Happy Birthday!

To me, that is. Today marks the 20th year I was brought into this world, for better or for worse. I think that 20 years old really is a mark to behold in some ways. I mean, I’m probably a quarter of the way through the average human life expectancy. Honestly, I feel old. I feel so very old…

I’d like to say this is the year I turn my life around, that I start getting serious about things, getting more organized, getting more done. To start setting things right and change things around. Then again, I think I’ve said that for many years now. I think I’ve said that for years and years and years and I probably will continue doing so. I mean, life’s pretty fast and life’s pretty hard. I think I’ve always found myself to be a pretty serious and hard-working fella. But, then, maybe people would say differently. I wonder.

And then, that kind of question leads to other questions. Am I really not hard-working? Am I really not sincere? Should I try to be more? Do people just not know me well enough? Or am I just listening only to those that have negative things to say? Or the wrong things even?

I think we all find ourselves in that existential bubble, especially during this time of their lives, the 20s. I’m officially a Twenty-something. Balancing work and career with play and socialization. It’s hard. I find it harder and harder to keep up with everything going around me. I don’t really get how everyone takes care of themselves. I find my body aching, deteriorating, unhealthy. But then, I find myself working harder and harder, and more and more, and trying to do a million things at all. I’m at that point in life where you’re expected to do it all. Keep up with all your work, do amazing things, take care of your body, take care of your friends, take care of your finances, plan for the future, etc. etc. etc.

I find that there are so many hours in the day and only so many of those that my body wants to continue. That my mind can process. That I can just overall take in before I’m on this autopilot flying through an expansive sea of day-to-day. It sucks. It’s horrible. I wish my life had a bit more structure. Then again, I wish my life had a bit more freedom.

I feel tore down by my past and I keep wondering if I can build up my future. I think there are things I want and things I need. And both of those things so far feel so very, very unfulfilled. But I think you move forward anyways. I think that you continue even if you cannot. Because otherwise you end up with a bad ending. A sad ending. The ending people don’t want you to discourse to them.

People always say they want you to be happy. That they want good things to happen to you. That you deserve more. They live int his shroud of positivity and encouragement. But if you tell them, how you really feel. They deject you. They tell you that you’re wrong. They invalidate how you feel. They tell you that you’ve become deluded and depressed. They try to turn you into yourself. I think we as humans have a natural opposition towards hearing negativity. And I don’t mean to say this in a cynical sort of way. I just think that people don’t want to hear bad things. Even I don’t like to hear when people close to me are hurting. I don’t think I have the power to fix things and that removes a lot of agency and freedom from me. I feel powerless. As powerless as they do.

But the reality is, sometimes people do live that way. I certainly live a life that many others might find valuable. I’m told every day that I’m either lucky, or amazing, or deserving of so much more. And yet, either because I don’t have something, or have, but don’t appreciate it, I guess I’m not ultimately happy. I think that if you don’t live life on your own terms, that you aren’t really living your own life. I think that you have to own yourself and own your future. The things that make me unhappiest is when I work hard towards an end and receive little or no outcome. I feel like I have no effect on my own world. I feel like I have no agency.

And I say this all out of depression. But I also say it out of determination. I may be stubborn, I may be idiotic. But I want to live life on my own terms. I’ve been able to experience things that I never would have otherwise, for better or for worse. Even if others reject what you might feel, I think you should never let how you truly feel be rejected by yourself. I think that’s something I’ve learned over the years. How you truly feel helps dictate who you really are. The things we’ve learned, the ways we’ve changed, the things we strive for. The pains and suffering of life are just as valuable as the beautiful moments that we cherish. Because I think there are important values to learn from sadness, just as happiness. I think I believe this because I have to. To justify everything that’s happened to me, and everything I want to work towards. I don’t want to believe that I’m running my life wrong. Because I kind of don’t believe that there is such a thing as a wrong life.

No. I take that back. I think it would be wrong to live the life everyone else would want me to live. To live by everyone else’s terms, to strive for things that only others value, to invalidate my own feelings. That truly would be a life not worth living. Because I hate this sense of invalidation. I hate the way in which there is a certain privatization of feelings.

