Opinion: A new beginning? Or the same dead end?

I was speaking with Tyler of “Game Delver” fame last night when the subject of Editorials was brought up, which allowed me to answer why there aren’t many here at CA! See, I just never feel I have any good input or a subject matter worth writing about with my own thoughts. I wish to write more opinion pieces and to provide another point of view, but what the hell I should write about eludes me. Any thoughts or ramblings I do have on the games industry can most likely be seen (or rather heard) on the little podcast we have on the top left there…go have a listen, I’ll wait…Back? Good. I know you didn’t listen though, I’m onto you! But anyway, while we were discussing this matter I pointed him towards another blog I have that is more personal, although it has only ever been updated twice. The article I sent him towards is the one that follows and it is a more serious piece, but one that is at least an opinion piece and kind of fills the role of an Editorial. It also gives people a glimpse into a more serious Chuck, and since I mentioned allowing people to better know us with my Top 10 Games listing, you may now read it here. This was originally posted on November 20th 2012.

A new beginning? Or the same dead end?

“Everyone on this planet fears something and thus many people share the same fears: the fear of heights, fear of the dark, fear of flying…fear of failing, fear of spiders…those last two are ones I am quite familiar with. Spiders are natures little demons and they damn well know it! But it is the second to last I am most afraid of. That I am most ashamed of. The fear of failing, of coming up short, of just not being good enough is a common thought that crosses most minds, but some are better at swiping it away than others. The thought may come to some and they simply scoff at the idea that they cannot stand up in front of the room and give a damn impressive speech. Another, like myself, may sweat bullets at the idea of standing ahead of all those faces and attempt to give a presentation; hell, say a single word! Fear is such a strong force that it can wrap itself around your very being and hold you in place forever. The fear of failing, or maybe even the fear of not failing (?) has been such a constant presence in my life that i’m afraid I may even be accustomed to it now, that perhaps if it were actually gone I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. But it must, at the very least, be pushed back some! If you do not attempt to live, then why are you living at all?

The greatest mistake you can make in life, is to be continually fearing you will make one.”   —  Elbert Hubbard

I am not too old, but I am not too young either. At twenty-five I am slightly ashamed and worried that I haven’t done anything with my life yet. I know many people, some far younger than I, who are either going to school, or are already done with it, already in the career that they had always dreamed of. But I also know many who are older than myself who haven’t done anything with their lives yet. I am dangerously close to becoming like them, another fear that I can put with all my others, perhaps next to the fear of being alone.

There are many reasons that a person is the way they are, we are all groomed as we grow and develop. We are shaped by our families, by our friends, by our bullies and our teachers. We are chipped away by our bosses and our priests, by our girlfriends dad, or by the guy who cut us in line. Everything in this world can have a positive or negative impact on who we are, sometimes someone may just end up with a better dealt hand than another. Now I can make all of the excuses I want for how I turned up, I can blame my parents and the love they never gave. I can blame kids in school who consistently bullied or picked on me, friends too, even if they were only “joking”. And I can blame the girls who never looked my way. I can blame many things. But I know that eventually the problem became me.

I can try to blame anything I want, but no matter how hard I try, that blade of grass is never going to be the reason I didn’t go to school. I am the reason. So I am the person that I am, I have low self esteem at most times, but I also try to always be the kindest person that I can. So I’m shy at most times but I will also stand up for others when they are being put down by someone else. I fear being the center of attention, but I have also managed my co-workers exceptionally well when the boss has left me in charge. I am who I am, good or ill. Now I just have to live with it. It doesn’t matter why I have turned out the way that I have. So I try my best to accept who I am, but no matter how hard I try to hide it, the fear of failing still lingers.

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”  –Bill Cosby

I have only just recently started school, crummy little community college, for an Associate of Arts degree. I have never been very good at much, besides just getting by and playing videogames. When I would be asked what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I never knew. How does one choose what they want to spend their entire life doing? No matter what, even the best things get dull at some point, right? That question is terrifying. But maybe what was more terrifying was that I didn’t have an answer, and others did. Many people know what they want to achieve with their time on this Earth when they are just kids, and that’s great, it really is, but its also slightly aggravating. “How come they know what they want to do but I don’t?” I would ask myself.

