Since I actually have a friend on the RT site now for the first time ever (*gasp*), I figured I'd write a little bit about me in a journal since I can't really do that in the "About Me" section (at least as it currently exists, though I know the community site is getting an overhaul in the near future).

My name is Eric, though online I am probably more comfortable going by Shade, but I don't care that much. Born in 1986, I'm in my early thirties and in a much different place in my life than I expected to be -- a much different place than I was, even just a year prior to writing this post. I've been following Rooster Teeth since year 1 (I can't remember exactly when, but it was definitely within a year of its existence, after season 1 of Red vs Blue was fully available), so although I've never used this profile or interacted with the community very much before now, no matter what, something about the RT site feels like home. Come with me and listen to a story about my experience with Rooster Teeth (and eventually other groups) and a bit about my life ever since RT entered it...

Back during my senior year of high school, both me and one of my best friends at the time watched RvB religiously, and threw quotes at each other left and right (this continued through roughly season 6, so it totally became a thing between us for years to come). I watched a lot of Achievement Hunter videos on my own when it was created in 2008. At some point around then, sponsorship to RT began providing benefits in the form of early access to RvB. I believe he created an account first and signed up for sponsorship, and then I did, thus this account's creation in 2009. But in 2010, I moved out of state, and unfortunately RT became more of "my thing" than "our thing" pretty quickly.

However, about a year after moving...I met the woman who became my wife. I introduced her to Rooster Teeth via RvB, which led to us watching other RT content, then Achievement Hunter...then Funhaus from its formation in 2015.

2015 was particularly special because it's the only year we were together where we had enough money to travel to RTX in Austin. We were fortunate enough to get signings with 4 people -- I chose Burnie and Matt, and my wife chose Geoff and Griffin. I am incredibly grateful that we got to meet them, because it turned out to be one of the best experiences ever for my wife. We got pictures with Matt and Burnie, and she got one with Geoff and Griffin (hey, I didn't get one!). I took video of her interacting with Geoff and Griffin too. It was really cute, kind of like one time when it snowed at our apartment and she sent me a selfie with the goofiest but happiest smile. :)

From then on though, paying the bills had a higher priority than attempting to go to RTX, so we were never able to return, although I was secretly starting to save and was planning to surprise her with a trip to RTX 2018. Unfortunately that did not happen because, nearly a year ago now, I lost my partner in life -- and my beautiful terrier-heeler mix, Alaska, lost her mommy -- my wife passed away on June 12, 2017.

She dealt with severe depression and anxiety and took her own life while I was at work. It must have been a really horrible day for her. Normally she would tell me about these days, but there were occasional times when she didn't, and -- this was unfortunately one of those times. Although we were persistent with trying new meds and doctors and therapists, nothing stuck; she had made a few failed suicide attempts over the years. On June 12, 2017, she succeeded.

It was the most devastating thing I have ever experienced, and quite possibly the most difficult thing I will EVER experience, emotionally. Among the countless invaluable things I lost along with her life, was my RT buddy -- we watched so many things together, since our couch time was priceless to us. Still, since I'd been following RT for about 14 years when it happened, the crutch it offered me was invaluable, during what were the most difficult months of my life.

The wide variety, creativity, humor, collaboration, and good will that radiated (and still does) from everyone under the RT umbrella and Let's Play family could not be any more evident to me. On different days, in different moods, my favorite thing to watch could be anything. Barbara and Mariel kicking back and offering incredibly mature, open, direct advice on Always Open about things that have some sort of stigma involved with them (or a stigma with talking about them); the unpredictable chaos and humor in the Achievement Hunter office; the sage professional life advice and shorter-form humor of Funhaus; the utter destruction witnessed from Cow Chop; the fruition of potential in Sugar Pine 7's cinematography over the span of less than a year.

I'm so grateful to Rooster Teeth. I don't know where I'd be right now, emotionally, without weird as that probably sounds, and as weird as it feels to say it. I'm grateful for what so many of the personalities my wife loved provided to her life when she felt trapped in her own mind so often. You helped her forget, and remember the good in people, and that she can feel okay being happy and laughing sometimes.

She died far too young. But I will always be grateful for the ways she helped me grow and become a better human. And to RT for everything they've done -- for both of us. I'm a lifelong fan, so don't expect me to be going anywhere.

Although you can find my name in two Dude Soup Post Shows (points to anyone who can find which ones), nobody really knows who I am in the general RT community at present since I'm mostly a I don't expect this post or even this sentence to necessarily go anywhere meaningful. BUT, in the event that it does: feel free to let me know if you have any questions about anything in my post. I try to be pretty open about things, though please be respectful.