Wherein C.F.Barrón does his thing...

The Changing of the Guard

For those who missed it, I no longer work at my favorite local game store. This has raised a few concerns and questions amongst some of my friends and family. Namely "what happened?" and "what are you doing now?"

I won't go into it all here, as I'm sure the people closest to me are all tired of hearing about it by now, but if you're curious about the “why” feel free to reach out to me when you have an extra hour or two. Suffice to say I loved a company that did not love me back.

I recently had a friend tell me that given my breadth of knowledge, and my personality, it seemed like the job was perfect for me. Overall, I agreed with him. But, I hadn't been happy for a while. Looking back, I had at least one foot out the door for months, essentially waiting for things to reach a boiling point.

Well, things reached that point back in June and I decided it was in my best interest to move on.  There were those who took this well and those who didn't. I regret that some bridges may have been burned in the process of pursuing something more fulfilling, but that's how life goes sometimes.  (At least that's what people kept telling me as I grieved over the loss of a friend, a mentor, and a community)

It wasn't the cleanest of breaks, but I don't regret making the decision. The community is still going strong, and now I can be an active part of it.

Things aren't all doom and gloom either. I put my two weeks notice in on the 7th of June. After a solid week of job hunting and making use of my network, I found another job.  Thankfully, I was able to maneuver things so despite the spur of the moment decision, I technically never stopped working.

I leveraged the new job into a promotion and that promotion into a better job with another company. Put another way, in the span of a month, I doubled my yearly salary. Let the record show I have never been lazy, just unmotivated.

In either case, I'm going on my sixth week as a Sales Manager with Staples now. So far, it's not a bad gig. The company culture seems to mesh well with what I wanted. Namely, support from upper management and upward mobility. The pay is also a lot better, (benefits are nice) and my commute is shorter so it's been an upgrade in many respects. The days are stupidly long though, and the jury is out on whether or not that will take its toll on me sooner rather than later.

I will say that despite the long days, I've found myself having more energy to spend on stuff I want to do. The last job was so emotionally draining I'd fallen out of playing creative, and what little I did create always seemed to fall flat- my performance at KublaCon is a testament to that. Granted, I submitted pieces that had been painted months before the convention (almost a year beforehand in the case of the piece that won a silver in amateur), but the fact that I didn't have it in me to paint something new should tell you just how bad a shape I was in. It got to where I seriously considered just walking away from all my hobbies. For the entirety of a month, I worked on drafts of a letter bidding farewell to my guildies and explaining to them that I just didn't have it in me to continue painting.

Were it not for the collective efforts of some truly remarkable people, my wife among them, I think I would have broken my brushes and deleted all my writings. Luckily, they pulled me back and now the creative energy is flowing again.

My characters are starting to talk to me and I've managed to get even faster at painting in my off time. I even broke my previous record of six Gloomhaven minis in five hours and forty minutes. The new record stands at six Gloomhaven minis in four hours and five minutes.

So, like the days before GK, my main enemy now is time. But he and I never really got along to begin with, so it's all good. I hope to learn how to better manage my schedule in the coming months and really start doing more than just recover from my time at work. I'd like to start lifting again in an effort to get myself in decent enough shape to handle Krav Maga once more... I've got lots of painting to do, and as you all well know, stories left unfinished.

In the meantime, here's a glimpse at what might be a new interest of mine: custom Funko Pops

And because I was lucky enough to be included in another campaign, here's my new D&D character: Karissa Farstrider

-C