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More problems

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So I've got problems and drama as I'm prone to have. Problems, things to update you guys on, and so forth; it's going to be long, but I'd appreciate it if I felt someone related to my experiences. This might be a multiple-trip read for you, I'm not sure how long I'm going to keep this going. I hope it's at least interesting for you. This is mostly stuff I've talked in chat about, but not here. There's a lot of stuff I'm leaving out.

It's really late at night and I wanted to sleep a few hours ago, but I started messing around trying to polish up a track before I finally, but it ended up making it worse, Mediafire distorted the audio or something, so I posted the version I made last November?, it looks like. Five months then? Yeah. I didn't feel too mad about the lost time, because I guess I always found that version about as satisfactory as I felt I could make it at higher volumes or through better sound systems and I didn't add anything significant to the appended version.

A lot of things have happened, some I'm too ashamed to detail to a general public, but I've been on a rollercoaster of emotions, ranging through existential dread to writhing anger. I can start with the more trivial aspects and detail my actual problems if it'll make it easier on you. But each of my stories contributes or detracts a little from my stress, and it's all coming together into something I can't control very well, which is why I made this for you. I'll summarize before the problem part, but if you'll oblige, I'm offering a deeper understanding of my misery.

Trip to U of I

One thing I haven't talked about with you guys was when Eric (T1g) invited me to the U of I campus. It was kind-of a hellish trip. I got to the Greyhound buses two or three hours early because I left right after school was out, and I waited for the Urbana-Champaign bus to come through. When it finally did, I exited the lobby area into the bus area, but the bus door wasn't open and the bus driver wasn't paying attention, so I tried to get back into the waiting lobby, but the door was locked and I had to go back into the ticket purchase area, which unbeknownst to me had formed a gigantic line. I had to go to the back despite just being at the front.

The bus ended up getting full, so we had to wait another three hours for the next bus to arrive since the backup broke down. I ended up getting to the campus around 11pm. I had two hours of sleep the whole time and hadn't eaten. Eric took me to eat, and I played Mahjong with Kevin and co., friends Eric's wanted me to meet. It was great fun, and Kevin ended up insisting I spend the night at his place rather than Chimetals' place that I got a key to, because he'd be somewhere else all night anyway and we wouldn't get to hang out. I talked with Kevin about various stuff and I enjoyed our time together, though we didn't do much when we got to his house, because I was dead tired. I ended up getting four hours of sleep that day.

This could go on for so long, man. I'm shaking my head at putting you through all this minutia. Sorry. But I'm not aiming at a specific point to all this, I'm just relating a story. Anyway, so Eric took me to the anime club after Kevin and I walked to the bus stop. I saw beautiful people on and off the buses, but I typically only turned my head when one reminded me of Betty, because I miss her so much; there are a lot more Asian people at U of I than here in Belleville. I like to pretend she's around and I'm just going to bump into her.

We because Eric asked me to suggest something we could watch on my behest, and I told him that I5555 is the only thing I've recommended him that he hasn't watched yet, other than School Days. We had a good time, though I regretted that the audio system wasn't exactly configured for music. I got to show them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC-X2Ie7HZo, though I regret not mastering it very well for speakers every time I show it to anyone.

Eric got a present from Kevin for his birthday, which was a right glove, since Kevin had gotten him left gloves for his past two, all found randomly somewhere. We later went to a karaoke bar, but on the bus ride there, Eric lost his newly obtained right glove by leaving it on the bus. We didn't find out until after we sang, though I couldn't go long because I'm not very good and my voice is shot pretty quickly. We agreed that if someone was messing up awkwardly we'd support them by turning it into a slam jam. At one point a guy was kinda' messing up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh9WayN7R-s, and at the part where he sings "dat's de ol' stream dat I long to cross" I said "and SLAM", which some guy thought was actually part of the song, so he laughed really hard.

We sang a ton of stuff, and all our voices were hoarse. I tried to buy a can of Coke for a dollar afterwards, but all I had was my card, and the owner came out and was like "Just pay next time" and I stuttered a bit, like "B-but, I'm... I'm not in... I'm from out of town" and he was like "Just pay next time" and I didn't understand, so he leans in and says "Take it, it's free". He seemed like a really nice guy. I got to talk to Chimetals afterwards about Tau vs. Pi while Eric mourned his glove, but he found it on the bus that we were taking back. Eric, Kevin, and I played a really cool board game called Space Alert, which was a real-time cooperative game.

Eric, Kevin, and I wanted to play Melee at another guy's house, so we went to his apartment, but it was about 12 around that time, but daylight savings kicked in so it was actually 1. Eric went home early, and I stayed in the guy's apartment with Kevin playing Melee in the most sleep-deprived haze I've been in in recent memory. I was smiling the whole time, so much that my teeth hurt from my cheeks pressing in on them. I got to talk to a guy who's watched thrice the amount of anime I have, only if I may be cynical, it's because he has much lower standards for being interested in a show, and spends his free time much more than I do on anime nowadays. It was still fun talking to him. He helped me order a pizza from the only place that wasn't closed, 'cause I was really really hungry.

