I was really disapointed that when you search Google for images of “gathering chi” all you find are people wearing Chinese clothes posing in ways that, if I chucked a dodgeball at them, they’d probably look kinda stupid catching it with their faces.
Right now, this very moment, is one of the first times I take a little breath in several weeks. I’ve completed and submitted the first paper of my masters.
Because CM mentioned it recently, my mind has been on analogies of Street Fighter. Specifically, gathering the force to perform a super.
I also read Zanshin’s recent post about all the things he’s made of himself. And you know what? Hearing a friend say good things about me is one thing. Hearing him say good things about himself is another thing entirely– it makes me feel good. On levels that are are hard for me to describe.
Life is a progression of challenges. Depending on how you handle them, in retrospect we look at them as heavy costs, doors shut, and dissapointments; or as things that built our character, made us a little crooked in the back but ultimately stronger, scarred us for life but gave us the edge over people who don’t know the experinece.
Do you ever have a moment where, in life, you just want to say “That’s right, motherfuckers!” because you showed them how it was done?
All my life I’ve been conflicted. It’s a lot like the way you have Ryu (from Street Fighter) conflicted about using his abilities just for the sake of destructive power. On one hand– I do want to become a better person. On the other hand, sometimes that power gets used to crush people– real people in the real world– or to feel better than people. And I don’t want to be better just by comparison to others. I want to feel better because I am confident in who I am and who I am becoming.
At work over the past few weeks, time have been tough. It’s really been [CM] and [Zanshin] who have anchored me in sanity through little chats and correspondence. They might not know it, but they kept me from insanity. In the last two months, I’ve gotten myself involved in several ugly situations involving office politics. In all these situations, I ‘won,’ in the sense that the overall result is that nobody will mess with me on those fronts anymore, because I have the support of the majority of my peers. But I don’t like playing those games. The truth is– I like accumulating ‘power’ but every time I use it, I feel guilty. Because almost always, in the real world, when you use power, it is to adjust a balance of human interaction– and that means that someone gets shut down. It means that after you’ve won, you’re saying “That’s right, motherfuckers!” to a particular person, someone who is also human.
I was looking at facebook randomly because I needed someone’s email address. Everytime I open facebook, I get the same feeling– it’s a giant yearbook of people, events and activities that I’m supposed to be aware of, keep track of, be in the know of and feel all cool to be enabled to see– but I don’t. I just see personalized advertissments, and I pay about as much attention to them as the ads on the side of my gmail account while I write to people who I do care about. But it wasn’t always like that. People I knew are getting married, and in those wedding pictures are people who I used to know.
I think the strange thing is– I don’t really miss out on it. The simple fact is… I don’t care about being popular anymore. Office politics are the exception, because there are very real consequences on my ability to function, since my job has a lot to do with interdepartmental cooperation. But other than that?
And maybe that’s what makes me a loner, a vagrant. If it weren’t for school forcing me into peoples’ company back in those days, I might not have 90% of the friends that I did. I just recently saw Diary of Wimpy Kid with CM, and frankly, that reminded me of how much of meeting people is just about the popularity game. It’s about making people like you. The thing is, I don’t care about playing that game anymore– and once I stopped, I just realized how few close friends I have. Does that sound sad?
I’ve realized a few things about the way I deal with friends. One of them is that how often we see eachother doesn’t matter– I can see someone, not see them for a while, but then when I see them again I can hit ‘resume’ and we can catch up. The good friends are like that anyhow– these people, I want to know what’s new because I genuinely want to know how their adventures are going. I generally try to ask people with open invitations because I like to catch up.
But you have to wonder why it is that during those times when I’m busy working my ass of, where are the invitations? I’m not sending them because it’s not convenient. But I know tons of people who have lives marginally as busy as mine. I always took the time to see them when they were down at the drop of a hat. I even took the time to see them when there was no reason to– just because I liked their company.
But I don’t play the popularity game, you see. I’m not on any but a few Top Ten lists because I’m not the personality at the party. I’m the one who works 10 hours a day at work, 4 or 5 hours a day on my Masters, spends the rest of his time sleeping or chatting online because I’m too exhausted for anything else. That kinda stuff isn’t cool, simply.
Today, I have the evening off– I’ve given myself the evening off. For the past hour or so I’ve lain in bed, not sleeping, but in silent meditation of who I’ve become.
It’s a question beyond like or dislike– but I understand, now, more than ever, who I am and my place in this world. And I’m fine with it.
Deciding that I don’t need to be popular, and realizing that I’m not– that puts me exactly where I want to be.