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Where Do I Begin?

Fair Strides


I don't know if these blogs have any sort of length limit, but I guess I'll find out, huh?


*Warning: This might look organized at first, but I jump around and just drop a whole lot of info on you. If you are able to make sense of what I'm trying to say, then good on you.*


I would welcome you to my blog and ask that you enjoy the first post I've ever made, but I'm just not in the mood for all that "happy and friendly" stuff at the moment. The truth is, I always thought my first blog post would be about my Toolset and all the things I have planned for it, with successive posts being about progress or polls for features or design and all that cool stuff. I even thought I'd be doing some cool blog posts about college near the beginning, but that at least is still a possibility. Right now I'm writing this just to clear my head, though I really have no clue how many people are even going to see this.


This just isn't the kind of thing I normally do, okay? Normally I don't make small talk or chit-chat, don't get long-winded about myself or god forbid I talk about my feelings. It's just not my usual style, but I'm in a mood that I can only describe as "very weird" twice now and I don't even know why. Usually I'm a fanatic for self-control and self-awareness, prizing those two things right up there at the top of my priority list; come to think of it, they're right next to dignity. I'm sitting here typing all of this out and I just don't feel anything besides the normal mild headache (we'll get to that), a little empty from hunger because I haven't eaten all day (should probably do something about that, but I'm almost out of money, so it has to wait until I get home in around two hours), and too warm because I'm still sitting with the blanket on me.


I don't know how this will be received by all of you. And it's usually one of those many things I think about doing and then end up not doing, but right now I'm in a major "I don't care, I'm doing it" attitude and who knows if I'll look back and think "I shouldn't have posted that." *sigh* I guess I'll get to the point now that I've already lost half of you that clicked the link.


*later bit here: I go on a bit of a tangent, so if you want to get to the current stuff, use Control-F and search for "And here I am, still working away at doing nothing."*


I started modding back around November 7th, 2011. I knew nothing about computers besides how to type and click stuff (and play games, of course). Fast forward two or three months; In January, I've moved to Missouri to live with dad and I've gotten a D in my math class (my fault for not contacting the teacher; this was an online class) and really starting to figure out that my dad is an asshole. Oh, and I was banging my head against the keyboard trying to figure out scripting. And dad was practicing the usual "how to put down a woman and make yourself superior" routine because he's a real man and can walk the walk (please tell me you can hear the sarcasm...).


Another five months and I've gotten more experience with modding and can navigate KotOR Tool pretty well. I've also been playing the games and enjoying the mods. I'm starting to actually have conversations with the other modders and feel like I'm fitting in. Come August and my brother shows up to visit (he moved in with Mom around September or October 2011). Everything's going great until dad goes off the deep end again with the vodka and my brother and I are in the bedroom playing videogames to ignore the belligerent jackass raging up and down the hall. *sigh* Then my brother went back to Oregon and I went back to my routine. I was usually spending eight or more hours a day engrossed in something KotOR, whether it was the forums, the tutorials, playing the games, or modding itself.


Then I beta-tested the pre-beta version of the beta of the public beta of The Jedi Masters 2.0 for Trex and lost my internet for about two weeks. I was cut off and forced to learn a lot about modding in a real quick hurry to be able to finish TJM when things broke. This was actually a good experience for me, as it helped give me a lot of the basis for what I know today. And then in November I started spending a few days learning the programming language Perl and was working with KotOR Save Editor (what most probably know as "KSE"). Things had been heating up between me and dad this whole time. I yelled at him in the kitchen while he was drunk (I was actually yelling that I was on his side), he took one step in my direction, and then I was running (I honestly believe quite literally for my life) away for a few hours before I got sent back home by a friend (no, I don't blame the friend; he was just doing what he honestly believed was right). And before this incident I came home and found them drunk (they had been out of alcohol when I had left a few hours previously) and I got mad. I called a different friend to come get me for the night and then threw a note toward my dad as I went out the door. I should add that I was 16 and not exactly the brightest at forward thinking.