There are two “arts” I have enjoyed, as both a kid and “adult”, but I have never been particularly good at either, that is drawing and writing. When I was in school being an artist was the closest gig I could think of for the question “What do you want to be?”  The act of being able to create anything you want and display it to the world is incredible, but no matter how hard I tried I have never been able to improve my abilities with a pen or brush. My hands refuse to do what my mind commands. So I gave up that notion, not out of fear I don’t think, but just lack of ability, I could never accomplish it to the level I would like no matter how hard I tried. But another hobby that I would sometimes dabble in High School seemed to come more naturally. The act of writing.

Now I am not saying I am good at writing, far from it in fact, but it just seems to be an act that actually improves my mood. Something that seems both productive and fun, a combination that has been hard to come by in my life. So I wrote. I wrote throughout High School, and the time after. I would keep a journal/story ideas hardcover with me at all times while at a friends or at my job at Disney, writing whenever I got a break. I hope now I am better than I was before, but who knows. Though I know, for the most part, how to use words and punctuation, I can honestly say that I was never taught very well, so it can also be damned awful. I apologize (if anyone actually reads this) and they happen to be actual writers, just maestros with a pencil and keyboard, suffering massive heart failure over my butchering of the written language.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”  –Nelson Mandela

So where has the notion of fear gone in this portion of this post you may be asking (or wondering why you’re still reading this now apparent rant still) well fear stopped me from trying to hone my abilities. I found something I enjoyed, something that seemed worthwhile, something that could possibly be used to give something to the world one day…but I never tried anything with it. I would think longingly of taking my admiration for writing and my love of the games industry, and combining the two to become a games journalist and work for the same websites that I love to visit and read each and every day, such as IGN or Gamesradar. I instead allowed myself to think I could never do such a thing, to instead slave away at a mindless job for four years of my life, only to quit and move onto another, using no skills save the skill to waste the time I have been given. I would think of college and allow the thought of failing, of wasting thousands of dollars, to control me. I barely graduated High School, how could I possibly graduate college?

But as I said, I am now taking classes at community college, classes that will hopefully one day lead me to an actual University, and possibly to a degree. Over the years I have piled up many partially written stories on my hard drives, I have written many user reviews of games and films on various websites. Each a small amount of extra experience, the act of writing anything is still a small boon to my abilities as a writer. And the act of writing for a potential reader is a slightly nerve-racking prospect I must overcome. Displaying one’s work for anyone can be daunting, whether personal or not, but we must do it if we wish to improve. I am still afraid of finally trying to reach a goal, and of failing to reach it. But I must try. I have spent too many years wasting away at various jobs, achieving nothing but starting back at square one. The reasons for my doubts doesn’t matter, the life I had before now should have no impact on the one I hope to begin. I have experienced many great and depressing events, but so has everyone, and in many cases, far worse. Any painful experiences are done and gone and now it is up to me to actively try and achieve the good ones I want in this world. I want to write, I want to one day write a novel, one day write reviews and previews for gamers worldwide. And I will do that one day. I have recently started posting gaming related content on another blog I began with a friend and this one will be my more personal anecdotes, each invaluable experience I will need to become better. My goal may not be as fanciful and exciting as others may have, but it is mine, and it would be an amazing accomplishment that would make me truly happy. I don’t need tons of money or to be famous, I only wish to be me and to do what brings a smile to my face.

If you have a fear that is holding you back, its ok, its natural. But don’t forget you can always overcome it and succeed. Too many times it is only ourselves that hold us back, and by doing so we are not only hurting our own potential greatness, but perhaps we are also taking away something truly special from this world. We may not all achieve what we want but we all better try for it.”

The regrets of yesterday and the fear of tomorrow can kill you.” –Liza Minnelli

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