I used to be unbelievably outgoing when I was younger.
When I think back, its nostalgic, but I think some people would think its weird. I used to be friends with an old lady and two middle aged mothers, my sister and I. We’d go over to their apartment and clean for them, or walk their dogs (surprisingly, two of them both had dogs, and one of them had a Persian cat and a ton of fishes). Jan was the name of the elderly lady, and I can’t remember the middle aged mother, but her son was in the same grade as me when I was in middle school. I guess we’ve been hanging out with them since then, until we moved away during the freshman year of high school.
We met Jan when she was walking her two Pekingese dogs (Andy and Amanda) one day and we instantly fell in love with them. They really were so adorable, its too bad we didn’t have cameras or phones “back in the day.” We’d often allude them as ourselves; Amanda was the feisty one like my younger sister, and Andy was more of the calm yet derpy one like me. One day, Jan showed up less and less – she was taken care of by her daughter who was around her late twenties or early thirties, I think. She always had problems with her knee, and she was going into surgery soon. I remember they’d always let us walk her dogs before all this happened, but when I think about it now I imagine they were immensely grateful that we would always come over and walk their dogs. I think I remember them asking us formally if we could, and we were delighted to help. Its funny because we were dense as kids, and so we didn’t ask for payment. I think it was better that way – Jan wasn’t an employer, but our friend. I can’t remember every detail, but certain memories are still vibrant.
They didn’t tell us anything, probably because they felt we were too young to understand or something. I wish they did, because at times when I muse in my past memories, I wish I had known so that I would understand it later in the future. Even now, I still don’t know where they are anymore and where they have gone. Back then, to me, email was not used so much until later on. To talk to them and catch up after all these years would be beyond amazing. Still, I am sure just as I think about them at times, they might remember us fondly (hopefully, we were crazy kids).
I did call Inga’s mother once and we both talked for a while. Inga was really young, much younger than us – I think she was maybe 6 or 7 when I was maybe 13 or 14? I can’t remember. But these friendships were genuine – perhaps in ulterior motive, we just wanted to be around pets since we could never have one of our own, but over time in my childhood we would “explore” the apartment complex and meet so many great people – that place was the place where I grew up in and that was our world.
I remember Kelly, the girl who was maybe 3-4 or so years older than us. She was very mature and crazy in a reserved kind of way, and was kindhearted to hang with us, who probably were kids in her eyes. It’s amazing to me how I was not affected by the age gap stigma, but as I’ve matured, I’ve realized how much I’ve changed, even when its not outwardly.
A wave of memories overflow me as I type these words, I can be very nostalgic at times. I remember so many good and happy memories of my sister, my childhood friend Mary Lou, and all the embarrassing ones too. Both the good and the bad, I look back favorably. Sometimes, in my quiet world of thoughts at night, I would like to express many important themes regarding my childhood in art, somehow.
Up until now. The change is unbelievable – I am no longer the kind of person to reach out to anyone in real life. I’ve always been shy, but the person I am today rejects and dislikes any form of real life social contact. My sister always gets on to me about not spending more time with her, and there is usually a sinking feeling, no, maybe more of a sigh, when someone asks to go hang out. Its not the people themselves that I dislike company – I’ve become nearly entirely reclusive. More and more each day, I am paralyzed by laziness and anti social tendencies, but I’ve never thought of it as a bad thing. I’ve always been comfortable within my own bubble, plugged in to electronic music, and typing away, whether to chat with online friends or expressing my thoughts here. In such a loud, bizarre, chaotic world, music sweeps me away from outside distractions, and games immerse me from any stress nagging at me. That doesn’t mean I don’t think about important things and neglect them, but if I did not do this, I think I would be hypertensive because I am the type of person constantly thinking about things. When I am immersed in this new world of mine, to me, it almost becomes an artistic expression – the stories that I make up for my characters, the expression of my true self here, even the tedious list of things to do in DDO – everything is what gets me so passionate about this game, blog, whatever it is that I love doing. I can only dream I could make a living by truly following my artistic conduct.
