I have waited for a long time to write this. I made a decision a couple of years ago to never post “emo stuff” on my personal blog, because it is quite degenerative for a writer and I don’t want my posts to be devalued like that. But this is a rare exception, because it marks a landmark moment.
Some four years and 10 months ago, the same duration that I was together with my ex, we broke up. I will not go through the stupid details all over again because I am long past that.
But I will forever remember those words that were uttered to me, for the rest of my life and into the spirit world beyond.
“Go back and play your videogames. Go back and watch your anime.”
Her remarks angered me so much, because it was as if she was saying that spending time on videogames and watching shows was a waste of time. That it was some sort of sin committed by a boyfriend, and I should have devoted all my spare time to the relationship.
And so I told myself that day: Okay, I will prove to myself that videogames and anime were not a waste of time. I made this decision not to vindicate myself towards her, but to prove to myself that there is more to life than love, and that there is nothing wrong with pursuing your passions.
It was around April 2010 that I decided to start playing Melty Blood. This was a crucial year for MB, because it had been voted by fans to appear as an official fighting game at EVO 2010. I wanted to challenge myself to learn a fighting game to the fullest, to see how far it would take me.
4Y10M later: I have met so many friends in the local MB community, and had so much fun on the countless Friday night arcade sessions we’ve had. I am happy to call many of them my close friends, some of whom I’ve travelled overseas with to visit Japan.
I cannot imagine what my life would be like if I never played MB, if I never met Joel and the rest of the gang. I would not have subsequently picked up Under Night In-Birth otherwise, and I would never have set up the UNIBread IRC channel and Facebook, which in turn, have allowed me to meet even more overseas MB friends like Kigal, Kento, and Takumi.
I have also started playing World of Warcraft in March 2014, something that I had always wanted to do back during the vanilla and Burning Crusade days. But she never allowed me to play it because of all the MMO addiction horror stories that were circulating on the net. I respected her decision… however, not playing WoW during its initial release remains one of my biggest regrets as a gamer till today.
It was also around April 2010 that I decided to start learning Japanese. It’s very funny that my ex said that I watched too much anime, because I don’t consider myself to be that big of an otaku at all. But I have always wanted to learn the language because I was tired of waiting several years for translations of comics and light novels that I wanted to read, and this incident had galvanised me into doing so.
4Y10M later: I have managed to get a JLPT N3 certificate, but narrowly failed in passing my N2. I’ve met so many new friends and teachers while studying Japanese, and even travelled with one of my classmates to Japan. Did I mention that I visited Japan? Twice? Studying a foreign language with the goal of travelling to that respective country to use it is one of the most fulfilling learning experiences ever.
Also, I’ve secured a job that has allowed me to use Japanese. All because of my interest in Japanese animation. I am damn proud to have “gone back and watched my anime”, and I will continue to do so.
I guess what I am trying to say with this post is this:
I have proven that I can be happy with my life by pursuing my passions. These last four years and 10 months have taught me that happiness is a choice, a personal thought that has to be cultivated by yourself only. If you allow your happiness to be dictated by “love”, by another person, then you will never, ever, truly be content with your life.
If you’re attached or married, then good for you. Cherish your relationship. If you are single, that’s okay too. Use the time to improve yourself, learn a hobby, or learn Melty Blood. Or play World of Warcraft.
Never ever allow others to dictate your likes and hobbies. Enjoy doing what you love, and love doing what you enjoy. Love yourself before you love others.
For the next four years and 10 months of my life, I want to really master the Japanese language until I can reach a translator or interpreter level. This is going to take a lot of immense study and discipline, but I want to do it.
I’d also like to learn to cook more recipes in the kitchen, and buy an oven to start baking simple cakes. I blame Hate Plus for igniting this cooking interest. Who said videogames were a waste of time again?
In some alternate universe, maybe I stayed with my ex, and maybe we got married. But that is not my current reality, and I am not interested in it. I have accepted my current life, and I am happy with it. And that is all that matters.