Next day I got taken from school by dad, brought out to the backyard, and shoved up against a building while dad looked my right in the eye and said we were either going to duke it out (fight) or he was going to thrash me in the pool behind us. In the end, I didn't fight and I didn't go for a possibly-fatal dip in the pool. But after that I made firm steps to get my ass out of there and I left over Thanksgiving. I also was out of modding and mostly away from the community for the next... 8 or 9 months until I got a laptop from Mom.


Then I helped LDR with a few projects and enjoyed some nice chats. He was helping ZM90 with some stuff for K1R and ZM90 was in need of a scripter. So my name was submitted and I agreed because I was bored. Oh boy, what a ride that started. Mom's boyfriend was just as bad as dad, except in a few different ways and he was most of the time sober. So while I worked on K1R and made some cool tool or other that is broken half a dozen ways, I also had to put up with him and graduating from high school. I eventually did and was making steady progress on K1R until the summer hit. Then I went into a slump and didn't do a whole lot of modding until around August. I was also fighting trying to get stuff from Fallen Guardian and ZM90 was trying but not really helping a whole lot. I had found out later that LDR was only a temporary helper and not a full-time guy.


We finally got K1R 0.9 released and we got rushed with a lot of reports and bugs. I dealt with it okay and did the work to get K1R up to 1.0. And I've done the same with 1.1 and 1.2. Almost all of the work was me, Fair Strides the work-horse (self-admitted), with the exception of testing fixes, bugs, and compiling lists of stuff, which was done by ZM90. But I'm the big workhorse; always have been. Part of it's just my nature, my diligence, but a lot of it's been my conditioning. Conditioned by dad that playing video games means I'm lazy. Conditioned by Mom's boyfriend that doing nothing but laying around and watching TV means I'm lazy. Conditioning that reinforced my nature, my diligence and sense of perfection in my work, and makes it so I work my ass off on the task at hand, no matter if it's modding, programming, cleaning the house that my "aunt" leaves in a constant mess, or working outside on lifting, carrying, cleaning, and helping my uncle and grandpa out.


And here I am, still working away at doing nothing. I haven't programmed in months, my modding is taking a nose-dive, I was absent from DS for a week and for the most part didn't notice, even though I hated not replying to the PMs. I know more about the KotOR engine than almost anybody else in this community, have helped out an astounding number of people (I never did count how many times people have mentioned me in read-mes, but there's also my post count), and yet I can't even string a dialog together and have tried several times to write tutorials.


I've been here five years (almost), have risen to be one of the best around, and in a metaphorical sense I'm now feeling old and tired, spent. I can still help and I still do small tasks, but you won't see me crusading a project. I can't write my own tutorials even though I know so much, and I'm on the computer way too much. Almost daily I deal with headaches. Most of the time they are mild ones that stick in one spot, but they last for so long. There's a general blanket over my mind and I don't feel like doing much. I also have really bad motivation issues.


I don't know what this means for me in the long run, but I know that I feel tired and that I'm almost useless at the moment. I don't plan on running out on anything I'm currently working on if I can avoid it, but I might end up taking a back seat on a lot of it. I know I need to be on the computer less and get out more. I hope I can get out more when the FAFSA comes in for school, but that just leads to a whole swarm of issues, all of which involve socializing.


How do you people do it? Most of the time I'm not really in touch with most of my emotions and I've gotten good at suppressing stuff. But how do you people just walk up to a stranger and talk to them? Does it matter to you if you're talking to a guy or a girl, because it absolutely makes a difference for me. I like people, really I do, but I don't like trying to get to know them, that initial time where you're both just strangers. And when I do get to know someone, things go much better if they're a guy. If it's a girl, I know jack nothing about anything. A friend of mine once said I was kind, considerate, and caring enough that if I just tried, I could probably get a girl. But nowadays, if you try to act like that, you get labelled a creep or a stalker because it's not natural for a guy to be so nice to a stranger...


I really should stop rambling. I'm rambling so much I don't even care that I've said things I probably should have kept to myself. :| To anyone who has read this far, thanks for taking the time. I don't blame you if you can't make sense of what I've written, so I'll try to sum it up below:


1. I'm moody and have issues.
2. I'm tired...
3. It's not you guys, it's me that's the problem.
4. I won't give up the projects I'm already on, but I won't be as big a presence around here for a whie.

