Good People, Cool Things
Good People, Cool Things

Episode 6 · 2 years ago

6: Making Big Decisions, UFOs, and Hearing Dead People with Alyea Sandovar

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Alyea Sandovar, Game Researcher and Digital Producer at TintHue, joins the podcast to chat about her process for making big decisions, which has led her down many paths and through many careers as she’s discovered what she’s most passionate about. 

She’s also a huge UFO fan, so of course we’ve included some fun links below. And Alyea dives into her unique ability to communicate with dead people, or at least disembodied voices. How could you not tune in?

Welcome to good people, cool things, the podcast feature and conversations with entrepreneurs, writers, musicians and other creatives. I'm your host, Joey held, and today's guest is Alia Sandovar, game researcher and digital producer at Tint you. Alia cycled through a series of professions, doing a lot of things that she thought she might enjoy but ultimately wasn't feeling, and the mindset she took to get to a profession where she loves what she's doing today. She also is obsessed with ufos and loves doing research, and so we got plenty of links in the show notes all around that of some of her favorite videos and channeling her inner Haley Joel Osment, she can kind of hear dead people. Wait now he says C dead people, isn't it? Well, sorry for spoiling the sixth sense for Ali'all, but let's dive on it. Wow, all right, elevator pet pitch about who I am. This is I've never really thought about this. I mean, of course there's elevator pitches for what you do, but about who you are, that's really quite interesting. All Right, okay, my name is Alia Sandovar. I'm originally from Columbia, South America, and I have lived in many different places, including Costa Rica and several places in the US, and now I live in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and I think I'm a person who is seeking to be sovereign and free in all ways. So in work, in life, yeah, in friendships, in love, I think. Yeah, I think that's who I am. Excellent, perfect elevator pitch. Where's your favorite place that you've lived? Is Anstagram number one. It's pretty close. I also lived in San Francisco, so that was really, really great. I loved the bay area, I loved what it offered and, yeah, I love the mix of people there. Before I before I lived in other places, but the bay area was the first place that I lived in where I felt like people would have these like weird combinations of of personality, traits and hobbies. So you don't see, or I didn't see up to that time, anywhere else. So, for example, you could have this like really, like, I really intense personality who's doing like some sort of you know, market research or something intens maybe like the VP of marketing or something like this. What...

...you would expect would be like in what I would say like the boys club or something like this, and then you talk to this personality and maybe make assumptions about who this person was, and then you'd find out that there were like maybe also like a zen master at the monastery. So I really like that about San Francisco. You didn't know, like you can tell by just looking at someone and talking to someone who they really were. There it was sort of like permissible to have like all these different facets of yourself and and it was the first place I felt like more at home because it's like, okay, these like differences within one person can coexist, and it's not always like that that you have like maybe things that are opposite to one another, things that you don't expect people to have within themselves. To yeah, to to have that. So I thought was really cool. Plus there's the whole startup. Seeing that was pretty interesting when I was there, really educational awesome. Yeah, I have never lived in San Francisco but have visited many times. My sister lived out there for a little bit and it I completely agree. It's just such a interesting mix of people with lots of lots of hidden talents. Yeah, it's it really is really crazy, and it can also get a little bit tiring after a while, because if you are sort of like this normal achieving person at a table, it can really like I remember going out to dinner and and then you'd have these conversations with people about what they were doing and and everyone was like, you know, extra, extra, whatever was that they were doing their super driven, super the best at whatever they were doing. And and maybe you talk to someone at a dinner table, I'm like Oh, so what do you do? Is Like, Oh, I'm taking time off, and I'm like great, so where what are you taking time off from? And and they'd be like yeah, well, you know, I sold my start up a few years back to Google and then after that I ended up working with Google as their vp of Blah, blah, blah, Blah Blah. So after that I decide to take a break, and then then I helped build an orphanage in Rwanda and now I'm just sort of figuring out what I want to do with my life and I'm like, yeah, I just went to public school and and yeah, so it was it was stories like this all the time, and and in every area. So whether it was social enterprise or the startup world or like you know, or research or where everyone was just level ten. So which is really great for being driven, but but it also played a little little who made you feel a little selfconscious. At least I feel selfconscious. So yeah, yeah, I know it's the advice is always to be like hey,...

