Project Japan 2: One more time, one more chance

By bluemist on October 17th, 2011

Since this is more or less confirmed already, might as well say it.

I’m going to Japan. Again.

It will only be under a week this time, I’m just going back there as a tourist. But I’m treating it as some sort of a major event. I left so many unfinished business and, er… emotional baggage over there during my whole year of stay back in 2006-2007. It’s been quite a while since then, and so I wonder if I’ll gain anything, or learn anything, from this possibly rare opportunity. It could be nothing more than a vacation trip. Or it could be a pivotal moment of my life.

I’ll be going there with friends, so I’m kinda limited to the survival strategy schedule that we had planned as a group. This trip will be sightseeing, not otaku-trekking, like some part of me would have wanted it to be. In fact, Akihabara schedule time is only 4-5 hours – that’s horribly short if you want to see and buy tech stuff, much less if you want animu stuff instead. Thankfully, we’ll go to places I haven’t gone to during my one-year stint, like temples. I’ll discover new things about Japan again, so… let’s photo! なので。。。

(Tamayura probably won’t appear for digital cameras)

It will be a trip of nostalgia. I will visit my friends and acquaintances. I will visit my old office. I will visit the places I’ve been to. I will try to relive that life I had, all over again. It’s because of that year that I have continual vested interest in anime, games, music, and many other aspects of Japanese culture. Not only just that, it’s because of that year that I have grown up (a bit) as a person. I learned to cook. I learned to live (almost) independently in an apartment. I started my work there and learned how to approach my career path. I also learned how to lov—— (enough about that). Even just for a year, my life in Japan was one of the most colorful. The experiences I had there defined me, and continues to define me even to this day. The good times, the bad times, even the uneventful times, they all became a part of me.

If there were a chance to do it all over again, I will have to take the peek through this little vacation trip of mine. There are things that I want to improve on. There are things I want to think about how to be. There are things I want to reevaluate. My life still has the next phase or two ahead, and I want to know if I’m on the right track. But more than reliving the past or looking into the future, I want to enjoy the present moment as much as I can.

Hmm, I’ve been churning out embarrassing remarks that shouldn’t be allowed, so let me rephrase it this way: WHO CARES ABOUT MELANCHOLY AND REMINISCING… I’M GOING BACK TO JAPAN YEAAAAAAAAA~!! I should be there during the week of BD release for the second movie of Macross Frontier, and (sadly) before the release of THE IDOLM@STER 2 game for the PS3, so I’m sure Akiba would be filled with posters of those. Not as if I’m going to buy either. Suggestions would be welcome on what kind of simple animu stuff to buy – I am honestly not a merchandise collector so I’m not too big on those things. I would definitely get a Vocaloid album or two, I already have a DECO*27 so my targets are doriko and 40mP albums, or maybe a Miku/Gumi compilation. In terms of tech I’m still on the ropes about a 3D/120Hz PC monitor, which should bring the absolute smoothness to my computing and gaming visuals. Remind me not to go overboard because I barely have tens of thousands of yen to spend. Train fares will be a particular pain. Oh how much has changed. When I was in Japan I could barely think about how train fares cost, nor “where I was going” (lol I went to random places by train back then).

Anyway, one more time, one more chance. This is it. My body is ready, and I’m lady. This is me, signing off for now, and hoping to have the best trip of my life so far. Japan, welcome me back. ただいま。

blue bird: I am Chihaya

By bluemist on July 30th, 2011

Hello there. Been a while isn’t it? Again my plans were totally foiled by the busy-ness of life. But now that I’m writing this on my birthday, I took a leave away from work, and most probably took a leave from everything else.

I’m alone, and I have all the time in my life.

This has been the daily drama of my life ever since I started working. Sure, people and even I might say that my job is very stressful. I have even blamed it for my personal shortcomings sometimes. I would cry out fodder on twitter about how this job sucks, and sucks my time like a vacuum. I cite it responsible for my anti-socialness. I swipe at it for my failing lovelife. But you know what? Deep inside of me, the part that I try to deny about it was, this work, this career I’m leading myself into, this actually… defines me.

I am good at it. I am obsessed with it. It is my life. It is as if I had nothing else but my career. That if I had not been working, I would have nothing else. I am nothing without my work.

There was a point in time, actually 2 years ago, that I stopped working for an entire half-year. It was the worst part of my psyche. I would totally NEET out on myself. Play games. Watch bunch o’ anime. Hang out in my anonymous blogospheres and social networks. In fairness, I did get out to breathe fresh air quite often. I joined friends in outings. I was wild. I was free. But somehow, everything felt empty. I was losing my sense of being, of worth. That if I didn’t earn any money for myself, then I don’t deserve this kind of enjoyments in life. I’m merely leeching on my family’s kindness. Somehow I got over that dreaded phase, and landed myself a decent job, which I’m still in to this day.

