second_flight: (Default)
It's hard to consistently write on here, as usual. Not that I don't have any ideas on what I want to write about, but it's because of my need to remain private and hidden. When I first started LJ way back then, nobody even knew what Google was. I could write about anyone and anything, and nobody knew how to cross-reference or search for information to trace it back to me. These days, everything is way too easily found on the Internet. Not that I think anyone is actively searching for me, but I'd rather not leave a footprint behind if I can help it.

Funny thing is that I deleted my Facebook a long time ago and some of my friends now consider me as off-the-grid. All it takes to disappear these days is to not have a Facebook account.

I don't know where I will go from here. My job requires me to support people, and it's a wonderful fit for me. It's fulfilling, but unfortunately it's not satisfying enough. I want something more, but I don't know what that is.

I guess it's time to disappear again. Back into the shadows, beyond the traces of Google and Facebook. I want to figure out my life without the distraction of those things.
second_flight: (Default)
I always feel a little envious of people who are really charismatic. It seems like they can appeal to people so easily, while I struggle to even introduce myself. I have a friend like this, and during college he was always surrounded by an entourage of girls. My other friends would be jealous of him, but I understood that he was always like that since I knew him as a child.

I don't think I was ever jealous of him being surrounded by women, since I always thought the types of girls he attracted were extremely vain, but I was jealous of his ability to attract people. We would go out to eat at a restaurant and he could easily charm a waitress just by being himself. Meanwhile, I felt like I was pushed off to the side, so I would have to awkwardly look at the menu pretending I was still deciding what I wanted. By the time the waitress would take my order, I felt completely neglected. "Oh right... You're here too. What would you like?"

I could never have a chance to compete with people like that. Funny thing is that he was my best friend as a child, and he eventually did hurt me in a way that scarred me for life. I eventually made up with him, but that's another story.

I guess I just wonder how much easier it could be if I could talk to people as easily as he could. If only I could shrug off my introverted tendencies, would I be happier?

Basically, I'm lonely again, even though I meet a lot of new people through my job. I just don't share a good connection with anyone. I meet people who share the same interests I do but for some reason things just don't click. I thought if I met more and more people, something might click, but nothing has happened yet.

I once thought as a child, that if you shared the same interest with someone, you would become instant friends. But obviously this isn't true.

But where else can I look for friendship? Would meeting more and more people increase my chances of making a friend? Maybe, but at this point I doubt it would happen with me.

One day my friend told me he was depressed and lonely. It bothered me that my friend who could so easily make friends with anyone could say he was lonely. But then I realized, if he has the need to surround himself with so many people all the time, maybe he really is lonelier than I was. In my eyes, he was really lucky to have that charismatic ability and had no reason to be sad, but that wasn't the way he saw it.

Maybe I'm the same way in the sense that I don't see my own strengths and can only see the gaping loneliness that's in front of me.

I just need to find a way to fill it up, not by destructive tendencies but by doing something that would let me grow. I think writing on here again is a step in the right direction. At least I'm allowing myself to talk about these things instead of pushing ahead without thinking about it like I have these past few years. I have no regrets about pushing myself, and I definitely needed to do it, but now I think it's time to reflect on stuff.

I doubt I'll have any answers soon. Maybe a few more sleepless nights will help. That nagging sense of loneliness will eventually bring me back here again.
second_flight: (Default)
I want my life to mean something more beyond what it is now, but it's hard to derive a sense of meaning when I don't know how to move forward.

Maybe it's not time to move forward yet, but I can't help but feel a sense of anxiety and the need to push myself to the next level.

--------------------

Another morning. I hate going through the same motions everyday because it feels too mechanical and boring to me, but I don't really have a choice. Same old bus ride, same old walk to work.

Once the commute is over, I'm happy working.

Can't sleep

May. 9th, 2016 03:00 am
second_flight: (Default)
Can't sleep. I've been listening to some electronic music tracks that evoke really strong images and feelings in me.. and I can't get these thoughts out of my head.

I'm haunted by the nighttime city lights of a distant future. Like I'm staring outside a window at the busy city streets below. The glowing neon lights stretch out into infinity. It calls out to me, and I feel like I can fall away and disappear into the night.

I miss these dream-like vistas. How long has it been since I let myself get taken away by a reverie?

I'll have to find my way back home by morning. I'm just visiting for tonight. I'll come back again some day.

The night will wait for me.

