Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Gaming Obsession Blues (or Something Like That)

Something broke in my brain. I'm not sure what, exactly, but I've been obsessing over trivial things as of late. Specifically, the loss of access to paid content for a computer game. The only course of action that appears to be the final option after running through the gauntlet of everything I've done is to completely uninstall the software and then reinstall it. While this is a common practice, I've been trying to avoid doing this for principle.

The last few days since this discovery has sent me down an emotional path similar to one you would take when dealing with death, according to psychological reports or whoever makes this shit up. At first I was denying this was going on. Then I got mad about it. I'm at the point now where I'm trying to fix the issue myself or accept the fact that there is nothing I can do about it. And as I sit here, I continue to over think the whole situation.

Is it really as bad as I'm making it out to be? Things break all the time. Nothing lasts forever. So why am I obsessing about this?

It's brought me to this point: I can either spend the entire day tomorrow doing the technical thing that I stated above, or I can give the problem a few days to simmer on the stove to see if it is still as big an issue as I'm currently feeling it is right now.

The more mature option would be to sit back, do other things, and come back to the issue to see if it is still important to me. But given that my days are filled with nothing but dread and defeat every time I look for a job, this game is the only thing I have left to help me feel stable. At least on an emotional level.

It sucks not having a life. And I blame myself for the fact that I can't kick my ass out of this rut I dug myself in to.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Every Unimportant Thing Must GO!

As I am typing this, it has been just over four hours since I started installing some Black Friday purchases that my parents made. A computer and a new TV. The computer is for my mom, the TV is for me. I thought the TV would be easiest to install, but I was wrong. And so I sit here waiting on a missing keyboard that my parents didn't get upon the computer purchase, as well as for ComCast to sync up my DTA after activating it. A break in an otherwise day of "meh."

Mom came in while I was typing that paragraph and was asking about the TV. It works, but the cable doesn't right now. My dog is sneezing every so often, but has finally found a spot where there isn't dust floating around to lay down and stare at me while I type this entry in on my Mac.

So where are my thoughts right now? After all, it's a clear sign now that I only use this blog now when things really bother me and I need a format where I can vent to everyone and no one at the same time. I mean, you have to have that kind of outlet before something goes horribly wrong, right?

Well, things have gone horribly wrong. Ever since I quit the only job I was able to find in the past year that would allow me to get pass the interview stage, I've been a broken good. I wake up, I don't feel the need to do anything these days, I half-ass what I need to get done, and then do whatever it is that I have to do when it happens. Much like today where I woke up, took the dogs out, answered the phone when my Mom called asking how good or bad the computer she was about to buy would be, and then set up all the new toys in their respective places. The main goal of finding a job these past several months has been thrown onto the back burner, because, let's face it, if I'm not working now, I'm not going to until the holidays are over.

I've ended up in a place of complacency. A dead zone, if you will, where enthusiasm and hope carry as much weight as despair and sadness. A place where grey is every color in the spectrum, which is both exciting and boring. I no longer make plans. I no longer have any goals. I just do what I need to, and I'm not even doing a good job of that.

The hair is gone, having cut off my third ponytail in the summer, and so is my pride and confidence. An ironic version of a Samson perhaps, but I can't really place it for certain.

The art still happens, though in my opinion, it isn't all that impressive. I'm in the middle of a 30 Day challenge that I set up for myself, and I'm not enjoying it at all. Then again, I'm not suppose to since it is an introverted kind of project to help me find myself. I seem to be still on that journey, doesn't it?

And yet my immediate thought, the one thing that is bugging me right now, is that I have way too much shit. I have clothes I don't wear, most of which I'm pretty sure won't fit me even now that I've dropped 20 lbs. due to stress and under-eating. I have a PlayStation that may or may not work. I have a SNES that doesn't work, and a SegaCDX that has shredded wires. There are boxes with who knows what in them, as well as boxes with items I haven't looked at in years. I'm not even sure how much of this stuff is actually mine! All I know is that I have too much of it.

