This is a post that’s part stream-of-consciousness, part reflection. This is a look back at my year, all the things that I’ve been thinking lately, and a record of how I felt during this time. It’s not all-encompassing, but definitely a huge look into how I think and how I feel about the world that I’ve been looking at lately. Perhaps for some, it might be an insight into the sentiment of the world during this time. I don’t know. That’s what this is about. Figuring it out.

The New Years has always been a very inconsequential time for me. To me, it has always simply been another day. But more and more as I get older, I find myself tied to time. I’ve always been somewhat of a free spirit, more or less at different points in my life. But more and more, the world and I are learning that maybe, just maybe we should all be taking a closer look at what’s going on around us. The world is evolving in many different sectors. The political landscape is changing, the economical standings are shifting, and the very perceptions of society and individuals are refocusing. I think perhaps it’s time I started to refocus myself.

I have seen a lot in my short not-even-two decades here on this Earth. I’ve seen amazing wonders that I have yet been unable to articulate and horrors that haunt me to this day. I’ve seen the greatest accomplishments of man and also the disgusting follies. More than that, I’ve seen the future. Or as I’ve been taught, futures. I’ve come to understand more and more how the world is a construction and how everything around us is often more than not constructed. I hope to write about this more in a post on hegemony and ideology, but that will be another day.

Regardless I am still shocked by everything going on around me. I’ve been so moved and shaken that I am almost immobile. There is so much going on that I find it hard enough to simply be one with the flow around me. Writing this is so hard of its own. Firstly, there’s so much that I can say; and lately, I’m having such a hard time saying any of it, let alone all of it. This last year has been hard for me. Really, these last two years have been. I mean so much has happened that it’s almost a huge blur. It’s like watching an anime like Log Horizon (which I did recently) or read a series like The Enemy by Charlie Higson or Everlost by Neal Shusterman. When you’re in the reading, in the experience, you don’t realize how much it all is until you look back at how far you’ve come. I remember reading Everfound and thinking: “Look how far the characters have come. Look at all the places they’ve been and all the things they’ve done.”

And that’s just in a thousand pages of written story. Yet, for many, the experience of our year would take hundreds of thousands alone to explain the experiences and phenomenon that engulf our lives. Think of the hundreds of thousands of blog posts like this that must be out there trying to explain this thing that we call human experience. This conglomerate of sense experiences that we attempt to understand and express. It’s amazing. It truly is.

This last year, I’ve found myself more and more trying to understand this all. To understand what this thing we call human experience is. I find myself lost in a hundred different ways and entranced by what I’ve found. I find myself enjoying narrative so much more and appreciating all the stories that I have come across in my years. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy or appreciate these things before. I’m just coming to realize that this skill of mine to do so is much more valuable than I previously thought. In fact, I think it might be my primary skill.

At times, I called it intuition. At times, I called it empathy. At times, I called it understanding. I think it’s much more though. Trying to understand the world, trying to understand myself, and trying to understand the people in my life. I think it’s trying to find out what I value most in life. To find out what things are real. To understand the truth.

And I think I’m a lot closer than I’ve ever been before. I think I’ve embedded the need for this in myself more than ever. I think it’s important that people do. That people continue to look for the answers. It’s a double-edged sword and a fine line that I think people need to learn to wield and tread. It’s easy to accept what we are told as truth. It’s easy to live convenient lives. It’s easy to allow for the world to tell us that things are made to be a certain way, that certain things are natural. But I think that is merely lazy. It’s merely allowing life to set to auto-pilot. For someone else to live life and tell you what they’ve found.

Life is about finding out the truth yourself. You know, they always taught my growing up that the world does not revolve around me. That phrase is supposed to teach people to remember about the feelings and needs of others. It fulfills this purpose. But I don’t think it’s true.

If the world does not revolve around me, who does it revolve around? Nobody, of course. But there is more than one definition of world. In the end, perhaps the wider world does not revolve around anybody. But my world certainly does. My world: the places I go, the people I meet and love, my sense experience. This is my world. My life. That does revolve around me, because I can only experience it through me. My world is my perspective. I think it’s important to remember the role that one plays in the construction of reality. This school year I’ve read a lot of plays that talk about this. Zoot Suit, A Taste of Honey, Ashes to Ashes.

To say that the world revolves around oneself may seem selfish. It may seem egotistical. But that’s not the purpose of looking at the world this way. The point is remembering that the world is what we make of it. It’s remembering that we are the focal point of our own stories, perceptions, and conclusions about life. Even what I say here is merely a perspective from my own centrality.

Now I could go on forever about my philosophy on life, but the point I’m getting at is that this last year, I’ve learned more and more about how I’m looking at the world. I think we should all think about how we look at the world. To tell you the truth, I still care little for world politics and national events. I mean, I look at Ferguson, I look at North Korea, I look at the Boston Marathon, I look at Anita Sarkessian, I look at the Colorado shootings, I look at everything. But I don’t necessarily find them as important as everyone else does. Is that wrong? Maybe in the eyes of the majority. Of society. Of all those people that care about those things. Maybe in my own eyes if it were not for one fact. Just because I don’t care as much about those things, does not mean I don’t care about the important things.

I’ve realized more and more than there is so much input around us as the world evolves. We’ve got information shooting past us and around us and through us and it’s everywhere. It’s just all-consuming. You can’t take it all in. It’s just too much. We aren’t hard drives, we’re people. You can’t just write it all in into us as if our minds are some memory locations to be rewritten. I may not have follow these news events in-depth like many others, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t follow anything in-depth. I’m preoccupying my time with other things. I’m reading philosophy, watching anime, playing video games, studying hegemony, exploring experimental art and design. For some, these things. or some of them, may seem frivolous and less important. But as I said, I live my life. I’m a consumer like many. But I have the power to choose what I consume. To some, these things may be malnutritious. But for me, they are quite the opposite.

