Category Archives: Universe

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.

Thoughts On A Bad Week

Hey everyone, how have you being? It’s being a while, I know. Lack of motivation on my part ( hey, at least I’m honest! )

The last week has frankly… not the being the best of weeks in the Adrian Collins camp. I’m not ill or anything like that, thankfully. It’s just some things didn’t work out for me, that’s all.

Firstly and regretfully, I am announcing that I will be missing my ‘ Project Getaway ‘ deadline that I set last November. There is really only one reason; Money. I know that many people adovcate that money doesn’t mean everything but I still believe in at least having some sort of cousion when I do get to Australia.

On that topic, the new date of departure will be early next year, probably something before Mid-Feburary. Truth be told I’m rather disapointed in myself that I will be missing the deadline, I built myself so much up for it only to miss it over something as petty as money! However, there is a minimum required to enter Australia ( Yes, I know they hardly check but better safe than sorry and it always helps to have something of a cushion to land on. ) I would be barely scrapping it as it is if I went in November.

On the other hand, at least I’ll be at home in case the world ends on December 21st! 😛

There was also another event that occurred this week that made the suck even worse. However, I don’t think I should talk about it as a mark of respect to all those effected. I will say it was one of the worst things I’ve ever had to endure.

What To Make Of All This

The last week sucked, there is no denying that. I was a bit down in the dumps over eveything that occurred but my world hasn’t ended. I’ve come out on the other side in one piece, maybe feeling a little sad but I’m still here.

I accept that these things happen. Maybe it’s lifes way of kicking me up the hole, so to speak. I’ve also learnt a bit about myself; I’m more resilliant than I’ve ever being. The same series of events would have broken me if they happened when I was 16. Now, while still upsetting, I knew that I would get through them and come out the other side, a better person for it as well.

Life has a way of throwing a spanner in the works at times. Each and everyone of us has to endure these kind of challenges in life. It’s how we react to them is what will define us. Will you fall to pieces or will you rise up and become a better person?

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!

My Name Is Adrian And These Are Some Of My Vulnerabilities.

Your's Truly

Since I started this blog, I haven’t really spoken much about me. I have spoken of some of my experiences, some of my ideas, shared my goals that I want from life but one thing I haven’t really spoken of is what makes me… well me. I’m not invincible, I’m quite vulnerable, actually.

The following post, I wish to share some of my vulnerabilities. Some of these things I have no problem with sharing, while others make feel really uneasy about sharing them BUT I feel like I should so that people to get to know the REAL me, not the fake mask I wear most of the time to protect myself from being hurt.

I have never had a girlfriend.

I am 25 years old at the time of writing this and I have never had a girlfriend of any real sort ( any loose exceptions were really just people fucking with me. ) I’ve never had sex and being brutally honest, I don’t see this changing any time soon. Why? You might ask. It’s simple: I feel that most ( emphasising MOST here ) girls where I live are just not simply worth my time. This could be for various reasons be it that I am not attracted to them, they ARE attractive but they have the personality of a donkey and / or already taken by someone else.

I don’t mean to be fussy or anything, I simply just want to find someone who likes for me for who I am, not because I’m not the most handsome guy in the world, make the most money, etc. I feel that this girl simply does not exist for me in Ireland. For my own reasons, I’ve always felt incompatible with Irish culture, with it’s work all the hours god sends you and then go and get drunk to forget about your problems type of thing. Now, I know I am generalising but I am pretty sure this is true for the vast majority of people I know.

Of course, I’ve had numerous crushes over the years but nothing really came out of them, mainly because I was too scared to act. It was kind of creepy the way I acted around girls I liked when I was younger, practically stalking them because I didn’t know what else to do. It was only when I did this to someone in my class group and the whole thing blew up and became a massive mess for me that I snapped out of it. However, instead of following them, I did… nothing instead.

It’s something I am still working on and I feel that something…. I don’t what, is mentally blocking from going any further with girls I actually am interested in. I don’t why this is happening, is it because I am afraid of getting hurt? Then again, my first experience with trying to meet a girl ended in me getting ice thrown into my face! If that isn’t traumatising, then I don’t know what is. It’s something I need to figure out, though and overcome it because, believe it or not, I actually do want to know what actual love is and while I’m still young as well!

