Throughout the past few days/weeks I’ve had conversations/daydreams/etc. that have led to certain trains of thought inside my own little warped head, so I wrote some of them down, and figured I’d write about them here.
Playing Metroid Prime, and now more recently Contra on PS2 has triggered a feeling of nostalgia, a longing for the way things used to be, with fairly simplistic but fascinating games where the graphics were average to mediocre, and it was the game itself that made you want to play over and over again. Andy and I have had a number of conversations about the good old days, playing Nintendo to the wee hours of the morning during a sleepover, constantly taking turns while praying to the god of video game mercy that the machine wouldn’t overheat or reset itself anytime soon. I still remember the panic feeling I’d have coming home from school and heading to the Nintendo to make sure the red light was on (and not blinking… man I hated it when it was blinking.). Back in the old days when games wouldn’t save, and passwords, if you were lucky enough to get those, rarely seemed to work right anyway.
So here I am now, playing games like Metroid Prime, and all of a sudden I run across an enemy that looks vaguely familiar, and I try to think why… and it begins to dawn on me that it’s the 3d incarnation of an enemy from the old 8-bit game… and I get giddy. (I’m easily amused at times.) The best was when I got Ocarina of Time for N64, and I got too see all my favorite villains in their newfound splendor… and now that the gamecube version is drawing near, I’m getting excited yet again. I guess you could look at it one of two ways: Either it smacks of unoriginality.. Here is essentially the same game, the same characters, more or less the same plot, it just looks prettier, and you could cast it off as being not worth your time, or you could see it as an opportunity to reenter a world you enjoyed so much ages ago, and you’ve got all the benefits of familiarity coupled with the joy and excitement of this new incarnation… It’s like a quality movie made from a TV show you really enjoyed (Note I said quality movie.. Scooby-Doo and Charlie’s Angels fans remember that… I’m thinking more along the lines of a Star Trek TNG movie, or the X-Files movie). You’ve got the characters you love in a storyline you already familiar with, but finally with the budget to do something really kewl with it. Sigh, it’s grand.
I Write a lot
A few people have pointed out that the posts are getting longer… to the point of being too long to read, if you’re a huge whiner. Truth be told, I’m more accustomed to writing long-winded and rambly things like this than the shorter “A funny thing happened the other day” kinda quips. The emails I enjoy writing are long… though it’s rare to find someone willing to write something equally lengthy in reply. I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, actually. Well, at least as long as I knew how to write. First it was letters, then later emails, lots of poetry, etc. I tried the journal thing, but could never really get into it… it just stuck me as kinda pointless… What’s the point of having thoughts and feelings if you’re not sharing it with someone. I’ve come to realize in the last few years that I use my writing a lot of the time to figure things out, to better understand what’s going on in my life, and how I really think/feel about things. It’s a bit harder to do that here, because there are a bit more people reading this thing. If I wrote about how I hated my roommate and hoped he died a hideous death, odds are life at home would be less fun. (Actually, I know for a fact it’d be less pleasant. Thanks, Keen, for proving that hypothesis true.) But anyway, there you have it. I think I write different than I talk much of the time… but perhaps a bit closer to how I think. Yeah, I know. I’ve got some problems. Honestly, I try to find a way in which everything is funny, and it makes much of life much more bearable/enjoyable. I run into problems when I start taking things too seriously. I’ve got this notion inside that I have some sort of control over things which I really have just about no control over. It’s that .05% that I do have a say in that makes me think I can suddenly act like the tiny rudder on the giant ocean liner, steering everything my way… problem being, I’m not up front to see that line of icebergs I’m turning the thing directly into. Wasn’t that a great analogy? I thought so.
The 2 Year Lag
I have the belief that for at least the last 10 years, I’ve been about 2 years behind where I ought to be.. or at least where I really wish I was. So if I was the person I am today 2 years ago, I’d be a lot better off. I feel like I wasted a lot of my college life not really realizing what was going on, and by the time I caught on (Senior year) it was too late to do much about it (well… besides sell myself out to a girl that very nearly drained my soul of life.) Seems like by the time I have the confidence to be the person I want to be, it’s too late for it to really be useful. And sometimes thinking about it really pisses me off. Cause I have no clue who I’m supposed to be today, but odds are I’ll know in a couple of years, and it’ll be too late. I know we’re supposed to be content whatever the circumstances, but honestly, I’ve never bought into that jazz. If I were content, I think I’d get lazy and just kinda fade. I think I’ll always be striving for things.. it’s just the urgency and the feeling in the meantime that I think will change. I can see myself striving for certain things.. well.. more like feeling internally motivated to accomplish things while still feeling happy with what I’ve got… that feeling like “I don’t want to die today, but if I did, I could be happy with the life I lived.” I don’t have that yet. Right now, if I died I’d be pissed… well, no, not really, I’d be dead, so I wouldn’t care. But there’s just too much I still have to do. It’s like everything so far has just been building up to this, and now I’ve got to do something with it. So far I feel like I’m just fouling pitches off, with the occasionally big swing that completely misses.
I tend to link to a lot of things in my posts. Usually it’s relevant: Movies, video games, other people’s site, etc.. but sometimes it’s just kinda random.. like communism or something. The real reason: I think the colors make the site look more interesting.