Somehow, I dedicated myself fully to this new job. Not because I wanted, or needed to. Not because there was a sense of urgency. But it’s because I believed, or possibly brainwashed myself, to being “nothing” during that jobless 6-month phase of my life. And so time went on with this new career, and I can somehow say right now that I am successful. Despite the stress, I’m enjoying it. It keeps me busy. Way better than doing nothing. Than being nothing.

In the end, that kind of dedication had a very specific side effect. I became a Chihaya, or at least what I know from her because of the 4th episode of THE IDOLM@STER. Now I have nothing else but my career. I am nothing else but my career. A blue bird, strayed from the pack, in search for a happiness that may never come.

I’m getting old, and this is when the people around me start asking questions about yet another aspect of life, aside from career, that I am having a difficulty lining myself into: love. Questions of why I still don’t have someone in my life to confide with, someone so settle down with, you know the usual deal. I frequently cry #foreveralone whenever I can. If I blamed “career” at this point, it would be an excuse, but I’m at that phase right now. As I said, I am totally in control of my career. I am good at it. I am obsessed with it.

At some point within all the noise of my relatives and friends who’ve tried to convince me of those usual keywords like “girlfriend”, “family”, “marriage”, etc., I’ve come to a yet-premature conclusion that I can’t… or more accurately, “rather not handle it”. Chihaya, in her episode, has been focused totally in her singing. She looked so serious. She promptly even declined to join her friends to celebrate their victory in the TV show shoot. Watching that, I exclaimed: “That’s totally me.” I’ve had some episodes when I don’t want to interact with anyone, or have anything else pollute my mind except the things that I want to put myself into. A girl like Chihaya, if projected in real life, is an introvert with an exacting incredible talent. She would be successful in her career, but she would lack in everything else.

People may say it is somewhat abnormal to be like that, but that is the reality of people who focus themselves on one area. You only have 100% in your life, so of course if you dedicate 90% of it to your career, you only have time, and effort, for 10% of everything else. Surely, the difference between people are vast. What I perceive as 100% of me, other people compared to me might be 200%, so even if I extract the same effort out of myself in my dedication for the career, there will be millions of people way better than me, and even so, they might succeed too in the other aspects of their lives. Because they had so much in them, compared to me. I often try to stray away from comparing myself to others, this only brings up more misery and loneliness. I avoid the real social networks because people always look happy in those, thus putting doubt in my self-worth prematurely because we don’t see in the internet the real problems other people face.

I am not lonely, I need to stress on that. I just feel a melancholy on myself. A Chihaya, despite her serious appearance and seeming loneliness, is not lonely, and I’m willing to bet on that. She is a symbol of a people like me, who finds strength in places few people can reach. Who finds power in unlikely sources. Who may find love not in other like beings. Who may find peace in that sky, straying away from the pack, towards a happiness that may never come. It is an uncertain future for me, but so is for everyone else. It’s just that, somehow, I accept that future, to wherever it may lead for me. As for being happy, maybe this is a different kind of happiness that I feel right now. It would be nice to find that normal, or should I call, “mainstream” happiness whatever it may be, but this is alright. It would be nice, but my life right now is alright.

Towards the end, Producer-san and the other idols saw Chihaya off with a somewhat sad expression on their faces. Somehow that tells me the attitude of people in general about people like me. This should not be. You should never pity, criticize, nor judge someone who has her ideals set, even if it is not the norm for you. You should never think those people are lonely. They, we, are coping with a society which only sees other people skin-deep. That is why there are conflicts in this world, wars, racism, prejudice, everywhere. If sometimes we never tell you about our innermost thoughts, we are sorry. We are also part of the problem, as we don’t communicate as easily. But please remember that, in our own little way, even if it only were to ourselves, we feel you, feeling us. We know what those kinds of lonely glances towards us mean. We see human behavior more closely, because it is human behavior itself that we lack. At the very least, if you think that we are lonely, talk to us. You may be surprised what kind of happiness we have despite what our poker faces may tell you. If we are really lonely that time, talk to us as well, because that’s when we open up, as we know that you really care so as to put effort and concern, with your time and words, in talking to us.

If your reached this part, chances are you really had concern for me, and I thank you for that. Until next time.

Dear Kagami 0.5: Hourou Otoko

By bluemist on April 1st, 2011

Roses are red, violets are blue, onna no kotte, nande dekiteru?

As I was browsing through my old archives I found a couple of interesting unpublished self-retrospect blog posts about the… “love” I once had. I was in love with this tsundere meganekko girl (that’s how I mention her in animu terms), but got rejected, and that led to my Dear Kagami blog post about my rejection. I realized that I used to really write well whether with happy or sad feelings. The first article was about trying to realize if I was really in love, then the second one was a few weeks after my confession, when it all fell apart. ;_;

All of this was four years ago. It seemed to feel like a long time, but it was just that few years ago. I’ve never been in contact with tsundere meganekko since. I’m pretty sure she has a good life right now. She was the closest I ever had to have someone to love, and so I regard that experience as a very valuable lesson. Somehow, that lesson got lost in me time and time again because I never felt as mature now than that four years ago. I hope with this I would take a slap at myself in the face and move forward to better things in life. This is not an April Fool’s post mind you, but somehow I am really taking a troll on “myself” with this hahaha. Oh how nostalgic. I need more of my sentimental vocaloid music.