Pizza arrived, I share it around a little bit. The apartment's small space is really apparent to me by this time. The place was a mess to begin with. Change scattered on the carpet, random detritus flung everywhere, a kind of ghetto feel to the whole thing, though all the inhabitants were Asian guys. We played Melee in this cramped little kitchen that could comfortably fit maybe two people, but five? of us were back there. Kevin has a guy who spars with him and teaches him things about Melee, who he calls "shisho", or "teacher", with a connotation that he's a master of combat, I believe. He's actually educated in the Japanese language, as some of the people in that apartment were. Calling his superior in Melee combat "shisho" is the most charmingly nerdy thing I encountered there probably.

Anyway, we made idle chatter about tier rankings, Brawl vs. Melee mechanics, physics and math, and like I've described multiple times, the place was a mess. I was crammed in this tiny kitchen playing Melee on broken Gamecube controllers, one of which had an unidentifiable substance greasing the stick (he said it was superglue, but it really felt like grease) on this 20" monitor and there weren't enough chairs for everybody, but I felt like I fit in there more than I do anywhere here.

After that I think I slept and had to go home near-immediately, again with subpar amounts of sleep. If you didn't know, U of I is the university I was going to SWIC for, struggling to maintain a 3.0+ GPA against my aggressive ennui with the education system. I resolved to drop my goal of going there if I was rejected for the third time with a 3.014 GPA, for reasons I'll explain in a bit. But I said while walking through a hallway with Eric, "You know, as frustrated as I've been wasting all this time in school, I wish I would have at least wasted my time here". I really loved what little I could experience of that place.

My Remaining Friend

This next bit is about a guy I've told multiple stories about, Nate. Any stories you might have heard about him are probably not very good, involve weed somehow, or perhaps his bipolar girlfriend. I've known Nate for a long time, and in fact, he's one of my oldest friends in this area. That's probably why it's so hard to be his friend, because we really don't have much in common anymore other than the common desire to be friends, though his desire is stronger than mine. I sometimes sit in his room thinking "I wish I could just get out of here and not come back". The issues aren't as bad now but here's a summary.

He got into weed. He dropped out of high school a couple weeks after he was able to, which I counted on but hoped against. He got a GED, and spent most of his time trying to make quick money, though his idea of quick was getting famous by becoming a competitive gaming champion. He's been on-and-off employed at various places, never held a girlfriend long, faked a brain tumor to break up with the most well-off girlfriend he's ever had, and always talks shit on them once he's broken up with them. Amongst one of those girlfriends was a girl named Christi, who cheerlead at my high school and previously attended a Catholic high school.

She was bipolar, and they dated when he was like 13? 12? I don't remember. He broke up with her on her birthday. Later they got back together. I was there, I watched it happen, I stood on her back porch when we talked to her and they rekindled interest in each other. And it got worse from there. Nate absolutely didn't know how to handle her for the longest time when she has an episode. I have too many stories. But Nate fell into marijuana and played video games with her all day, living unemployed under his mother's disability check.

He's a dealer now, and he's constantly driving everywhere, getting less than optimal sleep and chugging red bull. This at least gets him active and gets him income, but he's laughably terrible at managing money and maintaining a clean household. I'm still hanging out with him because he's just about the only person that's both conveniently close and on in-person hangout terms with me. It's a matter of convenience, of familiarity, and of guilt, because I know how much he's fucked up his own life and I'm the only thing near him that shines bright enough for him to look up at, and he knows he doesn't have as bright a future as I do. I care about him as a friend, and I've tried to help him help himself, but it just never worked when it came to doing work.

He's been teaching me how to drive-- he's incredibly agreeable to whatever I want or need. He'll drive me places I need to go, he'll pay for my things because he has an excess of money, he'll pay for my food. Perhaps this in specific isn't because it's me; the poor are the most generous, after all. Once he gets a lot of money he doesn't pay attention to how fast he spends it, even if it's on other people. But he has said that he only has a handful of people he likes in the world, and I know I'm one of them. Another long-time friend, Josh, has all but abandoned communication with him. Nate says he doesn't care, but almost always tries to think of a way to get him back. It's comical in a sad way. All he has is Christi and his drug friends, and he's responsible for Christi breaking ties with her parents, so he's in a sad cycle of a miserable life with her amongst his other problems, but he feels so responsible for her he can't bring himself to put her in external care. I have too many stories.

So with the driving, he'll let me drive his mom's 2014 Altima, and even says he'll teach me stick shifting, but I can drive an automatic, so it's more of a thing we'll only ever need to get around to in a specific kind of situation. But I've been learning to drive by driving him around on drug deals. He's got 12 hour work shifts for dealing, because it's a morning to midnight kind of business, and your reputation for speed, reliability, and quality is everything.

One time he was letting me drive home, and while we were just making small talk and laughing, he suddenly says,

"I'm going to suffer for the rest of my life."

"Wait... what? Are you serious? What do you mean?"

"You know exactly what I mean."

"..."

"Sometimes I wake up wanting to kill myself."

"... What? What is that?... Are you quoting something?"

(Sometimes he'll sing violent songs or something, and we maintained a somewhat casual tone)

(laughs) "... Yeah, sure."

"Well... suddenly getting all dark on me there." (nervous laugh)

I knew exactly what the hell that was. It was a cry for help, as loud a one as I've ever heard. And I have no idea what to do about it. He's not the kind to discuss emotions seriously for long. So I just keep heading over.