And I've been longing for a purge of some sort.

I've been playing a lot of The Sims 3 lately, and I always have neat rooms with not a lot of extra stuff to start off with. Over time, I'll gain trophies and other knick-knacks from various events, but never to the amount that I do in real life. When that happens, I'm able to purge everything I picked up for a small profit.

Unfortunately, I can't really do that in real life. The depreciation value of everything I need to get rid of is pathetic. To get a profit off of it, I'd have to have something extremely rare and in good working order. I doubt that given how much dust has collected on top of the shelves. Hell, while cleaning up, I discovered that leather can turn into breakable plastic in my room and had to trash a small souvenir from my childhood. But it is very much pathetic of me to keep clothing that I don't wear. Or for that matter toys that I don't even play with and just display them because of some psychological want to stay a child and worry free. Then again, I counted close to six different kinds of back-packs just now glancing around my room.

What I would love to do is this: I'd love to go through every inch of this room section by section and throw out whatever i find that I don't think is important. Art tools I no longer use and have no desire of using again, binders and paper that is just taking up space for no reason, projects that don't give me any sense of pride when I look at them, excessive clothing that hasn't been worn since I got the damn thing, and so on. If it's important to me, I'll keep it. But if it isn't, I don't care what happens to it. Hell, I have a printer from the early 90s when computers were starting to be common household objects!! Why haven't I gotten rid of that yet?! And don't get me started on the collection of VHS tapes that I can no longer view because the VCR that's in here no longer works.

But you know what's most likely going to happen? Nothing. After all, I'm typing this blog entry while I've been sitting here waiting for the damn DTA's light to stop blinking.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I've become Bella Swan, and I don't want to be like her!

One of the many things they teach you in art school is the ability to let go. To let go of your art after you've created it. To let go of your attachment to your creation so you can sell it. To let go of your pride when you create a work that everyone things sucks. It translate very well into normal life, helping with the loss of love ones or jobs. But there's one area where this teaching seems to cause the most difficulty for me. It involves my data.

I'm not talking about personal data or identity data. I'm talking about computer data. Files, documents, mp3s, movies, digital downloads, games, etc. Things that take up the space in your computers hard drive that you may or may not access on a regular basis. It is the one piece of asset that can easily disappear off the face of the planet within 24 hours of you acquiring it.

Today, I experienced a hard drive failure that resulted in temporarily losing 1,000 of my files. Most of these files were music files that could be found again if I looked hard enough, but I didn't want to go through all that work again. It took me well over two years to get that big of a music collection on my hard drive, and I'll be damned if I have to search for them again. I wasn't sure what happened, but I knew it was a hardware failure. I pulled out my Mac and looked up what the signs are for a failing hard drive. Wikipedia gave me some instructions that I tried, and the 1,000 files I thought I had loss came back when a bad sector in the hard drive was fixed through an old DOS command.

However, something else happened. Apparently, something in my head snapped a bit. I wasn't able to let go and move on. Instead, I spent the following five hours trying to fix something that has already been fixed. The old saying of "if it's not broke, don't fix it" didn't apply. I was on a quest to find out if my back-up hard drive that failed still retained all the data that I put on it. I became obsessed with making sure that this data storage was okay.

While waiting for the fourth scan to come back with a positive bill of health, it dawned on me that I have trouble with letting things go that have seem to have no real attachment to it. It's just music! Some of the music I lost at the time I haven't listened to for up going on two years now, and yet I still have it. Why? Is it because that maybe one day I'll want to listen to it again? If I haven't listened to it after two years, what's going to make me listen to it now?

And then lightning struck twice. From that little thought, I realized that I never really got over what happened to me in Seattle. It gets easier to talk about it with time and trust, but I still haven't gotten over it. I've turned into Bella Swan from Twilight. I've become shallow, needy, and obsessed with trying to feel complete through selfish desires like having the best or most unique assets I can get my hands on (like my music) or attempting to become more physically appealing through working out. I don't want to be Bella Swan. She's a horrible person! I want to be better than that. I know I can be better than that.

