The Going-Ons: Motivations and Journeys (January 21, 2019)

I haven’t written anything in a long time. I have problems with motivation and confidence – a lifelong issue. When I think about what I’m most passionate about, however, it comes back to talking about movies and video games, and writing/ creating in general. I did create another blog “Better Late” where I attempted to blog about geek-culture and review video games and movies. Unfortunately, it was in a time where reviews and reading blogs in general were in dire decline. So, why am I writing this now? Because I want to.

For my entire adult life, I have been out of shape. This past November I started working out – rotating between lifting weights one day and running another, with a one-to-two day break a week. I’ve lost weight and I’ve gained muscle (it’s so weird!). I also have more energy and body confidence. Despite my wife almost constantly telling me I’m a sexy man-beast, I’ve never been that confident about my physical appearance. Exercising is something that has really helped me looked at what I want to accomplish in life. It’s something I fretted, talked, and overthought about, until I didn’t anymore and I just started doing. Now it’s becoming a habit.

That’s what I want to accomplish by coming back to this format and talking about my interests – I want to make it a habit. Listening to and becoming indirectly with Facebook communities involving video game podcasts such as “The Giant Bombcast” and “That Pixel Life” has helped inspire me to become more socially involved in the world – in a form with which I’m comfortable. This blog, those posts of memes and comments on people’s posts aren’t much, but they make me feel involved and heard.

I’ve decided that this is my year of “doing”. I’m going to write more – post here and work on projects that have been rattling around in my noggin’. I want to talk about what matters to me: things like comic book movies, Star Wars, video games and various genres and interests. I want to share more personal experiences. I love my life and I am happy, but do have other things that have been itching at me that I just want to do. There may even be the occasional fictional story.

This past year, we traveled to Israel. I had never been further outside of the U.S. further than the Caribbean. It was an amazing experience where I met extended family and friends, and experienced food, culture and history that’s always fascinated me. I also recently finished the extraordinary epic video game “Red Dead Redemption 2”, which I will write about soon. This July, I’m going to the UK for the first time. More childhood fantasies have been realized magnificently on the big-screen. Paddington 2 made me cry. So far, the book “Lonesome Dove” rocks.

Maybe I do eventually need to narrow this down to a focus – self-edit what I actually want to accomplish. Right now, this is what I want – to share my thoughts and experiences with the world.

My wife and I at the Dead Sea in Israel.

I Was Bad at Being a Teenager

Palms sweating, I had no idea what to do. I consciously struggled to keep my eyes glued on the screen. Anthony Hopkins grinned slyly and horribly as his well-known Hannibal Lecter. She leaned against me, my body went rigid. I liked this girl, but I had no idea what to do. My still best friend, two seats over, mouthed to me “put your arm around her!”. I defiantly shook my head “no” as I felt my heart simultaneously race and sink. I was seventeen and, apparently, bad at being a teenager.
I still fight with insecurities, still cave in to the temptations of material comfort. Overall, though, I say I came out a better adult than most likely was projected. I’m not an exorbitantly uptight asshole seeking to make the world a more politically-correct place, nor a drug runner pushing weed cigarettes to make a buck. Sure, I may be a hipster-douche, but, according to my wife, that’s just the evolved form of the nerd. Thank you, Pokemon!
I was that kid with the target on his back. The sensitive guy who people mostly seemed to pity more than actually like, tease more than show respect to. I now realize there were people that were actually my friends and I took most of them for granted, but that doesn’t change the fact that I never, actually until the past two years, felt like I belonged anywhere.
I escaped a lot. I read, drew comics, watched excessive amounts of movies and TV and played video games. I’d even act out stories by myself outside, talking and walking. I rarely was able to have friends over, losing my small neighborhood crew when I moved to a more isolated part of Silver Spring, Maryland.
I see a lot of people around my age trying to justify narcissism, cynicism and trying to be “politically correct” and, apparently, never wrong. Maybe what I went through, and I’m purposefully not telling the whole story, wasn’t all that bad. I think of my still wounded ego and my luck of being married to a wonderful woman whose children love me (and I love them). I don’t feel like I’m entitled or special because I’ve lived and have done things. I don’t feel like I’m always right simply because I have an opinion. I just go on the assumption that trying to make your life the best it can be when you’re an adult is just what one does.
Maybe I was just bad at being a teenager. I didn’t go out with friends at night until Community College. I grew up believing an argument was over when someone was overly offensive or said something like “No, you’re just wrong”. I didn’t go on a date until that event described in the first paragraph. I watched Saturday morning cartoons until I started sleeping in until 11-12. Hell, I still love cartoons.
I feel like I do the best with what I have. I feel happy and mostly content. It could have gone drastically different for me, none of the ways being better. I’m lucky to have the life I do and to be the person I am.