Holy hell, it’s been almost a whole year since I have written anything in this space. As an man of Asian descent, I have been trying to reconnect with my roots culturally as I have been dying to reconnect with culture. As a geek, I have been making a slow return to intellectually stimulating hobbies such as Magic The Gathering and Munchkin to get my brain exercising again. With phones, I grew bored of the iOS universe and found an eventual movement to Android because the inner gadget hacker in me craved a new challenge. This phase of my life has been a rebirth of sorts as a lot of these things were sadly repressed for a while. I will confess and say it feels great to be a geek again without harassment on being proud of my intellect. As a preface, this is a dedication to all of my close, dear, and most loyal friends.
Intellect is something that is a hard case in traditional Asian life. You either have immense amounts of it that can be fueled as stat points in math and science proficiencies to become a cash making machine… Or you end up on the liberal arts side of things as an idle dreamer pursuing causes noble and dear to an idyllic heart with extreme criticism. The former of the two gets massive rallying support because material cash leads to physical security; the latter has no guarantee of stacks of money rolling in and is more about ideals and personal ethics versus being miserable with material wealth. I know a majority of my family around the world have fueled their stat points for their character sheets in maths and sciences with the “ideal” lives being forged together like pieces of a puzzle. Me, on the other hand, allocated points in things like writing skills, philosophy, computer and network technologies which resulted in something less than ideal for the traditional Asian value system. There is an irony to this reflection.
In my days of struggling from how my proberbial character sheet was configured… It reminded me of the Dragon Quest game series and the path of the of the Jester class. For those not familiar with the game’s character classes, the Jester is a class that literally goofs off from Level 1 until Level 20 while barely participating in combat and on Level 20, they have the option to become a Sage. The trials of managing a Jester is hard and frustrating as it means writhing in agony from just a difficult character sheet and wondering if the struggle to become a Sage is worth the work… I can say that my past few years were like being the Jester and not knowing if allocating my points into being a Jester just to become a Sage was worth the trials and tribulations. The struggle of being classed in as a Jester for the past few years was a pain as I was unsure if blazing my own path was going to be worth it. After the struggling and finding out who were my true best friends, my life felt like I finally became a Sage in my own right. I learned not to regret my past. I finally learned to take things in stride and remember that my past is something to be reflected upon as a lesson of my mistakes made.
Through my journeys in the past 2 years as a renewed soul, my true friends and my beloved girlfriend have been the most valued pillars of support. Through bad and good, they have been stalwart in their strength and I appreciate that. My true friends have stood up for me when I thought I was down and out… That means a ton to me compared to the various flakes of former friends I used to have. My dearest of friends, they have been truly noble in my weakest days and even more so lately with me trying to find a new job. I would be lost without them and I am thankful that we meet up almost weekly to play Magic as it helps unwind my mind. I know my girlfriend has been nothing but supportive and I am thankful for her kindness. She was also kind enough to help me when I was down and with the roles reversed I am happy to support her. It’s a huge change in magnitude for me because I am so used to the expectation that I must be superhuman or that I am worthless as a man. To know that I just need to be myself and human is a huge wave of comfort to me, in addition to being a huge change of fate. Even in a situation of extreme despair, she has not wavered one bit from her stance on me. For this, I am glad and thankful.
I am thankful for being able to embrace my roots, pursue intellectually stimulating interests, and having the greatest of friends… Though, I am sorrow and grief struck from being near penniless and out of a job with searching in desperation for new work… All at the same time, I do not regret anything. Regret would mean that I am not thankful for these good things in my life and that would be ungrateful to both myself and my beloved friends. Had I not gone the path I did… I would have never met them and that trial by fire means a lot to me now. I would not trade my friends and experiences for a “perfect” life, because in the end… I would miss those things the most.