Happy Birthday to me

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Yes, today is my birthday. I know, I know, settle down reader. Yes, I was born on Valentine’s day. And yes, I was the best Valentine’s day gift that my father ever gave my mother.

CUE: AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

Haha but today really is my birthday and I am feeling great. For those that are wondering, I am single, and no I do not have a date tonight. And for most Valentine’s days of my life I have not had a date either. I did last year though, and it was nice, but the relationship didn’t last and it was kind of forced.

So I am very comfortable with not having one this year. I am sure that in future I will have a nice one though. Maybe next year! But as for today I am going to have a nice dinner with my family friends and I am very excited for that. That is all I really want for my birthday. And I know that they will all have some sort of present for me, which will be very nice, but it isn’t what is really important.

Just being around people that care about me is all I want on my birthday.

I don’t want a huge party, or lots of presents, or anything extremely special, I just want a good old-fashioned nice time. Just a nice dinner with those who care. And that dinner could be mac and cheese for all I care. It doesn’t need to be steak. It just has to be tasty. And mac and cheese is tasty.

But I don’t think that I will be eating mac and cheese tonight. I think we are having lamb. Eating a baby sheep.

Talk about Heavy Metal.

That is really it for my post today, nothing too long or in detail, but I hope you find it profound. Life is all about sharing moments with those that love and care about you. For my birthday, all I want is to be around those people and have a nice dinner. Anything else is just a nice plus, but if I didn’t get a single present other than going to this dinner, I would not be bummed out in the slightest.

Just pay attention in life to the things that really matter the most.

If you all reading this would like to give me a nice birthday present, I’d appreciate a follow on my twitter at twitter.com/notacultleadr, but even more so, I would like you to greet someone today and wish them a happy valentines day, and further to tell them to

Keep Smiling!

 

-Nolan

 

Struggling with Something

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Today, as per usual, I awoke and did one of my routine breakfast streams at a local diner. As I sat there and ate my eggs and drank my coffee, I engaged with chat. But then a chatter came in who had been in the stream before but I had forgotten. The name was Magyarguy, which is translated “Hungarian Guy.”

The two of us got to chatting and we discussed things about foreign affairs and other political events & relevant topics. As I was musing my thoughts on things I turned to the subject of something that is very important to me: mistakes. I have made mistakes, I will make mistakes, and let it be clear: these were mistakes.

I think too often people act as if their mistakes are not so bad, and just say everyone makes them, but I want to stress that they are truly mistakes. And many of them no one will ever know about because it happened in passing between me and a random person, or a friend, or at an event, or etc. But mistakes are crucial to growing up and working towards what is right. We live through our experience, as Aristotle says, and mistakes are thus part of that. It’s just how living in an imperfect world goes.

I’m not excusing mistakes but I am just saying that this is a fact of how humans learn and how things occur in the world that we live in.

As I discussed the topic Magyarguy said something that struck me. He said something akin to

“It seems to me that you are struggling with something.”

I thought about it in the moment and all day since I did the stream. Yes, he was correct. I am struggling with something. Namely, what will happen when I am more famous and people are critical of everything I say and do. And further, what will people say if they find out about things that I said and did in the past? And further, what if some of those things weren’t even a big deal? Or what if they never even happened at all?

These are all the things that in our day and age plague our modern generation. The internet has proven a place where things of the past cannot just die. People too often did something dumb in the past, said something offensive, bullied someone, stole something, etc. and then years later after they have grown up and are nothing like then they find themselves on the end of the gun that is social media.

And then they get shot.

Some people never recover their reputation. And what more do you have in our modern age? Our reputation is everything and today it seems that everyone knows this, and that is why people so actively look to destroy others. And it saddens me. That passage of Jesus regarding the woman that the men were going to stone has really been resonating with me.

In it he calls out the hypocrites and dares them to cast the first stone.

Today everyone is casting stones. All the time. Every time we send an angry tweet at someone because they did something there is our modern stone. No one is physically being killed, but their reputation, which may in fact be their livelihood sure is. And that’s not right.

Now, I know that some people out there are bad, and that some mistakes are so grave people should not necessarily be able to run away from them, but many many mistakes are not really that important, and honestly most are the type that you don’t ask forgiveness from, but rather you just go about your daily life and resolve to not doing it again.

Take for example the other day when I shared an embarrassing video of a friend. I found out that it upset her and rightly so, I shouldn’t have done that. I talked to her and apologized but I could tell that she really wasn’t exactly looking for an apology. She knew that I made a mistake, but that it wasn’t truly indicative of my character. She just replied with something akin to that she hoped I would learn and move on. She said

Don’t beat yourself up too much.

I agreed with her completely, and I think her advice was very wise. And that is something that I need to work on. I beat myself up way too much. I try so hard to be a good person and in the moments where I fail I really beat myself up. It’s just how my character is. And honestly, I need to work on this. Because as nice as I will be, I will have moments where I will be a jackass or do something wrong, and I need to realize that I cannot be perfect and that when I fail I need to just get it together and move past it.