Parental Stress

My dad, last semester, worked out of town, and he stayed in an apartment with roommates. He's 60-something years old and makes less than $16,000 a year, which is below the poverty line. My stepmom makes about $25k, which is above poverty for one person. My stepmom is normally a demon of a woman; just extremely unpleasant in most facets. She's humanized herself more recently, because I've started talking to her normally about basic intents, actions, where I'm going, when I'm going, etc. and clarifying my boundaries in that I don't want her to throw away anything I have. I told her my room being messy doesn't affect her, and throwing out my things doesn't improve her situation, it only worsens mine, so she needs to respect my belongings and quit exploding into rage for things like leaving the toaster oven door ajar.

My dad stopped paying rent for the apartment, and he, as usual, is working slowly at his job. He's a hypochondriac, honestly. He believes he contracted Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from the mercury in flu vaccines, because he believed himself to contract it shortly after he obtained his shot. He is considered a "vaccine truther", one of the many ignorant people who believe vaccines cause autism and a host of other problems. He doesn't believe I'm lactose intolerant, he thinks my stomach bacteria are weakened by processed foods and GMOs, which might as well be the cause of earthquakes and miscarriages, because he blames every health issue on them that I can think of, as if people didn't get sick until the invention of corn syrup. He's quick to lecture me about the same thing he did the week before if he's so much as seen the silhouette of a Coke can.

I'm not really sure what's up with my dad, but I do recognize that he has problems. In fact, I think he's one of the most influential people in my life, if only for how much I don't want to end up like him at all. He didn't know what he wanted to do in college, so he went into the military, which paid for his dental technician training. He makes false teeth, but that's not the bad part. He's extremely sensitive to criticism. He was born of my grandmother's baby boomer sons; the youngest of about 9 boys I think? If someone picks on him he's quick to retreat. We had a cushy home in Florida while he was working at $20+/hr for four months before we moved back to Illinois because he thought his coworkers didn't like him. Same deal in a town called Marion; wonderful house, felt he was getting picked on, bailed a $20+/hr job to move to Arizona. Moved back because of the heat. He bounces around jobs on what looks like a crazy whim, and he gets slower and less work recognition every time he does it. He said he learned his lesson after he left a job that actively wanted him there, but I don't think he'll ever learn his lesson. He's adverse to learning, about technology, about the future. I would say even about himself and others.

So now he's an old man working too slow on sets of dentures in a town he has to drive 70 miles an hour to get to every morning. As a result, he's become really irritable, and is wont to take it out on the people around him. I've not caught too much flak from him, and we've found an equilibrium of just not talking to each other, but we've only been driven farther apart, and I pity him, because none of his children talk to him anymore. I could go more into how much I completely abhor the idea of ending up like my father, but I'd like to make this more concisely about my own problems, since I don't have enough time or motivation to worry about others' as actively as I have in the past. I pity my dad too much to continue talking about him with so much venomous honesty, and I think he's beyond helping at this point.

He'll tell me to get a car, to get a job, that I'm not doing shit with my life, that I "have the luxury" of keeping my hair long. My mom posted some Facebook photo and I guess she jokingly called my little brother (who my dad referred to as "that-- black") and I as her daughters, and I wasn't offended; I didn't even see the image and doubt it exists, but he started saying things like, "There are girls younger than you who already have cars, and a job, you know, why would she say that?" He's really paranoid about my mom. Apparently early after their relationship ended she, or her new boyfriend, smashed one of his storm windows, or something, and he thinks she's some kind of mischief sprite who does stuff to mess with him. There's some hole in our siding and he immediately jumped to that it was my mom, and I told him "Seriously, she's not that petty". She has no reason to do stuff like that, but he legitimately thinks she's out to get him, for many more things than that. I probably put that hole in the siding when I smashed a window in on accident out of frustration the one summer I came home on a hot day without a means to get in, because they don't let me have a goddamn house key.

Sorry about the tangent. He said the daughter joke thing was "sick" and "wrong", and I'm thinking, I'm not offended? But he'll do things like this all the time. Between my dad's paranoia and my stepmom's explosive tendencies, I'm sick of being around here. I don't have a use for a car-- I can't get a job because of school, and I have free transport to school. And he wants me to move out. Does he really? When the job market is this bad, and minimum wage isn't enough to make a living? Does he want me to scrape by and live a shitty life as he did?

Even though he apparently doesn't acknowledge being a full-time student as "doing something with your life", I came to agree with him, for different reasons. But I don't have my own space. I don't have any room to breathe.

Potential, Shortcomings, and Inability to Take Action

I guess I've made cool stuff. I made about 300 dollars at the height of the first TwitchPlaysPokemon run by selling Helix Fossil charms with a +$5 S.S. Ticket bundle. It was cool to find my shop had new sales every day, and thousands of views from the Twitch chat before they banned link spambots, probably specifically because of me, since I made a spambot to advertise while I was at school. Though it was despicable, when I told Betty she started sounding angry like "Allen!! That's... actually a pretty good idea". I was trying to be ruthless in marketing, and I guess it worked. The 300 dollars never lead to sustainable income, and it was soon wasted on a bunch of little stuff in my mental lethargy.

In the past couple months I've also made an

for our first anime club meeting, a a Daft Punk pendant for Betty and I's anniversary, Sims plumbob charm, of music, and various other silly things I could detail at other times.