I procrastinate

I freely admit that I procrastinate way more than I should, wasting entire days on the computer on the internet, mainly because I feel where I live offers me virtually nothing of interest. I constantly get lectured for sleeping in late during the day but I wish I could answer back ‘ If that’s the case, tell me what there is for me to do!? ‘

More often than not, when I do ask, I usually got work shoved in my way, like doing the garden or painting the house, all the while others being smart about it and going ‘ Oh, isn’t this better than being on the computer all day!? ‘ That type of smart ass approach to me is one of the reasons I don’t like doing things for other people. Why? It doesn’t benefit me AT ALL. It makes me more resentful of them in fact. They see that my time is worth nothing and so treat it as such.
‘ Why don’t you get a job? ‘ That is all well and good but this is one serious problem – virtually everywhere I’ve ever submitted a CV to has never even bothered to call me back! As a result of this, I’ve never had any form of proper job since I was 18! The main reason I’m probably so slow is because I simply got exploited and treated like a fool by the job I did have. I won’t go into my reasons why but it coloured my view of things quite badly.

As for my list of things to do, I still go for daily walks most days but haven’t really touched a sketchpad in a while and I am slowly saving up my money to leave for Australia later this year. My year of no drinking is going good as well, too. I need to up my game, truly and honestly. I’m a bit of wreck right now and I know it and I WILL find a way through it.

And now for the reason I even considered making this post, this one is kind of hard for me to admit but after seeing several people come out with their insecurities and vulnerabilities on Niall Doherty’s blog, this one is pale in comparison to some of the things people spoke of there. That said, I’m still rather embarrassed to admit this.

I’ve got a crush on a video game character

There, I said it, you have no idea how much procrastination and hesitation I had to go through just to type that line. This exposes quite a few things about me, namely that I’m an introvert and that in spite of appearances, I am actually a giant nerd. Well, that is exaggerating a little but I do have nerdish tendencies, I just feel I can’t freely express them where I am in life right now for fear of ridicule.

Anyway, seeing that I got that out of the way, I might as well as say who it is. It’s actually quite honest anyway – It’s a character called Pyrrah from a game called Soul Calibur 5 ( a fighting game, a damn fun one at that as well. No prizes for guessing what character I play! ) I’m sorry but looking from the image below, I’m pretty sure some of you will admit ‘ Yeah, she IS cute alright. ‘

Come on, admit it. She's cute, isn't she?

The thing is, this has brought home several things, my lack of success with women and to be brutally honest, the piss poor quality of women in my area. This is one of the reasons I want to leave so bad – If I stay, I do not stand a chance in finding someone. I mean seriously, if I end up developing a crush on a freaking video game character, then something is seriously lacking.

However, I have to remind myself that I am NOT a special case. Indeed, consider the fact that people will develop crushes, even fall in love with – celebrities in the media. People who generally speaking, they have no hope in hell of ever meeting and even if they did, they would NOT be like the person they have imagined. Given all the paparazzi you get around celebrities anyway then you will know that they too are human, not some mythological creature. Why should be any different? ( That and there are countless others who have crushes on video game characters too, I know this. )

Right, I know this was a pretty self – centred post but there you have it, you know me a little bit better and have shown that I am indeed human. I am flawed, I am not perfect. I don’t want people to think otherwise. If I inspire you, I’m glad I do but please, don’t worship me like some sort of god. I am only human, I am a flawed and am working my way through life the best I can.

My Theme for 2012

' Dreams ' - Comic from XKCD

 

I have already said that it is my intention to treat 2012 as if is really the ‘ final year. ‘ Well, not only that but I have also decided that 2012 is going to have a theme for myself as well. Many people do this and I thought why not.

Anyway, the theme for 2012 for me is Upsetting The Status Quo. For too long, I have being too quiet, too timid. I have always being a person who would fold to others expectations of me because I thought it was the right thing to do, to ‘ keep the peace. ‘ I now know ( or maybe, I have always known ) that this is just a cop out and it is only hurting me in the long run.