Looking backwards forever prevents you from ever moving forward.

And further, I need to really check my problem of wanting everyone to like me. This is a classic entertainer problem, and I would be lying to you if I said that I wasn’t falling into this way of thinking. Not everyone will like me, and surely people will hate me, and even more surely people will be be patiently awaiting me to make a mistake so they can pounce on me and drag my name through the mud.

I need to be stronger in this regard and be prepared to deal with the downside of fame. I can’t have everyone like me. That just isn’t how the world works. But I will say that I will do my part to give everyone else a chance when they slip up, or when something comes up from their past that they aren’t proud of, because I have been there too, and it would be wrong of me to not give them the chance to move on and grow.

And thus, these are the musings that have been going through my head since Magyarguy wrote to me. I thank him. It made me realize that I am too afraid of dealing with hate. I need to just be prepared. Living takes courage and that means weathering through the storm, sometimes the ones that you might have created in the past, and through the ones that you create in the future.

Sure, I could just quit now and never have to worry about anything by not being a public personality, but then that would shameful too: to just give up.

So I will press on, continue doing my stream, and be more courageous. And further, I respect so many of those other public people out there that weather the storm of the hatred that is so commonly being thrown their way in this current age. That certainly is not easy. It would be much easier to just retreat into a hole and never come out, but they choose to fight.

That’s noble. I aspire to be like that.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

Bringing it Back

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Many of twitch viewers have seen my play my guitar over the years, notably during the office period. Back when I was in Oregon I spend a good time every week taking guitar lessons. As I didn’t have many friends during that time due to my incredibly remote location I really enjoyed my guitar lessons. It gave me a good hour to socialize with my teacher Phil as well as dramatically increase my level of play.

I really want to take lessons again at some point.

But right now I have many other activities such as work, streaming, and studying for my real estate license on my daily calendar so I don’t have any time to pencil lessons in, but when I have time again I definitely will. And mainly because I am a good student. When I have a teacher instruct me I listen and I learn so much faster than left to my own devices.

I just am naturally a good student.

So guitar lessons are great for me. For other people that learn very well on their own it may be a waste of money. But I use them well, and additionally I enjoy playing with others so much. One guitar is okay, but when you get to jam with another musician it is an entirely different experience.

I would love to be in a band some day.

That would be a ton of fun. And playing live shows? Man, that would be even better. I just absolutely love entertaining. It’s funny how I got into it too. At a really young age I enjoyed it, as when I was in a middle school musical, The Wiz. I was the head flying monkey. The best minor character of all the minor characters in my unbiased opinion.

Okay, it’s a totally biased opinion.

Back then I enjoyed being in the play so much that I decided to take a drama class when I was in high school. Unfortunately my drama teacher had it out for me to such a degree I ended up dropping the class after I finished my first semester. The teacher, while very good at her job as a drama instructor I will give her credit there, was just absolutely terrible to me. She would rip me apart whenever I did a scene. Constructive criticism is one thing, but just tearing down another person is another. I was receiving the latter. Every moment she could use me as her whipping boy she did. I decided to quit taking abuse and so I dropped the class.

Unfortunately this took me off my track as an entertainer. It wasn’t until about 10 years later that I started twitch streaming and I realized that I enjoyed being an entertainer. I had loved entertaining since I was a child, but sadly I had a terrible teacher who took me off that path.

But since then I got my bearings back together and I got on track. Since the years I started streaming back in 2015 I tried many things; the pro-gamer route, the give-away method (that was awful), the talk show platform, and the music oriented stream. I learned lessons from all the different types of twitch entertainment and while now I would define my show as a causal gaming channel at night with a hangout talk show in the mornings, I realize that the music portion of the stream was a fun facet that I left behind.

It’s time to bring it back.

I love playing guitar so much and I love music so much as well I want to bring that back into my stream. Maybe what I will do is start of the night shows with 2 hours of gaming and then transfer over to music to end the night. If I just live stream an hour of practice a  day soon enough I will be really good.

It’s like anything though I guess, if you just stick with something long enough you can be great at it. Take talking for example. I’ve been doing that for so long I don’t even think about it. I just do it. It happens quite naturally.

The blogging is getting there too. I have now been posting every single day for over 40 days and my posts are also decent in content. Sure, some are much better than others, but everything that I post has at least some level of content to read, as compared to my posting period when I just uploaded a photo with a dumb haiku on the spot.

I really uh did a disservice to haikus with those posts lol.

But anyways, I am back with the music. More facets of entertainment for the stream. I find that my strategy to streaming may take a while to grow an audience versus just sticking to one role as playing one game, or just rapping, or anything in particular, but by having many different aspects of my channel I believe that I can make improve my stream’s quality by making myself more fun to watch through being all around more interesting.