Here are the two articles in the order of before-after.
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About the events in Japan

By bluemist on March 16th, 2011

Our thoughts and prayers go to my friends, colleagues, and everyone in Japan. Please keep safe wherever you are.

Naritai Jibun 2: The Deconstruction

By bluemist on March 8th, 2011

Naritai Jibun

Sorry, this is not so much about Madoka Magica, let’s just say that I can relate with the anime depicting a deconstruction of what it takes to be a magical girl in the magical girl genre of anime. In the first article I compared myself to Amu-chan (Shugo Chara), a magical girl with multiple personality issues, as a reflection of my life at that point when I had to decide which path to take in life. And so here I am today, trying to reflect on my decisions from that point in the past, and what the reality looks like at present..
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Revision Episode 2: between a rock, a hard place, and a bump in the road with an emerging landslide

By bluemist on November 11th, 2010

This is required of me. I feel like my mind is gonna explode with all the confusion, I need to throw it all up somewhere. Not exactly though. As always I tend to keep a sense of vagueness when I tell about personal problems. But if anything, you could clearly see that, through me not updating this blog, time just gets the toll out of me yet again. This time though, it has never been such an opportune, worse time than this… ever.

I feel like I’m stuck between a rock, a hard place, and a bump in the road with an emerging landslide. I don’t know if the culmination of factors lead me to this, or if it’s just my fault that I had gone into this mess that I’m in. The sure thing is that I am in a mess that would forever change my life, and there is no such option as turning back.

Maybe part of the reason why I can’t seem to solve my problems is that I think the world may be ending soon. I’m crazy enough to draw parallels in that natural disasters are the hand of God, and the terrorists are the devil. I’m crazy enough to think that God is now directly talking to us. I am but a sinner, and the problems I face seem to be a direct sign that God is trying to communicate to me. He is actually trying to talk me into it, to somehow try to find inspiration for me to go on, try my best to solve all my problems.

Moreover, lately I recall a lot of dreams of mine leading to that effect. Maybe it’s just my irregular sleeping habit, but hey, there is really something mystical in my midst, and I can never ever deny it anymore. I think with all the world’s problems coming as if in rapid succession, don’t you think it’s about time to bend a bit of our conservative reality, and seek divine mercy because it seems to be out there already? Think about it.

But that’s not the main issue, they are just personal signs of mine that I interpret as God’s message to me. I pray everyday, I pride myself in having the slightest bit of faith even with my atheistic doubts. But I know, when it comes to my problems, praying is not enough. Praying without working is like begging. As if you want yourself to be spoon-fed. This is how I really feel. It’s not as if I’m not doing anything about my problems though, it’s just that I really feel… hopeless. When time is against me, it’s really that hopeless.

And yet, with all the hopelessness, I still am the same poor actor. I can’t cry. I can’t be sad. I am emotionless. I worry but it doesn’t even show on my face. I don’t know if that is a good thing or bad thing, but that’s the way it is. It seems like that preemptive reaction to hopelessness, that I tend to befriend the will of the wind, the dictate of the waves, and just flow around helplessly.

I really have changed. Somehow I got rid of some bad habits of mine, as well as lower down on some worthless things that used to infect my mind and body as fast as the flu. Yet the signs point out to me that it is not enough to solve my current trials. Moreso time would tell me that it is too late for me to do so because the damage has been done already. Indeed, the damage was fierce like a quake. Somehow I still stood up amidst the rubble, but when I looked at the utter destruction around me, I stop and wondered why I was still left alive.

Rest assured though that even if I typed in paragraphs upon paragraphs of problems and hopelessness above, I am still very much alive and kicking. As I said, I am emotionless, and other that worrying, it really can’t affect me one bit. It’s a gray-area loophole in these events, and I’m thankful enough that God gave me… or should I say… didn’t give me the sense of ‘feeling’. This is a different spin on the saying “Ignorance is bliss.” I don’t ignore my problems. I just can’t be sad about it. Sometimes though, I envy people who do. Because of this feeling of rejection, they somehow find the light at the end of the tunnel. Me? I’m just this living doll who accepts life’s data and merely keeps things “noted”, however good or bad it is. In effect, feedback and control is painfully slow, and oftentimes, too late.

In light of this, I discovered one thing about myself. I am a perfectionist. I want all things right, even if all signs point to no. Well, I hope it helps me on staying positive about all kinds of matters. After all, whenever I see myself stuck between a rock, a hard place, and a bump in the road with an emerging landslide, I always seem to escape unscathed. It’s weird, and sad, but true.

October 12, 2005