On writing

Apr. 30th, 2016 09:54 pm
second_flight: (Default)
It's hard for me to write these days. I have a hard time organizing my thoughts into coherent formats, not so much in the way that I can't think of ideas to write about, but rather, I get stuck in the thought process of organizing those ideas.

I've gotten so used to writing papers that I automatically go into the mindset where I need to make sure every sentence is referenced and is important to the overall structure. I get so caught up in making sure each idea flows properly to the next idea, that I may not even write about something if I feel I don't have enough proper knowledge to back it up.

This is frustrating when trying to write about anything, because I feel as if I never have enough knowledge. Opinions are easier to write, but I still get stuck a lot when I feel like I need to prove my point. The easiest thing to write about is my day, what happened to me, what I felt/saw,etc.. Basically, the easiest thing to write about is me, because I know me.

I guess this would be ok, but I never feel interested enough to write about myself or my daily experiences these days. I used to voraciously write down these things before, like I felt I had to document my life (and every thought/ideaI had) in case I ever wanted to look back on it, but now I simply feel like I won't ever do that. Once I write something, it's done and I will move on to the next thing.

I guess that's one of the things about me that's changed. I'm more forward focused, and I'm not as inwardly-looking and self-searching as before. I suppose this changes the way I approach writing.

I feel like everything I write has to be innately purposeful to me. Or maybe I just like hearing the rhythm of the sentence in my mind when I'm trying to figure out what to write next. I honestly don't know why I want to come back here again, but I always instinctively come back here when I'm doing some soul-searching.

There's also just something about writing that I miss, and I'm here to find it again.

Whenever I'm here on LJ, I still feel the spirit of my old self, a lonely boy searching for meaning in the world. I can't call myself a boy anymore, but I feel like I can't very well call myself a man who's entirely comfortable in his own world either.

In any case, I'm going to try to write more when I can, and let myself be open to writing incoherent thoughts and ideas again. This isn't a university paper, and I have nothing to prove on here.
second_flight: (Default)
Almost fell asleep in class today. I was nodding off, and I was fighting to stay awake. Fun. This almost never happens to me... I don't know why I was so tired today.

The semester is almost over. What I hate about this job is that I don't get a vacation. Right after the final exam, I just have to keep on going.

At least once things calm down, I can spend a little time planning for the future a bit.
second_flight: (Kino)
Freedom. Whenever I hear that word mentioned here in the US, I can't help but imagine everyone around me holding their head up high in a spirit of proud patriotism, ready to shout "MURICA."

It's funny because it's something so easily taken for granted here. It's hard for me to say what freedom is because I've never really lived without it. I have freedom to take the bus when I want,the freedom to choose what I want to eat, I have the freedom to go to work. These are things I do every day without thinking twice about. I guess that's why it's so hard for me to imagine a world where these things aren't a choice, and it makes me feel spoiled. I'm not about to commit myself to slavery just so I can experience a world without freedom though.

What bothers me about this idea of freedom in America is that it seems that many people confuse the difference between a right and a privilege. In honesty though, it can get kinda confusing. It leads to this extreme sense of entitlement that many people have, when people start thinking they have a right to everything they do. I see it everyday when I walk around New York.

I find that sense of entitlement scary. For many, it's empowering to feel, but I think it needs to come with personal accountability. I don't know if that's something that I could expect from anyone.

---------------------

On another note, all the friends I've made in New York have gone back home or have moved to other states. I figured this would happen eventually, but it leaves me feeling lonely again. I don't really have a real life social outlet anymore. All my friendships are online.

My job is going well. I'm getting good reviews and people are happy with me. I feel like I could become supervisor or director if I wanted to in time, but I'm not really interested in those positions. I need to figure out what my next step should be.

I think I'm feeling my age in a way. My friends are starting to feel aches and pains in their bodies but I'm still ok luckily. I mean I'm feeling my age in the way that I "should be at a certain point in life." I feel like I should have accomplished much more by now, and that feeling is nagging away at me. I'm sure a lot of people get this feeling too.

I miss writing like I used to. Back then, whenever I wrote, I felt like I was chasing this elusive thought. Like if I could capture the essence of what I was thinking and put it down into concrete words, I would feel somehow... complete? But then I would wake up the next day, remember what I wrote the night before and think to myself..."Ugh, why did I write that?"

Ok. I'm going to try this journaling thing again.
second_flight: (Kino)
I've been wondering to myself a lot lately whether I want to start dating or not. My life is working out okay for once, and I figure that maybe it's time I try stepping out of my shell and meet other people.

