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  • Sam Kennedy

Upward Movement



I recently ate a fortune cookie, and the wisdom inside was thus follows:


"An upward movement initiated in time can counteract fate."

It struck me as meaningful, and a little bit strange.


Why did the fortune cookie author, a person whom I like to imagine knows everything there is about the universe, choose to use the phrase upward movement? Surely it's a metaphorical statement, to me meaning something like a moral, personal, or societal shift in position. But what an obscure yet poignant way to say it!


(That is of course assuming the writer didn't mean a literal upward movement. Though I suppose fate has a good enough sense of humor that it may very well be the case. )


There's the counteracting fate part that's peculiar too. By default, you assume the fate being avoided is a bad one. But that quality isn't implicit in the fortune. And the fact that you're counteracting it rather than avoiding it means your upward movement will produce an outcome that is antithesis to said fate.


Heck. Maybe it's not even an omen, but a simple moral quip of wisdom. Change your life for the better, and do it now, or else you'll face the inevitable poor fate of your karmic actions.


Regardless of what it all meant, which is entirely up to whoever is reading the darn thing anyway, it was perfect timing for me to get it. A few months prior I decided it was time for a major change in my life. My day job was being a store manager of a locally-owned grocery store. I was thankful for all the opportunities and experience the position had given me, but after years and years of not truly following my dreams, the burnout had finally set in. I started feeling like I was less than what I should be, yet busy all the time. (Like butter scraped over too much bread, as Bilbo so eloquently puts it. And even worse, the bread was moldy.)


So I made the decision to put in my notice and leave. I would focus my attention on my family, my dreams (JVS), and truly working in the fields that I enjoy.


The first sign that I had made the right decision was that the thought of actually doing it made me afraid. I was scared of change, and, to effect, of really trying to reach my goals. If that was the case, then it was a clear sign that it damn-well needed to happen.


The second sign was when my son was born. About a month ago I was graced with a wonderful new addition to the family. I went on paternity leave, and those weeks of being away were like a veil being lifted from my eyes. Through the days and nights of loving and caring for a newborn child, I relearned what it meant to be new. The old wasn't going to cut it anymore. I had become jaded, stingy, and busy. Essentially everything I didn't want to be. But parenthood, as it so often does, woke me up to what really matters most. The joy of life, the experience of its ups and downs, the adventure of really engaging with the world, the love we share with each other, and the grace of simple, everyday life.


The third sign I had made the right call was the fortune cookie.


I was making an upward movement.


I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't?


So here I am with the grand weight of parental responsibility on my shoulders, quitting my job to find a new path in life. It's the perfect time, because I can't fail. It's not an option. I have to provide and I have to grow.

I'm going all in with Jupiter Valley Studios. I'm driving my focus and creativity to new heights. Children of the Sun is being published next year, as is Callisto Magazine. I just put out the mini-expansion, Lock & Spell: Stranger Fates. And in the years to come I've got a healthy list of projects that are slated to be released.


I'm also using my greatest skill sets to earn some new income. I started a freelance design company, Sam Kennedy Creative Solutions. I'll be doing graphic design, content creation and editing, and creative business consulting. My goal is to reach a point that it becomes my primary day job leading up to the time until JVS can keep my lights on. It's all stuff I know I can do well, and just as importantly enjoy doing, so I might as well make it my day-to-day gig.




With all that said, I know I'm still going to need to find another job in the meantime. I've got bills to pay and mouths to feed. But no matter what job it is, I'll be going in with eyes wide open and my hands upon the wheel. I can already feel my burnout fading away. I feel as new as my one month old son.


(A little tip if you're facing the same sort of problem, instead of telling yourself you "have to do" things, start saying you "get to do" things. It honestly helps build up your gratitude, which is pretty much the key to finding any sort of happiness in this less than perfect world.)


That's just about all the life rambling I have for the time being, so let me end this with a return to what Jupiter Valley Studios has going on.


I encourage anyone that wants to stay up to date to subscribe to the JVS Newsletter! You'll get notifications of my blog posts and exclusive updates, such as the Children of the Sun Designer Diary. (Of which I'll soon be posting entry #2!)


I've been cleaning up the website and trying to make it a more cohesive experience. When I first launched JupiterValleyStudios.com seven years ago, I didn't have a ton of web design experience under my belt. The site had a rocky start, and it's taken a lot of work to get it shining right, but I feel like everything is heading in the right direction. I'm getting familiar with web design concepts and front-end coding. (HTML, CSS, JavaScript.)


Lastly, Lock & Spell needs some love on BoardGameGeek. So if there are any of you out there reading this that want to share their experience with the game, please feel free to give your honest rating!


Thanks for reading! Keep on moving upwards.



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