...just focus on yourself, don't compare yourself to other people, but in environments like that can be hard sometimes. Yeah, yeah, it's true, especially when it's like that and everyone's like that and like what? Of course that advice is really powerful. You had to focus on yourself. So it's not so much that your you feel down on yourself all the time, but you're like, who are these people like? Like so, anyway, then I moved here to Amsterdam, when everyone was the opposite. Is Much more lead back and people don't actually share their achievements here, which is really interesting. You find out later from talking to people what they've done and what they haven't done, and and it's sort of you know, it's it's kind of refreshing that the people don't like are not constantly pushing and saying Oh, on this and that and that. I know there's not this kind of self marketing. You know, self marketing, I don't know, way of being. You know, they just kind of are. You currently are in gaming now, but you said that you've had, you kind of bounced through a lot of different professions to get to that point. Do you have a super stranger outside the box one that you you've dabbled in before realizing it's not for you? I can't say it was super outside of the box, but I got my one of my master's degrees as in clinical psychology and and so I was a therapist for a couple years. I didn't get to be licensed because after a few thousand hours of doing therapy I realized I did not want to be a therapist. So probably should have figured that out before my degree. But yeah, I figured it out on my way there and a little bit after. Yeah, and I thought it would be really great to help people. I really loved studying psychology and how people were and like how their minds work, understanding the systems in which we live and and how much we influence and effect one another, you know, from little children all the way up to you know, our social structures, and I really wanted to understand that. I wanted to understand how the human being was and and that school provided that, which was fantastic. I was really happy with my education, but the practice of it was a completely different thing and I felt yeah, I wanted to help people and it just turns out it takes for people who change, it takes a lot and a lot of time and I didn't get that that it's not easy. It's not really easy to change, even with support, and that can be for me personally. I have other friends who are therapists who really enjoyant still continued good, but for me personally, it was really exhausting to go into a session week after week after week and seeing that the...

...issues that people came to see me for the very first session were still present a year or a year and a half later, and that felt very discouraging to me. Yeah, it's I obviously have not really any experience with therapy. I do not have any master's degree hanging up on my wall, but I am my very early side hustle days I worked for a transcription company. Yeah, and some of what I would transcribe were therapy sessions and, you know, no names or anything like. They were all just a series of numbers to identify which ones they were. But I would kind of like I'd get some of the same people sometimes, so I'd felt like I was like progressing along with them or would like, you get it invested in some of the stories. And Yeah, I'm sure there were. There were gaps in between two, so I wasn't getting like back to back, but I'd hear like something like a call back that I transcribe before and I was just like Oh, nice, I was wondering how that turned out. So it's it's definitely yeah, it's definitely interesting. Yeah, and did you see progress between the transcriptions? I'm curious. Hum I would say probably not. I think the the one I had the most, without being too identifying, was was a woman probably in her s like, and I only did like three or four for her. So I don't think that's enough to really see that much. But I did enjoy doing her transcriptions, probably maybe the most. I don't know, but she she would take a lot of long pauses in between saying stuff. Yeah, so that was like less had. I enjoyed that because sometimes it could be hard to keep up with. Thank you, I can just imagine. Yeah, those conversations are really did yeah, interesting. So, yeah, and so well, now I use my psychology degree in other ways with people and interactions and things like this. But but yeah, I don't and I really appreciate that. Degree was really great. I learned a lot and we also had to go to therapy as part of our degree. That was really also as a weight of like it helps you, as a practitioner, know what trips you up so that when you're with a client it doesn't show up with your client and and it also it's also a way to see how other people do therapy, but you can learn from them. So that was really, really interesting. I like that part also. So what trips you up? So I don't ask it, or I do if I'm feeling real, real torment. Oh my gosh, so many things. Where's to you in the whole list? Well, let's see. Well,...

I think one one of the things that that trips me up in in life is that I am, I feel that I'm constantly in a state of confusion with people, and I'm not sure if that's the way my brain works or what happens, but but I oh, I used to think that it, that this state of confusing was sort of like my fault, like I was doing something something wrong and sort of, sort of what I realized is that I think a lot of people have a mismatch between what they say and how did, how they behave, and then how they feel or what they actually think. And and then I it was like it was like I could feel or sense how people felt, but then the reaction or the behavior of the words were coming out of their mouth where are not what they actually feel or where where I sort of feel or see. And so I used to just feel like, oh, there's something wrong with me, I don't understand people, what's happening, and and through the this work I came to understand, actually know, there's nothing wrong with me per see. I mean it's one of the things that trips me up that I'm constantly but I feel so confused right now. But why that person said that, because to me it's clear that it's blah, Blah Blah. So I'm not sure that answers your question, but that's something that trips me up. I think that makes sense. Yeah, a lot of times people are not super forthcoming, especially in newer situations, like if you are first meeting someone like I'm sure there's plenty that people are going to keep hidden, which is probably for the best. I don't know if I'd want to know everyone's full, you know, full medical history and all that good stuff. No, I. Yeah, yeah, no, I totally agree that. The definitely like it's not so much about not being yeah, there's no reason. There are things that should be kept sort of like sacred for yourself, you know, you don't need to be telling everyone your business. But I think maybe that's why it's a little bit easier for me here in the Netherlands, because people will just tell you what they think right away. There's no there's no like confusion, there's most of the time no filter and and it can feel a little bit harsh if you're not used to being in that environment. But for me it feels really refreshing because I don't have to guess if what someone's telling me is what they want me to know, what they really know or or feel. They just tell it ow it is. And and if they don't want you to know something,...

