Category Archives: Control

2 Weeks To Go; Not Knowing What To Feel

Last Saturday  I had my going away party. It was long day for me because not only did I say goodbye to many friends and family but earlier the same day, I also said goodbye to my friends from the local fighting game scene as I attended my final local tournament. So you could say the last weekend was a weekend of goodbyes and I’m not even finished yet!

To be honest… right now I don’t know how to feel. I mean, I’m happy that I have so many who care about me ( as well as finding out who my friends were…. let’s just say a LOT of people failed that test! ) That people are going to miss me but right now, I’m not sure how to feel about it all.

I’m entering the final countdown, so to speak. There is only 2 weeks to go now. I’ve still got a few things to do before I go ( apart from packing, obviously! ) I’ll sort most of that out this week. It hasn’t really hit me that I’m actually going to Australia. A part of me is half expecting some disaster to happen that will prevent from going!

I don’t know why I’m thinking like that. Maybe it’s because it’s such a huge step into the unknown for me that my brain isn’t able to comprehend it yet. Maybe I’m experincing what one may call ‘ Graduation Goggles ‘ at this stage. It could be the negative part of me talking, trying to imagine random crap like how North Korea is going to start World War 3 within the next 2 weeks or some other fantasical reason that I won’t be able to travel!

Then I think about more morbid reasons that could either prevent me from traveling or make me return early like the death of a close relative. I guess I’m not OK and that is OK with me. It’s normal for someone to feel nervous and unsure when they are about to make a big transition in their lives – I’m about to make one myself after all. They think about all the nasty shit that could happen or go wrong. They somehow think that they don’t deserve it and maybe even WANT something happen to prevent them from actually making the transition!

I’ve fought with similar feelings in another area if my life before and was able to eventually overcome them ( that is for another post, though. ) So I can overcome this feeling I’m having right now – It’s a weird one, a happy kind of blues – you could say. You happy that you’re going but you’re sad at what you’re leaving behind in order to do so – a part of you doesn’t want things to change, so to speak.

However, I know that as much as hate it, change is a part of everyday life. I would nearly say it is an ESSENTIAL part of everyday life. Without it, life would be stale and boring. People will endless complain about change – especailly if it’s a large website that likes to change appareance every other week! The human being is a strange cookie, alright; We hate change but in order for u to grow – then we MOST be willing to embrace change in our lives.

I accept that change is a part of life. I’m making a change for myself. Sure it is scary as hell but you know what? That is what makes life worth living. I know that my current life isn’t going to get me anywhere which is why I am making this change for myself.

I’ll leave you with a song that pretty much sums up my mood right now;

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The Australia Adventure Video Diary 1 – 3 Weeks Before

Mob Mentality

mob-mentality

We’ve all heard of the mob mentality, where opinions and ideas of individual people are influenced by that of a larger group ( hence, the mob. ) This can occur in many ways, there is a mob mentality when it comes to sports, particularly in football / soccer ( I’m certain the same applies likewise to American Football and NHL ) where people worship teams to the point of obsession, sometimes even going as far as violence because of it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the vast majority of supporters are good people, it’s the small few that mess everything else up for everyone and give them a bad name. That is a bad example of the mob mentality. Unfortunately, all my experience of the mob mentality is negative, giving me the impression that it really is a bad thing.

For one thing, you are selling out on your individuality and becoming part of the Borg collective by subscribing to the mob mentality. Yes, I know it’s hard to resist, especially when seems like everyone else is doing it and / or it seems like it’s the cool thing to do. Hell, I’ve being through that conflict as well in the past when I choose to not smoke or drink in Secondary School ( I didn’t drink until I was 21 ) and saw what seemed like to be EVERYONE ELSE doing either one or both of these things. Felt horrible, I may tell you but I got over it and figured I really shouldn’t care and just my own thing, my own way.