It’s also important to note that I am a bit cynical when it comes to the news. I think people tend to merely accept what is reported as well. I think that people tend to not look for the answers or approach the facts themselves. It’s ignorance. I may not always have the greatest opinion, I may not have the most popular opinion, but at the end of the day it’s always mine. It’s always what I’ve concluded upon. I’ve listened to what’s going on, I’ve listened to what has been said, and at the end of it all I make my own opinion. I think this is an important skill that is to be learned by all.

Ever since we were kids, we’ve been taught to critically think. To critically understand something and articulate it to form our own argumentation. The one thing I think they forgot to teach, was how to critically listen; something very similar, but not quite the same. We’ve been taught how form our own conclusions and argue them. We haven’t necessarily been taught the skills in order to listen. We’ve been taught to debate, but not to listen to the other side. To critically think is to critically articulate our own understandings. To critically listen is to critically empathize with someone else’s understanding. Perhaps there are better names for what I’m thinking of, but this is how I’ve come to understand it. Anyways, I think we need more of this.

I’ll probably come back to these kinds of things in further EXPersuasion articles.

I’ve digressed quite enough from the new year already, haha. The point is, my entire way of thinking is shifting. I’ve changed a lot even if the people who hate me from high school don’t see it. After all, do they even talk to me? Though, perhaps that’s for the best.

The events of the year have changed me as well, not just my learning. I can’t believe all the things that I’ve done this year.

2014: The year I got accepted to USC. The year I fell in love for the second time. The year I broke down and rebuilt myself and started all over in another city hundreds of miles from home. I wish I had gotten around to writing those pieces on USC and LA and college life. I think I still will. There’s so much to be done and I”m doing my best. I’m trying to figure it all out and trying to figure myself out. And honestly, I think I’m doing a pretty good job, even if people doubt me. I would ask one of the hardest things to ask others. I would ask that people believe in me. Have faith in me. I’m making a declaration to myself and to the world. I will make things better. I’m going to change the world and shape it to my will.

I remember a quote from a long time ago that I don’t at this time know the source of. It says: “People believe the world is hard. And so it is.”

This is simply saying that the world is what we make of it. It’s all constructed after all. So we can shape the world through sheer will. Because we make it to be what we want it to be. People believe the world is hard and so it is. Well, by that same logic, if I believe that I can change the world. If I believe it can be a place for the people I love. Then it will be.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned it’s that there are so many people out there that are suffering, hurting, dying that are more than just those things. They are not suffering people, they are not hurt people, they are not the dead, dying, screaming, surviving ones. They are so much more. Yet, at the same time, they are the forgotten ones. I haven’t forgotten any of you. I have a very poor memory. But I think it’s because I’ve freed up space in my memory to allow for myself to never forget all the people I’ve met. Even if I may forget some of the circumstances of our meetings. I’m never going to forget the hurt looks and the smiles through the tears. The friendships we have, the challenges we’ve faced. You know, I’ve learned that this world is not about you even if it may revolve around you.

I’ll quote. “Protecting someone, means making a place for them.”

I’m going to make a place for the people I love. I can’t save them. I can’t fix the world for them. But I can make a place for them. Because so many times they’ve gone unheard and uncared for. I’m going to change that. And I’m not saying, I’m not going to try and fix the world for them. I think that’s an important cause as well. Dare to do the impossible, they say. Maybe I’m just rambling at this point. But that’s all part of it. It’s not clear, and yet it is. That’s what I’ve discovered.

Those things we search for that are right in front of us, but just out of reach. Those things that we almost never get to. I see them. I see it all. It’s right there. RIGHT THERE.

The things we want most in life are often the farthest away. But.

I’m going to grab hold. Just give me more time. And have faith. I won’t let you down. Not one of you. You’ll all have a place near me. And you won’t be forgotten. I promise. Because I’m going to try my best. I may not always do my best. I may sometimes get stuck in the past. And stuck in my own misfortune. But I paraphrase something that I reference in my Log Horizon post. A system in which there is no chance for failure. I don’t know if I can trust a system that like that. Failure is as much a part of success as the lack of failure.

I’m not perfect, and I’m dreaming. But the dream itself is a realization of reality of itself. It affirms itself as a dream. And yet, in doing so, it affirms itself as reality rather than. Like in a recent anime I watched called Maoyu. I’m looking for what’s on the other side of the hill.

I suppose that’s all for now. On to a new year. Who knows. Maybe next year, I’ll have progressed this further. Or completely reworked it. That’s all a part of life, of the “figuring it out yourself.” Happy New Year, everyone!

Oh and a small note for my love. I know that things don’t seem right, right now. But they’re real aren’t they. That’s part of what I find most important in this world. Finding and holding onto what’s real. You are one of those things. I love you. I never want to let you go. I won’t pine and I won’t pander. I’m simply going to dream. Because I know, that right now our paths are completely different. That we are nowhere near anything even resembling a relationship. But that doesn’t make this any less real. It doesn’t make it any less important. I guess I just want to keep that in mind, no matter what happens next. Who knows what this year will hold for us.

Oh and apparently my New Year’s Resolution is to stop talking about my ex-girlfriends and past loves. Thanks, Melanie Frakes, haha.

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