The thing about my Etsy shop is that I have absolutely no time to maintain it, help it grow, or expand to other things like conventions. My schedule is so horrendously inconsistent because of school. When I get home I'm just a couple hours away from what should be my bedtime. I wake up at 9 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and wake up at 12 or later on Tuesdays and Thursdays, regardless of how early I went to bed, because I'm so exhausted from sleeping so little M/W/F and appreciate the extra rest. When I do make charms and stuff I know full well it's not what I really want to do, it's just something I do to try and make money.

Thing is, I haven't made any Etsy sales since the hype for TPP died down. I haven't added any new items, either, despite having them. The problem is that I need to put them up as a set; my gym badges, the Daft Punk pendants, the plumbobs. I don't want to put something up individually, prematurely, because competition can crop up really fast, as I've discovered, so I need to be the best possible seller exactly when I post up a listing, or at least, that's how I feel. So I haven't made anymore money.

All that work I put into it feels like a waste of time because my real interests lie in creative work for myself, for other people. I want to make music, and make video games, two things that I've held onto more consistently than my other interests, two things that I'm passionate about. This summer I plan to move in with my girlfriend's aunt, find part-time work, and get into the local music scene. I have connections in our local music scene, enough to play a set "any time I want" at a lounge that hosts names of notoriety; the most recent was Terravita.

And my friends tell me, they tell me all the time, that I'm talented, that I've got potential, that I'm a fun, good guy, that I'm special, that they expect great things from me. I hear it so much I take it with a grain of salt. I almost never believe it. I think it might just be from how I talk about what I believe and what I do in my best moments. If anything I might just be good at selling myself. But I feel so trapped. So unable to prove anything to myself, only enough to prove to others that I can start something good, but I've never finished anything. Those charms are about the only creative venture other than some short stories that I've finished, beginning to end. And I still can't follow through with them. I'm unwinding with Nate by

in Project Spark; I'm the creative designer just like I want, but I can only work on it on the weekends. It's what I made this track for when thinking up something that might fit well in a cutscene.

I've always been stifled my whole life, wanting to do more but being held back by some arbitrary thing in someone else's selfishness or my own lethargy because of superfluous obligations. I could never play trumpet very well because my stepmom didn't want me making noise in the house. I put faith in the education system even though I was always doing something other than participating in it, never settling on something I really wanted to do because I believed those things were secondary to making a passing grade. My dad didn't even want me to go to U of I; he always asked me why I wanted to go there, even though I wanted to get a computer science degree, which U of I offers one of the best of in the nation. My mom's about the only one that told me I can set my own limits, or that I don't need any limits at all. And in fact, my most recent limitation is that I even need an Associate's degree.

Associate's Degree

Like I said, I've been bunking down trying to be a good boy and finish college. I said I want to create my own things independently; as a designer, as a composer, not as a gear in someone else's creative machine, but truly independent in that it's something I make for myself, for other people. So say I did get into U of I. I figured that I would probably have to take off a couple years to save up money for the school anyway, because I'm poor. If not, then, I don't have very many classes in my degree to boost my GPA. I'd have to get an Associate's, then retake a lower level of Calculus, and a more simple version of a computer science class in order to erase the two Cs that blemish my record. And I'd still have to pay for those classes, and save for U of I.

By the time I get my Bachelor's at practically 30, I could get a good job at a video game studio maybe. Say best case, something really big like Valve. But I'd still just be doing the same thing I'm doing at school. Working on one thing, thinking about working on another, never really having enough time because I'm preoccupied with someone else's priorities. Then I would just plateau at some point and die silently without a struggle. That makes me way too upset for words.

See, I was never really one for the safe route. I think safe routes have their place in the world, but I don't think safe routes are the ones that give you the most out of life. They give you security, yes, but they don't offer nearly as many opportunities, and not nearly as many unique experiences. The safe road is one traveled by everyone; a systematic, institutional way to keep people in check and happy, and even that's imperfect. I would rather struggle than regret not trying to claw my way out of the muck if only to shape my own life. I've only got so much life left, and it's already about a quarter over.

So I've been frustrated that I have to get an associate's, when all my vigor for the education system has been replaced by bile and distrust. My sociology teacher sometimes mentions things in class that resonate in me; "School isn't meant to make innovators. It's meant to make workers." Education has its place, but it's just not for me. I would rather be doing actual things.

The Head of the Problem

Sorry for this long-winded explanation, again. I hope you're still following me. So all that culminates to a few really simple things. I want to get out of here. I want to eject from this whole mess as soon as possible. I'm tired of this life. I want to join my heroes in the adult world. I realized that the reason I've never sat well in the education system is that I've always been doing something else. I haven't just screwing around playing video games, but I've been doing, practicing, working. And it's still not nearly enough. I don't have anything to show for it. I think practically everything I've done is shit.

I don't even have enough time to sit down and glean some inspiration by hunting new music, watching films, playing video games. I don't have enough money for my inspiration because I'm at school, and school isn't furthering any of my ambitions. I don't have time because school's wrecked my schedule's consistency. I was fine with school when I thought I was accomplishing my goal of getting into U of I, but now that just simply isn't the case. School's kept me trapped under this cycle of feeling like I'm not good enough because of my inability to do the unnecessary. It disrupts my focus on the career paths I started long before I stepped onto my college campus. And I'm so tired of it I can't stand it at all.