I’ve been thinking about rejection a lot lately. Rejection sucks, there can be no doubt, but there seem to be varying levels of rejection. And the more I thought about it, the more I’ve come to believe that the potential pain of rejection is inversely proportional to the potential joy in a situation. It seems fairly obvious, right?: The more you invest, the greater the possible reward or loss. But knowing that that phrase is true, and realizing what it means are two different things… at least they are to me. The obvious example is relationships: I’ve had my fair share of rejections, and I’ve gotten dumped more than once. And it wasn’t really the amount of time I had invested in the relationship that equaled the pain experienced, really. Rather, it was how much of who I really was I had [chosen to reveal |been allowed to reveal |somehow by accident revealed]. If I felt the person had rejected an image of me that I didn’t really feel was accurate, it hurt a lot less than if I felt they truly knew me, and had rejected me for who I really was. So there’s High School… and I don’t think anyone really knows who they are in High School… so getting dumped sucked, sure.. but looking back I can say “I was 16, and a complete jackass who knew nothing. Of course she’s going to break up with me.”, and be okay with it. For me, I was still messed up in college, and was dating someone even more messed up than I was… so her flaky on again off again crap hurt, but I could still pass it off as not too bad, because I never really got to be me.. I was always on the defensive, waiting for her to flip out and berate me for wearing gray pants on a date. Man she was messed up… Anyway, it’s like that.. The relationship is never going to reach it’s full potential if you can’t be fully and completely yourself, but that opens yourself up to a world of hurt if the thing turns south. I guess that’s all kinda obvious, but thinking about it for long stretches started to scare the hell out of me.
Loneliness, and the Tenuousness of Friendship
Cathy was over the other day, and made an interesting comment. She was talking about our friendship (mutual friendship between Robb, Swac, Cathy, and myself), and said “We’re agreed that [romantic relationships] trump everything else, right?” (Meaning that it was understood that a romantic relationship was going to receive the higher priority every time). We all [well, I know I did anyway] agreed. I think that’s one of my biggest fears… I’m going to end up alone. And I can see it happening. I’ve got many friends right now, and I am very grateful for them, but when push comes to shove, there’s going to be someone more important than me in every single one of their lives. There’s a very powerful feeling that goes with knowing there’s someone out there that would rather be with you than anyone else on earth… or knowing that there’s that one person you can’t wait to tell about every single thing that’s happened to you. A best friend, be it your spouse, or significant other, or just your closest friend. To not have that sucks. To have that for a while, then lose it sucks more.. which is another big reason why breaking up with someone hurts so much… It can be like cutting off a limb. This part of you you relied on is suddenly gone, and learning how to go about daily life without it is quite hard… even if you hated the limb, and it took you 6 months to get rid of her.. err.. “it”.
Confusion, Fear, Frustration, and Ignorance
My life seems to churn through a cycle with 4 parts: Confusion, Fear, Frustration, and Ignorance. This applies in many different areas (work, church, home, relationships, etc..) First I have no clue what’s going on, though I try to either act like I do, or convince myself that I really do. This inevitably leads to massive amounts of thinking about it, cause my subconscious is masochistic, and my conscious sucks, All that thinking leads to fear… lots and lots of fear. I don’t like not being in control of a situation, and lots of life is that way.. especially at this point in a person’s life, I think. Before, there was a certain amount of structure that would hold me in place: i had my parents there to make sure I didn’t get too far out of line. School was there constantly ahead of me, so I knew where I was headed, and what was expected of me. I was constantly surrounded by my peers, and life was more or less following the directions given to me. Now I’m on my own. I can really screw myself up. And if I screw up, I’m the one who’s screwed… there’s no letter home to the parents for them to ground me and take away my TV privileges for a while. It’s all on me. There’s no real guide to what I’m supposed to do. I figured out pretty quickly that I needed a job in order to get money to buy food to not die of starvation, but beyond that, I really don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. So that fear leads to frustration, cause the efforts I make either don’t work, or don’t work how I thought they would, or I just don’t know what to do, and that makes me angry.. or things beyond my control seem to screw me over. (I hate that). Eventually this all fades into what I’ve pessimistically named Ignorance, but I think could more accurately be labeled something like “Acceptance” or “Resolution”. The idea being that I either forget what it is that’s gotten me so worked up, or I’ve come to terms with certain limitations, and chosen to focus on all that I have accomplished rather than what I haven’t, and begin regrouping for the next struggle.. which inevitably confuses me, cause I’m still not sure what it is I’m supposed to be doing…. you see how this goes. I’m not sure if I’m the only one who gets this way, and reading posts from/talking to people like Tuuk, Adam, Steve, Jplant, and Joel make me believe I’m not, and that is comforting.
The Silver Lining
With a few exceptions that were due mostly to my own idiocy and impatience, things have been going remarkably well for me, and have been for a long, long time. Looking back, the things that seemed so horrible and so important at the time seem like little more than funny anecdotes to whip out at social occasions. I know I’m not alone in fearing the future, and ironically, I know I’m not alone in feeling alone some times, for whatever that’s worth. The bottom line is that I like who I am more now than at any point I can remember since I started actually caring about that kinda thing, which I think is a very good thing. Despite all my efforts, I still really think that the good things in this world come to those who seek them (and a fair amount of those who don’t, it would seem). I know I’m constantly raising the demands on myself, setting goals at the seemingly impossible, only to see them become more and more possible in time…
Sorry if this post wasn’t very interesting.