This is gonna be a tough one for me to get through; for good reasons though, I think.
It’s been about 24 hours since Paper Cranes—my BFA thesis project that I’ve been working on for over a year—has been live on the internet, for people to see and download and play. It’s a really weird feeling. A really good feeling. Like, for so long this has all been a what-if: I had an Idea for some research and a game, and even when I was right at the cusp of its completion, it still didn’t feel right around the corner. It felt like miles away, like I wouldn’t really ever reach it, finish the game and the research and the website. But I have. Sort of. Stuff like this is never really finished, I think, especially because I’m such a perfectionist, but it’s out there now, and I can’t really take it back.
The emotions I’ve been experiencing have been all over the map. I’m ecstatic, but also kind of…sad about the whole thing. Not sad, really…pensive? I’m not sure. This project has been such a big part of my life for so long, so it’s strange to not have to think about working on it every day now. It’s weird to think that people are playing the game, this thing I’ve built and poured my heart into.
I’ve gotten a lot of really fantastic and heartfelt feedback from people who have played it, and I can’t express how much that means to me. The fact that people are playing what has become in many ways a self-portrait for me, and connecting with it and appreciating it…it’s still so hard to grasp, honestly.
I’ve changed a lot in the last year. I know I said that at the end of 2013, but I really feel it this time. I’m happier; with myself, with my work, with my appearance. I look at myself in the mirror, and for the first time in a long, long time, I truly like what I see, both inside and out.
So much had to happen for me to be able to make Paper Cranes…and I had to gather up the strength to use those things that happened to create it. I made the step to go to counseling, to talk with someone about what I was feeling. I probably would not have been able to make that step without a couple integral moments, and that’s really remarkable for me to realize. If I hadn’t made that choice, I’m not quite sure where I would be. Maybe still unhappily trying to make animation work for me. Who knows.
Fun fact: I edited all of my research with my “pre-Attitude City” playlist on repeat. It consists of all of the NSP singles that have been released since Strawberries and Cream, since I’m an impatient dweeb who can’t wait for the album to come out. Livin’ the dream.
Tomorrow is the day that I have to present the project to all of the Digital Arts faculty. I’ll probably be nervous tomorrow…but I’m feeling really great right now. No matter what they say, I’ve made something I’m proud of. I’ve become someone that I think younger-me would be proud of too.