Pulling up my old LiveJournal client today feels like driving through my hometown. It's less that you wonder where the time has gone, and more that you're surprised how completely and indiscriminately time has changed everything. For something I checked essentially every few hours only five years ago, I can't even remember what icons I still have kicking around.
All that time and what's happened in-between are what bring me back to this today. I moved here in January 2011. In just a few months, it'll be three years since I packed it all up and parked myself in Irvine. Unsurprisingly, my mind has been preoccupied with what those three years have been, and what they mean for me as a whole. There's a lot to be proud of. I've lost eighty-one pounds and fourteen pant sizes; I ran the 2013 Firecracker 5K in Chinatown; I threw my first-ever dinner party (hey, milestones are milestones). I can cook and clean and provide at least minimal service to a car. I've even, finally, made some truly incredible friends. One I came very close to kissing, but we'll leave that for another day.
Career-wise, I've done well. I advanced from an entry-level HelpDesk tech to managing the onboarding and offboarding for a Fortune 500 company, and my pay has increased, and everyone likes me, and...
And if I were more dramatically inclined, this is where I'd grab my coffee mug and fling it full-bore at the wall.
Well, not really, but you get the idea. I'll dispense with trying to polish the cadence of this entry, and just say that shit I miss a lot of things, and today makes me remember all of them.
Mostly, I miss myself. Even when it was hell being myself.
The years between 2008 and 2011 were a bad time. A bad, bleak time. And even so, while the inertia of those years may have galled me, haunted me, I was at least myself. Writing Eternity may not have gotten me or anyone involved published for it, but at least I was writing, about characters I liked and for people I cared about. Wandering alone and aimless around my hometown made me feel like Luke stuck on Tatooine, but I don't know who I'd be without the longing those days ingrained in me. My love life back then seems in hindsight like one long tangle of puerility on my part, but there's something about that rash, torn, vulnerable state that I miss, too.
It's all strange to think about, but yeah...I look back at even the worst chapter in my life and like who I was then. I wonder what he would tell me today.
Regardless, I don't think I took a wrong turn moving to Irvine. I think I could take one now, though, if I'm not careful. And I think that an important part of me has, for whatever reason, been submerged since I came here.
I think that's why I welcome a day like this, after all these months of heat and cloudless skies: I feel like I just woke up.
I've known for a while that I'm unhappy with my job, and I'm actively looking for somewhere else to be. (Hardly unique in that respect!) This past couple of months especially, I've been weighed down by resentment and frustration and negativity, and it's not just clouded my mind, it's turned it into a dank boiler room. But now I'm realizing it isn't just the job - it's me, and the way I've forgotten myself. I've been searching for something I don't actually...want. I'm just looking for more of the same thing that's keeping me casting wistful glances at the past. That Fortune 500 company I contract to? Will never actually hire me as long as I'm in my twenties, so frankly, it can take its money and shove it. I have only naked loathing for the idea that my life has to be half over before I'm worth anything. Blizzard? Charming place, but for as many times as I've pounded on that door and received only silence, maybe I should just leave that idea behind me, too.
I'm saying nothing new, shocking, or unencouraged when I say that what I really want to do is the same thing I wanted to do five years ago:
I want to write forever.
That feels really good to say again. (Helps that I already know what I'd like my magnum opus to be, too.)
As I say that, of course, I hear the night's first peal of thunder outside. It's not as simple as that, I know. Barring a lotto win, there's no way I can just drop it all and run, and I'm not that sort of person anyway. Knowing me, I may well "submerge" again tomorrow. This may just be one short waking moment in a night I still have to sleep through. I hope not, but then, I could use a little extra shuteye this week.
Even so, today, in all its drizzle and quiet, seems like it's been important for me. Almost like I could have picked it out of a month five years ago, come to think of it. I think I would have ranted into my journal about it back then, too.
Maybe it's encouraging enough that I still sound like myself.
- Current Mood: thoughtful
One wonders just how many dream worlds have ended at the hands of a crass, bloodless corporate environment. One wonders.
- Current Music:World Map - Hitoshi Sakimoto, Final Fantasy Tactics
These are dark days for anime.
- Current Mood: disappointed
"David Xanatos is a man of extremes. He's extremely rich, extremely powerful, extremely arrogant. But more than that, he's extremely smart. You may hate him, but you'd be foolish not to respect him...in extreme amounts."