Looking at the fighting game scene that I’m a part of, there is a very clear and blatant example of mob mentality from this year that I got caught up in. Back in February, Capcom released a new fighting game called Street Fighter X Tekken. The game was clearly rushed, suffered from numerous bugs and worst of all, there was a massive DLC fiasco around launch time involving locked characters that people would have to pay for and wouldn’t be released until October ( this was later changed to July. ) All this combined to create one hell of angry mob, which I got sucked into myself and became rather passionate about hating the game.

SFXT Logo

‘ Hate! Hate! Hate! Rah, it’s cool to hate this! Look at me roar! ‘ Actually, it’s not really that bad and doesn’t deserve all the hate. Except Zangief, he can go die in a fire.

Until the end of the summer, when I decided to give the game another chance. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some serious flaws but I found it fun, in spite of it’s flaws, it was fun. I changed my mind about the game, stopped hating on it and realized that I had foolishly fallen into the trap of hating the game because it seemed like everyone else did. In short, I had being a victim of mob mentality.

Following that, reading comments on news articles relating to the game became a sickening experience. With people frankly shitting on the game just for the sake of it, even when Capcom announced they were actively trying to fix things to make it a better, more solid game with a free update in December. They screamed for them to fix the game and kept on screaming when Capcom said they were fixing it!

I haven’t being this sickened by the mob mentality in a long time but I guess the only reason I even am sickened by it is because I was for a while, apart of this mob. Only I eventually saw through it for what is and was now aware of it. So, what I have taken away from this is the need for awareness of things. Awareness helps in these sort of things, to see through the mob and be able to come to your own conclusions about things rather than letting the mob do that for you.

At least that is my view on things, being a bit of an eye opener and made me a bit more humble, me thinks.

Squandering Potential

Recently, I encountered someone I knew from school. I hadn’t seen this person in quite some time. We both had our things to do which meant we never met up. Fine by me, I have my own things to do, be it college, working on toastmasters speeches or planning my trip to Australia. I guess we just drifted apart. It happens, so they say.

However, one thing occurred that was pretty saddening in my viewpoint. I recently saw this person staggering out of a bar in town, looking like hell. The thing was, this wasn’t the weekend, it was a Tuesday evening.

Now, where I’m from, unless it’s St Patrick’s Day, going out getting that drunk on a Tuesday evening is kind of alarming ( even given the drink culture in Ireland! ) What saddened me is the fact this person seems to have lost sight of thier pontential and have instead settled for a life of mediocracy. A type of souless life that I suspect that drinking is used to escape. I weep for thier offspring.

The point of my story is that is a classic example of someone losing sight of thier potential. These are the same people who spend thier whole lives living in the same town, going to the same places on holidays. They have given up. What happened to the teenager I remember!? They were hyper and energetic! This betrays that person I knew.

I am left wondering why do people fall in this trap. Is it because of circumstances being too much? Maybe it is their idea of ‘ growing up, ‘ one where they discard everything that made them unique and become a part of the borg collective. Maybe people feel this is the only way that they’ll become ‘ normal. ‘ Who knows, it happens and I find it depressing.

The fact that I’m aware of the fact this happens is probably a good thing. I made a promise to myself a long time ago that no matter what, I would NOT become this. It’s being hard, I know that if I stay put, I’ll never reach my potential, which is probably why I’ve got such itchy feet to travel. I’ve learned more about what makes me tick in say, 5 days of travel than in 5 months, for example. I guess I need to be put into situations where I have to 100% depend on myself in order for me to achieve my pontential.

That is just me, though. For other people, it could be different. They use thier circumstances as a motivator to achieve their potential. Some people get dealt some serious amounts of lemons in life. Yet, there are able to overcome these obstables and still achieve their potential ( case in point, the people who compete in the Paralymics. ) Yeah, now that is what I call making Lemonade! 😀

So as the saying goes, if life gives you Lemons, make Lemonade. Given my recent setbacks, it’s something I need to remember as well. Remember your potential, hold onto it for dear life. Fight for it and never, ever let go of it.

