpits makes you smell worse or smell worse faster, but I’ve never noticed any issue with this. I was clean shaven for probably 4-5 years, give or take and had no less body odor issues than I do now with fully natural and untrimmed armpit hair. Though I’ve never had odor issues to begin with – I can apply deodorant and be fine for a couple days, even after sweating a lot. Supposedly some people have issues applying deodorant/antiperspirant as more of it gets on the skin, but I’ve never had issues here really either. It’s not overly thick so with some minor attention I can ensure plenty gets on the skin. To ensure I don’t yellow or otherwise discolor/screw up my shirts I’ll use a towel or something to get any excess off of the hair. Takes all of a minute or two in total, from applying to removing excess, and I’ve never had any odor or shirt issues, or any of those suspended deodorant clumps or anything like that. The only issue I’ve had with deodorant and armpit hair is if I’ve applied some recently, then go for one of my walks or do anything else that gets me sweating a lot, instead of the hair just getting wet and behaving as any other wet hair would, it sticks together and feels sort of...gooey? Sticky? I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s not the same as if I’ve waited an adequate amount of time, where the hair would just get wet and just, well, that’s it. It’d just be wet armpit hair and nothing else. I might switch to another kind of deodorant to try and stop this as it is slightly annoying, either a spray or a roll-on. Though as a side note, I will probably regardless switch away from antiperspirant entirely – both because I don’t mind having my armpit hair soaked in sweat, and also because I’ve heard that the aluminum in antiperspirant does some bad things (including cancer potentially). I don’t entirely buy the cancer thing, but even so I figure I might as well seeing as I’m more than okay with getting all sweaty. Some people even think that having body hair at all is somehow unhygienic, which I just find strange. I keep my armpit hair clean, and as you’d know from checking out this status, I even go as far as to shampoo it.

 

To digress, however, that’s an area that I’m still fairly uncomfortable with in terms of other people seeing it. Oddly though, it’s only armpit hair that I feel this way with. Any other body hair – leg hair, chest hair, or anything else has never caused me any amount of uneasiness. But armpit hair? No we gotta keep that a deeply locked up secret and never reveal it to anyone. If I’m by myself though, or if it’s otherwise out of sight, then it’s the opposite. I like having hairy armpits and there’s not a chance in hell I’d ever trim or shave them again. I suppose to get over that part of my fears I’ll start wearing tank tops for my walks sometimes.

 

Alright Mr. Halo, you’ve talked a lot about your love of sweat and your hairy armpits – but what’s the point in all this? Why are you telling us this? Are you just trying to gross us out?

 

Well, there’s two parts to this. One is that talking about it in a public fashion like this is sort of therapeutic. Before I had the courage to go outside and sweat in front of others, I would talk about it on Discord. I know, it seems gross – but in my defense I recently gave everyone a fair shot to get me to shut up about it, but nobody really cared. Thing is, talking about it helped me get comfortable enough with it to be able to go outside and fully embrace it – and eventually realize I absolutely adored getting soaked in sweat. Likewise, talking about both the sweat and my armpit hair on this blog post is in itself helping me become more comfortable with both. Now obviously I’m not gonna go outside, walk or run around and make a big deal about being sweaty or having hairy armpits. I’m just trying to get a point where, if people happen to see it, I’m not all anxious and whatnot.

 

The other part of it is something that I realized that both of these issues have in common. Something that goes far deeper than just sweating or hairy armpits or anything like that. No, this goes far deeper than I originally knew, and those are simply surface-level manifestations of that deeper problem.

 

I’ve struggled with social anxiety for a long time. I have an exceedingly difficult time getting to know new people. Once I’m comfortable with someone, it’s no issue at all. In a sense, these two issues are connected to it. Rather, they share something in common with it. They all stem from me being uncomfortable and embarrassed to just be me.

 

Some of you who were around here between 2014 to 2015 might remember when I went under the name halogirl30. As you hopefully know by now, I’m a dude. If this is your first revelation of the fact, well, there you go. No, I’m not a girl who sweats a ton and has hairy armpits – I’m a dude. In fact, I’m a 20 year old man at the time of writing this. Likewise if you weren’t around for that, let me give you a quick rundown.

