Updated: May 12, 2020
I was on the phone with Corliss this week, discussing a variety of things (this week has been a bit of a roller coaster), and I thought I heard her say, "I love these sphinx!" This confused me quite a bit, especially when she continued, "These sphinx you got me are amazing!" It took me several seconds to process all of this, and I realized that I couldn't have possibly heard her correctly. While the odds of her having multiple sphinx is rather low, I know for certain that I haven't given her a single sphinx. That's when it dawned on me that she was referring to Thinx. That I do remember giving to her. I decided to share what I heard, which she found hilarious. I also sent her a picture (see below) of the Sphinx I put on the beach in Animal Crossing, remarking that this must have been the sphinx she was referring to (she got a kick out of it). The boys I babysit demanded to know where I got the Sphinx (they think it's super cool)--the answer: a random gift that was floating along attached to a balloon.
Speaking of the boys I babysit, we've been exploring Animal Crossing a lot (when they're not doing their school work). The older of the two has initiated in depth conversations about all the VHS tapes I had growing up, where we would rent games/VHS tapes (mainly Schnucks when it had a rental section and this local rental store that now is a First Watch), what games I would play growing up, etc. We talked about the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Pokemon, Super Mario Bros 3, Battle Toads, Crystal's Pony Tale, and so many other titles. I remarked, "Good job!" while talking about this game, and he asked why I said that; it's one of the main things I remember from Crystal's Pony Tale. He had me pull up some videos relating to the various games we talked about, including the "good job" clip. He thought it was really funny.
Additionally, we finally found a clip that I've been looking for for quite some time. We had discussed the contents of this clip at the very start of all of this, back when they first shut down the schools. They really wanted to see this clip, but I couldn't find it anywhere (we had been talking about references and memes at the time). I didn't even see anything about it using Google. I couldn't remember which episode of InuYasha it was from. All I remembered was that at some point, InuYasha and company are traversing the lands, and they come upon a grandfather and his grandson. The grandfather has fallen in the fields outside some village and exclaims, "I've fallen, and I can't get up!" The idea of this blew there minds, and they wanted to know why the characters wanted Life Alert and why the show was referencing Life Alert. I informed them that the setting for the show (at least at the point of this incident) is feudal Japan, some 500 or so years ago from modern day, so the characters themselves wouldn't know about Life Alert. While I love the anime InuYasha, I didn't exactly want to rewatch every episode in hopes of finding just one clip (rewatching it to enjoy the series as a whole is an entirely different matter), so we weren't able to do much of anything about it. We tried a variety of different search phrases and key terms, but each attempt left us with empty hands. Today, however, it dawned on me that this incident probably occurred in the episode with the moth demon that took over a group of bandits. I started to search for an episode with this character, and I found one, although the synopsis of this episode didn't mention the grandpa. I figured to check out the episode anyhow, as it felt like a promising lead (it's episode 51 of the series/episode 24 of season 2 if anyone is curious). Browsing through the episode, I found the clip I was looking for about halfway through the episode. It was so exciting! The boys kept having me replay it as they found it hilarious. It felt so good to finally find this clip! Here it is for anyone wanting to watch!
This week I stumbled across a new series on YouTube; one of the videos randomly popped up on the YouTube home screen a few days ago: "The very last interview with my 2-year-old. I can't do this anymore." by La Guardia Cross (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE1ZgGDylsU). I typically watch things related to anime and spirituality on YouTube, so I was a bit surprised to see it as a recommendation. I decided to go for it, anyway. No regrets. It's so funny! I started watching his other videos. I also enjoyed "My toddler doesn't love me" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfq6chf3kLw&list=RD8lnUpq-cbAQ&index=27). The father asks the older of his two daughters, "Do you think you'll ever find the one?" She immediately replies with confidence, "I am the one." I absolutely love this! This is what we all know coming into this world until society convinces us otherwise. Stay in this truth; you are The One. Don't sell yourself short. I'm definitely considering buying the I AM the one t-shirt from the NFC merch store (https://teespring.com/stores/nfcmerch?utm_content=YT-ChMIvbfXhd2f6QIVjqWCCh2tmw5eGhhVQ1pvYW9XZ1RvNjFCTlRxdWVQZEhHdVEiGDd5eEQ2R04yZC1wRDB3NHJPLXZURW1RNSixnQVCEOPksQvlorILjeixC5-YsQtKA1dFQlIKMi4yMDIwMDUwMg%3D%3D&utm_medium=product_shelf&utm_source=youtube).