For example, I have a habit of responding to questions I have being asked with ‘ I don’t know. ‘ The truth is, more often than not, I should really respond to that question with ‘ None of your fucking business! ‘ The former is a neutral response to avoid causing arguments, the latter, while it may cause a scene once in a while, delivers the point to the other person to stop being so fucking nosey!

Then there is the more obvious ‘ comfortable – but not really fulfilled ‘ existence that I am currently in. I am ‘ comfortable ‘ so to speak but deep down, I know that I don’t like the situation I am in. I am mad feel bad by certain people for circumstances that are generally out of my control. Generally speaking, peer pressure is a bitch!

‘ Conform to this, conform to that! ‘ They tell you, expecting you to follow them like a stupid sheep. Why should I? Truth be told, my motivation is rather low at present, and it has being for some time. Almost everything feels like a fucking endurance test. ‘ This is the way, the only way! Even if you end up hating yourself and saddled with debt, this is the only way! ‘ Please….

Its not like I am not planning anything, Operation Getaway comes to mind. It is going to take me a long time to build up my funds to get there but by god, I am going to there. See, my motivation isn’t completely shot. I am using this as a foundation to build onto something bigger and better. Some people are like weeds and grow quickly. Others are more like Chinese Bamboo tress which see no real group for the first 4 years then see a massive growth sprout in year 5, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

I most also confess that I’m a bit of what some may call a ‘ Hopeless Romantic ‘ which it comes to perusing members of the opposite sex. I am going to admit that I’ve never have being in a relationship at the time of writing. It is just something that has never happened for me for one reason or another ( truth be told, its almost all me. ) There is even a word for it, Involuntary Celibacy or Incel for short.

Anyway, seeing that 2012 is all about upsetting the Status Quo, I will make much more of an effort to flirt with girls. How I will do, I’m not entirely sure yet because truth be told, where I live at present there is fuck all possibilities to meet ladies that don’t involve going to the pub and seeing that everyone is broke from Christmas, no one is going to be out this month! I’m not saying that it’s not impossible, just a lot more difficult.

On that topic, another aspect I need to stop giving a hoot about is the whole so-called ‘ Gossip Machine ‘ – people who probably because they have nothing better to do, go around nattering and poking their noses in other people’s lives and then proceed to tell everyone and their dogs about it. I am going to live by the theme I have set myself for this year, then the Gossip machine concerning me is going to go into overdrive!

For too long, I have let that dictate my actions or rather my inaction, all because I’m afraid of someone starting some bullshit rumours about me. Like I said, more often than not, these people have nothing better to do then spread shit, it really shows their character, doesn’t it? We people who are striving to brake free and make something of ourselves will face this and we all need to ignore it, even if the screams become almost deafening!

This is what we face when we chose to upset the Status Quo and for me, this is what 2012 is going to be about. Hell, I’ve already inadvertently started doing it already a few times already in my day to day life so maybe it is only to get stronger?

Here’s to 2012!

2011 – Year in Review and Goals for the Final Year

The Old Year

The Old Year. Yes, that is meant to be the Arab Spring in the background

Well, what can I say? 2011 has being an interesting year to say the least. Not just because of the Arab Spring , Riots in London, the uncertain future of the Euro among other things. That isn’t what this post is about though.

This post is about me looking back at the past year. For both good and bad. So without further delay, lets get going.

1. The Fighting Game Community

This a significant year for me in the Irish Fighting Game scene. I began to make a bit of a name for myself this year. The break through occurred for me in March when I progressed out of the initial group stages of a tournament for the first time but not before having some very nerve wreaking matches in the group stages beforehand. However, the main thing that happened was me going against a player who I had a bit of a rivalry with from a previous event. I would win the match which gave birth a catchphrase that I’m associated with the in the Irish FG scene:

However, I haven’t won any tournaments at all this year. Mainly owing to the fact that I lost a bit of motivation during the year as well as the fact I moved from joypad to the more preferred Arcade Stick, which took a bit of adjusting and knocked me back a little. Then I went through a frustrating period where it seemed like I was actually dis-improving, hopefully I’m slowly coming out of that now.

I’ve also met from great people as a result and gone on some adventures with these people, including getting so drunk one night that I got sick everywhere ( whoops! ) I was at least able to laugh and joke about it with people and not feel too embarrassed over it! Ha!