 

For reasons that I don’t entirely know, I decided that I wanted to pretend to be the opposite sex. I kept this up for a good while. I had this entire alter ego and everything. I’m not gonna go into great detail as I did some of what I consider to be pretty shitty things under that alter ego. I actually purchased an entire second MC account for that whole thing, as I wasn’t about to change my main account name and end up losing it as a result. Eventually, I got tired of it and swapped back to haloman30, and I’ve presented as myself ever since.

 

However, that wasn’t quite the end of that side of me. It still stayed buried within me, and recently I began to, albeit briefly, consider if I potentially might have had gender dysphoria. This is something that I had previously only shared with a select few people, and originally I was going to keep it that way - until I realized what those thoughts and feelings really were. It was all part of an alter ego. I wanted to hide myself and some of the things I liked behind a mask, out of fear that some people might judge, ridicule, or otherwise look down upon me for liking or doing. Yes, I know - it's generally more acceptable for a guy to have armpit hair or be super sweaty than it is for a girl. But it wasn't so much about being a girl, it just so happened that being the opposite gender was as far from myself as I could go - I was already a dude, so it made more sense to create an alter ego that was as far removed from myself as possible. I don't have gender dysphoria. I don't want to be a girl. I'm a man - and I'm happy to be one. And I don't need to try to change that in order to be allowed to like certain things.

 

But to me, that’s what it all comes down to. The social anxiety, the sweating, everything – I was, and in some cases still am, embarrassed to just be myself. What made me realize that the “dysphoric” thoughts were another piece of that puzzle was how quickly they outright disappeared as I started to do those walks. Becoming comfortable with sweating around others, talking about it on Discord, and so on – and realizing that I wasn’t being ridiculed or judged or anything of that sort, even some people throwing encouragement my way to keep doing my thing and that it was good – helped silence the idea in my head that I needed an alter ego to hide behind. I’m allowed to like sweating, I’m allowed to have armpit hair, I’m allowed to do, like, or say all these things – and nobody will ever give a single damn. The sky won’t magically fall if I say these things, or like that thing, or sometimes do this. I’m allowed to be myself, and it’s stupid to be embarrassed about liking something, or having certain features on your body, or anything else. Why should I, or anyone for that matter be embarrassed to sweat? I can’t decide to not sweat. If I’m outside in the summer sun, in an important job interview, in a stuffy building, or if I just happen to sweat easily, I'm gonna sweat and there's nothing I can do about it - so what difference does it make? And what if I actually really like to get drenched in sweat? I'm allowed to like or dislike whatever I want. Just because most people don't like sweating, that doesn't mean I have to also dislike it too. Or what if I have hair in my armpits? It’s natural, and it's just hair. It isn't inherently unclean, or unhygenic, or whatever - it's literally just hair - nothing more.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not full on Mr. Confident - I can go for walks and whatnot along the street, but I can't drop by the dollar store for a quick item or two if I've been walking. Which kind of makes it problematic that I have to walk to get there in the first place. Maybe I shouldn't go anywhere if I'm all sweaty, but it's not like I smell bad. I wear deodorant and I make sure to apply it in such a way that it actually works, and I shower regularly. I know for a fact I don't smell but I'm too anxious of people in the store seeing a guy in sweaty clothes, and for that guy to be me. It's something I'm not over yet, and it's something that can only be helped with time and continuing to force myself into some of those situations.

 

I know it probably seems like I’m making a big deal about all this. Writing paragraphs and paragraphs about sweat and armpit hair – things that most people either hardly think about or just deal with quietly, and nothing more than that. If they sweat then they just deal with it or try to hide it. They either like having armpit hair or don’t, and shave or trim if they don’t. Why am I making it out like these are such huge things for me? It’s because in my mind, they have a lot more presence. These are things that have caused me far more embarrassment than they have any right to. As I mentioned before, that’s half of why this blog post even exists. Talking about it, going into detail, while maybe gross or unpleasant for others to read (hence the disclaimer at the start), help me get better with dealing with it. It helps me get over my silly fears. Maybe you think that perhaps it’s perfectly logical and I should be self conscious about other people seeing me sweat or seeing my armpit hair, because most people consider those things disgusting. And maybe you’re right. But I’m on the camp of neither of those things being inherently gross. Body hair, armpit hair included, is just hair. Sweat can be gross if you’ve not showered – but if you’re clean, it’s not gross at all. It’s literally just water and salt. As long as you’re clean there’s nothing that gross about it at all.

