Progress and Weakness

So, let’s start with the first one.

For the first time in many years I’ve rejoined the ‘competitive’ gaming scene. It’s something that I’ve thought of a few times before but after a couple of rather horrendous experiences I ended up dropping away from it and never really looking back.

A series of events lately saw me give it a go again. On one hand I played online matches in Dota (which although not strictly speaking competitive, it is pretty nerve-wracking even in the pub matches) and on the other I played two competitive matches of CS:GO. Now this second one is a big deal to me because way back in the day (CS 1.6 era) I actually did play in a couple of tournaments and we did fairly well.

As for how I’ve been doing so far… Dota I’ve won one match out of I don’t even know how many.

CS:GO we’ve won two out of the two matches I’ve played. And what’s more is that I wasn’t as useless as I thought I would be.

I’ll admit that I was in the lower half of the ten players, but for someone who has played a total of 16 hours of CS over the last five or more years I reckon that’s not a bad place to start (since I wasn’t dead last by a long way)

((If you are interested in stats: Dota, CS:GO))

So that’s progress.

As for weakness it’s the opposite end of the spectrum. That side of me that’s screaming that I’m not good enough, that I should just give up on both of those things and leave it to the ‘pros’. It’s stupid and I know that if I actually give it some time I’ll end up back at where I was all those years ago, heart pounding as we face off against a team that’s coordinated and deadly.

But for now I wonder whether the people I’m playing with would be better off without me. In Dota I can’t entirely dismiss that thought, especially considering my very poor win rate at the moment, but in the end it boils down to experience. Most of the people I know that play the game have played more hours than me in a smaller amount of time and so they understand the meta, they understand which heroes are strong and which are weak, how to counter the ones I pick and which ones are insignificant enough not to even worry about.

But then again, if I never try, I’ll never learn. So for now, I’m going to keep playing, throwing myself against the wall that is the enemy teams and hopefully I deal enough damage to it to eventually break through.

Teaching, learning and yearning

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but I teach a small jujutsu club. That club is something that I’m passionate about, something that I enjoy immensely.

Being the sensei is one of my most challenging and exciting tasks each week. Not because I lack the knowledge, although I do feel like that is true, and not because I’m not strong, which I also feel is true, but because I lack the confidence to put those things entirely aside and focus on what’s going on.

This means that I often end up stuttering or otherwise losing my focus on the mat. And when we are fighting that shows most.

In training situations, where we are looking at moves, going over techniques, figuring out counters and blocks I feel at home. My mind can immediately pull out something that will work and walk everyone through it. There is no lag time, the thought is just there.

But in a fight (on the mats in this case, I haven’t ever really fought off it) I doubt myself, I tell myself that the other person probably knows better than me, that they will counter whatever I try. And so in a way I freeze, unable to move forward in case I give my opponent the opening they’re looking for. This of course leads to my eventual defeat, especially if my opponent is stronger in one aspect or another of the art.

Which leads to my next point. I have a few students who are from different backgrounds. Now, most of them I can easily move around and outmanoeuvre  and outwit, but there are a couple who learn so quickly that if you get them once, the next time they’ll know that move and put it right back on you.

This is great for me.

My learning was cut short quite abruptly. I feel like I know practically nothing even now and so when one of my students starts to think the same way I do, I feel great. For one thing, my teaching provided a base for them to build from and they’ve built that well. For another it means that I can learn with them. They think differently and so when I might go one way, they’ll go another, and so instead of having one way to counter something, we suddenly have two.

This is my favourite part of running my club, that constant knowledge that as we all progress, we all help each other.

 

Now onto the last topic, yearning. It’s got nothing to do with the above but tonight I went over to one of my student’s house and we all shared a drink (the entire club.) It was a great experience but while I was there, I ignored my phone.

Unfortunately that meant that I didn’t respond to messages until I got home, and since those messages are my only means of communication with my other, it means I felt very, very cut off, especially since two of my students had their significant others there.

Now that I’m home though and I’ve replied I haven’t gotten a reply back. It’s conceivable that she’s gone to bed, but in the back of my mind I worry, my paranoia kicks in in a big way. What if she’s angry with me? What if something’s happened to her.

I know it’s stupid but those thoughts are the ones I am dealing with right now and I thought it might help to get them out.

