This month has just started off with a doozy, hasn’t it? And it doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. The world just seems to be pressing down, the pressure not unlike how an apparition is described.
The fun hasn’t ended with Ferguson/Mike Brown. I also started reading Rebecca Solnit’s new essay compilation, read through a storify of Jessica Velanti, a female journalist, who asked a question about availability/cost of tampons on Twitter, and ultimately talking with a lot of friends as to their mental health since Robin Williams.
I’ve done my best to sprinkle these grim times with some laughter and smiles. Did you know that Space Jam’s commentary is hilarious on so many levels? Or that home concerts exist, and are generally cheaper and more fun to get into, especially if it features jazz? And that taking a day off to make a three-day weekend is blissful?
I also plugged in my 360, since it’s been about a month since I’ve last turned it on. I was interested to see if I had missed out on any good Games with Gold deals, but it turns out that they, again, weren’t anything I’d cry about. I download the games I usually wouldn’t think about purchasing/wasting my time on (even if I could possibly enjoy a game like Dishonored…we’ll see) as it is a really good way for me to try new things without the worry of being out any money.
Which brings me to A World of Keflings.
I downloaded this game and never played it, like many of the games downloaded during any discount frenzy on Steam.
I’d normally never purchase a game like this because of the exact same reasons why I wondered why it existed when I finally played it on Saturday.
The game itself is a non-killing version of the Warcraft games I played so often as a teen. Except that you basically grind for no apparent reason. I mean, the reason is to make people happy, but they’re surviving on their own well enough. You just dictate what they do like some overlord ready to take on a war (even though they have a king), the war that never happens as everyone is happy to do the mundane mining to create a few different types of shrug-worthy residences that ultimately get you a (spoiler alert) fucking rocking chair.
That’s right. I played a bit of the game, thought it was stupid, then drank a couple of margaritas to finish it off in a few hours.
I even continued to play after I was asked to take care of a dragon that was pestering the starting town, and all I found out I could do was have my avatar wave my arms around to shoo the dragon away.
So, basically, I was really excited to get some dragon killing on, but then after a few hours I realized I’d just wasted a few hours of mindlessness like the few times I’ve played Sims — which is only good if you play with cheats as all of the characters I’ve ever made on there want to quit their jobs to become artists/nomads/anything but just getting by on a nine-to-five job because life is fucking boring and otherwise sad if that is how you play The Sims.
On a side note, I found out this past weekend that you could commit suicide in the original of Game of Life. That’s dark.
I also started watching Outlander. It started out as me laughing at the description my friend laid out to me because I had already watched/read series like this, including The Great Doctor/Faith. But I can’t help it. The main character is after me own heart, what with the mouth like a sailor she has. There will be a lot of accepting “This isn’t a thing during that time,” I am sure, and probably a lot of “and when does the emotional trauma that would happen to a normal human occur?” after reading the synopsis of the book series, but I’m also not expecting anything but pure fluff glory. I was told that this was a show in response to Game of Thrones. I doubt anything will be able to compare to that. But gods know there will be a few good sword fights with some Scottish butt thrown in.
As for the New Zealand front, I’m trying hard not to feel as if this is a standstill. I’ve decided on what my Plan V is, which is to go anyway and see what happens with no plan, almost like skydiving. My Plan Z is that I don’t go at all, becoming severely depressed. I have no idea what the other plans are between.
It’s been difficult on some levels getting ready to go. Not just on the materialistic side, but also the emotional side. I’ve written before about the turmoils of friends/family when you tell them you want to go overseas for an indeterminate amount of time. And it is hard when a close friend doesn’t understand what you’re doing, and thus isn’t really supportive of your life choices. The friendship itself can be cracked as the last thing someone needs when they’re selling their life to move it somewhere else is a nay-sayer, someone selfish enough to make the event more about themselves than the adventure you’re about to go on.
Something I’ve learned about going overseas, and seeing others go overseas, is that the last month or so is chaotic. There are plenty of loose ends that need to be tied up, from paperwork to packing to needing some alone time to do nothing at all. In my case, I’ve also still got a job I’m working at, one that is requiring extra time for projects.
Due to this, I’ve let all friends know about my time limits. I have certain events I’ve signed up for, but several I’ve had to cancel/decline after originally thinking I could do them, more that I’ve stayed as tentative. While some friends understand, others have shockingly not been, one going as far as to imply that I don’t have my priorities straight, and that I’m also pushing friends away. As in I don’t want to say goodbye, so I’m pushing friends away.
I won’t get into anymore details as it quickly grew to a fight that I am still simmering about (I don’t do well with people telling me what to do, but I particularly don’t do well when people try to make me feel guilty for choosing my own path), but this is ultimately frustrating. No one likes to leave on a bad note. For a while, my parents thought my leaving the states was me taking a stance to say “Fuck you!” to everything I disliked here. I will admit it could be up to 25% of my reasons, but I have been teetering on the line of leaving like a trapeze artist since I was born. We were a traveling family as I grew up. I’m obsessed with stories, how they create who we are. I can feel when a chapter ends for me, and when I have the opportunity to start a new one.
75% of me leaving is me looking at my situation and wanting to accomplish more than sitting in an office for 8-10 hours a day doing something I’m “meh” about. That isn’t what life is about for me, despite what the corporate life tries to shove down our society’s throat.
When I think about my life, my most joyful experiences, they aren’t about those hours I spend hunched over a computer, entering numbers/names/locations into an excel sheet (the only memories I enjoy that involve me being hunched over a computer for hours on end are the moments I’ve been writing — and probably gaming). The best moments were when I was discovering things for the first time in new places. The moment I realized that Mount Rushmore wasn’t actually the size of the Rocky Mountains. When I discovered, after years of never seeing my name anywhere, that there was a Mallory Square in Florida (even if it was after some knight’s last name). What I felt seeing the American border for the first time as I stood at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. How I learned how young American history really was by taking the cobblestone paths in Norway/Sweden. The odd sensation of not wanting to go home because I felt as if I belonged in New Zealand more than where I grew up.
I don’t need to explain myself. After all, I’m not dragging anyone with me, nor am I chastising anyone else for staying. But I am more than happy to tell people about the joys I have felt by allowing myself to experience what I consider life. It allows me to stay passionate, creative, involved, and, most of all, happy.
Plus, one can always come back. If one ends up wanting to, that is.