But the hard part for me is that I don't even know who I am as a result of my experiences. The only parts that I can nail down are things that are few and far between. I grew up with Disney being in the house as a kind of safe entertainment, and as a result I can both appreciate and be critical about that company's product and how they go about business. I may not like some of their choices, but I can still like their product. I know that because of the social situations that happened shortly after I moved at the age of 10 that I like to pick and choose who I hang out with. I feel that if I offend someone once, I don't deserve to be their friend anymore, and I'm okay with being alone on a Friday night. While I prefer to be out with friends watching movies and bullshitting, I know that kind of luxury is a rarity due to factors such as mobility. I've also come to terms with the fact that I'll be working shitty jobs for the rest of my life unless I apply my education to something I want to do. And what I want to do became out of my financial reach earlier this year. I have to live with that choice, and I have to the best of my ability.

What I don't know is why I can't seem to let go of things I thought I already got over like Seattle, why I have such a hard time keeping my temper under control when people misunderstand me, and why I end up talking like Mojo Jojo when I become that upset.

I know learning about who you are is an on-going process, one that evolves with you. But the fact that there are so many different parts of my personality that are a mystery to me bothers me. It's like the issue with the hard drive. Why it failed is bothering me more than it should. It's old and I need to replace it. I am smart enough to know this, but I can't get over it. I'm smart enough to know, yes, I can be an angry person and a complete asshole if pushed to that point. But I want to find out why instead of just accepting that part of my persona. Why? Because I'm having a hard enough time as it is dealing with the unknown that I want something solid I can hold on to. Something I can get closure from.

Something that will make me stop trying to reanalyze myself and have me accept that I need to change that part of me if I want to be better as a person and better off in life. Kind of like how I need to stop doing all these diagnostic scans on my hard drive and just get a new one so that I have a back up of my back up.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

IBF

At the start of the month, I finished a 30 Day Art Challenge on facebook. The rules were simple. I had to draw something; it didn't matter what or how, as long as I produced something art related. I had to spend about half an hour to an hour on the piece after I started; I could not stop in the middle of it and then pick it back up at a later time unless it was to completely retool the image from the ground up. Bathroom breaks were excused from that rule, naturally. Finally, I had to have at least 30 pieces by the end of the challenge. One piece a day, essentially, for the entire duration of the challenge.

I finished with 37 pieces, and a week earlier than when I was suppose to. I also was only one of two people who actually completed the challenge. The people that didn't complete it had situational reasons, so it's understandable. And at the time, I was growing to accept the fact that I wouldn't have a job for a while and was toying around the idea of selling my art as a source of income.

But as I went about that 30 Day Challenge, I noticed a trend among my drawings. My sexuality and angst (repression? I don't know exactly.) began to come to the surface with what I was drawing. Male figures with an Adonis built. My focus, more often than not, was on the torso area. I seem to favor the lean swimmer look that would make some guys look scrawny if they wore the wrong kind of clothing. Eventually, I would try to draw clothes on my figures, but they would still end up rather underdressed. It got to the point where I decided after I finished the ordeal to just start an IBF collection.

I don't know where I learned this term, but IBF stands for Imaginary Boyfriend. What that is seems pretty self-explanitory, so I won't go into it. But I find myself now in a rather odd frame of mind.

Here I am drawing sexualized male figures with idolized builds and subtle-but-attractive features, all while fantasizing that I'm in a better place than where I am now. That I'm not single, someone out there genuinely finds me attractive, and that someone is someone I also find genuinely attractive. The fantasy becomes real when I finish each drawing. And I've only drawn four images as of this typing.

