It's strange, the influences small things can have on us. About three weeks ago, I lost my phone. After 9 days without finding it, I finally replaced it. Three days after that - on the same night I recharged my new phone's battery for the first time, when it was certainly too late to go back - I found it, buried under the mattress in our hall. Sometime in between, I started taking pictures of the view from our patio using the new phone's camera.
Now, it's no secret that my lifestyle is changing. Last fall, I realized that I was falling behind in everything I wanted to do in life, so something had to change. I began intentionally and dramatically cutting back on forums I used to frequent addictively. I began to tell myself, "If you have free time, then get started on something you want to do, and do it seriously." So I did. One of the first things I did was revamp this blog, in fact. I played through games that have been sitting on my shelf for months upon months. Okami. Hoshigami Remix. Chrono Trigger DS. Metroid Prime 3. Clannad. I even put an end to The Legend of Zelda (NES) at long last. Last week I finally finished watching Gay BaseballOokiku Furikabutte. It was good, too. But it was the fact that I went and finished playing Brass Restoration that really got me thinking about life again.
Brass Restoration wasn't a particularly great game; it had some moments of particularly strong wit, and a few slightly touching scenes, but it wasn't nearly as emotionally moving as Clannad nor as engrossing as Tsukihime. The art was overall pretty decent, above average, I guess, but far from magical. I liked most of the paths, Yoshine's being the weakest, though many of the endings (Yui's in particular) left something to be desired. I think it is actually because the game was only "decent" that I started thinking this way.
Why is it that I choose to spend so much time sitting alone in my room, reading about high school romances? It has nearly been four years since I was in high school. In another three months, I will not be in any school at all. I have never encountered true love. In fact, I have not come particularly close. I don't even go on dates. I am farther now from encountering my true love than I've ever been, and here I am, doing something as paradoxical as reading these stories written by people from another country about highly fictional encounters among characters that are far enough from my own age that - were I to hang out with people the same age - I might be branded immature, creepy, or at least foolish.
So why is it that I, and people like me, are drawn to these stories? I realized that I actually knew the answer a long time ago, though I didn't realize it was the answer to this question, too. The question then was, "Why do you like science fiction?" The answer: I'm someone that just isn't satisfied with the ordinary world. It's boring. I like fiction - whether it's science fiction or goofy galge or something else - because things happen there that don't happen in the real world - happy endings, for one. This also revealed to me why I'm disliking my current creative writing class so much; the professor and most of the other students seem determined to capture reality in such a way that the beauty of that which is not gets lost.
I haven't totally gotten over my writer's block yet, but I'm making progress. I've realized that just spending all my spare time on things like video games and anime is not a complete way to live. But I also realized that going out and trying to find more of a social life is not what I need. I have friends; I have a job; I get exercise and sunlight in reasonable enough quantities. And I value being able to name or look at something and say, "Yes, I've finished that; I did it for myself, uncompromising, I partook of it from start to finish and I know its value." But just collecting a list of anime and games that I've finished is not a life. That's a pastime. So when I changed my lifestyle not to waste precious moments, and decided that I would move from pastime to pastime doing things I wanted to do, I made a mistake in not allowing for additional time that I need: time to create. Whether it is writing this blog, or stories that may or may not get submitted to Creative Writing, or CGs, or working on ReVamped, or even photographing the same view over and over again with my new phone, I need to account for time that I spend on something more important than having fun: time that I spend on something meaningful, on something that leaves my mark on the world. I wish it was easier; I wish I could just sit down for an hour every day and write the novel that I will eventually publish; but this head of mine isn't always full of stories, let alone ones worth reading, so I can't always do that. But, you know what, I'm going to try.