I told all this to a guy at the Greyhound bus, and he told me that at least my distractions from school were productive. He told me people like me might get fed up about school but once they're out it'll only prevent them from getting a good job for a couple years or so even if they drop. It's people like him who actually have to worry, who are distracted from school by video games and indulgence. That doesn't make me feel any less trapped though. It doesn't make me feel like I've done enough at all. It just means that I've done anything, and that I'm willing to do something. My accomplishments aren't impressive to me, and they aren't impressive professionally.

I'm taking an indefinite leave of the education system. I have to leave behind my affections for U of I's campus atmosphere and look ahead, because they rejected me thrice and I'm done wasting time. The end of school can't come nearly fast enough. You might just think I'm impatient, but it's a bit more complex to me than that. Summer is a pivotal time because that's when people have the most free time and are more willing to go out and do fun activities. It's where I'd get the most exposure as a musician, in particular. To be a musician, I need to make music. To make music, I need time and focus. I have neither, because I'm at school. I'm guaranteed a spot to DJ in, but I haven't been able to practice DJing, and I haven't hunted down nearly enough good music to mix. Again, worst yet, I haven't produced satisfactorily finished music that would appeal broadly. So my job of choice that also furthers my goals is pushed back a little bit farther.

I would bail right now. Literally right now, tonight, maybe in the morning, if it weren't for that Betty wants me to stay and complete my associate's. She's the only thing tying me to this degree. I know she means well, but like I said, I feel muted, restrained, because of someone else's selfishness. I feel like it's more because she doesn't want to struggle while being with me, rather than for me having a failsafe. So I've been frustrated. Torn apart, practically. I feel so trapped under these artificial expectations; limitations that aren't mine. I have told her multiple times that if she interferes like this with me in the future, I will put my ambitions ahead of her and separate from her if necessary. I have been enraged just by thinking of being in school, and I still have another semester with like two classes, if I don't fail any of my current ones. The thought enrages me.

Anger

My anger about still being trapped in the school system despite deciding it was useless to me a long time ago has build on top of all this other stress and snapped me back and forth like a rubber band. The following is really uncharacteristic of me, but it just shows that we all (or at least, I) have the capacity for violence, even if it's only self-destructive.

There was a short period of time, most of last week, that I got explosively angry over the slightest inconvenience. If I was alone, I would shout fuck, goddammit, fuck-dammit, into the air, stomp the ground, kick things. I bit down on my phone with the sincere attempt to break it. I've beat my phone against objects several times, so it's a good thing it's both indestructible and kind of a shitty phone. I feel like this is how people get ulcers. Every moment in class I had to restrain myself from throwing my desk. It wasn't even pure frustration, or I would be crying. It was all primal anger.

I told these things to Betty, I vented to her all the time. I actually scared her when I told her how angry I was getting, with long texts about how pissed off I was at everything, about how much I wanted to get the fuck out of my situation. When we could talk over IRC or Skype she had to calm me down as if I were a wild animal, which I guess I kind of was. I do feel like a caged animal, like a caged animal on a boat headed towards the Island of Mediocrity and Suffering. I don't want an associate's. I just want to life the lid on my cage and hop the fuck out, but I can't. There are no physical bonds tying me down, it's all because of an obligation, because I place importance in her. I love her but my weakest moments are ones where I blame her for all this, where I think that my irrational, incomprehensible anger, is because Betty is holding me down.

And it's not like dropping school is something I didn't think about. It's not a whim, or a hasty decision. This was something I concluded after thinking long and hard about my situation, about my wants and needs, what I can do, who I know. I want to stop wasting my time, because I only have so much left, and I don't know how much at all. There are so many things I don't know.

I don't know when opportunity will call me, but I sure as fuck can't answer it now because my phone is silent during class.




12 Comments

Posted

I don't usually have the right words to say when I need them most but I'll try. I'm sorry if I misunderstood some things.

 

From my perspective at least, what matters is not only that you're passionate about what you do, but specifically that you enjoy it. It's not worth it to be an innovator if that doesn't make you happy. You shouldn't sacrifice parts of your life you love dearly just to be able to say that you did this or that thing before you die. Eventually, people are going to come along and do the same things you did, and they'll be better and maybe overshadow you before the next person comes, but that's fine if you got satisfaction and some happy moments out of the ride. I don't know if it was a heat of the moment thing, but even considering the possibility of leaving a life with Betty behind specifically so you can spend that much more time to focus on making a name for yourself in video-games or music is a seriously bad move in my admittedly no-more-experienced-than-you view. You don't need to put everything in your life on the line to accomplish your goals. You can pull it off without that, and that's not conjecture. There are plenty of successful people who kept friends and other loved ones close,even if not all of them. I'm also way behind on what I want in life, but I'm still way behind you both in education and practice on my own time. I look up to you, and, while I'm grateful I haven't had to go through the same kinds of situations you have, I'm crazy jealous of you as a person. If I had half the drive and dedication with my art as you've shown towards the things you love, I'd be much more pleased with my life.