Corliss recommended I watch Re:Creators. It's a really interesting story premise. Characters from various games, manga, and anime end up coming to the real world, to the "world of the gods." Originally, the characters viewed the creators of their stories as gods, as they control the story's world and dictate each character's fate. As such, the characters originally believe the creators to be almighty and all-powerful; they presumed that the creators would be able to give the characters new powers just by writing/drawing/incorporating them into the story. It turns out that it's not that simple, that the creators are unable to just write it into existence. They hold the power to create, but there's more to creation. Thing is, the story/story element has to be accepted by the world--the audience, the readers, people need to value the content and believe in it. Once it is invested in and accepted by the masses, it becomes reality. It illustrates the power our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs hold. We're a lot more powerful than we often give ourselves credit for. This series also delves into the concept of life purpose and the reasoning behind why people do the things they do. Even if everything ultimately results in failure, even if all the effort you put forth turns out pointless, even if what you do might come across as "stupid," are you still willing to venture forth and move forward towards your goals? Will you work towards making your dreams your reality? Will you do it because you feel like it is your responsibility, that it is something you must do? Or will you do it because it's something you enjoy, something you want to do? A lot of times people get too caught up in the potential what-ifs; almost all of the time, these what-ifs never occur outside of our imaginations. These imagined, and ultimately fictitious, scenarios stop us from doing what we want, resulting in falling short of our aspirations, goals, and dreams. Many characters touch on this subject matter.
"I've never been good at being decisive. People often scolded me for being so indecisive, but whenever I hurt someone because of that or made a mistake that could never be fixed, I regretted it deeply... I know that he's really important to you... But even so, are you going to abandon everyone who believed in you up till now and everyone you believed in? Is that really what you've finally decided to do? All of us here, we all have our own roles, given to us right from the beginning, but since then, haven't we made choices? Aren't we here now because we chose to be?"
When trying to find and create a solution for the massive challenge Altair presented them, the group of creators brainstorm and plan together with some of the creations. Takashi Matsubara comments, "I don't know whether it's going to work or not. Let's just try it. If we try it, and we still fail..." Nishio Onishi then replies, "Then we'll just cry about it and come up with a new idea. That's what we've always done... What happens, happens." Hiyaku attests, "If you're not sure whether it's possible, then all we can do is try."
Many of the creators see all the talent of the other creators; each one feels some sort of insecurity, feeling that they do not measure up (due to admiration/envy of others). Naoya Takarada admits, "That's why I have to keep trying to get better: I feel like I'm not good enough yet." Takashi Matsubara confesses in turn, "...Sometimes I feel the same way... Maybe I didn't do enough. Maybe the story I wrote isn't any good. But we have to move forward, not up! So that the story keeps moving toward a happy ending. Move forward!"
"You were amazing. You created amazing things... That's how I realized that I couldn't walk side by side with you. I was really scared to. That's why... I didn't save you. I thought that if I did that, then I could be with you, but that wasn't true. I shouldn't have stood still. I wanted to move forward to see the same world as you did, but I ended up standing still. But I really wanted to see the same world as you did! That's why... I came all this way with everyone's help, so that this time I could see the same world that you did! ... I poured in everything I was capable of."
At the end of the series Sota remarks,
"I can't stop myself from creating. Even if I fail, even if no one approves, even so, I know that lots of stories have been created that way. Sometimes they touch people's hearts, and sometimes they change people's lives. Yes, in a small way it changes their lives into something very beautiful."
Should we allow these thoughts of inadequacy, doubt, and what-if to prevent us from living a life we enjoy, from doing what makes us happy? It won't always be easy. There will be obstacles to overcome. Life may even test you with trials to see if you're serious, to see if you're willing to go that extra mile. Even so, as Selesia asserts, "The fight will continue, but you can conquer!" There may be hurdles that lie ahead of you, but the point is that you can overcome them. You can conquer anything you set your mind to. Just because challenges may exist on your path, that doesn't mean you cannot find joy. Selesia remarks, "Enjoy your journey through the wilderness. If you do that, I'm sure flowers will bloom in your footsteps." Life is a journey. Destinations can play significant roles, but how we reach those destinations makes a world of a difference. You can reach your destination living life to the fullest, finding happiness and seeing the beauty and opportunity in everything, but you can also reach your destination kicking, screaming, fighting, and resisting what comes your way. Perception matters. It makes a huge difference. It's your choice. You possess the power. Live a life worth living, one that when you reach your final destination, you can look back with pride, delight, and peace of mind. It's your life; make it one where you wouldn't change a thing. As Magane remarks, "Since we're alive... I think we should enjoy life as much as possible... Chances like this don't come along every day." We didn't come to this world to merely exist, never doing what we enjoy. We came here to live, to succeed, to savor, to enjoy, and to thrive. Enjoy your life to the fullest; you will only have this existence once. Make the most of it.