A good year for me in the scene and I only hope to get better next year!

2. Education / College

Well, I finished college finally this year AND I did it without ever taking on any debt ( thanks Mom and Dad. ) This was my main concern and maybe I was a bit too harsh about it and I feel I missed out on a lot because well…. lets just commuting sucks! Would have I done things differently? Of course, that’s the benefit of hindsight I guess.

As for me right now, I’m going through a bit of a crisis of character. I’m not sure what I want to do with myself BUT I do know that I don’t want to end up as one of the many mindless drones that do stuff they hate for no reason. Let me tell you, the peer pressure is bad but I’m determined to overcome all this!

3. That it is me and only ME that is holding me back

This was actually one of the first things I learned this year, way back in January. I saw it demonstrated to me clearly that it was me who holding myself. The main reason I would sit on my own feeling sorry for myself was well… because I would sit on my own almost involuntarily! I guess that is what happens when you are as untrusting and cynical about people as I was.

I can pinpoint two events in January that were the catalysts for this. One involuntary ( having to switch from my spot in college owing to a computer hiccuping on me, leaving concerned that I might lose my data from computer failure ) and the other was something I did myself ( helping out a few people get a computer image on a large screen at someone’s 21st. I did it honestly not expecting anything or with any agenda and got free drink and respect because of it. )

Also at said 21st, there I was literally sitting on my own and yes, the guys literally had to tell that it was OK to hang out with them – which brought home the message that I was doing it to myself and no one else.

Its being a bit of wild ride this year as a result, actually feeling like I was a part of some group, not just because of video games. That is one thing I can take away from 2011 and hold my head up high for.

4. I travelled spontaneously

Well, as spontaneous as only booking the trip less than 3 weeks before and apart from looking up a few small things, not knowing what to expect or what to do. Barcelona, like I mentioned before is a beautiful place, even if a little warm for my liking.

I had some fun and learned that I still have some mental blocks to overcome and that I really should give myself permission to go with the flow more and it usually leads to the best experiences than going with expectations and ‘ rules ‘ in your mind. The latter always leads to disappointment and I really need to overcome it!

 

Goals for 2012 – ‘ The Final Year ‘

 

I am sure that many of you have heard about the popular Mayan Theory that the world is going to end on December 21st, 2012. While I personally believe something will happen next year, it will NOT be the end of the world! HOWEVER, I am going to treat 2012 as if it really is ‘ the final year ‘ and my goals will be based on this.

On or two of these will be similar to my previous mentioned goals in my post getting called out by Disrupting the Rabbelment last month. Some of them will be new, all of them will be realistic. Anyway, my goals for 2012 are:

1. Lose 10 pounds

I could just say ‘ lose weight ‘ here but that is too vague for my liking. SO, I have decided to start low, otherwise I’d just give up before I even begin. This one is flexible and can and will be updated as I progress but for now, keeping it simple will motivate me better than putting up a scary figure that will just put me off.

2. Do at least one real world sketch a week

I love drawing and I want to get better at it so with that in mind I want to start sketching from life more. At least once week, I will sketch from life be it a statue, person or a chair. Anything just to get a sketch pad going.

3. Get out of here

It shocks and saddens why the hell so many people are so small minded and chose to spend their entire lives living the same area. They grow up there, they meet someone from there, they live and work there and they die there. I don’t want this, I want to get out of the same area and see more fot his world. This ties with my earlier goal of getting to Australia.

4. Get a source of income

This can temporary or permanent and again ties in with my getting to Australia goal. I will basically do what it takes to get there quicker than my November 22nd deadline. If I have to wait that long so be it but I WILL get there.

5. Experiment more

Like others, I am open to try different stuff and hope to try a few experiments, some will be short and others will be longer, like a year old experiment that I won’t be announcing until tomorrow, followed by a shorter month long experiment that I’ll announce a few days after, both will be beginning on New Years Day.

Aside from those, I don’t really have anything else in mind at present for experiments so I am open for suggestions in that regard. I merely want to open my mind and what things are .