The problem with this is that just thinking about it exhausts me. I don't really have the urge to actively meet new people. I've been to a few meetup groups but I never felt interested enough to connect with anyone. The more I go out to meet people and not connect, the more I feel inclined to just stay at home and keep to myself. I meet people just by living my life and doing the things I do, and I guess that's good enough for me for now.

A part of me wishes that I could just fast forward through everything and get to the part of the relationship where it's comfortable enough to commit to. That's just cheating though, and I wouldn't be able to call it a real relationship if that happened. However I can't deny the fact that I want that comfortable loving stability in my life, but I can't bring myself to do the work of dating to achieve it. There's also the question of whether being in a good relationship would bring that sort of fulfillment, but that's a question for another time.

It sucks because I always manage to convince myself that dating is not for me and that I'm happy being single. There's also that overwhelming fear that I may never meet someone who would love me as much as I love them. Or vise versa. It's so much easier convincing myself that I'm better off alone than dealing with that thought. That maybe I'm just unlovable, or that maybe I just have too high expectations for the other person.

Having those thoughts makes me think I'm not ready to date yet, but I suppose what person hasn't had those thoughts before? And there's also the fact that dating doesn't have to be work, it can be fun.

Regardless of all this though, I feel like I'm open enough in my life right now to accept a relationship if it ever came my way. I'm not ready to go out and actively "hunt" for people, but that's good enough for now.

Just being open to possibilities is a good stepping stone. That's funny to admit because it seems like such a simple idea, but it did take me a long time to get here.
second_flight: (Sky)
Somewhere along the line, I came to wonder whether life was worth living, and it's a question that's plagued me all these years. Was anything really worth it? Well.. I finally started to understand the things that were important to me, the things that were worth my time.
So my answer to this question right now is... "Yes, it can be," and perhaps even to a certain point.. "We can make it worth living."

Many of my friends know this too, like we're all at that age where we intrinsically understand this. it's interesting to see how we all developed in different ways but have come to this same point in life. If I can compare it to something, I think it would be like climbing to a peak of a high mountain, and you're wondering to yourself what's next. You've seen things, you've conquered, and you look towards the future.

The funny thing for me is that I really haven't accomplished much in the social and economic sense. I'm not famous or wealthy, but I never really was striving for those things. I haven't even really conquered anything per se either, but I look at the younger generation and I realize just how much more I understand things than they do. I think it's akin to gracefully being able to say no while everyone else scrambles at the opportunity to say yes. It's the ability to hold your ground while everything else gets swept away.

I do think experiencing new things is worthwhile, but it's also important to understand limits. Personally for me, I still like to throw myself at everything that piques my curiosity, but at the same time, I know when I need to stop. I know when I'm happy. If it seems like I'm settling for less, I don't really care, because I don't want anything to compromise the balance I've found.

The clincher here is that I still don't have a definite answer to what I want in life. Yes, life is worth living to me at least, but I don't know what it's worth living for. So many different pieces floating in this ambiguous fog where answers don't ever seem to crystallize. I don't expect that it ever will.
second_flight: (Kino)
A lot of times I feel like an alien in this world. Even though I can usually empathize with other people, I can't quite connect with them, if that makes any sense. It's like I can channel their feelings in me and see things through their world for a short period of time, but I can't equate their world to mine. Which is okay, I guess. I don't think it's ever possible to connect with someone else 100% completely.

It's like if you watched a movie with your friends and they all enjoyed the action parts of it, while you enjoyed the character development the most. When you talk to them about it, they're so involved in discussing those actions scenes that they're not able to see your point of view. Yes, those action scenes were amazing, but there are other things about the movie too, right? Why is it that you're the only one who thinks this way?

I feel like this a lot of the time, like I see things that nobody else really sees or thinks about. I know this happens to everyone to some extent, but I've come to realize that this happens to me a lot more than anyone around me. Whenever I talk to someone about what's on in my mind, I get these weird looks, and I constantly get told how different my opinions are, how different I am, or how weird I am. People don't do it in a condescending way, but it's more like they're pointing out a fact.

Which makes me feel like an alien most of the time, as though the things I have to say or the things I think about aren't really relevant to anything. Perhaps what surprises me the most is that a lot of people feel this way too. How is it possible to reach out to others who feel this way?