The odd thing is that I'm using my webcam to take pictures of myself in the poses I'm drawing these IBFs in. I hate looking at myself, but when you're an artist, you are sometimes your own model as well. So here I am, posing with my shirt lifted to show my stomach knowing full well I don't have those lean six-pack abs I'm going to draw on my character later wondering "why do guys pose like this for facebook?" and "why am I drawing my figures like this?" The same though came across when I couldn't find a specific pose in stock photos and had to model it myself. There's nothing sexy about this pose when I do it, but when I draw a character in that pose, they become so sexualized and attractive, that they become my best drawings I've done in a long time.

And I keep fucking falling for them! I keep falling in love with my drawings of my fantasies, wishing they were real and hoping some day I would be able to stop talking to myself at night to comfort myself to sleep. That someone else will reassure me that I am worth a damn and help me feel good about myself. Because I'm starting not to believe my own words when I say them to myself at night like a mad man.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Horrible Discovery

I just made a horrible discovery about myself during my most recent introspective drawing session.

I can't be happy for people when I'm in a bad situation. I can be nice and say the usual "that's great" and "congradulations, dude." But two seconds later, I'm back to moping around wondering why I can't have any good things like that happen to me. Why can my hard work pay off? All the search and researching; filling out applications and nights improving my skills. Trying my best to be as...

...

Oh, who am I trying to fool? I'm not trying. I'm putting minimal effort into doing what needs to be done because what I want to do is still a mystery to me. I thought it was art, but after getting a degree in it, I found out that isn't the feild I want to go into. I thought I could use those skills to do something in the video game industry, but everywhere I look, the schools that offer classes on the art side of that industry are so expensive, I'm better off avoiding them for now. So all I do is doodle in my sketchbook, and it's clear that my skills are lacking these days. Severely lacking, as it is.

Part of me feels dead already, while the other and more hopeful part of me is trying to hang on to life. Or at least I would like to think that. In reality, my escapism practices are starting to fail. I'm no longer playing any of my video games so much as I am complaining about all their flaws that caused me to stop playing them in the first place. The ones that work I haven't touched in years. The Pokemon game that I started a month back has grown stagnent due to the lack of any kind of social interaction as the game was designed for. Yes, I called Pokemon a social game, because that's what it is. Half of the mechanics is interacting with other players, and if that's not a social game, then excuse me.

I even tried watching a movie this afternoon and couldn't enjoy it. And it was a movie I know I like. Porn isn't helping either, as everything that is suppose to be stimulating is now just so boring. Music helps kill the silence, but it no longer sooths and entertains me. In fact, I find myself skipping through several tracks, including the ones I like, or stop playing it altogether.

I can't escape from reality anymore. I can't pacify this overwhelming sadness. I'm stuck in a pity party of one that nobody wants to be a part of and that nobody will help me escape from.

And the horrible thing about this? I'm too tired and beat up from life to do it myself. I just want everything to be over.

I don't want happiness; I know that's out of reach now. I just want stability.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Agency and Pokemon

I was recently turned on to a web series called Extra Credits. It is a show that talks about video games and how they can be used to push the media into a serious state of debate, as well as how it is now becoming an intragle part of our culture. They're latest episode set off something in this time of lots and lots of introspective thinking.



Topic #2: Agency.

This is me. This has been me for a long time, actually. Trodding through everyday life with no long term goals. While I don't feel like I can't control my destiny, I do feel that I'm stuck in a situation of my own creation due to some seriously bad life choices. Even my short-term goals tend to fail due to one reason or another. I don't feel motivated at all to do anything, not even draw. It's becoming a habit to force myself to do things I don't want to do, like work out for half an hour every day or look up job listings. But when everything is all said and done, I sit here in front of all my technology under motivated to do anything else.

If agency is really a scaling system, then there has to be a way to increase it. Much like confidence building, some kind of factor must allow agency to build in a person to the point where I can become that "Oh well, that's life. Let's try it again." guy described in the episode. While the show may suggest video games, the games I play don't really give me any kind of agency due to the choices I make. Even the ones that actually do reward that, such as Pokemon (which I've been playing a lot of lately), don't really make me feel like I'm controling the outcome of the battle. If anything, because I have the option to power through the game through constant leveling up, I've learned how to save my strength and energy for when something really matters. Like, I don't know, SCAD.