For those, who are interested, here's some more food for thought:
As I mentioned previously, this week has been a bit of a roller coaster. I'm doing my best to allow the natural flow of things rather than fight things. Some incidents were easier to work with than others. Some were trickier. I'm still processing some things and trying to come to terms with decisions and actions made by others. We can't control others. I know new things are coming my way very soon. Being patient for them to materialize in the physical world is not always easy. Staying in the mindset that recognizes the universe works for you not against you can be a bit tricky at times, too. I understand that the universe is full of abundance and that it only has my best interests in mind, but sometimes my emotions struggle with keeping up with this belief. I'm doing much better than before, though. When similar incidents occurred in the past, they hit me a lot harder. It's reassuring to know that I'm progressing, but I'll admit that there's a part of me that longs to already be on the other side of this. To help lift my spirits and vibration I've watched Infinite Waters, watched anime, ventured on some outdoor adventures with my cat, and talked with my bestie. The white tiger squishmallow I ordered arrived this week, too, which was exciting; I hadn't payed that close attention to the size and presumed that it would be the same as the other two I have--turns out it is larger. I hope to find a snow leopard one, too, as snow leopards are my favorite large cat (I'm drawn to the blue eyes and the white-black-gray color scheme). These cute, cuddly, little guys lift my spirits.
Again I think of Uncle Iroh's wisdom: "If you look for the light, you can often find it, but if you look for the dark, that is all you will ever see." No matter what obstacle or hardship lies ahead, we can overcome it if we persevere. Think back to all the other obstacles, trials, challenges, hardships, and problems you faced previously. There were others that you believed to be impossible to surpass. Yet here you stand. You overcame each and every one of those obstacles. You might have cried and wanted to give in. It might feel lonely. You might become swallowed whole by darkness and depression. Yet you stand triumphant here today. Granted, feelings are important. You should feel your emotions. No good will come from suppressing them. Even so, you should not let despair dictate your view on life or the path you take. Acknowledge and embrace your feelings, as they are valid and an integral component of your experiences, but they are not the end all, be all. We have a lot more power than we sometimes believe. We sell ourselves short. If we believe we can't, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy as we will not put forth the effort to even try. When we do try, however, we can surprise ourselves and even the world. It might not feel easy in the moment, but it will be worthwhile in the end. Each obstacle is a mere snapshot, a minor segment in the entirety of your life, so don't let it define your whole life story. You're so much more than that. Don't let other people's perceptions bring you down. You are larger than life. You are incredible. There's no one else quite like you. There are things that only you can do. You matter. You were born for a reason--there's a purpose to you being alive. Everyone is searching for that purpose, and you can discover a little bit more each and every day. I certainly am. Life is full of possibilities. Things may end unexpectedly, much to our dismay. The door may close, but another will open. You cannot begin a new chapter if you refuse to leave and end the old chapter. Leaving this chapter of your life can be difficult because the old chapter is familiar--even if you're not completely satisfied with this chapter, there's comfort in the familiarity; you know where you stand. The new chapter, that next page is full of the unknown and, therefore, uncertainty. This can lead to fear, which paralyzes us into immobility. Like in Re:Creators, Sota stood still, but he ended up regretting this decision. Don't let indecisiveness and fear rule you--you're powerful and are more than capable of ruling your own life. Remember, fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. Follow Elsa's lead, venture into the unknown; it's in the unknown that we can discover our true selves and find our true power (Elsa certainly did). When we finally decide to take that step, to try something new, to listen to our inner calling and intuition, we end up so much happier. It's because we're being true to ourselves--we living our own life, not the life we "should" be living, based off of society's norms or others' beliefs. Be true to yourself, and don't let what-ifs, uncertainty, or fear to stand in the way of your happiness. You're worth it. You came here to this world to be happy. Don't settle for less. Stay blessed, my friends~