Introducing A Skeleton

Let’s face it, we all have elephants in the room or skeletons in the cloest, so to speak. Things we’ve done that looking back on we are less than proud of. It’s all really a part of life. We sometimes need to do these things in order to grow as human beings.

However, we grow to fear these skeletons in the closest – fearing one day, they’ll will burst out and ruin us. People will look down on us, we’ll lose our jobs, our families, our reputation. OK, maybe not those type of extremes ( well, for most of us, anyway! ) BUT we are still rather embarrassed by them regardless. Worried what people will think of us if they saw the truth, worried about what they will think of us.

The thing is, unless it is something really bad like rape or murder, then we generally have nothing to worry about. Sure, some people will look down on you for it but your true friends and those who will understand will see it for what it is. They will congratulate you for being honest and brave enough to share with the world, one of the skeletons in the closest.

And so with that, I am going to introduce you to one of my skeletons in the closest. Why am I doing this? You may ask? Well, it’s something I’ve being meaning to do. I also want to show full transparancy of who I am, what makes me tick and how I’ve arrived to who I am today. Then there is the fact it’s an exercise in caring less. I am well aware that I could potentially be upsetting a number of people with some of the content I am about to post. Be honest with how you lot feel, I am looking for open, honest discussion here.

Anyway, with that, I now introduce the Skeleton….

An Irishman Against Feminsim.

From the desciption on top; I am an Irish Man. I am against feminism and all things surrounding it or it surrounds. Need I say more?

And with that, I am confessing that I was once part of the online MRA ( Men’s Right’s Activism ) movement when I was between the ages of 20 – 22. Well actually considering, I was more of keyboard warrior than anything. I never attended any protests or anything like that.

The simple truth is this – I was pretty socially awkward and had a very naive view of the world of the time. Top that with the fact I didn’t really have much success with ladies at the time and well, it’s an uneasy brew! Basically, I was angry at the world for ‘ wronging ‘ and basically needed a scapegoat to take out my anger. With the whole MRA thing, I found that scapegoat – Feminism!

Some of the earlier posts from 2006 up to late 2007 are quite angry and bitter posts if I may say. Like I said, I was quite angry at the time. It did not help my woman situation at all, naturally! It hindered it more than anything else as I became slightly untrusting of many women and painted a lot of people with the same brush. It was at it worst in the Summer of 2007, bad experiences with in real life at the time only made things worse and I was especially bitter back then.

Some of the content also speaks of some more personal problems. Again, these are related to my own anger issues at the time, I’m more likely to refrain from speaking of them in such a public manner these days ( that’s not saying you shouldn’t talk about the shit that goes in your life – just don’t go posting about in every website you come across like I did at one point, when I was younger and more naive. )

However, slowly but surely the content started to change. It became more thoughtful and less bitter and angry. I began to realize that in all honesty, the current path I was going down was destructive and would only do me harm in the long term. I had to think hard about this.

It is worth nothing that I have not maintained the blog in any shape or form since March 2008. If you visit the link, the first post is actually about leaving the whole MRA thing behind. This actually one of the only times I have offically left something. Other times, I usually just faded from a community over time. This one was abrupt and quick. I went as far as abandoning the ‘ NHY ‘ nick I had being using on various sites since 2001 in order for me to get a fresh start.

The Good

Now, my time involved with the MRA scene wasn’t all bad. The main goal of the MRA movement, when you bring it down to it’s most basic form, is to simply bring true equality for both men and women. There are many other different ideals within the MRA scene that I was aware of but that is it’s main goal in it’s simplest form. One thing I’ve learned as a result that I’m actually pretty passionate about Human Rights, for ALL people, be it male or female.

Another aspect of the online MRA scene was that many people who were involved at the time had the following symbol somewhere on their blog;

MGTOW Logo

This is the logo of MGTOW – Men Going Their Own Way. It is the main philosophy behind the online scene at the time I was involved ( I’m not sure about now as I haven’t kept up for obvious reasons. ) There is even a manifesto for it as well.