SCAD mattered to me, and after getting fired from my job, I actually found myself motivated enough to go through the application process. Why? Because I knew what would happen if I didn't attempt to better myself. I would be in a worse situation than I am now.

But that was then, and this is now. Having dropped out of the school after being accepted and paying the deposits, I'm in the situation I was trying to avoid in the first place. Why? Life. Lack of funds. That Ego-shattering moment when reality bitch slaps you in the face and says "NO SCHOOL FOR YOU!" in a booming, God-like voice.

It's similar to how I would be able to dominate the competition in the Gameboy version of Pokemon, but the moment I transfer my killer team to the N64 game and enter them into a stadium tourniment, I get my ass handed to me. Powering through isn't enough. I needed to reanalyze my tactics and then retrain my Pokemon, or catch new ones that could fill in the slots in a better way. Eventualy, I would find a strategy that would work, albeit it still fell on the whole "hit them hard and hit them fast" mentality I have with battling games like these. But I set no real long-term goal with myself or the game. All the choices I made were on the spur of the moment, which is kind of the point of the episode when they illustrate that the cycle between choice and consiquence is shorter in games than in real life.

What they don't really talk about is the fact that the consiquences in the game aren't nearly as impactful as the ones in real life. In a way, you have more to lose from failure in life than you do in a Pokemon game. But the key is to know how to start over again. The Game Over screen isn't the end of it all. It just means you need to try again. For some people, they can do that in life. Their Game Over moments may be big disappointments, but they don't last long before they try again. For a normal person, it could be a week or a month or even a year before they try again.

For me? I don't know if I'll ever try again. My sense of agency is so low that I just learned that I had one today when I saw this episode. That's how small it is. At least with self-confidence, I had that and knew when I was starting to lose it. The idea of a scaling sense of agency is new to me, but it makes sense. It goes hand-in-hand with self-confidence. The more of either you have, the better your life can be.

For now, however, I need to find out what gives me motivation in general. The SCAD thing was out of urgancy if anything. The want was there, but never the drive. Which, surprisingly, has always been the case. I need to find that one want that is actually in the driver's seat with the key in the ignition just waiting for me to say "Fire it up."

Saturday, April 30, 2011

SCAD Dream Gone. Now what?

It hasn't even been a week, and I'm still in limbo as to what to do now.

Wait, let me back up. I forget that I don't update this blog often anymore. I only go here when my emotions peak.

I withdrew from SCAD on Monday. As I explained to my shocked and disappointed family, the math came out to $3,700 per month as far as tuition goes. Yes, we had financial aid help, but it wasn't enough. We even maxed out our avenues with that. But that cost is something I did not want to put my family through. That tution price alone would bankrupt me after one month. And the money my family has stowed away would disappear before Christmas. In other words, I would be the cause of my family becoming broke by the new year, and I didn't want that to happen.

Since then, my family has grown ugly. I've overheard my mom and dad talking about how they believe I'll never get into a college, be it SCAD or a similar school, because of what I did. My mother, at one point in our talk about this choice, adimately stated what she hated about me. She killed what little of my self-confidence I had left at the time. And the family in general is now pretty much convinced that I'll be a do-nothing and a lazy ass.

Now that we are caught up, I'm sitting here, jobless and still looking for a job, wondering what the hell to do with my life. I've become very introspective, trying to figure out what the hell makes me happy. What I want to actually pursue and what kind of career I want.

However, I just feel dead. It's starting to show in every aspect of what I do. I can't talk to anyone without sounding like Eeyore. Only darker and more depressing. I'm half-assing job applications and questioning certain aspects of the applications. I don't get any enjoyement listening to my favorite podcasts, playing video games, or watching porn.