...they just don't say something. Nice simp I like it. Yeah, so, yeah, and so you bounced around all these different professions, get master's degrees left and right. Your Wall is like an art wall, just of degrees. It's magical. Yeah, maybe, and you said that only recently you've kind of returned to playing games, which is something that you love. So how did you get back into gaming? Yeah, actually it was a little bit ironically, had a bit to do with my clinical psychology study. I started noticing, no, whenever I do, because part of my job was to do home visits. So actually go to the clients home and either with them, that the best times, in the best sessions that I had with them were the ones in which I wasn't doing quote unquote therapy, but ones in which we were doing activities together, playing with their or them and their children are showing them. So you play, or perhaps we were cooking together. And of course that therapy occurred in that sort of time. But we but it wasn't okay, let's sit across from each other and then you just share what's happening, but rather like two people sort of hanging out, I hope, held the therapeutic space, but they and they obviously they were sharing information, but in the process of an activity. And not only did I have fun, but they, they also had a lot of fun and and I really enjoyed those sessions. So when I realized I didn't want to be a therapist anymore. I sort of had this intuition to go into games. I saw some sort of like startup weekend or something where they were doing like startup weekend on video games and and I hadn't thought about the video games. I had played some when I was a kid and also in college, and I gosh, I wonder if that's something that I that I can do. And and of course, I mean there's lots of people make video games, but for some reason they didn't dawn on me like that could be an actually could actually be a career. And what could I do now, you know, after having a couple masters to grace, like they really want to go back to school or do something else. So, yeah, so, so I saw this thing and then I just was inspired, you know, I just had this intuition, this feeling like it was the right thing to do, and I then went into a PhD that allowed me to then study and work with game designers and and that's how I made the transition and I really enjoyed it and from that point forward I started then becoming more involved.

I worked at the game developers conference as one of like their advocates, ambassador of people that volunteer. Now they get paid for four years and then, you know, I got involved with other organizations and with research organizations and, yeah, and then my life just took a completely different turn and I was so for I am so much happier using games and claification now for businesses and helping develop products and things like this. It's so much more fun. So that's awesome. We'll get back to gaming towards said, but I did want to dive into a couple of year your self proclaimed quirks. Yeah, one of them being your obsession with the UFOS. Yes, and have you many, many follow ups, or have you seen ufo and you felt before? Or well, let me say that in normal way. Have you seen a UFO before? Well, you know, it's interesting, not that I remember. I had when I was living in Santa Barbara. was with some with some girlfriends once and I had by this point, I think, I joined the move on organization in California, and so you could become a reporter or something, and I and we were talking about children or something important in the world and then I saw this thing flashing in the sky and and I said do you see that? And then they and it did this loop to loop thing, not not the kind of thing that you would see a plane do. It did a loop to loop thing and then in a flash, it was like a flash and it was gone. And and then they looked at it and they managed catcheck because they were facing me and I was watching the sky until they turned around and then they saw it and I was like, is that what I think it is? And they're like, I don't know, but it sure doesn't look like some object that we would have. Now I was like, well, there we have and and that's probably the only time I've had any kind of experience with it. Most of my thoughts or experiences are on your phones. are watching videos and wanting to go to ufo conferences and things like this. So, yeah, so do you have a favorite video then that you you would recommend for people that just want to learn a little more about UF has maybe don't have the extensive background that you do? Wow, oh my gosh, I'm so far in rabbit hole of this thing. Okay, so maybe I would just say people. There's so many people that that I follow, but like the first one that that POPs into my mind. The talks of about this and there's a movie called beyond majestic which talks about this tool, like just ufos, and like it a...

