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Update posted by Courtney Parks On Feb 29

We did it! The campaign has ended.

That's right, everyone. The campaign. The campaign!!! What a success!

Originally I was going to record a video, and I may still do that, but waiting until the opportune moment to do so is causing some serious delays. And I need to share with you my gratitude because every day that goes by where I don't is driving me crazy!

You all donated over $2000 and it did more than just help me out -- it covered the cost of nearly half of what I needed. WOW! You don't know how much this means to me. How many happy tears I've cried. How this campaign has saved my life at least twice, because when I'm feeling at my absolute worst, I see the results of your efforts and I feel the embers of my dreams ignite all over again. No matter how dark things seem to get, I remember I'm not alone. And of course it's not just this campaign that serves as a reminder of that. My support network may be small, but I am so lucky to have these people in my life, so let me tell you about them:

  • My friend and uncle, Matt, has helped me with bills and offered me an ear when I needed to vent about how ridiculous life is right now.
  • When I was in California, my friends Catherine and Teri checked in on me often, and Amanda would come and do my dishes and help me with dinner when Depression left me too broken to climb out of my chair.
  • My favorite colleague, Ven, connected me with a job that -- while brief -- allowed me to dust off my animation skill. It was the kick in the butt I needed!
  • My dear friend Daniella has been a constant source of kindness and love and has pushed me to continue creating even when I felt worthless.
  • And finally, my roommate and closest friend, Debbie, has given me so much while I try to get back on my feet; she even invited me to move with her to Washington, which is where I am now. She's going through her own struggles, but she has always been patient with me, and part of why I keep trying is so that I can repay her for her generosity and sacrifices.

My friends have given me so much, and you all are no exception. Your contributions combined helped me buy a new computer, which is the first concrete step I needed in order to continue my craft.

The computer arrived in January, and after adding some 3rd party ram, it's a powerful beast of a machine. It handles After Effects like a champ. I point this out because my last project on my laptop was AE heavy and it'd take a day to make two changes to a file! Aside from some minor iTunes hiccups ;) and some license issues with Scrivener, it is AMAZING. I'm on it daily, either writing or drawing or working on freelance projects.

I named her Voyagr. Yep. As in THIS Voyager:

Originally I was going to name her Normandy from Mass Effect, but I went with Voyager for three reasons:

  • The design of my iMac reminds me of the ship,
  • I strive to be as cool as Captain Janeway, and
  • *SPOILER ALERT* Voyager brings her crew home, despite the incredible odds against the captain, the crew, and the ship itself.

There's another reason, too: the show is about people, some friends and some strangers, who become family and stand together even in their darkest moments. All of these things combined made choosing Voyagr as a name easy!

I have an inspirational and/or motivational wallpaper randomly chosen every day, and I recite whatever it is out loud when I first sit down to work. I find that hearing the words gives me an added boost. I'll share a photo of my workspace as soon as I'm done decorating it, but I'm keeping things minimal to help me stay focused. I have site blocker installed to keep me off social media and other time-gobblers, but I did allow myself a few games. but that's because games are healthy for you. ;)

There are still a few things I need, like a portable HDD and an external optical drive. And I plan to do upgrades to my laptop, too: a new battery, hard drive, and more ram should make it a decent on-the-go option. But I have enough to get me creating, and it's so wonderful. I am so, so, so, so, so lucky to have crossed paths with so many of you.

So, how am I doing? I've moved to Washington and it's been super scary and also super wonderful. I'm slowly making new friends, but I miss my old ones every day! I'm more active here than I was in California thanks to there being SO MUCH to do around where I live and work. Oh! I found some work. It's part-time and most of everyone there is way younger than me, but it's fun. And it's done wonders with lessening my anxiety, which has left me room to feel creative again! I have a few personal projects in the works as a result, and I can't wait I can't wait I can't waaaait to start sharing them with you.

Depression is still a thing for me and there are weeks that can be absolutely awful because of it, but I survive those weeks thanks to my friends (especially Debbie) and my desire to be worthy of your belief in me, and to be worthy of my belief in me, too. I want to achieve my goals. I want to be the best version of me I can be. I want to keep moving -- because I know things will get better, and I'm thankful for every reminder of that.

Thank you. Everyone.

PS: I need each of you to contact me about your commissions. Please email me at [email protected] with the subject: CAMPAIGN COMMISSIONS! Remind me of which gift you chose to receive. If you don't know what you want done yet, that's okay! I want to make a list and I can bug you again when it's your turn. :) I'll be sure to post this message on Twitter and FB as well.

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