An Ode to Lost Passions

I would like to explore some of my lost passions and some of the reasons I have wondered away, and why some things don’t hold the same light as they used to for me.

I don’t smile as much as I used to. I have let poor coping habits get in the way of life and I have not been passionate about completing any of my goals or aspirations. I used to have a passion for video editing and posting to YouTube, I used to focus on and complete a video game, I used to try and write everyday, and I read a book at least once a month. I would like to explore some of these passions lost, and maybe explain to you (and myself) why I have grown out of these interests.

YouTube Fame…

Was never my goal, but I looked up to kilplix, pewdiepie, Toby Turner, Sp4zie, and the glamour of playing games and entertaining for a job. The other part that really called to me was how much fun some of these people had with their friends, and having such a good time laughing and playing games together. This continues with YouTubers such as MeatyMarley and BigBoyDom. However, my passion to upload content on YouTube has drastically fallen. I am lucky if I plop myself in front of my computer and open up my editing software, spending a couple hours polishing a video with the same care and excitement as I have in previous years. Now it feels like I am forcing myself to sit through hours of content that I do not even know if I like, trying to find moments worth clipping, adding sound effects, filters, subtitles. It is all just exhausting now, and I just do not have the time to spend any more.

Reading, writing…

And arithmetic are all skills we learn in school, well unless you are like me and learned them at home. Being home schooled both helped and hurt me in my adult life. One of the things I didn’t learn until later was higher level math, all I ever did was enough to get by. Reading, however, I would check out four or five books from the library and have them turned in by the next week. Books such as The Box-Car Children, Harry Potter, The Rangers Apprentice, and Warriors (I just remember it was a book about a clan of wild cats). I credit my drop in reading to be an exploration of life and learning from first hand experience, and the ease of visual media such as Netflix and YouTube (ironic I know).

There is a lot to be learned from books and stories, but real experience, or lazier visual narratives (such as binge-able Netflix shows or video games with well crafted stories) are much easier to consume that spending a good few hours with a book. You rarely even have to hit play any more on some of these newer streaming services, it just auto plays the next episode knowing you have not moved in three or four hours. Recently I have made an effort to get back into reading, which includes but is not limited to going to my local library and checking out a book to give myself a deadline on when it needs to be read. Digging out old reads that I started and never finished (1984, Turtles All the Way Down, and many works of the great C.S Lewis) and setting them by my bedside, the pages begging me to pick them up and flip through them before drifting off to sleep.

Writing on the other hand I have never done professionally, never pursued any higher education to hone the craft, nor put myself out there such as a blog (look where I am now!) to prepare myself for the potential for following my dream of becoming a novelist/reporter/game writer/English teacher. I have only really had three things on my bucket list ever, and they are simple things. First and foremost I want to be a dedicated and loving husband to my wife Jenna. Secondly and equally as important is to be a tough but fair father of our future children together. Lastly, and arguably the least important on the list, is to have a published novel. It does not have to be good, great, a New York Times bestseller, just a novel written by yours truly published by a real life publisher. When I was younger this seemed the most achievable due to one Christopher Paolini (teen author of the Eragon series), that anybody at any age could tell a worth while story. I have had a world in my head for well over eight or nine years now, and I haven’t put much more than a paragraph on paper for it. I am too scared to fail.

Finishing projects/Video Games

I used to beat video games. It might be the over saturation of the game industry and the accessibility through services like Steam. My productivity levels have dropped over the last two years, and I don’t know exactly why but my passion for life and drive has taken a dip.

I miss the feeling of watching the credits roll on a video game story I throughly enjoyed. I have a hard time overcoming obstacles in games now a days. I get frustrated and cannot for the life of me just stick with it. I fall back on games like Rainbow Six Siege, Counter Strike, and League of Legends for two reason I believe. Firstly, because they are social experiences that I can share with my friends. It’s easy to jump in and have a good time with good people. Secondly, if I have a rough game, there is always the next one. The same mentality is there about getting over hurdles, but for some reason, starting fresh each round/game/match feels a lot better than respawning and doing it all over again.

In those kind of games you don’t get stuck on a puzzle, or have difficulty platforming, you just focus on the teamwork and mechanics of the game and get better over time. Recently I’ve been trying to force myself to stick to a game, even if it’s frustrating me. Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild has been that title for the last month. Honestly that’s probably the best game I could have picked. The game is difficult without being insanely punishing, and there are many ways to approach a problem. Combat is mostly optional and simple enough that even if you do not grasp the advanced techniques, you can still hold your own with enough food and basic skills.

Anxiety the Mind Killer

Recently I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Basically my brain tells me I am in danger all the time. Which of course I am not, however, this has lead to some poor coping strategies with many vices, crutches, and failings. I will not go into detail as those struggles are private, but I just wanted to air it out as a reason that I have stagnated in my development process. I have not had the chance to face my fears and grow as a human being. I have been too afraid to write my stories, pursue my goals, and overcome my demons. I have given too much power to my fear of failure, but with this, and many other sources I am pushing through so many new experiences and learning healthier methods to calm my fears.

I miss not having to worry about everything

Growing up has been an experience. In my 25 years of life, I cannot seem to figure things out. But the more I live, the more I realize that nobody really has it figured out. I’m just out here trying to live my best life, there will be ups and downs, but I am out here.

In the Beginning…

There was light, or so it is told in the Bible. I am only here to tell bits of my story, and hopefully provide some insight into my mind, and serve as a road map so to speak of where I have come. Hopefully now that I have your attention, I would like to discuss a little bit about why I am doing this, and what I hope to achieve.

I am a little out of practice when it comes to writing I have to admit, and it is a skill that I would rather not give up on entirely. I used to want to be a writer, authoring stories as fantastical as Harry Potter, and as grounded as the self help books I read when I was younger (mostly about writing). This is an attempt (though a poor one to be sure), to sharpen my crude and raw ability to craft words into meaningful sentences and I might find something interesting to say in the process.

My goal is to not bore any potential reader of mine and enthrall them with a sense of wonder as I take them to fantasy worlds of my own design, explore worlds that other writers have molded, and give my personal opinion on whatever has my attention at the time. Whether that be movies, shows, games, books, whatever under the sun I can find meaning in and form an opinion on I will attempt to give my two sense.

In the mean time while I find my voice, I hope you will join me on this little adventure, and I will see you next week. ~S.H.