The main point I took from the whole thing is from the Title – Men Going Their Own Way. I saw it to mean that we ( everyone here, not just men ) do not need to go down the beaten track in life. We don’t need to become just another drone in the machine. We too, can forge our own paths in life – Go our own way, so to speak. Be unique, not locked down by what others expect of us.

That was my interpretation of what MGTOW truly meant and I would like to believe that it led me to clicking with the whole lifestyle design philosophy when I first came across it last year. It was really a natural extension of the lessons instilled in me by the MGTOW philosophy, only it was truly inclusive of everyone.

And so with that, I have now introduced my Skeleton into the open. Some people will look differently on me now as a result of this. That is fine by me, we all have our Skeletons in the closest. Our secrets that no one knows of. Some we may never share, others we want to share but are afraid of the reaction. The truth is, like I said earlier, your TRUE friends will understand, everyone else can go to hell, quite frankly!

On Leadership and Screw Ups

I dived into my first actual leadership role recently. One that I put myself forward for willingly. I ran my local fighitng game scene’s tournament for the first time as the previous head honcho has left Cork with his sights set on Japan. Now, let it be known, I’ve never really had a proper leadership role before this. As the introverted type, I was usually looked over in favor of the loud mouth extraverts. So this was the first time I could actually do a leadership role and see what it would do for me.

Naturally as I’d never done anything like this before, I knew before I even started that I would screw something up. The fact of the matter is, perfection is impossible. Anyone who thinks they can get things right for the first time is delusional and probably hasn’t experinced what life yet. This was a good atitude for me to have anyway as made any screw ups I made less bothersome for me.

The Inevitable Screw Ups

Back to the tournament, I arrived in Cork last Saturday at the venue all the other tournaments have being held to find no one there. Uh oh , I thought. This isn’t a good sign. I decide to proceed as planned anyway. Eventually, a few people turn up. Well, actually, only seven people ( myself included ) turn up. FUCK. Now, I’m scared. In my panic, I take someone else’s view too quickly and decide to only do casuals.

This could have being a MAJOR screw up on my part if it wasn’t for a friend of mine who there who pointed out to me that taking money and not running a tournament would be the fastest way to piss people off and ruin the tournaments reputation as well as my own. I realized he was right and decided to run a smaller tournament anyway.

What could have being a total diaster turned out OK in the end, with some good games and a pretty funny moment in a match being caught on camera.

What I learned

I had already accepted the fact that I was gonna screw things up my first time running things and I did, including one that could have being really bad had someone not caught it. Now that I’ve gotten the first time screw ups out of the way, I am now less likely to repeat them in future and will be more confident running the next event.

I also learned the value of friends; The guy who pointed out that taking money and NOT running something due to a low turnout was a BAD idea was my savior. I am greatful for him for making me feel uncomfortable… the kind of uncomfortable that you get when you realized you’re making a big mistake and have to rectify it. You could say he was a bit more proactive than I was but like I said, I now have a better idea how to run things.

Lastly and this is kind of irrelvant – We need a different venue – the current one is too expensive. Given the low turn out, it’s not economically viable to keep running the event at the same place!

Screwing Up is OK

The point of this story is that in life, we will ALL screw up at some point or another. These could be little screw ups or big ones. The fact is there WILL happen, there isn’t much we can do about it. Instead, we should accept them when they happen and not beat ourselves up over them. Instead, we should strive to find the lesson from the screw ups and then insure that we don’t do them again.
I’ve screwed up a hell a lot in life, not just last weekend. Those screw ups, while some may have being diasterous at the time, didn’t kill me and I’m still here today, generally all the better as a result of them.

When it comes to life, you should take any screw ups that come your way as an oppurtunity to learn and get know yourself better. There is no point in moping around feeling sorry for yourself over a mistake or screw up you made. Mourn them if you most but also remember to move on from them afterwards.

Life is full of these kinds of screw ups, it’s up to you how you’ll react to them.

Over To You

And now, I’m opening up it to you, the reader. What times have you screwed up? Do it do any serious harm? What lessons did you learn from it?