 

If you trust me at all, know that I'm being honest when I say that you are as talented and, more importantly, skilled as people say. You don't need to work for talent, but you've worked hard to get better at things, even if many of said skills aren't indicative of the direction you want to take your life. Sure, speaking and writing in Japanese and being able to make and mass produce small charms and the like probably isn't going to get you closer to making video games or music, but I just assumed if you didn't enjoy those things you would have stopped a while ago. And if you don't like them you should stop, but otherwise it's far from a complete waste to simply have hobbies (especially when they make you money ;)

 

And being a 21 year old with arthritic feet with bits of metal still left in them from the surgeries, I know what it's like to have to accept that there's some things in life that you just have to learn to live with and not let get you down. My feet will hurt and limit me for the rest of my life, but staying angry over impossible choices or things you can't change will only hurt me for no reason. It might sound hypocritical, and it probably is, but I'm speaking from experience. Even after you finish with college there's going to be more crap other people will expect you to do that you'll have no choice in. You'll never have absolute freedom, and will always have to answer to someone, even if it's just the government for your taxes.

 

 I hope what I've said has been at least a little helpful and made some sense, but if not I'm sorry for wasting your time. v_v

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The thing is that innovating is what I enjoy the most. I love pushing the boundaries in what I do, and it's what makes me the happiest. The name isn't quite as important. It's the contributions. A name is secondary. But I want to experiment and push farther, and make progress in both my personal goals in a way that positively influences the medium. Ideally, I would be able to contribute significantly to make a lasting effect, but it's the effort that gets my blood pumping.

 

It's not a heat-of-the-moment thing. It's what I decided is the most logical thing to do when someone is trying to interfere with your ambitions. Since my ambitions are the most important thing to me, I can't have conflicts with them. It sounds cold, but do I love Betty more than anybody else, and my ambitions are still more important than that. My ambitions are as important to me as cognitive and motor functions. They're an integral part of me, to want to do as much as I can. I don't plan on waking up with major regrets. As much as I love Betty, she isn't keeping me alive. My ambitions are. That's just how it is.

 

I don't plan on abandoning my loved ones. I'm just saying that I've considered what might happen if someone interferes with my greatest priority. I plan to have friends. I plan to have loved ones. As cynical as it sounds, though, relationships of all kinds aren't unique. People are unique, and that I will miss. But losing a certain kind of friend doesn't mean I lose my capacity to form new ones.

 

I realize that I will eventually have to do things I don't want to do in order to get what I need. But school is not one of those things. I don't need an associate's or the education it provides me for my ambitions. It makes no sense for me to be here. Don't misunderstand; this degree is 100% useless to me. I could say more than 100%, because it actually inconveniences me greatly and makes me spend a lot of money.

 

I hate being in this situation.

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I see. I can't really relate since I'm not a very ambitious person, but I think I get it. You get to decide what you enjoy the most, so I can't argue there. It does make me kind of sad you view friends as semi-replaceable. At least it sounds to me like you mean particular friends will come and go, but that doesn't matter as much as just having people around you can label under "friend." I can't really relate to that either, since I don't make friends as easily as you do. I might put too much value in them individually because of that. So there's really nothing more I can say. I wish I could have been more helpful and alleviated some of the anger, but I've never been good at that.

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I used to be very aggressive about maintaining friendships, but it's not as cold as it sounds. If someone is trying to interfere with you living a good life, then they're not really doing you any favors, and you need to distance yourself from that person, or you need to learn to ignore them. I'm saying that if it comes to letting people go that are holding me back, then I have to do it, and by that point, I don't think we could be considered friends, because there's a clear lack of consideration for each others' wishes.

 

And say I catered to Betty's wishes, or really any significant other, and say those wishes meant that I had to go through the safe road, do all the safe things, and never experience what I wanted to. Then I would be catering to their ideal life, and they wouldn't be considering my ideal life. I'd wake up unhappy one day with tons of regrets and they'd be just fine. That kind of selflessness isn't romantic, it's sad. So yeah, if Betty tried to push me into that life, I wouldn't have it. I want to wake up with the least amount of regrets possible, and I can't accomplish that by honoring obligations that don't advance my own goals.

 

I could someday get over breaking up with her, and we could both move on, but honoring a request to give up my dreams isn't something I could ever fix with enough time. It would ruin my whole life.

 

Friends do come and go, and I learned to accept that. It doesn't mean that friendship wasn't important, it just means that it came and it went, and I need to find new ones. There's nothing manufactured or disposable about genuine friendships. Just like people.

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I fully support your goals, but I just couldn't live with the exact same philosophy. I've spent too many long stretches of my life without real friends, and I'm obviously not so certain about my ability to keep the ones I have. Thankfully all of my friends at the moment support me, although what I want in life specifically is still kinda nebulous. But I don't doubt that you can find new friends easily enough if you're running low, and I guess that makes the culling easier when it has to happen

 

I think I misunderstood just what kind of situations in particular you were referring to as negative influences on your life. Everybody you meet is going to disagree with you at some point, and I thought you might be saying that it's 100% support for everything Allen all the time or the highway, but it's starting to seem more reasonable. Well, of course if Betty told you "video games and music are lame. be a biologist or we're over" well in that case it's dump-city, and the same for any friend. But the odds of that happening are so low. I got this sense of urgency from what you were saying and must have been swept up in it and misconstrued things. I know a thing or two about considering worst-case scenarios with friends and family in my head, despite it never accomplishing anything in my case. v_v

 

Now at this point I think it's abundantly clear I don't have any worthwhile advice or insight to give, but if you want to continue to clear things up I'm listening.

