Level Up

So, I turned 30 recently.

I do have a way to explain my feelings on this, I think. Yet again, video games are my analogy of choice for explaining how the world works. Oh, shut up, you knew what you were getting into when you started reading this.

If life were like videogames (an aside: This poses a problem in the way of art imitating life imitating art, but that's another conversation), then growth is measured by leveling up when a player has earned enough experience points to acquire a new level in a skill or skills, often accompanied by the ability to wield new weaponry, access new places, or begin new assignments.

So let's say I just turned Level 30. Have I been granted anything new?

  • Wield New Weaponry - Do I have a weapon? If you count my guitar as an "axe", then there's no finding out what I can wield until I can get my hands on a new guitar, but I honestly don't feel like getting another guitar; the guitars I already own have been more than sufficient. Hm, but what about a bass guitar? Interesting.
  • Access New Places - I now live in and have access to NorCal.
  • Begin New Assignments - I relocated for a job. It's a new assignment by its very nature.

And come to think of it, 30 is gaining steam much differently than that of 29. 28 and 29 saw some dark days. 29 saw me the poorest I'd ever been, facing some of the most challenging professional decisions I'd ever made. It was a year that tested my retention of optimism. I came out of those years able to say, "As a full time independent contractor, I've been dragged through the dirt and raked over hot coals. I have seen some shit. There is nothing you can do to hurt me."

I repeatedly told the world to "bring it on." I got what I wished for. I got kicked to the curb, got kicked while I was down, got kicked harder than something that gets kicked really hard.

I lived. And the reward? New job, new city, new life.

Fancy that. This really was like a video game.

I guess that means if I'm alive, I gotta keep moving.

After all, this game isn't going to beat itself.

Airplane of Love

Ah, love. Sometimes — and in shojo series, it's very frequently — it's entirely one-sided. When a character encounters that certain special someone who's totally out of their reach ("takane no hana"), a conveniently timed airplane flies by, and the unrequited lover spends several seconds staring at the airplane as it flies off into the distance, forever out of reach. In fantasy or historical series where there are no airplanes, a bird appears instead.
-TV Tropes

To be clear, I'm not in love since I haven't yet been patched to handle such capacities[1. We tried it in beta and it threw a bunch of errors, so we're slating it for a later release.], but after moving to California's Silicon Valley very recently[2. O HAI, DID I MENTION I MOVED NORTH?] I've found that when I take a break to smoke a cigarette, I often find myself staring at an airplane. In contrast to the smog of LA, the skies here are very much on the clear side, and since the San Jose Airport isn't too far off, these aircrafts are easy to catch.

As a fan of symbolism, I can't help but feel that staring at these airliners is supposed to signify something, but as it's portrayed in fiction (fine, in anime, specifically), the allegory doesn't really apply to me. However, the wandering daytime reverie still seems to fit the bill.

I'm longing for and missing something, but I'm not sure what it is.

Actually, you know what? I've not had legitimate internet access for a week now, and using my phone to tether an internet connection is slowly driving me to the brink of tears. Also, my furniture has yet to ship up here so it looks like I'm squatting in my own apartment.

All things considered, things up here are going way better than expected and it's only the first week. Silicon Valley has so far treated me very well, passing smiles and unsolicited good morning's and sincere excuse me's, and I'm still very much a stranger out here. So there's that warm welcome -- but concerning these airplanes, maybe the earnest desire I'm feeling is the unrequited love of NOT SLEEPING ON THE DAMN FLOOR.