Sometimes I surmise and try to explain why I’ve become this way. Maybe my life, that didn’t seem as traumatic as I thought it was, shows in its own psychological form. In that case, would that mean I’m a weaker person that I thought I was, and that all this time I have been putting up a facade? There are these deeper thoughts I wonder about randomly. All this time, I’ve never once thought of my being changing (which to others apparently is dramatic) as a bad thing. I had already subconsciously and gradually accepted the reclusive part of me, as it was the type of person I have always been deep down. There was a reason why I was always considered quiet as a kid, that I’ve always preferred thinking to myself. My mind was the only safe place when people would reprimand me, or when I was emotional (in both good and bad terms). I remember strongly that I would always whisper to myself, which has stopped after my older sister pointed it out and I would have to mentally stop myself ever since, thinking it was a bad thing. Of course, when she started doing it, I reverted right back, but not as much as I used to. Ahh, the psychology of social ethics.
The definition of “fun” back then is surely, not even remotely the same as I would define it today. I think a lot of people would not understand me on what I think is fun on what seems to be an addict’s ritual. I’m a repetitive person until I burn out, when it comes to music, grinding in game, etc. I wonder if I would ever stop playing DDO, and sometimes I do get tired (as I am right now, definitely burned out from constantly reincarnating). But all in all… I am truly passionate about DDO. I know there is a difference between fanaticism and passion. However, they are the same to me when it comes to things I love, and I am sure that is how other people may view their interests too, with a sort of fanaticism that we cannot help. I guess it’s just a matter of deeming whether their interest is ethically right or wrong – I know that some things aren’t right to be fanatical about of course (this is for you political/philosophical peeps). Perhaps that is how the others view me.
My thoughts are always random, but I find that artistic. It’s kind of how I set up this blog to be as a ramble spot, but I know that can be annoying for those who read traditional blogs. It reminds me of dreams, which I vividly remember most of them on the day I wake up (of course I forget the ones after a while) – both spontaneous but coherently fluid enough for comprehension. I’ve always been the type of person to muse a lot on my dreams and nightmares, and maybe that has even translated into my thoughts and how I organize them in regards to my experiences and the world around me.
In the end, I may be completely different a decade from now, just as I was a decade ago. My friends and family may love or hate me then. It can be scary thinking about this, but identity has always been such a huge question to me. I’ve always followed in my older sister’s steps, but I’ve never made enough tracks to identify in my own footsteps. I loathe thinking about the future in regards to my education and future life in general, so much that I sometimes almost wish I don’t have to worry about the future once and for all. Of course, I wouldn’t go that extreme in actuality, but I hate it that much. Because of this, this has been one of my top prayers for when I do pray (forgive me!), but the answer is still unclear after all these years. This is where I am at my weakest. Even when I am inspired (which I have been lately) by pieces or art or the like, it appears that I am too far in this sort of inner paralysis to do anything that I would want to do but cannot.
“It is a long way forward,” but I am trying! Even if I’m taking snail paces, the realization of all of these as of recently is my starting point. The lagging pace in my gaming time in DDO recently has sparked something for me, and thus this frustration of these thoughts were poured forth. The frustration of not moving forward in both life and DDO. For the first time in forever, I wanted to draw. And now, before I fall asleep, I wanted to write about this. I have the worst habit of doing that. But hopefully, I’ll be able to change that and make room for other things than DDO – I want to.
The biggest inspiration that got me thinking about this, writing about this, fighting about this, was Porter Robinson’s Shelter. My sister showed it to me and at first I was impressed mildly, but after watching it over and over and over again on my own, the isolated world there was what resonated with me and all that was happening. Maybe in the future, I won’t be lagging behind as much, sleeping in as much, and putting forth my real motivations to action.
The hardest thing I struggle with: putting thoughts into words, words into action. I am but a hollow shell, really.