 

And, well, I guess this is where I throw in a message of encouragement to anyone reading this far in. If you like doing things but you’re to afraid to do them for fear of judgment, don’t let that irrational fear stop you. Any decent person won’t give a damn either way. If someone looks down on you for liking something, or partaking in some activity, or doing (or not doing) something with your body, they’re the kind of person you don’t want around to begin with. As cheesy as it sounds, just be yourself. Maybe you’re reading this and you’ve had your share of struggles of a similar nature to what I’ve described. Maybe you’re reading and you’ve never felt ashamed of anything you or your body does. Whichever camp you fall under, I encourage you to do what I’m trying to do – break the shell, embrace and love who you are. Don’t hide yourself or wear a fake face to try to please others – because really, that’s not what life is about. Be yourself – if what makes you happy is to please others, then by all means – go on ahead. But if you’re avoiding certain things you like, avoiding saying certain things purely to please others, and wearing a fake face, then I encourage you to take the mask off. Don’t be embarrassed to be you.

 

So, comments! Did you actually read the entire thing? Do you think I’m slightly (or extremely) insane for genuinely enjoying sweating? Do you think that armpit hair is disgusting and that I should go back to shaving it? Do you perhaps also enjoy getting a good sweat on or am I alone in that realm of thought? Did I gross you out too badly with some of my descriptions? Do you think this entire blog post was a mistake and I shouldn't have posted it and should remove it immediately? Or do you think that me posting it is a good thing? Either way - if you have any questions or comments of your own, feel free to throw them down below! I’ll gladly answer any questions you might have.

haloman30

Being in school is like being trapped. You can't get out of it, you can't say or do anything to change your current situation. You can only keep going forward until you get that piece of paper that says you know some things.

 

School wouldn't be so bad if you felt like you were getting something out of it. When you have a job, you get paid. Even if your job is absolutely miserable, you have the drive to go on because you know that at the end of it you're gonna get a nice paycheck. But with school, you don't get any of that. You go there for 9 hours a day, and you hear teachers bitch you out and assign seemingly pointless worksheets, tests, and so on. And after the day is done, what do you have to show for you hard work? Nothing. You have a decent grade, that's about it. How much does that grade really matter? Not a whole lot aside from that it makes it seem you know more things than the guy who did just enough to squeeze on by.

 

I find it funny how so many successful and important people were all college dropouts. Albert Einstein flunked out of school and yet today he is regarded as one of, if not the, smartest people to ever live. Bill Gates started a multi billion dollar company out of a garage, and he was a college dropout.

 

The past few days, I have been working on cPanel themes for an up and coming webhosting company. I am getting paid some amount of money for doing these themes. It may not be a whole lot, but it's still something. More than you will ever get by wasting hours and hours a week in school. All the teaching and lessons and so on are all based on the same exact fucking formula - lectures, homework, tests, repeat. The issue is that this formula doesn't work for the vast majority of people. I learn better by actually DOING THINGS, not so much by doing a bunch of worksheets. Also, why is there so much homework? You mean to tell me we go and do this shit for 9 hours a day and that still isn't enough time?

 

On top of that, schools fail to relate anything to the real world. What difference does it make if I know what chlorophyll does? That information will never help me out and will give me nothing in the real world. On top of that, my school in particular fails to offer anything in technology and IT. Technology is the future - and the only thing my school offers in that field is a Tech Center with Graphic Design. That isn't even at my main school, I have to go to another building to do that. If you have a job, you can choose to leave. If you hate your job and want to get a better job, you can leave and go get that better job. In school, you are stuck. You can't recognize that it's useless bullshit and just quit to get a job and build a business - you're stuck. You better do those assignments, and you better get those papers done.

 

Plus, when you have a job, your job has some level of purpose in reality. If your job was pointless, you wouldn't have that job. A company will never hire for a pointless position. Ever. They lose money when they do that. In school, so much of the work exists for the sole reason to give you work to do. Rather than give quality lessons, they just give busy work. So much of the lessons are so disconnected from reality. If you have a job, you're not gonna do pointless shit. You are going to do something that may be boring or not very fun, but you know at the end of it that you will be getting a paycheck out of it. At school, you get through so you can go home and enjoy a few hours of free time before going back and doing it all over again.