Failure & Success

I haven’t updated this blog in a while, I know that. The reason being, apart from me completely running out of ideas, I also kind of fell flat on my face in the past 6 weeks or so. It wasn’t a pretty site to behold, if you ask me and it’s only the past week or so that I feel I am getting back up onto my feet again.

Unfortunately, as a result, I have some bad news to report. I have already written about how I broke the year of no drinking thing. Yeah, things went to crap afterwards. It was a bit messy ( no, I haven’t turned into an hopeless alcoholic but still. ) I guess I was too ambitious with the time scale I had set myself. Well, I can least say I went 3 months without drinking, even though it’s a bit of a cop out.

So yeah, it’s being a bit of a failure.. hence one where I was aware of making the choice and as I wrote in my previous post, worrying about letting my audience down too much is a bad sign and is almost peer pressure in itself ( not saying it’s a bad thing unless it starts effecting you negatively. )

On that note, I’ve also got another failure on my part to report. Damn, this is like a double whammy and is making me out to be someone who can’t succeed at anything! Anyway, this failure concerns my fighting games hobby. Yeah, I failed to win a tournament and May is almost over. Hell, I haven’t managed to get past group stages in any tournament this year! What the hell is wrong with me!? Then again, there is only so much online play can do as I live no where close to someone who plays these games like I do. That in turn means practice isn’t as practical as it should be and I just get bored of beating up a dummy in training mode.

Maybe I’m just not meant to be hyper-competitive. I’m more content to hang in the background with the community. On that note, I’m actually going to be running the local tournaments myself for a while as the guy who has ran them to this point is leaving Ireland soon. That in itself will pose some interesting challenges for me. Still, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to win. I followed up and asked others what I did wrong that caused me to lose at the last tournament so that I could improve in future.

However, I actually do have some good news to report; In less than 3 weeks, I will be doing my Stage 10 speech in my local Toastmasters club, thereby completing the Competent Communicator manual and achieving certification as a Competent Communicator 😀 I won’t say any more about that until then but it’s a big deal for me, considering I’ve being doing a speech practically every month since last September ( not including the speech competitions and the time I went to the fond-raising Speakathon event in Marymount Hospice ) I’m pretty burnt out in that department! Well, all I need to do is one more and I’ll be done with the CC manual!

As for Australia, things are still going to plan. Just slowly saving for up towards it. As long as the Euro doesn’t go to crap before I leave, I’ll be fine. Looking forward to it, being honest and it won’t be that long coming!

So that’s an update on me. As the future of this blog, I’m not sure. I’ll keep things up to date but I can’t promise anything. I’ll need to rethink a few things, though. Till then, keep up with whatever good you’re doing!

Reverse Peer Pressure ( Or Why I Drank Last Weekend )

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an annoucement to make: I broke my no year without drinking this weekend just gone and to be quite honest, I’m not all too bothered that I did.

‘ But Adrian! How could you!? You were determined to go through with this!? What happened!? You’re such a cop – out! Traitor! ‘ OK, calm down. This post is to explain my reason why I decided to break it. It ends up being a bit more complex than me just deciding to ‘ screw it, let’s get drunk! ‘

Anyway, as you know, I am fighting game player. This weekend just gone ( 13th – 15th April ) I was in Dublin to partipate in the biggest fighting game tournament of the year in Ireland. Now, I had actually said that I intended not to drink while I was up there and was determined to stick to my guns. However, something can up that took my surprise and caused me to changed to my mind.

I was in the Irish Fighting Game Community chat room a last week and the topic about the weekend came up. I mentioned that I was intending to stay off the booze and when asked why, I explained that it was a personal goal and that I had an audience that I didn’t want to let down if I did drink.

However, what took me by surprise is the fact that while it’s not clear what exactly was said but what was spoken of got me seriously thinking about it to the point I had to braindstorm and do some journalling about it. The conclusion I came to was that it was in fact, a form of peer pressure I was under.

