Gathering Power

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It’s during times like these when your worst enemy is yourself that you have to become your own hero. I’m digging down deep and gathering power from all the things that bring light into my world, combining them with my fertile writer’s brain, and silencing my inner demons, one at a time through the artistic arrangement of words filling up page space. All these things put together make the greatest power and weapon that I possess against my Nightmares.

I draw my power from…
-My Mom
-My Cousins
-My Cousins’ kids.
-Remembering what it took to get to this point.
-Writing
-Fleetwood Mac
-The Power Rangers
-The Ghostbusters
-The WWE
-Memories of Jewels, my favorite dog.
-Persona
-Pokemon
-Digimon
-Cooking
-Damn good coffee
-Speaking different languages.
-Photography
-The use of my imagination.
-The colors black, purple, green, and blue.
-Knowing that I’m worthy of love.
-Knowing that I do deserve good things.
-Checking my pulse.
-Every breath I take.
-Every nerve and synapse in my brain that explodes with imaginative power.

My current situation is not my final destination. That’s why I’m going to overcome all of this and decide my own fate.

Now then…it’s Morphin’ Time!!

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Permanence

When I was a kid I was forced to move around a lot. I was born in Columbus, Ohio but when I finished the 2nd grade my family and I moved to Illinois. It’s been so long that I barely remember the name of the place I lived in. I was only there until I finished the 3rd grade. I think the name of the town was Coal Valley. It was close to Moline. That much I can remember.

Then we moved down to the Carolinas where I’ve been living since. First it was Georgetown, South Carolina. Easily the smallest, most rinky dink town I’ve lived in. More so than Boone believe it or not. When I was getting ready to start the 6th grade we moved to a North Carolina town. The only thing I remember about this particular period of my life was this tiny crap shack apartment I had to live in and that I was enrolled in school for only a month. I can’t remember the town’s name, just that it had “Green” in it.

Once that month passed my parents secured their old jobs back in Georgetown where we returned. Mercifully our house hadn’t been sold. When 1999 hit and I was finishing up 6th grade we moved again to North Carolina. This time, it was Charlotte.

I haven’t thought about this in forever. I buried these memories a long time ago just like everything else. The times between each move were always filled with unrest. When it had been confirmed that my Dad had gotten the job in Illinois I remember seeing my Mom cry in the home office that used to be my bedroom. She didn’t want the move to happen. And she hated the house we lived in during Illinois.

I hated leaving every home. I hated having to separate from the few friends I had made. I hated having to start over from scratch all over again. I hated every big change that kept happening in between moves.

There are a few things that stayed consistent in my life during all this. The memories are slowly coming back to me.

I remember I had this pillow that I loved. There was nothing special about it. I just really liked it. I loved snuggling with it, clutching it tight like it was a teddy bear. I had that pillow with me through all my moves. I had it from the time I was in 2nd grade and I didn’t let it go until I was almost 16 years old. I didn’t care how torn up or gross looking it was. It didn’t just provide comfort but it was one of the few things that stayed with me through all 4 states. Recently I’ve noticed that I’ve been seeking comfort with the pillows I have now. Almost like I’ve regressed.

Then there were my childhood heroes; the Ghostbusters and the Power Rangers. I liked Batman and the X-Men too, but I didn’t obsess over them. I collected all sorts of toys, I recorded episodes and watched them obsessively. I even had my own story ideas based on Ghostbusters and Power Rangers that my Georgetown friends and I used to act out. We role-played as our own characters and added in all kinds of stuff. We probably crossed over our Power Rangers with Dragon Ball Z and Batman at some point. Even after moving to Charlotte I kept acting things out in a one-man show type of style. Whenever my parents or brother overheard me or walked in on me you can imagine it was quite awkward. But I didn’t let that stop me. At some point I stopped with the role-plays and I put away my toys, yet I never got around to completely growing out of things.

The move to Charlotte was the worst for me. I had just turned 14, started 7th grade, and was immediately labeled a “fucking faggot” by everyone before I even had a chance to wrap my mind around it. I knew I was different from others before then, but I didn’t place a word on it until I entered Sun Valley Middle. Those kids weren’t just monsters, but they were like prototypes to the jaded, cynical adults that I would grow to hate and never wanted to become.

At that point I kept seeking refuge in the things that gave me the most comfort and I found other interests that did the same thing. That’s when I seriously got into anime and video games. While everyone was busy reading Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings I was saving the worlds of Final Fantasy 8, The Legend of Dragoon, and Brave Fencer Musashi. The only pro-LGBT things I was watching on television back then was Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sailor Moon. If I were a lesbian I’d probably would’ve been more empowered, but I still enjoyed watching them. By this point I had pretty much cemented my status as a complete nerd.