I. Feel. Dead.

And I don't know what to do next. SCAD was my plan, my only plan. I didn't have a back-up or an alternative. So what do I do now?

Friday, April 15, 2011

SCAD: A Nine Week Dream

When I got my acceptance letter several months back saying that I got in to SCAD, I started the frustrating task of looking for financial aid. FASFA came back saying that I'm ineligable due to the fact that I have a degree already. The program is designed for people without one. All of the scholarships I looked up to help offset the cost I quickly found out that I've missed the deadlines for. The ones I did not miss were only looking for currently enrolled students and not incoming/new students.

Also since then, I've been trying to find a new job, having been fired from my last one due to a personality conflict in which I was the guilty party. Needless to say, it's not going very well given the current economic state.

I did some math today, and discovered that the sum total of tuition is actually higher than I originally projected. Even with the limited financial aid I've already recieved, I need to cover close to $11,000 per term. That's roughly about $1,000 every week for nine weeks per term.

Family isn't going to cover it, and the longer I go without a job, the less money I actually have. I can't apply for Unemployement Benefits due to the nature of how I was fired. Then there are the outstanding student loans that I still have to pay for. That's why I decided to go back to school. Stop the loans, get a better job through more specialized education. A better and higher-paying one, at that. Now, it seems that I won't even get the chance to learn a new skill, since my first term at SCAD will be designed to knock out the remaining Gen. Eds. that didn't transfer over from the previous degree. Essentially, what I'll be ultimately paying for is a very expensive nine-week experiance as a normal college student, complete with a dorm room and roommate who may or may not get on my nerves.

The only other skill I have is the art skills and knowledge I gained from my first degree. Unfortunately, I haven't done any kind of drawing or art in general since this whole "Get into SCAD" venture began.

On top of this, I've become a victem of my own thesis, projecting my personality into a digital avatar while I go around playing Pokemon Crystal for the first time in my life. Why Pokemon? Because the concept of the game gives me a sense of control over my life. I can choose which creature to train and which to not. I can decided where to go and what to do with very little consiquence to the overall nature of the game play scenario. I can ignore problems and obsticles simply by finding other ways around them. I have a sense of control in video games that I don't get with my current real life situation. Yes, I have become my thesis. I have become an escapist, and I'm aware of this. And I can't stop myself because life sucks right now, and every place I turn to make it better rejects me.

Unless something happens, something big, I'm pretty much stuck in a ditch that I dug myself and can't get out of.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stating my Purpose... kind of...

I’m going to try a little experiment. I’m on my third draft of this Statement of Purpose, possibly the most difficult thing in my application to SCAD, and have yet to produce something that would impress my proof-readers. If anything, I’ve already pissed one of them off by the second draft. The biggest critique I’ve gotten for the previous draft is that it lacks any kind of passion and emotion. It states my goals and ambitions, but there’s no passion.

The problem for me, I think, is my frame of mind. My visual arts training has conditioned me to look at a blank Word document as something to state concepts and facts as concisely as possible. It’s similar to how I view a blank canvas with both fear and excitement at the possibilities of what the end product will be. Both situations call for a different frame of mind for me to write or draw or anything. So what do I need to stare at in order to talk, let alone write, about something back by emotion? Simple answer.

So here I am, staring at my old blog’s Add a New Entry screen. Not a lot has changed as far as layout goes, which helps get me into the proper frame of mind. And the reason I’m even here is to just try rewriting this sucker in a different frame of mind. Something that isn’t so formal and methodic. Something that feels honest when read, because, let’s face it, the second draft felt like a big lie to me when I read it. Besides, it’s easier to edit than it is to write. (Or so I’m told.)

Now that that’s out of the way, on with the show!