Ideas

Well, it’s been a while since I went into a blog post without a plan, but my head hurts and I’ve had a nosebleed and honestly I feel like writing. (Don’t ask :P)

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks, with dedication and trust playing a huge role in a couple of aspects, suspicion and anger in others. It’s unfortunate that in the same time where a major milestone was reached could be marred by petty people trying to hurt those around them.

It’s also been in these last few weeks that I’ve started to notice a change in behaviour in my boss. He’s gone from extremely stressed and focused on his stressor, to far less stressed but lashing out randomly. And the way he’s lashing out (and the reasons he’s doing it) make me think it might be a mild form of PTSD.

Now, the trauma that would have caused this is minor, we had someone around that was a habitual liar and would never admit to wrongdoing. Especially when someone actually complained about it.

There have now been a few times when things have occurred at work where someone has been an ass but Dave has immediately turned on me rather than backing me up and trying to find out what actually happened. He has immediately assumed the worst from me.

One of the times was my fault, I’d forgotten to do something that I should have done.

The other two though were not even vaguely because of me. Messages had not been passed on to those who needed to hear them and when that person then turned to Dave with a query about the very thing the message answered, Dave then turned on me, despite me saying specifically that I left a message to that effect.

The reason this has gotten to me isn’t because he’s not backing me up though. Yes, it was frustrating the way he addressed me with the query, and the animosity that he exhibited in the message, but when I answered him, he didn’t just take what I told him and relayed that, instead he seems to have re-interpreted it and so a few minutes later I got a call that I should never have gotten.

I don’t know what the call was about, it was a work matter way after work hours, but the fact that that person was calling me means that somewhere, someone took what I said and turned it into ammunition for their own issues.

And so, I’m going to have to deal with that on Monday.

 

But onto the ideas part of this post. A couple of fairly intelligent people close to me recently lost their jobs. Due to this they now have a lot of time.

This morning I thought of something that for some reason hadn’t occurred to me before. Between the two of them they could quite easily make a PC game with a little guidance. They have the patience and intelligence and attention to detail required, and one of them has the skills to actually guide the process.

If I do manage to convince them to consider it, I’ll keep you all updated 😛

Habits, Deliveries, Leave and Apps

Let’s begin with Apps. Recently I’ve been spending time doing things other than mobile gaming. Since I upgraded my PC the amount of time available for other things has drastically dropped.

Despite this development I’ve found myself hanging on to certain mobile apps that I really enjoyed, one in particular being King of Thieves. I love the game and the concept, and for the many months I played it was amazing.

But towards the higher levels you hit a plateau where, although it is possible to progress without payment, it require a large amount of time in order to perfect certain techniques needed to get through the later dungeons.

This time can’t be spread out over weeks or months and so I slowly lost touch with the game. But I’ve kept it on my phone.

This last week I had been inactive long enough for me to lose control of the guild I ran. Now, although running a guild doesn’t take much (or anything at all) it was still something keeping me in the game. With this loss, I feel like I might finally be able to remove the app.

Onto leave. I’m on leave at the moment for a week. Or at least I am in theory.

The reason I say this is because despite this fact I have had numerous work things to do today, things that I shouldn’t be having to deal with. Phone calls from people who have my work number but for some reason call my personal number. I’m honestly not sure why they don’t call the office but I haven’t answered their calls because I’m on leave.

The other thing that interrupted my leave was a problem where the buck was passed away from the person who should actually be fixing it. Now I don’t understand whether this was intentional on her part, or whether it was a side-effect of the people who were supposed to be informing her of the problem just not doing so.

It’s annoying because this particular problem is not actually something that I’m likely to be able to fix without hours of work.

And I have this horrendous feeling I’m going to be asked to come in tomorrow to do exactly that.

Deliveries. This one is a far more positive subject than those above. It concerns the girl I’m now dating. Today I drove her to her nanna’s house, three hours away. It’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things but it was me doing something I enjoyed with someone I like and it ended up being one of the most fun things I’ve done in a while, despite all the wonderful activities that I’m involved in in various places and with various people.

And finally habits.

A while ago I found an app that allowed you to create a RPG out of your life. I ignored it. More recently I had something asked of me and I thought of that app as the perfect solution to the problem.

