Non-management: This is ZeroReq011, providing a well overdue and uncharacteristically sincere update for this blog. It’s been a long time since I published anything. In the past, I’d blame work or politics, and certainly those factors exacerbate my inactivity. But over the past few to several months, I’ve come to realize what probably played the biggest factor in holding me back from writing, and indeed, from being more productive in general. That factor was fear — fear not externally imposed, but internally manufactured. It was a fear of being compared to others.
It’s a fear different from falling behind, because I have fallen behind some of my Aniblogging colleagues, regardless. Many of them today have turned their blogging habits into full-fledged careers. Frog-kun lives in Japan working at ANN’s expense. iblessall does editorial work for Crunchyroll. The anime community celebrities that I’ve hung out with at my last convention experience are people who I could never imagine talking to casually were it not for my connections. These connections were those I’ve made with folks more famous than I.
They’re more famous now but humbler in reputation back then, years back. We shot the shit with each other quite casually and openly. We still do (or at least I do) but I can’t help feeling insecure about it now. I felt grateful that iblessall spared me a namedrop on his blog’s (not really) farewell, but I also felt regret, regret that my username could only appropriately warrant a mention in the beginning chapters of his blog’s history. He made peace with what he wanted and not wanted to do with his writing. I never found closure with what I wanted to do with mine.
That’s kind of what life’s been for me in general. Ever since I had to step down from my city job, I’ve been working around blue collar middle-wage, over-qualified on paper for the work I’ve been doing, but unsure and uncomfortable about what I should do to move on. Whenever I run into an acquaintance or check up on everyone online, the air begins to feel heavier around me. People are going about their lives, while I’m in the same situation I dislike being in. I’m just a late bloomer. That’s just an excuse. Right now, forced to live with my folks’ constant inquiries about my prospects for the future in the house I grew up in years past, I feel unsatisfied. I feel stuck, stagnant.
But I’m able to avoid feeling worse, because I’m not trying, and thus I’m not failing. I’ve failed in the past, including fairly recent, and I’ve failed spectacularly, broken down. It’s for that reason, above all others, I think, why my confidence ended up withered away like my blog’s updates. It may seem that I’m more confident at carrying conversations now, both online and offline, but much of that confidence isn’t actually genuine. It’s escapist. It’s practiced, like the outline of a character you have to familiarize yourself with before you go on stage to speak extemporaneously for an audience. Things said and done still bother me like before, but more so than ever, I hold my tongue and keyboard from expressing it publicly, out of fear of being judged. The sum total of my life experiences so far have given me opportunities to practice face-saving. But I always get anxious when I feel like I’m next to the real thing.
On my recent trip to Japan (it was only just a few weeks ago), I chatted with a Chinese girl in my hostel. She was unreserved in her praise for my English speaking and critical thinking. In the back of my mind though, I couldn’t help but feel jealous of that girl. She transplanted herself all the way from her homeland so she could make it in Japan, free of her parents’ reach and their expectations. We keep in touch via e-mail. In them, every compliment she pays me and every admission of effort she divulges to realizing her goal of being independent singes my psyche, a person who still lives w/ his parents waiting for something good to happen. I skirt around discussing my own doubts when replying back. I feel stuck, stagnant.
And I hate that feeling of traversing through that humidity, trudging through that muck. It’s not as acute as failure, yet it I don’t want to just act confident. I want to feel confident. To feel that, I need to be honest, and I need to be productive. And so, I’m pulling my blog out of the hot spring, dumping a bucket of cold water on it, and shoving it into an electric bath.
I will write, and I will write more regularly. That means:
- More writing about current anime.
- More writing about past anime.
- Possible re-drafts of earlier anime writings.
- More writing in general.
And hopefully, it’ll help me out of my general funk. I can write, and I have ideas. I’m fairly bright, and I have a solid educational background. I just need to get myself going. I need to press my advantages and move forward. One of the first signs of my deterioration was neglecting this blog. Hopefully one of the first signs of me making it back is getting this blog back in more regular order.
With that, Happy Halloween everyone. This Hanako is spooky AND DON’T BULLY HER.