...little bit into conspiracy theories and things like this about why things are being hidden, etc. Etc. Etc. By one of the main people within this like disclosure community is David Wilcock. So if you were to search for him on Google or youtube you could find some of his stuff. Yeah, but they're like now I have to like who are all the people? I just jump around different youtube like that. I also edge of wonder also covers some used ufo stuff that I that I follow. That's another youtube channel. But they also cover other types of stuff like con be able to cover like conspiracy stuff. Yeah, but I've been obsessed with them since I was a kid. I used to like feel like I wanted to leave the planet. I felt like, you know, this planet is crazy. I mean I grew up in Columbia in the middle of like the Pablo Escobar time, so it was not a nice place. I mean my mom was super great and she kept us safe and we are in main city, so but it was always really scary to grow up there at the time. So I was always sort of like think, like designing spaceships and trying to figure out I actually want to be an astronaut when I was a kid, to how, you know, just to figure out how we'd get out of the planet, because those I'll get into this like and it is so whack. What is happening? What's the fastest root out of here? So, yeah, and so I became that's when I became obsessed with ufos and sci fi and all kinds of things, you know. You know, we had two TV's growing up and my family would be in one TV, like would be watching TV in one room, and then they would give me the other ones that I can I could watch my sci fi shows, because no one could relate. Do you have a show that would be the ideal like if we, if we were to go out into space, go to a new planet? Is there a show that really captured that super well? If you're like, if this is like this, yes, I'm on board. Oh my gosh, a show that really captured how things would really be? MMM, no, I don't. I think all the shows about ufos tend to make it tend to make ufos this like really horrible thing or like they're somehow. Yeah, I mean I liked actually, recently, the show I like the most. I don't know if they're still on seasons or not, but the one I liked was the orbal oh. Yeah, yeah, I really like the orbit. I mean, of course, before that you can maybe look at, you know, they were all the difference projects and things like this, but but I really like the Orbale. How that was really funny. It was very humorly, but this idea of like, yeah, going to different planets and connecting...

...with different cultures and things like this, it's really, really, really interesting and, yeah, and sort of along the lines of going to different places. Yeah, you also say that you can hear dead people. That's right, let's dive into this. What does this mean? So I would I will. Yeah, so I will say it's more like a sense, a sense of feeling sort of people around me. I call them dead people, but they're probably just means that people. I don't have a physical body and I've had this feeling since I was a little kid, and so I sort of hear this these things, like in the example of I tell people with my intuition. Maybe it is, I don't know, but I sort of hear this these sort of voices that sort of like guide me and telling tell me which way to go. Sometimes, especially when things are hard, I don't feel alone. I feel like I have this like you know, band of like superheroes. They are constantly watching over me and and sort of guiding me and giving me advice. So how does it work? It works differently each time. So one time when I was in Europe by I missed my train and it was a mess. I was trying to visit my cousin and and I didn't know I was going and I was heading the wrong direction and I needed to catch this one train, to was like the last train from that city in or to make it to my cousin. Otherwise I would have had to spend the night and and so I I was I was frantic. So I was going down the stairs. I didn't know where to go. You couldn't. I couldn't tell where I needed to go, and I made a turn to the left and then suddenly I felt my color being pulled really, really hard and and I heard the word no the other way, and so I was like okay, and then I turned around and sure enough that in the other direction was was it paint. I got in and then the doors closed and then I managed to go through. And so it's just one, one sort of instance. But of course another instance was this feeling of when I saw the part of weekend for for the video games and I looked at it as I could I really do it, and I kept here in my intuitions like yes, this is the way you need to go. Go, go into games, go into games. I kept here and go into games. And another one might have been when I changed my last name,...

...because my original last name is not sandalar and and so I for every every day when I woke up for like three months or something like this, I would I would hear the word Sandal or Sando or sand or sand or sand or sand or now, so quite as that. Why am I hearing this thing? This is so weird. But every day for like the first couple minutes when I woke up, and then finally one day I'm like, oh, that sounds sounds like the name, that sounds like like maybe like the last name, like a last night. Oh maybe that's the last name I could take on. And then and and I didn't hear it anymore after that. When I kind of heard that conclusion and and now it's a bit different. So like it, it started sort of small, with like small hints, and now it's like is like having a friend in my head, so to speak, that sort of talks to me all the time and is telling me like well, and I asked, Oh, what's going on with this or why is this happening? And and I sort of feel like guided. I. Yeah, I'm told different things and sometimes I feel like if I really concentrate and I can speak out what I hear. Yeah, so that's what it looks like. And I say dead people because I'm not sure where it comes from. And but I know it's not me, because the words and the things that I hear are so much wiser than anything I could O. it's not like my subconscious. There's something, although some people could call it that, but it was so wise and also so loving. I'm never judged by these words or restock the things, you know, and it's always kind, even when I'm angry with people or frustrated or or have my own negative thinking about something. You know, these, the wisdom and the words are always always compassionate towards it, whether it's towards myself, and so it's really soothing to to hear it's like, you know, yeah, I don't know what you would call it, but now I like yeah, I don't know, dead, disembodied voice, just the soothing voice. This is voice. Yeah, I mean I think, I think some people might don't know, depending on where you yeah, because it's not like I my psychic and like I talk to people's grandmas or something among this. This is not is, this is not what happens to me. I don't know how to explain to other people that that. I do feel like it's not I do feel like they're like beings or people or something like this. It's not something that's...