 

Even with graphic design classes, they manage to disconnect it from reality. If you are a graphic designer, someone tells you what they want in some level of detail, and you take that and run with it. In a graphic design class, you are given prescriptive bullshit that holds your hand on how to do something. If you already know what to do, you can't just go to the end and see what it's telling you to make - you have to do it EXACTLY as they tell you. It's even worse when they tell you to do a bunch of steps and then immediately tell you to undo all of it. If that isn't bullshit busy work, then I don't know what is. Plus, how does one learn by clicking buttons in a particular order? That doesn't teach you shit. Maybe that's why they do it over and over and over again.

 

What I don't get is why schools can't bother to pay the students something. All they say is "oh, you have to know these things". If you ask them why you need to know these things, they cannot give you a straight response to save their lives. So I ask: why? Why is algebra, biology, chemistry, physics, geometry, geology, and all this other garbage so important? It isn't. If you apply this to Math, you might get told something like "You use math every day!" - and while this is true, what you DON'T use every day is highly advanced formulas. If you're buying groceries, you aren't going to be solving for x in any scenario. Hell, you probably won't do much beyond look at the cost and see if you can afford it. Most people bring extra cash or a debit card to pay for things, they don't calculate the exact prices of everything then walk to the store with $16.72 in order to buy a few specific items. Basic math is important. Advanced math that involves algebra and beyond is going to be useless for the majority of people.

 

With English, you might think, "English is important so people can communicate effectively". On the surface, this again sounds solid. But when you look into it, it falls apart. In English class, you don't learn how to communicate effectively once you get into 8th grade and beyond. You start writing essays, poems, research papers and so on. You're reading a book and answering questions. This entire process actually makes people grow up to hate reading. This causes kids to hate reading and then they become adults who hate reading. They never bother because when they think of reading, they subconsciously expect to have to answer a bunch of irrelevant questions and explain things in detail as opposed to simply reading a book for its knowledge, or its entertainment value. The same can be applied to the graphic design class I mentioned earlier, as well as to any school that has programming classes. You will be taking notes and doing work out of a textbook in these classes. When you work as a designer, or you work as a programmer, you don't take notes and do bookwork. You code and you design according to customer demands. That's it. The people in those classes who might have loved coding may end up growing to hate it and avoid it because all they know is the garbage that happened in a classroom. And the tragedy is that what they experience isn't how it is at all. These schools make people hate subjects that are not only useless, but also the classes and skills that can actually help you make good money and bring in good business, too.

 

The only exception to the rule might be History, as in my opinion History is fairly important. As the saying goes, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.". You may argue something in a political debate, and even vote for something. But if the majority of people were never taught our country's history, they may very well vote in someone who will make the same mistake that has already happened before. What if you vote in a president that ends up wanting to do a draft for the military? The one time we did one in the past was a total disaster and led to tons of people in the military who didn't want to be there, and thus, a massive chunk were simply not good soldiers. As such, History, boring as it can be, does have a legitimate reason to be taught.

 

What about college? Sure that gets better right? Well, somewhat. In college you will have access to the classes that just don't exist in High School - programming, network security, graphic design, and so much more is finally made available. But don't get too excited - you're still stuck taking those bullshit classes! English, Math, Science, and all those other general classes will be eating up a good portion of your time. Imagine if you want to be a programmer. You can't just go to college and learn programming. You have to flood your schedule with garbage. Instead of just learning these things you want to learn, things that will help you, you will waste a lot of your time on garbage. Want to study your programming course better? Too bad, get back to your report for English class. You never have the chance to focus on the material you want to focus on exclusively - you have to take time away from that to continue to study the same subjects you've had forced down your throat for the past 12 years.

 

On top of that, college is just expensive. Some people go into debt and never pay it off their entire lives. For those that do get it paid off, its still a huge pile of cash that was spent on getting knowledge to hopefully make it where you can earn a massive fortune in comparison to those debts. And as I said before, some of the most important and successful people to ever walk the planet either never got there or dropped out.

