Last week I read It's A Hard Life. Three years ago I read Katawa Shoujo. And here I sit, writing, having finished neither of them. I bring this up because it says something about me that might not be immediately obvious and I wonder if maybe this actually matters. I think I'm in dire need of some accountability and of some understanding of what I'm really doing with myself.
So, the first thing to do is to take a step back and think about why I haven't finished half of my favorite stories. From the Dune series to Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou to Hakomari and more, I've struggled for years to actually finish the stories I love the most. It's kind of a weird problem, as far as I can tell. I haven't run into anyone with quite the same issue. Let's begin.
Do you know that moment? That moment when something is so good that you cannot stand it being ruined; When you tell your family to be quiet or turn off your phone so that nothing distracts you from something truly amazing. That moment when you decide that crunching on some chips does the mood a disservice and seriously focus in on what may just be the best thing you've read in the last two years. Or ever. It's that moment when I tell myself that the time isn't right. The mood needs improvement and I'm a little tired so tomorrow when I'm feeling utterly perfect is when I will return to this amazing experience. It's that moment, when I become aware of everything around me, that it all goes downhill. Because the perfect moment rarely arrives.
So why not, as others have offered, just screw the mood and jump into it? It just always feels wrong. It's like having trouble trust falling. I'm afraid that if I take the chance and screw the mood, take the fall, and trust in the strength of the story I have chosen that I'll end up in in pieces on the floor. It's pretty dramatic, I know, but the dangers aren't skin-deep.
A professor of mine once said, "identity is about the creation of meaning." And I really believe that. I've always told myself that these stories mean something. That they matter to me because they are somehow important, even if it isn't exactly clear how. These days I tie my very identity to their impact on me as a person and my development. They hold a place in my heart that I don't think it's exactly normal for stories to hold, but I'm quite happy that they are there anyway.
That's really what it comes down to. I'm afraid that if I'm distracted or something is wrong with my mentality or what-have-you that I'll no longer feel the way I did earlier. How horrible it would be if one day I pick up the third Dune book to realize that it's not actually as good as I imagined it would be. If I were to rewatch Guilty Crown and find a plot hole I would be crushed. Something more than a story will have changed. Something about me will be different. Something I don't want to be different. It's because somewhere in the world of me I put value in these stories and they sit there in their pretty glass cases in my mind. I look at them and think to myself 'how pretty that was' or 'how much you matter to me'. I am afraid that one day I will look at something once beloved and no longer will that passion burn. And then I will be left with nothing (well... not nothing). So I stop reading Dune, afraid that the third book will not live up to my image of the first two. I stop watching Ghost in the Shell because the timing isn't right. I stop and I worry and I worry.
I stop because I feel fragile. I want to change. So I will.
More on that to come, probably. Thanks for reading and I'd be glad if you left a comment.