...coming just for me directly. Yeah, that's all I can say. I'm not sure. I wouldn't know how else to explain it and because I don't have any words for it that could it could explain this. And it's not something I talked about with people either, although I am talking about it more and more because I decided that I wasn't going to hide that part of myself from people, which is why this podcast was going to be Super Fun, because it's an important part of my life. When when people ask me, well, you've made, you made so many choices. You you change from this to this and this and this, but it'll also always had a direct shin, so to speak. And the direction I thought was was sort of like this intuition. But it's sort of like this. It's more like I'm connected to to to a wisdom or something that exists beyond me and and this wisdom sort of helps me and and tells me where to go and what to do. Most of the time I listened to it, although sometimes I haven't, and it's always worked for me in in the best and the best way, even if, at the time, like the same intuition told me to to move to California because I've been studying. I did my bachelor's at Florida State and then when I did my masters, it was in California, and I and that change happened very quickly. Within six months, I moved California, crossed, you know, did the typical get on my in my red beetle, pack everything you own and go across and and yeah, and I knew was the right thing. I thought, okay, I'm going to become a therapist. At the time and and yeah, and it was sort of like this guidance that told me, okay, go, go, steady, go through this and and I thought, you know, I could even look at an alcol at all. Why didn't my intuition, where I did, this guidance like take me the wrong way? Or why didn't I become a therapist? But actually it felt like it was. It was something that I need to do and needed to learn another to understand the world and and to be, because I carry that with me even now when I do my work and and so it's a big, big part of where I am, even though it's not what I do. And had I thought about it just logically, I might have pushed through to try to force myself to be gone with therapists when I didn't feel right anymore. So my intuition told me to do this change. And now it's not working, but I just kept trusting it. Okay, it's not working anymore. So that means this part of then, I don't know why it's done, but I feel guided to go in a different direction now, so I'll go there. And Yeah, I like...

...it. I like it. And as promised, we will return to gaming for okay, three which wraps up every episode and would love to just hear this. This can be video games, it can be bored games, it can be learning games, but your top three games of all time, my top three games of all time. Hmm, okay, let's see leg you know, Zelda. I really, really liked this game that was designed by someone who I interviewed, which is called girl go up, which is a really cool puzzle game and papers, please, Nice. Yeah, solid, less, I like it. Yeah, thanks. Have you played any of those games? Well, maybe the first one, but maybe not too I feel like I have played definitely Selda, yeah, and definitely not the last one. Okay, yeah, Yep, but I think for now those three. Yeah, something with more, a little more depth or things. Yeah, it's always good. Yes, gonna have yeah, a little. Well, the DIAMONDTO yeah, exactly. So, Gosh, I hope. I hope to all my chatting was good. I have no idea. I just went on. Like I said'll be up to the audience to decide. But if they want to, if they want to learn more about you or, you know, chat ufos or anything, where can I find you? Sure, yeah, sure, so, I'm every your my website. Name is Alia. Sandovarcom so you could see me there. And then, of course I'm on linkedin under Aliyasanda bar and of course on twitter at Aliosandavar, and same thing on instagram at Alisanda bar. Pretty much the same across every platform. So yeah, that's good branding. Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, this has been fun, interesting awesome. I'm glad. I'm glad you weren't scared off. Should like we have guests just running off. Really give up? No, no, that's actually okay. Still waiting for one day. Just they just mid interview. They're just like no, that's I know. I've made it as when someone walks out on me. Yeah, exactly. You like you push the right buttons. Yes, yes, yes, well, I think so much. And of course we're going to end with...

...a bad joke, because that's just what I did. Yeah, how do you get a Pikachu on a bus? You pokemon good after thread people. That's really good.

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