Like I said before, I have a degree in the visual arts. I’ve had this degree for almost three years now, and the most it has given me in the form of knowledge and appreciation of artistic design choices. Why is that area of the image black? What am I suppose to be looking at and what is actually catching my attention? This means something different given the context in which I find this object in, doesn’t it? Questions like these flood my mind when I view anything now, even something as mindless as an action scene on a TV show. But answering these questions in any form of communication, oral or literal, has been less than satisfying to me. Furthermore, I haven’t produced any images that actually is in line with my formal training. Oh, sure, I’ve done my fair share of doodles, bought myself a table for my Mac so I can draw a little bit more naturally in Photoshop, even got a pair of drawing mannequins for Christmas to help with my anatomy and poses. But the works that came out of it are hardly art in my opinion. Why is that?

I recently learned that the artistic method is one that, while I appreciate its complexity, compromises a great deal of fun out of what I get out of the visual arts. Sitting down and forcing myself to produce anything, even a minor character design, results in over-analytical critiquing and a strive for that impossible perfection of execution. This upsets me greatly. Creating art was fun. It’s suppose to be fun. When did it became so frustrating? Why did it become so frustrating? How can I make it not be so frustrating? The answer was simple. Keep it casual. Being an artist in the gallery sense of the word was never a career I desired. It was something I thought I wanted because I want to create things, whatever those things may be.

I still want to create things. I like creating things and then being rewarded for those creations, even if the reward is nothing but a smile because what I created was aesthetically pleasing at the very base level. There aren’t as many avenues where this kind of set up is common place, and with one of them already out of the question, I had to focus my attention to another career with the same kind of rewarding experience.

This is where video games come in. I tend to play games that reward a player’s creativity, such as the tycoon series of games, be they roller coasters or zoo in nature. God games like The Sims 3 and Spore rank highest in that particular genre as far as games that reward my creativity due to their online community integration. I can find out what works, what doesn’t work, and what people find appealing with each new creation I make. And strangely enough, that’s not how you are suppose to play the game by design. These games offer tools that are elements of the game play, yet there are entire communities dedicated to using and mastering these tools instead of actually completing the game.

That’s all I really want. I want to create things, master the creation process and tools used in the process of creating those things, and see the results of that creativity in the form of feedback. You can see why I originally went with the gallery artist route in my undergrad. It was a very broad umbrella that opened the door to a lot of possibilities. And with the world moving into the digital age, all my creations have been geared towards those media. Everyday, new forms of technology keep coming out of movie studios and engineering labs commissioned by one company or another. Real-time rendering systems for motion-capture footage. Full-range video capturing cameras capable of recording a 360-degree image. Augmented reality games on your smart phone. From each of these products come spring a wealth of new creative content that my mind continues to dream about. Content that I want to create but lack the skills to do so. So where do I acquire these skills?

SCAD is one of the few institutions in the country that specialize in this kind of subject, and is also one of the most recognizable. But that isn’t why I picked it. Go back to what I just wrote and point out where I say anything about wanting to be famous for creating content. My views on fame and fortune can be easily defined with a simple phrase: I don’t care about them. No, what makes SCAD the best candidate to me is its setting. Savannah is a very simple city with very little distractions. It’s beautiful in its simplicity. And out of that can spring a wealth of beautiful ideas and concept created by a community that clearly cares about its members and tries their best to support everyone willing to contribute to its growth and magic. It’s an ideal setting that I did not think existed until I visited the city myself. It’s definitely something I cannot find duplicated anywhere else in the country. And it’s something I want to be a part of.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What the hell happened to me?

I never thought I’d find myself back here. And by here, I mean on this particular blog in this particular state of mind typing yet another depressing and emotionally-driven rant about how much life sucks just to get it out of my system.

Did I think I was ever past this point in my life? A part of me was hoping so, but the hard reality of the truth told me otherwise. Unfortunately, this is who I am. I’m not very social, though I’m told I’m a great conversationalist. I can’t (or won’t, depending on who you talk to) do anything that would get me out of this rut. Why? Fear or laziness. You pick, because whatever reason I can give you won’t be good enough for you. And so on and so on.