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I dunno what to say. I can empathise with the anger a little - I get that way if I'm stuck in the house with no human contact for more than 2 days. Desperate and trapped. I'm just trapped by my own weakness to overcome difficulty though, and by the temptation to do nothing and be comfortable.

 

There was a day once when I hadn't been out of the house for a whole weekend and I hadn't seen or talked to anybody. I was planning to go into town but missed the bus, so decided that despite my getting ready, I would have to wait 5 hours for the next one and went back to my computer. Before I even sat down, the frustration rose up and out of me, like gears grinding in my stomach and chest, resulting in a strangled scream. I went outside, and walked the 12 miles into the town, and felt a lot better for it.

Another time under similar circumstances of isolation I was just walking the dogs in the rain, and when I got home, I just stared at the warm suffocating comfort of the lights inside, and turned away and walked them up the road through the rain and through the same forest again. I was still apprehensive going back inside, for fear of that comfortable isolation. I felt much better exposed to the outside.

 

So it's not the same trap you're in. I've got very few obligations, but it's just my comfort and laziness that keeps me from making myself get what I need. I've got better at it this year, and it'll keep getting better probably, so long as I keep trying to get out more.

 

But anyway that's my vent in reply to yours. I hope you get your Associate's Degree, as another tool for your belt. It's not long now. Hopefully venting like this here will help you make it to the end without getting yourself too out of hand. Oh well, I dunno. Keep doing what you think you should, but again don't let your desire for freedom distract you too much. I'm a bit tired and won't read the comments here.

 

Anyway that's that. Keep being alive.

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I forgot these blogs existed. I understand your frustration with the school system, and I share it. I try to think just in general terms what i've gained going to Swic. I think the biggest thing is that I've been introduced to a whole new network of people and made a lot of new friends, that have all been influential in my further development. In terms of classes? Ehhh? I've definitely had some interesting ones, but I'm not sure how much of it I couldn't have gleaned from a book, on my own. Looking at my college career like that makes it seem like sort of a waste of time. So I guess its been 50/50.

 

I feel similarly trapped as well, though my situation isn't as caustic as yours. Since I was a Junior in high school I've been shuffled around to live with different relatives because my dad's either been too poor to support both of us, or he's lived with a girlfriend I can't get along with. Once I lived with an Aunt and I went to visit relatives for a week. When I came back all of my stuff had been packed up, sent to said girlfriend's, and my dad got a text saying, "I'm sorry, I can't afford Aaron." Since then, I've had this existential fear that wherever I live next I'm gonna come home one day and find all my stuff boxed up, and I'll have to go somewhere else, if there is a somewhere else. I know this isn't likely, but every once in a while, I interpret, probably wrongly, some small comment or thing my current host says, and then I retreat to my room. I hate it. It all makes me feel like shit, like I'm not worth anything.

 

I'm getting my associates soon, and afterwords I'm done with swic. I'd really like to take a semester at least off from college, kind of as a test. I like to write, that's what I want to do for a living, be it comics, short stories, TV. I'm really interested in Serial fiction of all kinds. I want to see if, after taking away school as something that takes up my time, what I can accomplish. And if, by the end of whatever arbitrary date I set, I've done nothing? I'll do something safe. Clearly if that's the case, my drive is just shit, and I'll do something safe. In the mean time, my dad supports my taking a semester or 2 off, but that doesn't help me a whole lot, since I'm not living with him. I know for a fact no one around me would go in for it. I'm the first generation in my family to go to college, so everyone puts this big emphasis on it, of course, none of them have been to any kind of school in the last 3 decades, so they are somewhat lacking perspective.

 

I don't know. It just sucks. All of that isn't figuring into any of my personal faults, of which I have many, and I get into these pity parties where all I do is doubt my abilities, and my goals, and all this time I've wasted, and I don't do anything, I just languish in a miasma of my own creation. puppy.

 

Anyways, I just wanted to tell you I understand a simulacrum of what your going through, and I have similar problems sometimes maybe. 

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I couldn't read past the part where you talked shit about your only friend. I mean we all talk shit about our loved ones, but damn that was a little too intense. "Omg he deals weed and had a crazy gf and got his GED what a loser" you know what? Good for him! He got his GED, and dealing pot is great money!! He doesn't sound happy but maybe because his self esteem is based on people talking shit about him on the internet. Some friend you are. I'll go back and read the rest in the morning when my stomach had settled. Good reddens.

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"See, I was never really one for the safe route. I think safe routes have their place in the world, but I don't think safe routes are the ones that give you the most out of life. They give you security, yes, but they don't offer nearly as many opportunities, and not nearly as many unique experiences. The safe road is one traveled by everyone; a systematic, institutional way to keep people in check and happy, and even that's imperfect. I would rather struggle than regret not trying to claw my way out of the muck if only to shape my own life. I've only got so much life left, and it's already about a quarter over."

 

This might sound offensive, but I am not trying to be mean. I think you may have justified this to yourself too much at this point. Again, not trying to be mean or critical, but you say that everyone goes the safe route, as if they're mindless zombies trying to only provide for their most basic needs as an animal. Your tone is really condescending, even though it's aimed at no one in particular (or "everyone", as you said). I didn't come here to pick about your own writing in your own space in your blog. It's just that this is so scornful and mocking of the educational system, as if you have everything figured out and that "everyone" is wrong. You aren't going to regret getting an Associate's Degree. You aren't abandoning your dreams and becoming a mindless drone by finishing off what you've already gotten close to completing. I think it's incredibly easy (and pretty annoying to read) to write off the need for education. Of course there are many types of education. But to say that you have more opportunities outside of school is supremely twisted.

