Next Steps, New Life

Ah. Adulting.

I wanted to begin a blog of sorts because I kept using twitter as a place to post occurring thoughts. While that isn’t necessarily a horrible idea, I imagine twitter threads aren’t the best way to go about blogging your thoughts away and posting it somewhere for folks to read. That’s going to change now. Hopefully, posting it all in one compact neat way will make things a little easier to read without the spam on twitter.

These past few months have been a roller coaster to say the least. If you don’t know me, I would love to give a brief overview. I am a 19 year old Roblox Game Developer who has been creating games and environments on the platform since middle school out of pure passion, focus, and the drive to succeed. There are visions, hopes and dreams that I have sought after and achieved over these past 8 years of development, ranging from releasing solo and teamwork projects to becoming the first female to win 1st place in a Roblox Game Jam. Of course there has been ups and downs along the way, especially balancing education and home life with the hopes of a successful future in my youth. Thankfully this is just the start of my journey, and I really want to share that with you all. Maybe some of you out there can relate, or have been there.

That being said, lets get back to the present. Some exciting news: I recently took on a new role as Environment Artist at a studio called Wonder Works. Normally when working with other developers on the Roblox platform, development is all remote. However, this is not the case with Wonder Works! This will be my first experience, along with many others on the team, working with people in person. I got a little hint of this during the RDC game jams but, I imagine this is quite different due to one major difference: time. Game Jams are pretty fun due to the lack of it, if you have the right people in your team. Sit down, come up with an idea, dont spend ages on coming up with one. Just pitch some crazy ideas, discuss how it can get done, or throw it out the window. Then, go go go. Being surrounded by people who are driven to make a project in one room is always magical. You can just FEEL that passion and excitement. I hope that’s the case when working with people in person. I look forward to getting to know others and to be weird and quirky in office in the hopes of bringing smiles to other peoples faces, all that jazz.

Of course, its also pretty daunting. Roblox recently has been getting a lot of attention from the game development community. Thats something a LOT of folks both outside and inside the community have noticed. I just hope we as a team can make the community proud and become a really neat place to work and create.

View of a walk in Chicago.

In personal life, things have been pretty up and down. I’ve been exploring places this past year; flying to Colorado, Seattle, Chicago, and then driving through the US to Texas, which is where I am taking my first big steps into adulthood and getting my first apartment. I’ve got a partner too which has been pretty awesome. 10/10, would recommend.

I’ve experienced a lot of firsts these past few months! Lived in Chicago for a few weeks. I went to a crawfish boil, that was neat. It was this gathering of people where a giant pot of food was all boiled at once. Met some online friends in Chicago and had a blast. We gathered on a rooftop, played some music and told jokes throughout the night. I saw a HUGE sunflower field & saw the Great Lake Michigan. Traveled through 3+ states in two days (was kind of tiring with a dog and a cat but, fun!). I also tried panda express for the first time, 8/10.

View from the rooftop (daytime though).
Sunflower field in Illinois.
Coast of Lake Michigan

During all this though, I have been processing the loss of a parent. My father recently passed away due to complications from Parkinsons, which, has been a gut punch to say the least. I hope to make him proud. I think about him a lot.

Exploring the world and the knowledge it holds has always been an exciting thing. My father loved that sort of thing too, exploring Japanese culture and geography of the world. I am a firm believer in experiencing what life can throw at you, and embracing those experiences. To go all out. Texas likes to phrase it as “Go big or go home”. Sometimes that may mean making choices that dont seem logical, but if it means you’re going to learn a LOT and will present fun and memorable experiences, I would argue its worth the risk. Hell, if there’s any time to make mistakes, during your youth and prime is probably the best time to do that.

I look forward to hanging out with folks more often. Admittedly I haven’t really had a social life growing up due to the focus on Roblox Development and the hurdle that is mental health. This is going to change big time. Travel and work will play a big role in that aspect, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I really like talking to people. People are so cool. Confusing at times, but cool. Each person is unique, and with that, their experiences of life are too.

This big move has made me reflect quite a bit on life as a whole. For a while I have been working and putting my all into focusing on how to get out of my hometown, to grow and become successful enough to live where I want to live and do what I want to do. The pursuit of happiness. But life teaches in unique ways, and this move has been a pretty unique lesson in LOTS of ways.

  1. No matter how crazy or how far/expensive, CHECK OUT THE PLACE YOU’RE MOVING TO before you move there. Seems pretty basic and self explanatory but some people (like your truly) dont do that, and it can lead to some pretty interesting hurdles. If you like that sort of adventure though, go for it. Haha!
  2. Slow down. The step into life has told me in MANY ways to slow down. The moving service has been taking its sweet time delivering our stuff to our new place (2 weeks after picking our stuff up and it still has not been shipped yet). This has made my partner and I think outside the box in terms of how to solve certain problems. Its an adventure for sure, but, has also given us reason to slow down and appreciate things away from the technology.
  3. Reflect. Once you’re out of a place, you may start to realize how bad/good that place was for you. Reflect on it, think about how you can make the best out of the present and how you can grow into the person you want to be.
  4. Hug often. It helps a lot.
  5. Talk to people. Tell them whats on your mind and communicate. People are willing to help!
  6. Its not as difficult as some people make it seem. So far from what I can tell its a matter of handling stress. If stressed, sit down and think up a plan. Talk to someone who can help you with this plan if you can, having company is always comforting. And, of course, talk to someone if your emotions and mind are racing.

This was neat. I think I will do this more often.

What do you think? Have you learned any interesting lessons moving into a new place? Do you have any advice for young people stepping into adulthood? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Feel free to give me a follow on twitter: https://twitter.com/xJenny_Beanx
Or, if you’d like to learn more about my work, check out my portfolios!
https://devforum.roblox.com/t/builder-xjennybeanxs-portfolio/375534
https://www.artstation.com/jennifertowne

Game Developer. I like writing and creating things!