So I looked into it. And it was okay, but lacked features that I needed. So I looked around.

And found Habitica

I have been using the app for a couple of days now, and this blog post is actually a result of that use. I’ve set myself certain goals so far as habits are concerned, and custom daily tasks that allow me to push myself into doing things like writing (both my fiction as well as these posts or letters or whatever else). So far it’s worked wonderfully and it’s been a really fun experience to set up.

Hopefully I manage to stick to it because if I do, it means I’ll start to write the space story again, and once that’s going I can look at posting it up here.

Here’s to hoping.

Limbo

So, this post is actually not about being in limbo, it’s more about getting out of it.

First off there is of course the void that The Fallen has left. Without that to write and to focus on I’ve been drifting between a number of other things, toying with the ideas behind a couple of other stories. They haven’t progressed well.

What I figured out though is that I think they haven’t been progressing because whenever I write I listen to music, and the music I’ve been listening to has been wrong for those stories.

What makes that problem difficult to rectify is the fact that I have no idea where to even begin to look for the right type of music, partly because I don’t know what the right type actually is. I spent a couple of hours last night looking and found nothing.

But that doesn’t mean that I’ve given up. Once I find the correct tone in something that I can listen to I’m sure things will flow from there.

 

On to my second limbo escape, I’ve started ‘dating’ someone. We met ages ago and we’ve been talking for quite a while. A couple of months ago I started to realise that there might have been more to it than there had at first seemed.

And a couple of weeks ago I found out that it was mutual.

This means that for the first time in a long time I’m in a relationship, and what’s more it’s one of the healthiest ones I’ve ever been in. But it comes with a threat.

In two, maybe three months she leaves the country.

Now, I’ve done distance relationships before, they’re not as terrible and terrifying as they may seem, but that last one destroyed a lot of people and in the end I was a victim of it as well.

The other worry is that she was away for a week this week, and although there was not much difference in how often we could see each other, just knowing that she was out of reach made a huge difference in how it felt. The worry I have is what will happen when she’s half way around the world and it won’t just be for the week?

Nevertheless as I said above, this feels healthy, and right now I desperately need that.

Anyway, short post tonight, hopefully I’ll get back into it properly once my mind recovers from the burnout I’m facing but if not, I’ll be trying to keep this going as long as I can.

Something Beautiful

This post will be a little different to usual. I do not know exactly how it will go or where it will go.

First up, sunflowers. Sunflowers have been an important item in my life for quite a while. Ever since I first saw The Sin Eater I have often had them in my mind and they have had a special place in my heart. At certain times during the year, on my way to Nottingham Road there are often sunflowers along the highway and they always life my heart.

The next bit is where things differ my my normal fare here.

A field of grass and rocks spreads out as far as the eye can see. Everything there is either bland and boring, or hard and cold. Even though every entity there is unique, everything looks the same, each cluster of rocks just like every other, each blade of grass swaying in time with others around it.

Here and there are patches of colour, groups of flowers red and blue, but even here where there is difference, there is still a sameness.

A boulder juts out of the centre of the field, easy to dismiss and like so many others it is unremarkable on its own.

But at its side, standing taller than almost anything around it is a sunflower, its bright yellow petals setting it apart from even other sunflowers in the field. It stands alone near the boulder, facing the sun as the light bathes the field.

As night begins to fall, the flower lilts to the side and for a moment it touches the boulder. In that moment a light dusting of yellow pollen spreads to the boulder and the following morning, unlike every other morning, that boulder becomes as unique as the flower beside it.

A single act can change the world, a single moment that leaves its mark. Something out there will always make the world a brighter place even in this time of grey and green blandness.

 

 

The youtube playlist is a series of songs that played while the event above came to mind. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

Life and truth

Truth can be a funny thing. It can lead to so much trauma and yet at the same time the best things can come from it as well. There are so many times where I have regretted telling the truth and yet I still live by it. All thanks to someone who hurt me terribly.

And there it is. An experience that hurt me so badly built me in a way that has now given me the strength to enjoy something I never would have believed possible.

Tonight has been a rollercoaster mentally and emotionally, I spiraled hard and was caught by the unlikeliest of people, someone who I’ve valued for a long time.