I had a lot of story ideas in my head. I would imagine characters as if they were my real friends because they weren’t as vile and toxic as the people I knew in my real life. I did the best I could to keep it all contained within myself. I didn’t wanted to share with anyone. Whenever I did share with someone I’d soon come to regret it. So by not sharing anything I thought I was keeping those characters safe from outside interference and the toxicity that came with it.

The only friend I still have from this distant past is Ellison. We met when I was in 4th grade. Our personalities are like night and day. I know I drove him and his brothers crazy. But he still stayed my friend, we still had great sleepovers, and we had a lot of good laughs. A lot of them at my own expense. I lost contact with him for years, but got back in touch with him through the magic of social media. Ellison must’ve been a saint or a monk in a past life because how else would anyone put up with me? He’s more of a brother than my own blood.

Then I grew up. Something I’m beginning to think was a terrible life decision. Seriously…worst advice I ever followed….

I think a huge reason why I am the way I am is because of all the moving. Whenever someone asks me what my big plans are my usual response is, “Nothing really. Just gonna chill at home.”

Or someone, family or friend, suggested going out I’d shut them down, “No! I don’t feel like it!”

When it was time to move away I didn’t have a say in any of it. When Ellison and his family moved away to Maryland I was left behind. Whenever my Dad would always yell at me I always felt powerless in the same way I did when I roamed the hallways of Sun Valley and people would give me those disdainful looks. When my parents fought there was nothing I could do except escape into my own world where everything made more sense.

That’s why I decided for myself…

“I never want to go anywhere or do anything unless it’s under my own terms. No one will decide anything for me anymore.”

“If being an adult means giving up all these things or always being sad and angry about something then I don’t want grow up!”

It might be immature to think that things should stay the same, to deny changes that were inevitable to happen, but I need consistency in my life. I crave for it. What I speak of isn’t a pillow, a superhero, or any of my interests, but something else.

-I need a place of my own to call home.
-I want friends in my real life that aren’t going to disappear on me.
-I want a fairy tale romance. Even if it’s vanilla in other people’s eyes.
-I want to live life under my own terms. Where I’m happy and that’s all that matters.

Now I’m feeling like I’m off the tangent. Cue exit.

See ya.

It’s That Time Again…

Time to brave through the academic gauntlet!! I’ve got a podcast, two articles to write, and another mammoth sized paper to finish before the Christmas break hits!! It’s going to be tough but I’m going to go all out and give it everything that I got!! Here I go!!

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Goals!!!

Nostalgic Boners and Toxic Fandoms

Warning: The following is an uber nerd rant that might go on for a long time. You’ve been warned. Now it’s time to get my geek on.

I joined up with some fan forums last night. Quite unlike me because I’ve done my best to avoid mingling with fandoms. I used to kick it with the nerd clique which I liked to call “Nerdcore” or “The Nerd Herd” because I figured it’s only natural to want to be around people with similar interests. Did we end up getting along? Yes for the most part. Were there conflicts based on individual tastes, thoughts, and opinions? Yuuuuuuup…..

There are some cancerous people in the nerd community. Straight up. I always end up running into them. It’s an inevitability. It’s a problem when they come in swarms like insects. It becomes an even bigger problem when it seems like you’re under constant attack for the things that you like.

I’m guilty of liking a lot of stuff that’s not popular with other people. Where do I begin?

The anime series, Blood-C. Not for everyone, especially if you’re the squeamish type. It had so much gore that it made Elfen Lied look like a Disney film by comparison. But it actually had a plot that played a good psychological example of Nature vs Nurture and combining it with the whole “Truman Show” scenario. Could it have been executed in a different way? Yes, absolutely. But I think people were so turned off because viewers just had zero patience and didn’t pay attention to what was happening in the episodes that built up toward the end. There were hints everywhere, clear as day. Plus during the last episode there’s a lot more information that’s dropped on everyone’s laps but people don’t get the whole picture. They don’t get the whole picture because they didn’t take the time to put all the puzzle pieces together.

I liked the Ghostbusters and Power Ranger movies that recently came out. Were they perfect? No, of course they’re not perfect. There’s no such thing as perfection. That’s an illusion that people use to set themselves up for disappointment. Are they gonna win any Oscars? I fucking doubt it. But they don’t deserve all the hate that they get from movie viewers and Rotten Tomatoes. The Ghostbusters backlash is purely sexist, nothing more than that. Was it better than the original films back in the 80’s? No, but it wasn’t a complete shit show. It wasn’t a total flop. It could’ve been so much worse than people make it out to be. The same thing with the Power Rangers movie. Rotten Tomatoes labeled it a “box office failure”. Who did the reviewing? Toxic fans who grew up into jaded cynical adults or jaded cynical adults that never watched the original show at all? I loved both those films. I walked out of the movie theater with no regrets and I didn’t feel like my childhood was shat on.

