“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life.”
- Jean-Luc Picard (& best Captain, dont @ me)
I’ve been struggling lately. I don’t think it’s a secret. Maybe it is, but it isn’t now. It’s all that I think about and so I feel like it’s all that I talk about. I don’t spend a single minute of my day not thinking of ways to better myself, my content, new ways to entertain and make people laugh, to gain more exposure without being gross about it. My mindset has been stuck on “improve, improve, improve” and, to be quite honest, I am at my wit’s end.
And that’s life. There’s nothing any one can say to me, there’s nothing anyone can do that will change this. I’ve been given the opportunities to be something bigger than myself and I tried my best and it hasn’t stuck. I haven’t caught a break. While I want to be okay with this, it’s a scary reality to live in. This has been my life for eight years. Creating content, streaming, being an “Internet personality,” an “Influencer.” I didn’t ASK to do this, of course. It happened by accident. But regardless of the origin, here I am and here I remain.
For the last year, I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck under ice screaming for help and people keep casually walking by. They’ll glance over and wave with a smile on their face, “Hi Renee!” and then move on. At the same time, I feel like a complete basket case and that everyone around me can see every string in my brain fucking unraveling more and more every day. I don’t feel like myself. I watch my VODs back and I literally don’t recognize the person I’m watching. I’ve gotten SO FUCKING GOOD at masking my feelings, it’s borderline terrifying. She seems super chill, she seems like she’s having a great time. So why do I end my stream feeling like I’ve accomplished nothing and I’m holding the weight of the world?
There’s no purpose to sharing this except to maybe give insight into what, maybe, other broadcasters are feeling. That’s the point of this whole thing anyway, isn’t it? It’s all just a perverse invasion of privacy. So why not?
I often ask myself if I’m cut out to do this. I also ask myself if I’m exaggerating. Maybe it’s not as dire as it seems, but maybe… maybe it is. And then I go back to the first question because if I was, I should be able to just fucking relax, right?
I ask myself if people only ever liked me for the people I knew, or dated. Or if they hated my content, but they thought I was pretty so they stuck around. I wonder if there’s anything differently I could have done to avoid this. I’ve always been careful to not show too much skin, not be too “girly.” I’ve always played by the rules. I’ve never broken ToS or RoC, and I’ve always apologized when I’ve inadvertently stepped on toes. I supported smaller streams. I raided and hosted and tipped and wanted everyone around me to succeed. I spent time trying to get good at the games I stream so people enjoy themselves, but I’m not good at everything. I’ve kept a standard of quality on my content and I don’t settle for anything less. I try and stick to a schedule and the only times I’m not streaming are because I’m doing something else to help further the channel. I haven’t enjoyed a day off in years because I feel bad for “abandoning” my channel for a day, two days. A week and I’m literally having mental breakdowns every day. I feel that way because when I come back, people are upset. “Why were you gone? Why didn’t you stream?” I feel punished every day I take for myself. I feel selfish.
But despite all of this, despite doing everything “the right way,” I still feel like a failure. I feel like I haven’t reached my potential and that now it may be too late for me to ever reach it.
Please don’t take this the wrong way. I have people who have stuck around for years. Even the people who have only been around a day. This isn’t me saying I don’t appreciate it. I do, truly, wholeheartedly. But my community is not the same as it used to be and I have to ask if it’s something I’ve done wrong. Most people got busy with their lives and stopped watching. It happens and I’m happy about it. Some people have come back with new jobs, new partners, new BABIES and PETS and it’s beautiful because these same people were in my chat before sharing their low moments with me. I don’t discourage living your life to it’s absolute fullest potential. I just want to live mine that way too, but I don’t know how anymore.
I really thought I had it figured out, but I fucking didn’t.
I love Twitch. I love this industry. I love the life I’ve created. I want to keep it.
Thanks for reading.
Please don’t tell anyone.