Desktop Diary #1: Climbing the Slope, One Step at a Time

Hey, it’s been a long while.

Nozoki-zaka, Tokyo

If you aren’t aware of what transpired since the last time I posted an update about the situation, it didn’t really work out well. A new account someone helped create for me was compromised in less than a week. I wasn’t really all that surprised, knowing some sort of algorithms are probably in play; and at one point, I thought:

“Maybe I should just stop.”

It wasn’t exactly an easy period. I was juggling with organizing an event, preparing for my exit exam (equivalent to the States’ USMLE), and night shifts; and during moments when I could take a rest, my anxiety kept me from doing so. The harder I tried to take my minds off it, the more it made me feel more vulnerable, and I loathed that. I really hated the notion that solitude—something that has helped me got through difficult times before—is crushing me from the inside this time. I tried really hard to convince myself that I’m fine, but it didn’t really work all that well. The last thing I wanted was for someone around me to notice, but it simply got harder and harder to cover up with a wry smile by the day.

The only way I could dull the pain was through avoidance, by feigning ignorance. For me who have always hated the idea of “ignorance” all my life, the mere thought that I got through my days licking my wounds by doing something I hate the most just felt… hollow. And yet, despite it clearly not being the best way out, it probably was the closest path I could take.

My escapade was something I hadn’t been in touch with for years: a return to gaming. I threw myself into the newest world that Tetsuya Takahashi crafted in the form of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and I voluntarily got lost inside it. During moments when I would start throwing off or crying, I’d get myself immersed in the world of Alrest and the overwhelming scale of it. While it wasn’t an actual key to solving the problem, it did help me barely pull myself through and push all the corrosive thoughts to the back of my mind. To be honest, it still means a lot to me until now.

That’s quite a lot of hours, I know.

During those times, I also confided in a friend I wasn’t particularly close to before, but had been getting to know with for a while before the incident happened. I really appreciate her just being there at that point, knowing I barely had anyone I’d trust enough to turn to. I have always been scared in forming new relationships, much less committing in one, but I’d see this as a baby step.

Right now, I’m currently working full-time as a research assistant ever since passing my exit exam, all the while waiting for my intern placement. I’d be lying if I said I have completely gotten over it, but I do have accrued more control over my thoughts, and my sleep times have been getting better. The same question does linger in my mind from time to time, though: what about the future?

The other day, I attended the Avengers: Endgame premiere. It was a delightfully emotional ride, unlike anything else I’ve experienced in cinemas these recent years. One particular line very early in the movie resonated with me more than the others, however; it was when Steve Rogers talked about living in the world after The Decimation.

“I keep telling everybody they should move on. Some do. But not us.”

The line made me ponder about whether I am actually moving on with my life, or if I really am just walking in circles. I started thinking about things I have cast aside—things I used to passionately enjoy doing—in order to deal with my pain. I wondered if it’s better to close the old book and threw away all the remnants of the past for a new life, or to pick up what’s left and see what I can rebuild from there. And to be honest, I haven’t come up with a clear answer yet.

But then I thought, maybe I don’t have to.

Maybe I can figure things out as I go along, as long as I am taking the first step. And I think, this is that first step.

For now, I’ll start by slowly revisiting things I wanted to do bit by bit. I have been completely out of loop in a lot of ways, and I haven’t felt like picking up any light novel in almost half a year. I know a lot of you are probably expecting certain things; I mean, I still get these requests like “can you please translate X?” or “when will you do the continuation of Y?” sent to me in the last few months. I personally don’t mind them, but I think I’m going to take things with my own pace now, and hopefully you guys can support me with that.

See you later.

4 thoughts on “Desktop Diary #1: Climbing the Slope, One Step at a Time

  1. Focus on yourself as longs as you need to. Hope you feel better soon, man.

    btw XC2 is an amazing game. I have just as much play time on it

    1. Thanks a lot, I appreciate it.

      Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is indeed an amazing game; it’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I think I’d like to talk about it more one day.

  2. Baru aja keinget lu lagi Cel kepikiran gimana kabar dan inget lu ada wordpress, ternyata baru minggu lalu ya posting lagi.

    Glad to know you’re doing, what I hope is, good now and can move forward even though it’s one step at a time after the unfair things happened to you. Justru lebih baik pelan-pelan tapi pasti IMO, yang penting sehat-sehat dan nantinya bisa terus bahagia yak. Congrats jg buat lulus exit exam dan kerja asistensinya, semoga lancar jg nanti buat intern-nya.

    Agreed buat Endgame-nya, emotional ride and fan service fest buat yg udah ngikutin MCU sejak satu dekade ke belakang. I still *wanted to* cry on my third watch despite knowing what would happen ;-; Also, Xenoblade Chronicle 2 that good ya? Literally baru dipinjemin si Kafin dua harian yg lalu tapi belum dimaenin, masih maen SRW T hahah…

    1. Thanks for the words. It’ll probably take a while before I’m willing to face the actual problem head-on, but I’ll just try to walk forward while collecting the pieces of the things I lost along the way.

      Xenoblade 2 is an imperfect game, but one with a lot of heart. Sometimes, enough to make one feel it’s a crime having the game chained to a Nintendo platform.

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