I like some of the more unpopular Final Fantasy titles. My first FF game was Final Fantasy 8 and I fucking loved playing it. It was the second RPG I ever played. That first walkthrough was memorable to me because there was so much trial and error from how I played it and it made the battles especially difficult. Both factors made it all the more gratifying when I finally did beat the game. Is FF8 the best title in the franchise? Does it have the most compelling characters? The biggest replay value? The most amazing plot? No to all of that. But I love FF8 for sentimental reasons. Plus at the time I was playing it I wasn’t looking for any of that in the first place and I didn’t know any of the stuff back then that I know now. So I didn’t label Squall as an emo. Or the romance with Rinoa as uninspired? And I’m not so nerdy that I try to dissect the plot and complain at everything like….”How do you compress time? That doesn’t seem so terrifying…”

Oh yeah and when I was reading the manga, “Claymore”, it pissed someone off so bad that they yelled at me, “That’s just a rip off of Berserk! No, it’s just Berserk with boobs!”

Do you see the pattern here? This is what I call “Pulling a Jon Joel”. Because there was this one asshole in the Nerd Herd circle named Jon Joel who would walk up to you, start up a conversation like so, “What anime/video games are you into?” You proceed to give him an answer and then he responds with, “That’s fucking bullshit! I can’t stand that stuff! I can’t stand those characters! The protagonist is a complete faggot and you’re a faggot for even liking that show!”

Because the whole point of Jon Joel conversing with you is to tear apart everything you love and talk about what he loves because no way he would ever pick a bad anything. He was the sort of extreme weeb who loved to hear the sound of his own voice, bask in the smell of his own shit, and had a butter face that even his own mother would love to throw a brick at. He’s just one of many people who I feel epitomizes that toxic fandom behavior.

Whatever happened with “To each his/her own”? Or common human decency for that matter. I joined up with these forums on some dumb whim and I see so much of that toxic fandom going on just skimming through the site. I almost want to rant in a forum about how the Ghostbusters or Power Rangers movie didn’t suck but I know it’s gonna attract people who will disagree. And the last thing that I want is to have to breathe in more poison than I’ve already have for most of my life.

See? Told ya I was gonna rant. Lately I’ve been indulging myself in a lot of things from my childhood. Nerdy things like Sailor Moon, reading fan fiction, playing retro playstation games, etc. It’s partly depression treatment, going back to my roots and reviving interests that were dying out. The other reason is that naturally they’re all creative fuel for me.

I’m trying to get more serious about my fiction writing. I don’t want to invite anyone else into this fold because past experience tells me that’s not a good idea. People won’t operate on the same wavelength as me and I need to be able to trust myself when I’m writing, especially if I have any chance of making a career out of it. Some of my creative projects are gonna be based off those nerdy nostalgic things that I love so much.

I find myself constantly making a lot of announcements for intentions, but here I go. It won’t be the last time I’ll be doing this. One of the biggest things I’ve struggled with while trying to write is constantly fearing that my ideas aren’t good enough or I’m always giving up on things before I ever truly give them a chance. This is a bad habit that I’m trying to get out of. There’s also the many other facets that come from wanting to write, but that’s the stuff for a whole other blog entry (although I’m fairly certain one of my older posts already covered that). I want to lead a depression free life which I believe can be achieved through writing. I want to write my stories without anymore fear, shame, or self-hate aimed at myself and I need to be comfortable in my own skin to do that. I need to be comfortable with myself by being real with my shit. (Being Real…oh look there’s another throwback to a previous post.)

My New Intentions
1. I want to enjoy the things that make me feel alive.
2. I want to better love myself without reservation.
3. I want to be able to voice my thoughts and opinions without fear.
4. I want to write for me and worry about all the other stuff later.
5. I want to complete at least one creative project before I end up finishing things at App State.
6. I want to break out of self-harming thoughts that have been tying me down.
7. I want to engage with people who aren’t so toxic and leave me to do my own thing without judgement.
8. I want to be comfortable with myself.
9. I want to go after everything that I want without fear in my heart.
10. I want to take better care of myself.
11. I want to live intentionally.
12. I want to forgive myself for never being good enough in the eyes of others or even to myself. Forgive myself for every little thing that I’ve perceived as a failure or defeat. Forgive myself for being different from others. Forgive myself from making progress at my own pace. Finally forgive myself for ever getting lost in life.

I’m done. Later days.