So there you have it, thoughts on 2011 and some goals for 2012 now lets bring it on!

The Facebook Cull & Letting Go of the Past

Grave of the Facebook Friends who fell during the cull of December 2011. Yes, I drew it myself and yes, I can do better than this, it was only a quick drawing!

It might seem like a trival exercise to some but I recently did a cull of friends on facebook, that socail networking site that I’m sure some of you are familiar with. It was actually the first time in my 3 years of having an active facebook account I did it, the exercise was actually kind of signifficant

It was something that I’ve being meaning to do but haven’t done so for a long time. I was going to wait until New Years Day but then I said to hell with it, no time is better than the present, so they say.

While it may seem insignificant to some, my friends list went from 220 when I started down to 167 when I finished. This included after the initial clean up going through my friends list twice afterwards with a fine curb just to be sure.

Friends I have deleted include:

– A local girl who said she’d love to have drinks with me the ‘ next time I see her out ‘ and then is never seen out locally ever again. I am too old for that nonsense thank you very much.
– People I knew from college who I have simply drifted apart from. It happens, I understand. Most of them were ignorant anyway.
– People I met on a trip aboard many years ago. Very little chance I’ll ever meet them again.
– People who have moved on with their lives in a direction I’m not keen on. Nothing bad here, more around the lines of ‘ settling and having a family before your 25 ‘ type of thing. I don’t see myself even remotely thinking about settling until I’m in my 30s.

A part of me didn’t want to this but I kept reminding myself this: ‘ The past is over, its time to move on and forget this people. May they have nice lives but there is no point holding onto them as reminders of the past – move onwards and forwards! ‘ Hence, I did it.

That was my main reason I did it – I’m fed up of living the past and wish to simply move forward. The past is done, its time to look ahead and enjoy the present. This is the whole point of this blog, a place to bring out my ideas on about lifestyle design AND keep myself accountable for my own progress in building a better life for myself.

Besides, if any of the people I deleted actually do still care about me, they’ll be able to find me and refriend me if need be. If not, no loss. I somehow don’t think they’ll care enough about seeking me out, I’ll be very surprised if they did, though.

How do I feel now? Odd and maybe little sad but I knew is was a necessary. Like I said, I want to move on fully and begin living in the present. So in the long run, I’ll be glad I did it.

Letting go of your past is important to move on in life. Hell my title icon in Street Fighter 4 is ‘ The Past is Over ‘ emphaising the point I really don’t want to live in the pasy anymore. Its ok to think back about the past but if you doing it too much, theres a problem.

Yes, I know I screwed up on that trip in 2004, stop beating yourself up over it! It made you into who you are, someone who questions the point of a load of rules that more often than not, will HINDER you if try following them! Things like that I need to snap out and just live in the present as much as possible!
So, I now promise myself to not living the past anymore, to live in the present. The present is after all, all that I can control.

And seeing that my next post isn’t until the 27th, I would like to wish all my readers here a Very Happy and Peaceful Christmas. May all you have more love and happiness than you can handle!

Reflections on Death

Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011.

This is a bit of an spontaneous impromptu post brought upon by the Death of Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple. I wish to thank you for the innovations you help bring to the world, Steve. Rest In Peace.

I am well aware of the recent passing of Steve Jobs, it was kind of sudden even for me ( truth be told, I was in the middle of watching a Let’s Play of Super Mario World when I heard the news! ) It makes you think about death and life, well it does for me.

The thing is, we’re all going to die, we are not invincible. People spend their entire lives in denial over their incoming death. We could die young, we could die old, it is something we can never know.

When you consider this, you have to wonder why so many people spend so much of their lives being essentially slaves, be it to a spouse, a loan, a job, a system, etc. They think they if they spend 40 years being a good servant to the system they’ll be able to live out their final years in peace. Truth is, it doesn’t always happen that way, as evidenced by the passing of Steve Jobs. I’m sure that many people know someone who died suddenly with their lives ahead of them.

When the time comes to bury a loved one ( it WILL happen ) let the tears flow, let it all out. Don’t hold back. Remember, its a part of life to die. Its a time of mourning, a time where norms and prejudices get a least suspended so that everyone can come together to comfort one another. Its a time of questioning, be of your actions around this person ( tip: we will all have regrets ) and how you are living your life.