Privatization of religion. Ok, I get that. But the privatization of feelings is just frustrating to me. I once spoke to a friend at length about the rise of technology. Her and I, we talk a lot about how technology drives people together, and pulls them apart. She hates technology so much that, in fact, she hates small talk through text. Well, to be honest, she hates small talk in general, but the point stands. That she believes that the tech culture of today drives people apart more than it does to bring them together. And you know, I have my nuances to that, but one of them stands out to me the most. I think that our society today feels that our feelings should be privatized. That the ideas behind depression, sadness, pain. These things should be suppressed in an effort to support upward motion. The idea that we should raise positivity and avoid negativity. I hate that.

I think that drives people insane. I think that pushes people down. I think it pushed me down for a long time. I think it told me that I shouldn’t express myself and I shouldn’t express who I was. A sad, lonely person. But most of all, it told me that being a sad, lonely person wasn’t just wrong. It was something worth avoiding. Something that shouldn’t be talked about or shared. But now, more and more, I tell everyone just how sad I am. And you know, I think some people hate it. I think some people hate me.

I think some people aren’t going to want to care about me or my feelings. But in a lot of ways, the people I opened up to otherwise. A lot of them came to be a lot closer to me. And not just the ones that were concerned or understanding. Even the ones that fought me, I found myself understanding more and more.

I just recently had an encounter with someone close to me. We both hadn’t seen each other in a long time and we often had problems with our relationship in the past. But we wanted to spend time together and get drunk. So we did, just the two of us. And by the end of the night. We laughed, we cried, we screamed and fought. And you know what, I think this person, who I thought I knew more than anyone else… well, I think that it made our bond stronger to see us fight.

I think moment like that would never come if I were not honest with myself or with others. I want people to know how I value them. There’s this girl I know, I had/have a crush on her since my freshman year. She’s graduating, and she probably doesn’t even know that I like(d) her. (Note: I put these tenses here because honestly, I don’t really think about it anymore. She’s still awesome. So…?) But you know, I really want to tell her before she leaves that I felt this way. And I don’t really think it’s for closure or self-satisfaction. I really just want to say to her.

I see you. I value you. I see great things you do. I see greatness in you.

I think you are a wonderful human being, and even if we joke a lot about how much the both of us are trash people. I want to tell you that you are one of the most creative and inspirational minds that I have ever met. And you know what, when I was going through some tough shit. Just meeting you, just having small talk with you. You brought a light to my life that I can never take for granted. And I’m going to miss you.

I want to say that to her, not because I’m searching for some way to hold onto her. To confess to her. To find a way to treasure my feelings for her. Honestly, I never thought I had a shot with her in the first place. It was kind of puppy love in a sense. But I want to tell her because I don’t believe that these feelings should be mine alone. I think that she should have the chance to hear them and cherish them herself, if she so chooses. Because I think that she should have the chance to hear that someone else in this world actually sees a sincere amount of value.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve cherished someone telling me that they think I was a good friend. And you sit at 20 years old and you look back. At every time, someone every said that to you. And you realize that it didn’t happen often. But every time it did, it was such an important moment for you.

I think more than anything. I want to be true to myself so that I can continue to have these experiences and pass these experiences onto others. Because I’m the kind of person that feels like I’m going to die young. And… it’s like this quote from Frank Turner…

“And I used to think that I / Would never live past twenty five,
And when you think like that, each day / Is a gift if you survive.”

I want to cherish the moments of my life, because you never know how many more you get.

And I want the people that I cherish to understand that they are cherished.

Maybe that’s just cheesy, haha…..

Oh, and hey. I’m launching my website. It’s still pretty crappy, but I’m going to try and improve it every day. And also keep working on games so my portfolio gets better. I’m trying to write more about games too. I have a schedule where I’m going to try and write about a game every week or two. I want to keep up with my blog so that I have things like this that record my history, who I am, and who I was. I like having these footnotes of my life that say where I was and what I thought at the time.

And hopefully, I’ll have the chance to see myself improving.

Disclaimer though, I’m totally working my butt off at USC. Holy cow. I probably should make a new post entirely for my current situation…

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