I think many streamers out there plateau their viewer base through not choosing to expand their talents and make their streams more diverse. Sure, I often try to do to many things and that itself is a fair criticism of myself as this can have its own problems, but I believe that in the long run it will be good for my stream, and at the very least for myself as an entertainer for the future.

I mean who knows, maybe I will be in a band some day.

You know me. I just can’t stop scheming. And besides, that would be pretty rad.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

 

P.S. Follow my twitter people. Twitter.com/notacultleadr

Say No to Social Stoning

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Today I had a moment where I realized something that I have been thinking about for quite some time. Recently a good twitch friend of mine unfortunately had her channel banned for inappropriate content. (She shook her booty lol)

Now I didn’t know that it had happened when it did and recently I came to find out about the events that transpired. I got in touch and told her how sorry I was to hear the news. She responded that it was okay and that she believes that everything happens for a reason.

Today she stopped by my morning twitch stream (on a new account of course) and hung out with my friend and I while we did our show. I informed my friend of who she was and what had happened. Then I thought oh I could just show him the video on my iPad.

I really wish I didn’t.

And honestly not because her video is anything extra outrageous. All she does is just shake her butt. No wardrobe malfunctions, just a butt shake. But alas that is enough to get flagged as inappropriate on twitch and get your channel banned. Even though the video wasn’t bad I wish I didn’t show it to my friend, because I bet she doesn’t really want to have that clip up there on the internet.

And I’m not one to speak for her and say as to whether how she feels about it, but I bet that she isn’t exactly stoked with the idea that the last remaining video out there of her for the most part is a video of her shaking her butt that got her banned. And this creates an image of her that at first glance people will think about her.

That should not define her.

I’ve known her for a good while now and I can tell you that she is a lot more than just a pretty girl (she’s very cute by the way everyone haha) with a great butt. Her streams were very fun especially in my opinion with her smile and laugh; it’s very infectious.

The whole moment kind of hit me because it made me realize today how one moment from the past too often is defining people entirely on the internet. Some kid says this, or some politician did that, and now everyone hates them or thinks poorly of them and in many cases it was one mistake, or a lapse in judgement, or just something that was certainly a mistake but was a long time ago.

This should not be so.

I was in church the other day, I know edgy right, and I was thinking about the Christian tenet of forgiveness. I was probably zoning out from listening to the homily while I was contemplating the Bible (not the best way to go about it but whatever lol) and I realized how currently in our modern political climate everyone is ready to feast upon some person’s past mistake.

We live in a society of vultures.

And mistakes are mistakes. I am not here to act like they aren’t. But I will be here to remind everyone of the passage when Jesus saves a woman from getting stoned to death by daring the men who are going to kill her with the challenge that the only ones in the crowd fit to strike her are those that are without sin, i.e. those who have never made a mistake.

None of the men throw a stone, and they walk away.

Where is this passage in modernity today? Today we live in the age of social stoning. We don’t throw actual rocks, but we throw hatred, and ruin people’s careers in sometimes a staggeringly short amount of time: sometimes within minutes.

This really needs to change.

People need to be able to forgive others. Unless they never want to be forgiven. Then I guess I will permit their hatred. But they better not expect to get any forgiveness from others. Except, that’s just not how it works. You know they will fuck up at some point and then when everyone descends on their heart and entrails they will cross over to the other side and cry about how wrong this behavior is.

Of course then, its too late.

That’s why now I am here writing to you all about how screwed up this all is. People need to relax. Give others a chance to redeem themselves. Especially if events happened a long time ago. People change. And further, many people learn their most profound lessons from the gravest mistakes they have made.

I often have found that the noblest people I have met have had some dark history at some point in their life.

It is from that mistake that they often realized how wrong their behavior was and that they turned their lives around. Hell (literally) I remember meeting a Priest one time that used to be a Bandit. He would rob people at gunpoint before he found his life as a Priest. Now, that is one fucking transformation.

And you know what? Good for him. I’m glad that man isn’t going around robbing and shooting people anymore. And you should be too! Not saying you have to be on board with his religious beliefs, but let’s all be on board with his reformed lifestyle and choice to no longer live a life of crime.

He moved on and found his own redemption.

Let’s let other people in society today do that too. Especially since most of these modern mistakes aren’t even anywhere nearly as bad that man’s. And people even learn to forgive mistakes such as those. Today we need to break from our desire to ruin other’s lives just because we don’t like them or their politics, or worse just because we want something to do.

Don’t join the mob just because you are bored. Be better than that.

In the end, one moment should not be the defining aspect of a person’s life; whether that is a good or bad moment for that matter. We people are much more than one moment in time. Only when you have a collection of moments from a person can you really get to understand who they are and what their character is.

We all say not to judge a book by its cover. Let’s also stop judging a book by one line.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan