I find the exercise to be very calming. It allows me to collect my thoughts, gather ideas, and draw some general realizations. Just a couple of results from this week's "spirit walk":
FRIENDS AND ASSERTIVENESS
Earlier this week, I got to thinking about people, mainly my friends and why I seem to enjoy the company of some more than others (I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way about the circles of people they hang with). Anyway, what I realize is that I generally enjoy the company of people who are more assertive. How many times have I tried to schedule get-togethers with friends only to run into a blockade of "I can't" responses because of so and so reasons. Most of the time, I didn't even call for the gathering. Someone else did but somehow I got appointed to initiate and organize the damn thing, which I wouldn't normally mind, except that defeated responses are so annoying and discouraging. And just like that, plans fall and friends are never seen again.
That doesn't necessarily mean that the friends I hang out with the most are always available. It just means that these people are assertive enough to offer solutions instead of problems and answers instead of questions. Speaking of questions, perhaps the most reviled one I keep hearing is "Who else is going?" Then there are those who wait until everyone else has confirmed before confirming themselves. There is something wrong when your participation is dependent on other people's attendance. Frankly, I find it insulting. For me, it's a simple matter that someone cared enough to invite me and unless I actually had something else planned, I should be able to go - regardless of whether our common friends would be there as well.
And that is precisely how I got myself jumping from one gathering to the next over the course of 24 hours. The thing is that I liking making myself available to friends, especially those I don't get to see very often - even for just a short appearance. It's a simple effort to maintain relationships that could go a long way.
Maybe "assertiveness" just means that: taking the time and making the effort.
The first episode of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's kinda sorta variety show is on YouTube.
MISSING OUT AND CATCHING UP
The other thing that got me thinking this week is that I seem to be perpetually playing catch up with the rest of the world, or at least my peers. It started when I shared that I had only recently learned of "A Dog of Flanders" and its anime adaptation, which everyone apparently had lingering memories and strong feelings about. Of course, that was just the latest in a string of references that I was oblivious about. And it's not just about pop culture, sometimes even snippets of general culture, eg language, that is common for everybody is alien to me. But let's stick to the pop cultural aspects for the sake of brevity.
I've long figured out the why's and the how's in this phenomena of my life - so I'm not gonna get into that. What got me scratching my head this week is: If I'm constantly playing catch up, how or when am I gonna get ahead or at least synced with everybody else? Then it hit me: Why should it matter that I catch up with what everybody else had known or enjoyed? I mean, the hours that I didn't spend watching or reading about the worlds and the stories that everybody else enjoyed, I spent discovering other worlds and even crafting my own. The characters and stories I imagined when I was a kid are still with me to this day.
I also realized that in some respects, I was ahead of everybody else. I was into A Song of Ice and Fire and The Avengers way before either had become prime commodities, and now I'm not as interested. I also look at the things I tried to catch up on and I just don't like them as well as their fandoms thought I would. Firefly and Battlestar Galactica both have really ardent fans among my closest friends and I tried watching them but I'm just not as fascinated. I tried Harry Potter and couldn't move past the fourth book. I'm reading Neil Gaiman now and I'm bored to tears (granted it's only been one book so far). For these very reasons, I am always suspect when people tell me "You're gonna love it."
Riley Rewind - It's a short time travel film. All five parts are on YouTube.
I remember this quote from Glee that went something like "the first step to growing up is to quit apologizing for the mistakes of your youth".
So maybe I should stop feeling sorry for missing out and stop catching up for the sake of catching up. Maybe I should just continue to enjoy the things I do even if nobody else does. Obviously, I'm not a populist kind of person anyway.
Although as a creator and not just a consumer, I do need to know what has come before and what has already been done, maybe even uncover what I've been missing. Though I feel like getting into something for academic purposes muddles the experience. I have yet to get into Doctor Who or Hayao Miyazaki's work but to do so because either everyone else are into them or to understand why that is is just the wrong way to go about it. I have to be genuinely interested and I may get there eventually, give it a year or ten. It's worked so far with my GOG.com games, most of which were titles I was interested in a long time ago but didn't have the means or access to at the time. I suppose it's still catching up - but at least I'm catching up with myself, not with everyone else.
DNews is a channel that present entertaining science news daily.
PS: I did mention that I want this blog to be a depository of my ramblings, discoveries, and recommendations, hence the filler YouTube videos, all of which I chanced upon this week and really liked!