A vicious cycle of the same thoughts over and over again. When they say things come around in a full circle, they forget that the motion of the circle doesn’t stop. It keeps going until there is a break in the cycle. And, yes, this cycle needs a break. A break so big that it completely destroys it.

So what have I been doing since I last posted on this blog?

Well, it’s clearly been over a year since I made the choice to go to SCAD. Sadly, I’m not there enjoying myself and attempting to get a Masters in Interactive Media Design. Why?

Well, this past February something happened to me that landed me in the ER. My balanced mysteriously turned off in the middle of work, and on the ride home I ended up getting a severe case of motion-sickness. Which triggered a panic attack, which is how I ended up in the hospital. I was given several prescription pills to deal with all of those symptoms, all of which would knock me out cold if I ended up taking them together. Which happened at least once because that’s just how the time table synced up. Needless to say, I was incapable of working, so I took the month off.

Nobody found out what was wrong with me. Instead, I had to pay off a medical bill somewhere in the $1200 range. Most of them were processed by my employee insurance, of which I was under for only a month before this happened, but I’m still getting some of the bills to this day. The most recent one took seven months to process. In a fit of frustration of just seeing the bill, I decided to pay off the whole thing in full by any means I could.

During my time off, I was thinking about SCAD and how much that school costs. Now, granted that the only debt I’ve occurred is my undergrad student loans, which totals out to around $30,000 for the five years it took me to get my BFA. Of that, I’ve paid back around $1,500+ (give or take $350 a month plus interest). SCAD costs $30,000+ a year, and the idea of going into debt even further scares the shit out of me. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t have a credit card.

Needless to say, money’s been on my mind for the last half-year. With the recession hitting my wallet, I’m also finding myself dipping into my savings more and more just to pay off my loans. Going to college would stop the monthly payments to some degree, sure. But it also means the loans would get bigger in the process.

The other thing that’s been on my mind that has been contributing to my depression is the fact that I’m 27 now and have essentially done nothing with my life. I’ve discovered that because of the four years of emotional trauma I call “high school” that my world view is several years younger than where it should be. When I graduated high school, I was told I had the mentality of an immature 16 year hold. These days, I’m finding out that I’m as na├»ve as your average 20 year old. I mean, I just had health insurance explained to me by my sister, and she turns 25 in a few weeks! How pathetic am I that at my age I didn’t know how insurance work?

And people expect me to get a driver’s license?

I’m messed up. The polite term would be to call me “damaged goods.” But there’s no escaping the truth of the matter.

I’ve graduated college, sure, but I’m working a minimum wage job in a field completely unrelated to what I studied. I haven’t produced any real art in the last two years since I graduated. All I’ve done is indulge my God complex by playing video games that allow me to control the fate of a digital avatar. A character that I’ve subconsciously projected myself in to, so that I can be that successful painter that lives on the beach and can sell his works for thousands of dollars at the local consignment store. A simulation where I can play out some of my fantasies right before my eyes, because that’s how the game works.

It seems both ironic and karamatic (if there is such a word) that my thesis was on escapism. During my public presentation, the question was posed to me of if I felt that my knowledge of this kind of escapism could put me at risk of developing the habit. At the time, I claimed I was in the control. I guess that was just part of the denial phase. I know now that I’m not in control and that I use these things to help me feel happy because I’m completely dissatisfied with reality. With MY reality.

I’m 27, a graduate in the study of fine art, a minimum-wage worker, a video game escapist, and a habitual viewer of porn. I have a trunk of things I’m ashamed to share with the world but yet open on a monthly basis so I could use them to help me feel happy. I have a dog whose companionship can’t give me the feeling of love and affection my psyche needs. I’m starting to feel like I can’t talk to people anymore because I don’t know how to approach them.

I want people to find me interesting, but I’m not interesting at all. I’m not even physically attractive enough to get beyond the daily comments of how beautiful my long hair is. I don’t even take care of my hair, and yet every woman that sees it falls in love with it! I wonder what happens if I take that approach with life and just stop trying. Maybe then things will get better.