How do I help them? How do I help myself?
second_flight: (Sky)
An interesting point came up in a conversation I was having with a friend. He asked me when was the last time I was in a relationship, and I realized it had been over ten years. He thought this was amazing, because he had a tendency to jump from one relationship to another. "Look at me.." he said. "You haven't been in a relationship for so long and here I am complaining about myself."

The thought that I haven't been in a relationship for so long scared me. Maybe what scares me is the realization of how long it's been since then, plus the fact that I feel like I've forgotten what it's like to be involved with somebody. Perhaps the scariest thing is that I feel like it may be too late for me to start one. Of course I know that's not true, it's never too late... but it certainly feels like it is.

It just reminds me how different my life is than how I imagined it would turn out to be. I can imagine infinite possibilities of how things might have turned out, but in the end, it's hard to tell how happy or sad I would have been. There's no use thinking about something like that. I'd just be lost in my own thoughts.

At least for now in this present life, I'm okay. That's all I can ask for.
second_flight: (Fox)
People have been wishing me happy birthday on my phone throughout the day, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm spending my day alone. I wouldn't say it's lonely, and I've long stopped expecting things to happen on my birthday. I guess what saddens me is the thought that I've come to consider my birthday as just another day. It's like I've grown cynical, or I've just stopped caring, and I hate that about myself. But people remind me that it's supposed to be a special day.

A part of me wants to be happy, but is scared of seeking it out. Because I'm scared of losing that happiness if I ever find it.

"You should do something nice for yourself today."

And I sit here and wonder that something nice is.
second_flight: (Kino)
In a very strange moment, two separate online conversations I was having converged on the same topic.

"We want you to be happy too," they both said to me. "You always worry so much about others. It's okay for you to be selfish sometimes. You should do what makes you happy."

I was really touched.
second_flight: (Kino)
I grew up in an Asian household. Although I'm Filipino, and I'm not generally considered as part of the Asian standard, we still share a lot of the same culture and traditions. Growing up, my parents expected straight A's, sent me to take music lessons, and dreamed that one day I would become a doctor or a lawyer. Nothing less than perfection. The trouble about this is that I was also growing up in America.

School stopped being fun for me around the 4th grade. We had to learn things that I didn't really care about, and I couldn't relate to much of the subject matter. I didn't understand why we had to learn the things we were forced to learn. My grades dropped, and my parents got mad at me constantly. Everyone kept telling me that I was smart, but I always thought that's what they told all the children. The truth was that I loved to learn about things, just not in school. I believed learning was fun and amazing... but just not when I was forced to study something I didn't understand how to practically apply. I was never told why anything was important, and I think that was one of my biggest problems.

I found myself increasingly isolated at school as well. Most of the things I loved and was interested in wasn't shared by anyone else. Whenever I tried to talk about my interests with classmates, I would get blank stares or even be considered childish. To make things worse, my best friend decided he would stop talking to me so he could hang out with the "cooler" crowd. At recess I would sit alone because I had no interests in sports, and my other option was to sit with the girls which I really didn't want to do at the time. School became the most hated place in the world. Naturally, my grades never really picked up. My parents were a big source of stress as well, because I knew I could never live up to their expectations.

I guess in response, I became a dreamer. I kept dreaming that one day I could get far away from that world.

I've made many good friends since then, and I've improved my grades and everything... but at the same time I feel like that little boy sitting alone at the lunch tables will always be who I am.
second_flight: (Sky)
One of the hardest things to face as an adult is dealing with the fact that life may not have turned out the way you hoped and imagined it would become. We all have to come to terms with this fact in some way and figure out how to still keep going.

Maybe I'll learn how to do that one day.
second_flight: (Kino)
Ever since A left New York last summer, I've gone through a lot of soul-searching. I never really grasped why I was always so motivated when I was around her. When she left, my motivation fell apart and I felt lost in my life once again. Many of the friends I made during the past few years moved back home, and I was left alone. There was nobody left to grab lunch or sing karaoke with. I found myself back to my default setting.

I can't say I was completely alone. My friends all tried to contact me in some way. Email, phone, text messages... but I avoided them all. I don't know why I did it, I could list all the psychological motivations behind it but that doesn't seem important to me. The fact is that I did what I did. Over time, it just felt harder to respond to any of them, and I realized that I had pushed them all away from my life.

I guess to me, it's hard maintaining relationships. I dislike obligatory updates to my life to everyone. "Hey, what are you doing now? Are you okay?" I would always lie.