This isn’t the classic direct peer pressure. It was more subtle than that. I felt that if I broke this challenge, I would have let my audience down. HOWEVER, at the same time, I also felt if I stuck to my guns too rigidly, than I might not enjoy the night out and that I would end up feeling sorry for myself. You see, I’ve had problems with being too stubborn in the past and when I was journalling all this, some words of wisdom that a friend from secondary school echoed through my head in regards to my stubborn, rigid nature: ‘ Adrian, there is no point is staying at home all the time, feeling sorry for yourself. ‘

Another fact is that I probably won’t be up in Dublin again before I go to Oz so that could be the last time I see many of those guys before I leave – which also added the idea in that what would be point in being a party popper just for the sake of a goal that in reality, not many people know about? Why should I feel like I am making myself suffer for the sake of what is really a personal goal?

Also an aspect worth noting is that from my journalling, my fear of letting down the audience also led me to rather alarming conclusion: I didn’t want to let anyone down because I was afriad of offending someone! That is what it boiled down to! I was scared someone would take offence! This floored me and helped me realize that I wasn’t making my own decisions, I was letting others ( however indirectly ) make my decisions for me and I was to be frank… rather angry with myself at that.

In fact, my fear of offending others effects other areas of my life. Be it that I don’t want to chat up those girls, I might end up offending them with my advances, I can’t say no to something otherwise I’ll offend the person / people who asked me. Basically, I was a doormat and a yes man and that wasn’t pretty at all, to say the least.

Now granted, I did not make this decision lightly or spontaneously. I thought this over and decided to make an exception for the weekend just gone. I plan on being dry for the rest of the year now. It’s good to know that something good came from all this from me personally. I know myself better and am now becoming more unoffendable and that, if you ask me, is a good thing.

I’m Clueless

To be brutally honest, I can be clueless at the best of times. You can say that life is like an improvisation. You make up as you go along, hoping for the best. The reality is we generally have no idea what we are doing.

Is this a bad thing? Not really. Being clueless means we have to seek solutions to our problems so that we’ll be less clueless next time. I know I’m less clueless on many things than what I was even last year. I’m still clueless in many things and will just improvise my way through things to make myself less clueless.

That is life, so they say. Be clueless, it’s more adventourous.

Staying True to My Theme of 2012

I’ve being slacking off lately, I admit this ( well, I DID say that the release Street Fighter X Tekken would effect my posts here for a while ) I’m still nowhere near wanting to wake up at 7am in the morning ( maybe I was being too ambitious with that goal perhaps? ) and other things, like saving for Oz, have slowed down a bit unfortunately.

However, I can that maybe the last few months were meant as a peroid where I was germinating internally. Who knows, I’m the type of person who takes some time to come around but when I do, the progress can be remarkable in a very short peroid of time. For example, If I was given a 6 week project, you can count on me making slow progress until week 4, after that, you will see my productactivity sky rocket which will result in me finishing the project on time.

So, there are a few things in the pipeline but generally speaking, I am doing my best to stay true to my theme for 2012 which is Upsetting the Status Quo. It’s kind of funny really, I could do nothing for ages but then something comes along and causes massive changes with something as simple as pressing the ‘ return ‘ key on my laptop ( I’ll elaborate on this in a future post. )

As for the whole no drinking thing, I’ve managed to stay true to myself and my goal of a drink free 2012 by NOT drinking at all this St Patrick’s weekend just gone. To be honest, I feel like I wasn’t really missing out on much anyway. For one thing, the bars I was in were in absolute chaos, even though I left early as I was sick of it at that stage. Then there was the amount of litter and broken glass strewn around the town. Yeah, I’m glad I didn’t do anything like ( hell, even when I DID drink, St Patrick’s Day was nowhere near this messy for me. )

I guess I can say that changes are happening slowly and maybe it was just the fact that Winter is over and Spring is here now so maybe things will pick up a pace a little. However, I will to those who are in a similar position to me in regards to change and are not happy with thier progress: Don’t sweat it, people grow at different rates, your day in the sun will come.