 

This is your blog and you can say whatever you want in it. I willingly came here and was exposed to what you wrote. But still, you imply that college is "safe" and for "everyone", mockingly. I am going to be in a huge amount of debt for my college choice. I've been at a community college for twice as long as you have and only recently did I scrape up grades and recognition that was worthy of scholarships at SCAD. And my scholarship is really shitty compared to Betty's. That's incredibly humbling. I've been through ups and downs at that school and I know where you're coming from for a lot of this. It's not like I've been busting my ass there since I graduated. I've been going at it with varying levels of intensity and devotion. I have grown so much there. Not even from the classes. That's actually a very small part of it. I've felt the same hopelessness and hatred for the school and the people there. But I learned to drive myself to get away from them and to go to my dream school. I am not going to use 90% of the stuff I learned in class at a university, and especially not as this art school. But I don't regret it. The most valuable thing that I learned there was that I should have done it sooner. Being at that school for so long is humbling. I am not trying to make this about myself, but all I can do is speak from my point of view and experience: 

 

The safe thing to do is to stop going to school. For you to imply that my working at the school for years and my choice to risk literally the majority of my life, the upcoming part that is not yet lived, on loans for my dream school is "safe" is incredibly condescending. I am wagering my happiness and livelihood on my goals. For the first two weeks straight at SCAD, every single night, I was have terrible anxiety about the loans. The reality was sinking in, and this is just my first quarter. Think about all of the things that come with the burden of loans. If I fail and am not able to pay them back, the consequences are far-reaching. As an example, what kind of future wife would want that? That's really far down the road, but that's how influential the consequences of my risk are. I don't know what will happen, nor do I claim to. I know that I will adapt to the debt and to the pressure, hopefully in a positive way. So it is a little irksome that someone who has not yet been in this situation to call my choices "safe", as they risk very little. That's not a criticism about you. I hope you'll interpret it as more perspective. 

 

The harsh reality of the working world is that future employers aren't going to read this entire blog, trying to understand your situation when you are trying to get a job. Instead they'll see that there's no education. In the same way that I know I will adapt to the pressure of debt, I think you will adapt, too. I sincerely believe that school has more opportunities, but I think you will find a way to do what works for you. 

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I'll respond to your post later today LL, but I'd like to thank you for writing it. Many times, particularly lately, I feel like a hate-fueled monster, and I don't know how to make it stop.

 

Phanta, you didn't even read the whole post, and you do not know the extent to which Nate suffers from his own faults and how much I've been there for it. I do care about him as a friend, and talking about how his problems has affected mine is completely within my rights as a human being and a friend. I don't look down on him for smoking weed and dealing it, in fact I don't think I look down on people at all. But even he knows how much he's messed up, and he's either too apathetic or too ignorant to pull himself out, and I'm not sure I'm the one to try and pull him out again.

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You literally said in your post that it might be difficult to read the whole post in one sitting. But I've read most of it now and it's very clear to me that, yes, you DO look down on other people. As LL just stated, you see everyone as "mindless zombies" with no ambitions of their own. Just cogs in the creative machine of some "higher" person, which you seem to consider yourself as. Like, nobody is just gonna hand you a grant and let you make your dream video game without proving yourself first. Basically, what I'm trying to say is, all of your problems appear to stem from your self loathing and how you think you're better than everyone else. You'll never admit it, but you do. And you probably won't even take this post serious because you look down on me. But that's your fault and not mine. I'm trying to give you some honest-to-god tough love, take it or leave it.

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Alright Phanta, I don't know how many times I have to tell you this, or what I have to do to prove it to you, but I do respect other human beings and I don't put anybody underneath me. That's why I'm willing to try and level with someone who may be unreasonable even if I disagree with them. I disagree with your interpretations of my views, but I am taking you seriously right now because you are saying something that's both coherent and straight-faced, and it kinda' sounds like you read my post.

 

And unfortunately yeah, I do encounter a lot of people who wander aimlessly without ambition, or have ambitions that they're too afraid to pursue. Rather than feeling like I'm better for them, I would rather try to encourage them and push them along what they want to do so they don't live an unfulfilling life. The way I see it, everyone's stuckin the mud of life, and we're all trying to dig ourselves out one way or another, and some fight harder than others. I think even the most ignorant person has the capacity to become great, to learn better, to fight as hard as I do, but they just don't have my mentality about it. I don't think my mentality is the best one, either, because I'm not successful, and other people are. I am angry about being unable to be successful. I'm impatient, in other words. While I see a lot of people who don't aspire to be something great, they still live great lives in their own rite, and I respect that. But nothing makes me more disappointed than someone who wants to be something more and is stuck in a bigger rut than I am, whether it be a cycle of ignorance, or a lack of connections or resources, or whathaveyou.

 

We're all really similar fundamentally, so I wouldn't put someone else down, because that would be putting down the potential of human beings as a species, and I have no higher respect than the potential of the human race. I hope you understand my ideology better and realize that I do not look down on people.

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