"Xanatos is not a mad dictator or a war-monger. He's not out to destroy humanity, take over the world or bring our system-of government and commerce crashing to the ground. Why would he want to? His success has seen no limit under the current system."
"What he can't take (i.e. our gargoyles and their obedience), he might destroy, less out of spite than to make sure it won't later be used against him. But he hates waste, so he wouldn't make the latter decision lightly. in Xanatos' opinion, he acquired Manhattan long ago. It's his town."
"He's smart enough to know he couldn't conquer in a toe to toe physical confrontation with Goliath. And he has nothing to prove by trying. But he might have a lot to gain by cheating. Or by using some of the technology his companies have created to win."
"...he doesn't often lose. But when he does, he doesn't throw a tantrum. He's highly confident in himself and is sure he'll triumph eventually. He simply moves on to the next plan. There are always contingencies."
"Goliath and the other gargoyles know that Xanatos is a formidable enemy, and they're learning that he can't be fought by tenth century means alone."
I can't begin to tell you how much I miss this magnificent bastard on my TV.
- Current Mood: awake
-- John J. Reilly
- Current Mood: amused
Please take a look at the following example of dialogue:
Character A: "Why did/didn't you (x)?"
Character B: "I didn't think-"
Character A: "No, you didn't."
Regardless of what medium you encounter this dialogue, regardless of its phrasing or its context, please locate the person who wrote it. Wait until they're sitting down, having some coffee, updating their Facebook, whatever. Walk up behind them, as quietly as you can manage. Then give them a suplex. Full strength. Onto a hard surface. Through a hard surface, if possible. Then pick yourself up, clap the dust off your hands, and leave. Wherever the road takes you next, encourage others to do as you have done.
- Current Mood: annoyed
(That Kahlua commercial with Ana de la Reguera, on the other hand, can keep playing. Dioz de me vida, woman.)
- Current Mood: calm
- Current Music:Moon Dreaming Thunder - David Helpling
Funny; I expected this to sound gloomier than it turned out.
Sifting through some college folders a few weeks ago, I found an old letter. One of mine. It was one I'd written so carefully, but never had the chance to send. I know why I held onto it. I can remember the day I tucked it into this beat-up old Star Wars folder. I always kept thinking - you know, maybe one day I'll have a reason to finally send it, or I'll find something that my older self will still want to say and use in another letter, or maybe I'll just bust it out once in a while for old times' sake. But that afternoon, I read through it all again, and realized I had no reason to hold onto it. I smiled at it, then let it go.
I had a voicemail saved on my cell phone for the longest time. Periodically you have to clean these things out, and every time I did, from the time they first left it, I'd end up hitting 9 on that instead of 7. For all the twists and turns that story took, I think I remember when and why I convinced myself to keep it. When I was sitting in bed a few nights ago, saving the old ones again (Grandpa is still there, telling me he was thinking about me and that he wanted to know how I'm doing) and clearing new ones out, I came across that one. I played it one more time. Then I finally hit 7. I smiled at it, then let it go.
It was around this time of year in 2001, ten years ago, that I first signed up on Final Fantasy Online. Last week, after looking around the new forum, some consideration of what I was seeing from the people there, a cursory weighing of the good and the bad from the community over the last ten years, and a measurement of the administrative climate as it is now, I signed out with the decision that I won't be logging back in. No farewells; no regrets. I smiled at it, then let it go.
Really, I think you get the idea.
I bring up all of the above (and couch them thematically with the subtlety of a tuba player trying to blow a stuck pig from the bell of his horn) because they're the broadest strokes on this picture I've painted for myself, this last year. It's felt like every other week, there's one more tie that's being cut in my life, and not always against my choosing. Sometimes it's depressing; sometimes it's for the best. Sometimes it simply, naturally feels like I'm out of reasons to hold on anymore.
Every time, though, it leaves the environment around me a little more alien. Life feels relentlessly strange to me now. Some nights I realize all those ties I've lost, cut, or drifted away from have become so far removed that I'm not sure where I am. And I'm not sure why I don't feel so broken up about it. I wouldn't call those smiles happy ones, but they're smiles nonetheless.
I guess wherever I've ended up, whatever point I've reached, it doesn't have anything to tie me down.
- Current Mood: exhausted
( Ten Awesome Places in Video Games, Part 1Collapse )
That felt better. I feel more often lately that, as much as reality is worth dealing with, alternatives look better and better as the years go on.
- Current Mood: pensive