It Was My Birthday and What the Hell …

I turned thirty-one this weekend.

I’d like to say that it came at me by surprise, but I did manage to see it coming. ๐Ÿ™‚ It makes me realize that a lot of things have happened between thirty and thirty-one.

I’ve gone from just talking about sending stories out as magazine submissions to actually doing it. I’ve also went from just talking to actually creating a Writer’s Blog with over a hundred articles that has been Freshly Pressed and I’ve gotten peer Awards from some of my most devoted readers. I made a place to put ideas that I originally had no room for. I participated in my first Game Jam. I wrote two ad hoc mini-operas for a contest that Neil Gaiman was one of the judges for. I also got my Master’s Degree and decided not to go back to University.

I wrote some articles for some really excellent producers and writers and on subjects that deserved more information on them. I helped someone in a contest to achieve their dream and made a new friend in the process. I’ve reconnected with my old friend Angela and I will continue my part in working on our comics collaboration once I’ve done some more of my own work. And there is so much that I still have to do, you know? It’s ridiculous. I know I have made a lot of progress and growth this past year, but I feel like I have to keep at it because sometimes it just doesn’t feel like enough.

I’ll admit: this is not where I thought I would see myself at thirty-one. Sometimes I feel like I didn’t have enough time to experiment with my life and now I somehow have to be an adult and, you know, be more responsible in some way. I don’t have a paying career yet and I live with my parents again. A lot of other things changed during that time as well and I feel like I lost a lot of what I once cared about. I’ve been more anxious and more shut-in these days while also working on my projects, sitting on the Internet, and just enveloping myself into a steadier routine. I know I will be facing some more challenges–some of them uphill battles–and I miss the things, relationships, and people that I did lose along the way. It cost a lot to get to this point in my life: as I suspect it always does and it always will.

But these are the things that happened, the things I did during a year’s time, and what I am thinking about now. Sometimes I think that my options are more limited now that I am older. But let’s face it: I was a grumpy old man even before I had a thirty-one year old body and I am set in my ways about some things … more specifically things that I plan and I want to do. I know I want, and I am going to seek for more. So in conclusion, as if this were some kind of formal essay, all I can add is that I will continue doing what I have to do or, as a character of mine once said, I will do what I feel that I have to.

Thank you for reading me, liking me, and Following me. I hope to continue some good journeys and explorations together. Take care, my friends.

Looking Outward

12 thoughts on “It Was My Birthday and What the Hell …

  1. Happy birthday, Matthew! Nice to see those achievements and stuff you have accomplished. Way to go! Just continue writing. Always believe in yourself, too. Cheers!

    1. Thank you Monica. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will definitely do so. It reminds me of a quote from Gurren Lagann, “Don’t believe in the you who believes in me. Don’t believe in the me who believes in you. Believe in the you who believes in yourself!”

      1. What a beautiful quote! Inspired me to write a new blog post… Haha! Happy birthday again. ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. Yes it is. A real Japanese anime.

        It does use interesting visual effects. The animation is all edges and elemental lines with this jivy rap-like epic musical soundtrack. It is also an anime that manages to make fun of the medium of anime and the genre of the gundam while being something entirely hilarious, epic, heartbreaking and warming and awesome at the same time. It is definitely worth seeing … subbed if you can. ๐Ÿ™‚

      3. Wow~ Lately I watched Kimi ni Todoke (movie) after my friend recommended me the manga. After that, I wanted to go back watching animes. I’m not a fan of gundam, but I appreciate them. I am more for the loli-shota, bishounen type haha.

        I hope you found a copy with decent English subs?

      4. Yes I did. I watched it at my old Anime Club a few years back. Loli-shota and bishounen huh? ๐Ÿ˜‰ That reminds me of a strange but awesome anime I started watching at the club as well called Kyo kara Maoh! Here is the description: I really liked Gurren Lagann because of the epicness, story line and characterization. It wasn’t part of the Gundam series at all but there are giant robots in it. Also, if you like drama, Planetes is a cool one as well.

      5. I checked the link and it looks interesting! What do you mean drama? drama like heavy acting and tragedy, or drama like live action series?

      6. I mean some very character-driven, psychological, human stories. That is what I mean by drama. It has some tragedy, and some comedy but ultimately life and still animated. With the link I sent you though, I think it is more comedy oriented with some humanity. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Happy belated birthday!

    “Iโ€™ll admit: this is not where I thought I would see myself at thirty-one. ”

    Trust me, I’ve said the same thing, and I’ve got nine more years in on you. And the odd thing is, sometimes when you do really put forth an effort and get a few steps forward, you might feel even more anxious and a little on edge until the things really start to come together into bigger, more definitive strides. You just have to hit a good balance of not overthinking and overanalyzing things and driving yourself up a wall yet giving each decision enough consideration to make smart choices, as well. That’s a *very* impressive and diverse list of accomplishments, and you should be proud of them — and keep inching the bar just a little higher and keep pushing a little further. Persistence makes a bigger difference than I think most people are comfortable admitting, because there’s a build-in expectation that you’re not always going to succeed, you’ll miss a step and a beat from time to time, and you will. Just keep working toward the goal and you’ll be fine.

  3. Hello Michael. First of all, thank you for the birthday wishes. There is definitely that place between anxiety and expectation when you do put in more effort and actually send something out there. I can sometimes even feel those definitive strides forming and I just need to push myself to keep up the effort in order to get those projects to the point of near self-sufficiency. And sometimes unexpected detours or “skipped beats” take you to some interesting places. Also, I would amend the above sentence as such:

    “Iโ€™ll admit: this is not where I thought I would see myself at thirty-one. But then again, if I were to be honest with myself, I had no real idea anyway: and all this is something anyway, right?” Which I think it is … something all right. ๐Ÿ™‚

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