I miss people who I know miss me too. We talk but it’s not the same, there are complications that make everything difficult. But there again, such is life. It throws challenges our way, issues that need to be dealt with, roadblocks that are unassailable. Distance becomes impossible to overcome and distance isn’t just how far apart two things are.

The last couple of days has seen me re-united with someone, and has seen me possibly lose someone else. I’ve been given a new appreciation of what I have, and I’ve been shown what I’ve had and how much it meant to me. How much it still means to me.
I need to figure out how to let go, and how to move on, two things I’ve never been good at.

But that will come and when it does I’ll achieve stability like never before. For now though, I have people that are helping me, people who truly want to help, no matter what. And that makes the world far better.

I never want to lose people, it always sucks and not just for me. That’s why I always try and keep that from happening but sometimes the aforementioned distance causes truly irreparable damage.

Things are changing, life is moving, the world turns as it should. I will always try to keep those I care about close, even if it hurts me, because if I can make the world a better place, even in my own small way, then that is worth it.

Dream Big and Run

So, let’s start with the the first part of the title. Dream big.

A good friend of mine is a little demoralised by something that keeps happening to her, an event that she keeps gearing herself up for that keeps falling through. My advice was accept it, but there’s more to it than that.

People always say dream big, because if you don’t you’ll never achieve anything big… which is all well and good but they tend to forget that when you’re telling someone that, you really should assume they’re stupid. (I was as well.)

You see, people hear dream big and so they do that. But the problem is, they do only that. They have this big life goal and they make it something that ‘must’ happen. But what they don’t do it look at how to get there. Sure they’ll get a job and save up and so on, and some people will even plan a little, but they don’t actually have goals that are achievable that will lead up to their big dream.

And so they waft, waiting for the circumstances to be right, never achieving their goal and often, never achieving anything else either (or at least, nothing they would count)

So far, so negative.

What I realised today is this: I had a goal, it wasn’t big by most people’s standards but it was very important for me.

And I failed.

It was only recently that I broke it down. I set myself lots of little goals that would make the big goal if not a reality then a very definite possibility. And to my amazement it worked. Something about making these smaller goals made the bigger goal that much easier to approach and that much less intimidating. I’ve made progress on my big goal and I’m even thinking that one of my other goals which I had written off might actually be within reach rather than a pipe dream.

So my advice is this: Dream big, go for it, because those people were right, dreaming big allows you to achieve great things.

But remember to break it down into things you can achieve now and in the short term and when you have created the circumstances for the big thing to happen, then it will happen.

 

Right, now into the second part.

I struggle with some interesting issues. Mentally I am quite unstable and there are many times where to try and heal myself, I start to reject everything. It’s why since December last year I’ve struggled to do anything at all. I’m demoralised and afraid and my mind is trying to fix itself by shutting down.

Unfortunately even though over the holidays I got a decent amount of rest, I didn’t deal with whatever it was that has been bugging me. Instead I avoided it, I ran from my problems and found myself in whatever world my games took place in.

Currently I haven’t fixed that cycle. I’m tired, scared of everything and everyone and overwhelmed the moment someone say ‘hi’ to me. Since I work in IT, and work with people all day every day, this is a problem.

It means that every friend who messages me triggers that overwhelmed feeling, and so every message has the chance of sending me over the edge and when that finally does happen, I don’t know where I will run to. Already my mind is screaming at me to get out, to leave, to go somewhere where no one will find me.

Except that when it says that it’s not actually suggesting that I do that at all. It’s telling me something very specific, something that honestly I don’t want to do. I have options on alternate lives, things I can do that would completely change everything I know and in some ways things would be better for me.

But I don’t want to do that, because although change might be a good idea, I have a very real feeling that if I ever take the most prominent alternate path I would probably end up hating it and loathing myself, which could trigger other responses beyond just the ‘run’ one I’m currently facing.

But on the other hand the ‘run’ option is attractive for a number of reasons. My mind claims that I will be more free, less pressured, more able to calm down.

Except I know that it’s not true. I’ll have fewer releases, fewer ways to vent my own anxieties and on top of that the work that I could end up doing is likely to destroy my soul in a way that the distress I’m feeling now never will.

So I’m stuck, needing to run but with nowhere to go, and so I stay in one place and push everything else away. I run while not moving, neither forward nor back, desperately trying to find that place I need to be without really looking for it.