Yes, I'm doing okay. I'm doing exciting new things that matter to me (No, not really). Relationship status: It's complicated. #liferocks

I'm just tired, I guess. I was finally able to make some close friends, only to have them all move away. New York City. Everyone is just a visitor here.

Anime Irks

Dec. 9th, 2014 08:48 pm
second_flight: (Kino)
Perhaps one of my biggest irks about anime is how there isn't anything truly new conceptually about it. A lot of them follow the same sorts of stereotypes that each new series feels like some kind of derivative from another. While each series does have it's own story to tell, a lot of the other things such as the characters, the expressions, the tropes all feel recycled to me. I guess this isn't a bad thing, since it brings a sense of familiarity to an otherwise unfamiliar concept, but it makes me feel like anime studios rarely want to take a risk at making something smart or new, or something beyond their own experiences. Contemporary anime hasn't changed much from what I've seen, and much of it caters to an already established fanbase. Few anime series do try to take that leap, but they're usually unpopular or don't do as well as their more generic counterparts.

For example, anime doesn't have to deal with school life ALL THE TIME, but it's almost always present in an anime series. War, sci-fi, fantasy.. somehow anime studios will find a way to fit a high school setting in all of those. Not to say that these aren't any good, but it just feels to me like an easy fix to establish a familiar setting.
second_flight: (Kino)
I'm a bit amused of some of the reactions to the new Star Wars trailer. I watched it earlier today and felt a bit of hype and excitement building up myself. However, what I felt is nothing compared to the Star Wars fanbase that's currently going crazy over it. People are rejoicing/arguing over the new lightsaber, the new droids/actors, the Millennium Falcon, etc.. I guess it's to be expected considering this is Star Wars, but I'm sure there are fans out there who would make a big deal out of anything. "OMG, did you see the color of the sand dunes? That's not the same color they used in the original (and MUCH BETTER) trilogy. I'm sooo disappointed in what they're doing. Now let me write a 200 page rant about why they should have used the original color and why this movie will be terrible."

I guess like I said though, this IS Star Wars. Whether this movie will be amazing or not doesn't matter. There's always going to be someone who's not happy about it. I guess it just makes me curious on how a tiny detail can cause such a dramatic divide in people.
second_flight: (Kino)
Tonight, the world seems so small, so limited.
second_flight: (Kino)
I've been thinking a lot about gender recently. I'm a male, and I identify as a male, but I undoubtedly have a lot of personality characteristics that are more female than most. Nobody really tells this to me outright, but this is just something I intuitively understand. It's not something I can ask in a typical conversation either without getting an awkward response. Even if I did get an honest answer, I would find myself wondering if this person that I asked knows me well enough to -really- answer that question. So in a way, I had come to accept myself as this male with quasi-female attributes. At the same time, I don't have a need to identify myself as female, but I don't have much of a compelling need to be male either except to just fill the social norm that I am male.

I guess to a point though, I started questioning why I needed to be assigned a gender in the first place. I never considered myself to fit in completely as being male, but at the same time I don't identify with being female either. In reality, I think this is true for most people in which they identify with one gender, but they still can take attributes from the other. Does it come to case where if you take most of your attributes from one gender that you are that gender? Do we even have a choice to choose who we are?

I suppose those questions lie within a realm of psychology I'm not really familiar with. I'm pretty sure the answer has to do with a mish-mash of things, like cultural norms, feminist ideology, and a history of male oppression that spans thousands of years. In other words, there is no direct answer.

Gender has been on my mind lately because I've been playing a female character in a game, and people identify me more as female than the other males who play as female characters. This has caused so much gender confusion in the past that it's almost hilarious at times. Besides being hit on by a countless number of guys, a few girls also came to be attracted to me (or rather my personality) as a female character, causing them to question their own gender and sexuality. I wonder how different things would be if I did play a male character. Would the way they see me change? Would the way I act and see myself change as well?

I guess it's interesting to me because the online world blurs the line of gender. How do people react when they don't know if the person behind the screen is male or female? Because we're so used to the world being as male and female, I assume people would try to construct a perspective based around those two frameworks. It's very hard for us, as humans, to work with an ambiguous gender, and that's why we have to mentally (unconsciously or consciously) assign someone the stereotypical attributes that come with a specific type. When those perceptions are broken though, cognitive dissonance occurs.

At least to an extent, I know who I am.

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