It should also be time of joy. Yes, I know that sounds cheesy but we why do you think a funeral is usually referred to as a celebration of the person’s life? Yes, its a time to be sad that this person is no longer going to be around but we what we will always have is the memories of that person will be in our hearts forever.

Life really is precious. It just seems that in witnessing the passing of someone can have a profound effect on a person. They vow to become better people and make the most of what they have right now. Then, life gets in the way and they forget about these reflections and get back into a grind of life.

We really shouldn’t forget these thoughts. A death in the family is a hard thing to cope with but truthfully, it will happen. Its a horrible time, no doubt and a huge disruption to a persons life among things. BUT maybe its make the doctor ordered. It forces people to slow down, even if only briefly and question life. Some will come out of the episode with a renewed vigor for life, some may not.

We all die, its a natural part of the cycle. I accept it as such. Embrace the life you have and make the most of it, that is what I say.

The Evo World Championships, The Irish Fighting Game Community and How A Sense of Belonging to Benefit You Greatly.

Well, the last weekend was insane and no, it wasn’t because I was drinking, it was because I was watching the EVO World Championship series, which took place in Las Vegas during said weekend and most of my time was taken up either watching, talking about or following the event, which culminated with me travelling up to Dublin with 2 of my fellow fighting game members to an all nighter in a gaming café to watch the finals.

 

‘ Woah, slow down Adrian! What the hell is the EVO World Championship thing all about!? ‘

 

OK, I guess I should elaborate more then. EVO is a video games tournament, specially a fighting games tournament, think of Street Fighter and that sort of games that are played. As I mentioned, it takes place one a year in Las Vegas and attracts players from not just America but from all over the world, including Japan, Korea, Australia, England, even Ireland had people playing there to name a few. The event is also streamed, though given the time differences, it wrecked complete havoc on sleep patterns as the good matches only started happening at 4am Irish time on the Friday night / Saturday morning!

 

As I mentioned, I travelled up to Dublin on Sunday for an all night gaming session in a gaming cafe with other members of the Irish Fighting Game community so that I could also watch the finals at the same time with a group of like minded people. It was Hype! ( Hype = Extremely exciting ) My voice went hoarse from shouting at the stream so much and I was jumping around like an idiot cheering at some of the matches ( video proof is here – I’m the guy in the white t-shirt sitting behind the guy with the beard to the right. )

 

I’ve being a part of this community for over a year now, truth be told, fighting games were always something I had a passing interest in but with the advent of Xbox Live and Street Fighter 4 – I was able to find and connect with other Irish players which is how I got involved myself. Well, actually to make a bit of a story out of it, it stemed from pretty much an impulse buy of a version of Street Fighter 4 and an xbox live card to get online again, the rest was history.

 

Unlike other online communities in the past, this was one where it was actually possible for me to meet up with the people I talk to online in person – This was unheard of from me with other communities I was part of in the past. Going to my first tournement where I made my first public appearance in the community was a nerve-racking experince but after that, it became so much eaiser and I’ve gone to enough events and tournaments now that I’m not phased about it at all.

 

The main thing I’ve gotten out of all, apart from getting really good at Street Fighter, is the community aspect. I mentioned in my last post, I’m an introvert who doesn’t really have many friends who I had something in commom with. Before I joined this community, I can tell you there was a lot of anger within me. Anger at the world, authority, my family, my peers. Basically, I felt I had nothing in commom with anyone I knew and if I did, it was typically online and those people were too far away from me to ever meet up with them.

 

This made me upset and there was times I wanted to lash at those who caused me so much grief, trying to change me into of what they thought I should be and not seeing examples of people thriving being similar to me, it was a miserable experince. While I had overcome the feeling of there being something wrong with me many moons before, I still had no feeling of belonging to anything.

 

In short, things fucking sucked. Then I join this community and over the course of a few months, I noticed the anger I had felt had begun to fade. I think going to that first tournament was the turning point for me. The community was no longer just a online group – they were real people right next to me, playing me and quite frankly kicking my ass ( as they would do to all first timers in general. ) That was the sucky bit, losing badly those first few times but over time, I’ve gotten a lot better but that is beside the point.