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Read the whole entry. No idea if you’re looking for responses/advice…First off, you’ve done a ton of work and for that, thank you.


I too hold self-control and self-awareness in high regard, and put great pride into tasks at hand.  I like to think that I have always been this way, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been able to improve my lifestyle. If I understood everything correctly, it sounds like you are going through a burn-out. When that happened to me, I spent lots of time on self-reflection, and got into meditation.  For me meditation is about developing a non-judgmental, moment-to-moment, awareness (not reaching some out of body experience or whatever some people say).  This helped reduce my feelings of stress, burn-out, anxiety, etc.  It might work for you…or it might not, everyone gets through tough times differently. Basically, my point here is taking time to discover what relaxes you (and keeps you relaxed) helps tremendously with recovering from burn-out/preventing future burn-out.


This may sound silly, but how much water do you drink everyday? One of the things I noticed while going through my burn-out was increasing my water intake drastically improved my overall mood (despite the fact that I was drinking the recommended amount of water for my body weight). I made some other dietary adjustments, let me know if you’re interested in hearing what worked.


In terms of talking to strangers: Guy or girl I try to have the other person do a majority of the talking, even if I start the conversation. It’s a lot easier to stay engaged, actively listen, and get involved/meaningfully contribute when you can.


Note: I’ve been out of the dating scene for a long time, so my input here may not hold well…idk.  When my girlfriend and I first started getting to know each other I was kind, considerate, and caring - but not “excessively” (I feel this often happens, without recognition of it occurring). By this I mean I wasn’t more kind/considerate/caring than what would be acceptable for how long we knew each other. For instance, if something happened where she was sad/complaining and I could help: my thought process was, “Would she help me if the sides were reversed?” If I was sure she wouldn’t, I would just say something along the lines of “Man that sucks, sorry that happened :/“ If I was unsure, “Sorry that happened :/ Let me know if I can help!” If I knew she would help, “Sorry that happened, *offer help* :D” Not sure if that makes sense. Basically, as we got to know each other I gradually increased levels (I also figured out we were both interested in dating).

Hope this helps. Don't like sounding like I'm trying to switch the focus of the post, if you need anything feel free to send a PM :)

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Read it all Fair Strides.


I get the feeling that all the things that happened with your family, is catching up. You say you supress the feelings and emotions.

This takes a ton of energy. I'm not blaming you, what I get from your story is you had to grow up FAST. Decide major things that have a serious impact on your life.


It's far from odd you have these on and off periods. Feeling tired by it all. And not sure what to do about it. I think writing this out in a blog is a good step.

You can let it out, doesn't matter if it's a bit cluttered or rambling on. At least you let it out and it can give you some insight on what's going on in your head.


I admire it, it's brave to start digging in yourself. Though it does take time and you should take your time. Take time, but also take good care for yourself,

keep eating and drinking at the right times, you can feel very tired and worn out, by not eating enough and not drinking, causes headaches... ect, hold on to some structure.


Could write a whole lot more, but I got the feeling I would be talking to much about myself here; I've gone through difficult periods myself, about myself. Still fighting with it at times.

But I don't want to take away your "thunder".


Feel free to PM me anytime; I don't think I can help much, but you got my ear :)

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Well, I certainly can't identify with you very much as far as your general situation and history go.


As far as talking to people goes... I really don't just go up and talk to a total stranger, like, ever. I don't hold long conversations with most people - sometimes I'll respond to general, larger-scale conversations (like when the entire class is talking about stuff before class starts), and the friends I have I can (sometimes) go and talk to, but mostly I only talk with people if they start the conversation. Then I usually probably talk to much... As far as guy or girl goes, I actually for whatever reason tend to get along better with girls than with other guys, and all of my best friends are girls (though in one case it's pretty much entirely because she was nice enough to befriend me). But I guess on this whole issue I'm not really much help, am I?


But even though I'm rather socially inept... it doesn't actually bug me very much, at least most of the time. I think this is because I do have a few good friends, so if you can make just one or two, that might go a long way.


Hope things start getting better for you and you start feeling better!

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