 

Teachers, counselors, and so many school officials never acknowledge the idea of starting your own company and making your own job for yourself. It always the same rhetoric: You need to study and do homework so you can get good grades. You need good grades so you can get a scholarship and/or get picked by a good college. You need to go to college so you can get a diploma. You need a diploma so you can a well-paying job. Never anything about alternative ways to learn the same skills without the garbage in the way, never any mention of ignoring college and making your own way in the world and creating a legacy. Nothing of making success for yourself instead of working your ass off to make your wallet have enough to get by and making another CEO's wallet fatter. Sure, not everyone is CEO, businessman or businesswoman material. But the idea of doing such a thing, being able to work your own hours and not needing to spend 2 to 4 years of your life in college, and then going into crippling debt afterward.

 

If you don't have aspirations to build a legacy, or build a company, or make a way for yourself in the world, that's totally cool. But even you get screwed by the total joke of a school system we have. It isn't just those with ambitions or huge visions to change the world, even the regular guy working 9 to 5 is screwed over. The current school system trains factory workers for bygone era. It teaches you to do exactly what you are told, and teaches you to not think for yourself in any form or fashion. It gives you the idea that you can't challenge or question anything, and that you must accept everything exactly as it is. It stilfes creativity and robs people of their identities. Also in the area of time, most jobs are 9 to 5. So why do students get up between 5 and 7 AM? No person should be forced to do such a thing.

 

I don't just dislike being in school. I am not just some 18 year old hating school because it "just sucks". I wouldn't be spending my every waking moment playing games or watching YouTube if I wasn't stuck here at school. I would be working to build a future for myself and to build my own visions, without the 9 hours a day being stolen from me. I don't just hate being in school. It's much, much more than that and runs far deeper than complacent dislike of sitting in a classroom. I can actually give sensible explanations and reasoning and actual thought as to why school is not only miserable, but is entirely ineffective at teaching kids and is miserably flawed in numerous ways.

 

I remember at one point, in my US History class in Junior year, there was something being discussed and the question arose from the teacher "I think we can all agree that School is important, right?". That statement was met with a worrying amount of Yeah's and other words of agreement with this statement. This was part of another discussion but that question and those answers are what stuck with me. Sure, it's totally important. Not because of what you learn (or rather because of what you don't learn), but because too many employers think that a lack of a High School diploma is the mark of a joke of a human. What if a high school kid realized these facts even sooner than I have? What if he decides to drop out and start his own company? Whenever I bring this up to my dad, I always get a response more or less along the lines of "If you can't make it through High School, you can't make it through anything". What if it's not about being a lazy bastard, but rather just about pure efficiency? About not wanting to waste so much time in what, beyond that piece of paper, truly is a waste of time? They say that High School is as easy as it gets, and everything gets harder afterward. Whether or not that's true, I can't say yet. What I can say is that at least after high school, I can atleast get paid for my effort and reap real, tangible benefits to my efforts.

 

They also say that you will miss high school after you graduate. The only thing I can see someone missing is some of the people that you may never talk to again. That I can understand. But if being in school were the best years of your life, that is just plain sad and I feel bad for you. Being stuck in a brick building, listening to teachers drone on and on and on about things you don't care about at all, being unable to leave and unable to escape the prison that school can often feel like. Being forced to do piles of worksheets on even subjects that have no place requiring notes (looking at you programming, and graphic design). If these are the best years of your life, I feel sorry for you and I send my condolences.

 

I may rant more about school in the future, I will probably make sort of update blog a few months after I graduate and get my life settled in a more permanent fashion, and in a fashion that I control. Expect me to continue to rant about other things, both in blog and video fashion as time goes on. I have a lot of things to say, and I am tired of keeping them locked away. And what better way to start than the prison we all suffer from, the forced labor we all are forced to go through because the law says so?

 

Because that's exactly what school is. Forced labor. A prison. It doesn't just feel like one, it truly is one. My advice is this: don't take it too seriously. Do what you need to pass and get out. Don't waste more time than is absolutely required to get done and get out of the hell. Unless you're a doctor or a scientist, in which case you're out of options aside from school -  as the college classes that teach both are the only real way to get the knowledge for those areas. But assuming you're neither, spend as much time as you can learning the things you care about, and maybe even starting your own business sooner rather than later if that's your calling. Don't waste it on the meanginless garbage that is school, spend it on what really matters both to you, and to the world.

haloman30

Not sure how often I'll use this, but I'll go ahead and make one.

 

If you're wanting to make your own blog, we are currently working on it and it is set to release when we relaunch MC (and really the community as a whole). So look forward to that :^)

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