 

The fact that my anger was fading had huge effects in other areas of my life, I began to open up more to people, got closer to my class group in college and began to feel that anything was possible for me. I’ve become more bold and less likely to look for permission to do something – I’ll just do it anyway. I’ll do things not for popularity or attention or a piece of tail but more because I want to. Basically, I’ve become more open that I ever have being.

 

If you told me 2 years ago that I was to find my sense of belonging in group of Street Fighter players, I would have looked at you strangely because of all the lecturing I had gotten in the past from peers about how playing video games was bad and that I needed to ‘ man up ‘ and all that crap that I believed BUT as I learned, the universe has a way of being ironic – The thing that gave me a new lease of life is the same thing that others had told me would ruin me!

 

The lesson is simple: We all strive to belong to something. If you feel you can’t find what you truly belong to, you will be more likely to be a shut out to the world and less open to the goodness that is in everyone. All you need to do is find that one that makes feel alive when you do it, it could be anything, be it something commom like sports or something off the beaten track ( Of course, I don’t recommend criminality or other illegal activites. )

 

Once you find it and it may take some time, it will make feel alive inside and then all other areas of your life will light up. It is really that simple.

 

P.S. One of the items of my Infinity List is ‘ Go to Evo. ‘ This is the tournament I was referring to. I am now seriously considering going to Evo 2012.

A Brief Introduction To Adrian

I have being ramabling on about other misc stuff for the past few weeks. I thought I’d give a brief overview of who I am and what makes tick and all that stuff. So, heres goes…

Well, my name as you know is Adrian Collins. I have at time of writing, over 25 years of experince of living in this reality. To be fair, even from a young age, I was always the type of person who wondered why things were ‘ that way. ‘ While being thought various tidbits about religion in Primary school, I was wondering the back of my mind why so of the things were the way they were. Guess you could call me a thinker type.

I’m also what you might call ‘ introvert ‘ , probably comes with the whole thinking aspect of my personality. I also was born with a hearing deficency that wasn’t fixed until I was 3 – 4 which could have made into who I am as it meant I missed initial indoctrination. I don’t know but the point, the status quo has never really sat well with me at all.

Don’t me wrong, I do enjoy some aspects of life. I like most Irish folks, enjoy drink ( though unlike most, I don’t plan on doing so for the rest of my life. ) good food. I don’t like sports though, never was a type of pyschical aspects. I was a gamer as a child which coupled with my natural introversion meant I never really got out much when I was a child and when I did – I was the socailly inept idiot who couldn’t stay still and never got invited to birthdays again.

As for where I am right now, I’m a recent graduate with a dipolma in Multimedia. I’m also like so many others, on the dole though I’m not wasting it all on drink. I’m saving most of to be honest for future adventures.

So, what is this all about? Why I am here? Why is the blog called The Gates of Inifinty?

Well, simply put, this blog is here to tell a story. A story that I’m not sure what the ending is going to be like or when that will happen. Its a story of how I want to move away from comfort to being the ultimate bad ass authentic self, something that is sort of lacking right now.

Who inspired me? It wasn’t for stumbling across Niall Doherty’s site Disrupting The Rabblement a few months ago just as I was about to finish college, I wouldn’t be here, as simple as that. The spark was there, all I need was something ignite it and that is where Niall came in. Thanks for the spark, Niall, you could have just created a monster right here!

As for the title, simple. Right now, as I begin my Journey, I am staring at gates. Behind lays everything that I know, my life has its turned out so far, my friends, family, all the good and bad. What is behind is all what I call ‘ the packaged life ‘ ( or Rabblement to take from Niall again! ) where you go to school, get a job, get married, get a mortage, have kids, overwork for 40 years then die, etc. I don’t want that at all.

Beyond the gates lies an inifinte amount of possibilites. I wish to open the gates and move beyond where I am and into the vastness of Infinty. That is why the blog is called The Gates of Infinity.

So there you have, an introduction to who I am. Its only a small ( for now ) snippet of who I am but as we journey together. I’m sure we will get to know each other better. So come, lets us explore Inifinty together!

Adrian