More Loosely Organized Pondering

Despite worst efforts, I’ve been staying home for the better half of the Summer, and so, working time becomes sitting time, sitting time becomes sleeping time, sleeping time becomes pondering time. I had a chance to reflect a bit on my past and a bit for my future.

If anyone noticed, a significant portion of this journal was deleted. Once I thought in this personal space you can write anything – or, in an other sense, that I’m not embarassed to write anything about myself. Then slowly I come to realize that there are things here that I simply can’t write here. It’s not a matter of choice; it’s a matter of necessity. Things that, once those that are around me discovered, would cause significant changes to the status-quo, which I’m currently very happy with at the moment. These are good times, and despite obvious signs that these good times are passing, I’d like to linger on it for as long as possible.

The main reason that I can’t write what I truly want to write – even here – is because I’m dreadfully afraid of messing up, whether it’s something big or small; it pains me to be on the wrong side of people, when they disagree with me or shun me to the side. It is because of this rather unwanted evolutionary process that I really have no personality of my own: I, for the most part, take on all the cues and lingos that people around me use and simply use it on them. The best example of it would be like a mirror – not just an ordinary mirror, but a fun house mirror, the kind that never reflects a bad self. So I thrived and survived under an image that’s not my own, for years past and maybe for years to come.

Of course, realizing the previous mentioned fact means that there is something called “true self” that I still haven’t completely uncovered. What little I realize is that discovering my “true self” involves making mistakes, and through simple logic you can already deduce that I am currently dreadfully afraid of discovering my “true self”. My standing theory is that I’ll need somebody – somebody who can accept all the mistakes I can afford to make without abandoning me. Sure, at first glance this seems like a rather simple proposition, but in truth it means that this particular person will have to suffer with, or even take over a piece of burden that I wouldn’t even experience.

Have I found someone like that? I really can’t tell. Now you understand why I simply can’t write everything I want to say here.

On the other hand, I’m still flat broke and I also recieved bad news from Financial Aid that they’re only going to support me for two more quarters (not that they’re granting much, but every penny helps at this point), which means that I would be more in debt than I thought when I get out. Of course, whether I can truly get out next year is a question in itself; unless all the classes works together for me, I’m going to be a class or two short from fulfilling the requirements, which means my diploma would be under the mercy of the dean and possibly my counselor/advisor. I have no confidence at all to fulfill the insane schedule ahead of me. It makes me a bit guilty that I haven’t been working hard for the past two years. I’m not bitter though. Like I said, these are good times, even though I can see it turn sour very shortly ahead.

I’m currently very afraid to graduate right now. I have absolutely no idea what I can do when I get my degree; despite best efforts, what you learn at UCI about computer science are basically theoretical crap; seriously, a night class at ITT tech might earn you better technical knowledge that you’d need to survive in the real world. In that sense, my dream of becoming a game designer is simply impossible to reach: in order to make it as a game designer you’d have to make it as the project leader of a game project, which means you have to earn experience and prestiege by taking up some of the essential game project positions in the past, whether you’re the main programmer or lead artist or animator or modeler or skinner or sound artist, you gotta become useful before anyone would let you in on the designing part of the project. Back when I decided on this path of career, home brew games are pretty popular and anyone who can whip up the assembly code for X mode can make their own “commercial” quality arcade game with the classic 320×240 VGA screen and Sound Blaster compatible music and sound effects. Nowadays, as everything moves on to the Windows OS, DirectX engine, and 3D graphics instead of sprite art, you can no longer make games that people would notice on your own. At the very least you’d need a team of 5 or 6 and each of them had to be complete experts on the things that they do. I have neither the charisma or the social skills to gather talents like that, and I’m not even sure if I’m good enough to land myself at small startup companies (if one exists in this kind of economy, anyway). On all levels, the outlook is pretty grim – right now, I’m happy if I can get myself some dead end data entry job. Having standards is not an option when you have trouble landing the worst of all jobs.

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