2016 Retrospective


Whelp, this took way too long. This is not a review of world events in 2016; just my own reflection on what I’ve been learning & how that’s affected me.

2016 has been a year of further complex realizations. Before I’d been musing on how my own thoughts & actions can effect myself & others. Since moving to my current flat, my thoughts have broadened to systems & ideologies that may affect us all.

I’ve been learning concepts related to socio-politics & philosophy, as well as figures & movements within these topics. I’ve gained some familiarity with concepts like Post-Modernism, Socialism, Neoliberalism, Subjectivity, Cultural Hegemony, & Hyperrealism; even Veganism. I’ve gained some familiarity with names like Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, Focault, Kierkegaard, Camus, & Hegel; plus some modern names like Chomsky & Zizek. These topics & names have provided a lot of insight & new ideas that I would love to see more media & stories explore (I’ve gained a new found appreciation for the ones that do). It helps that over half my flatmates study &/or have an avid interest in these topics & are quite happy to talk about them.

Side note: a flatmate actually compared my thinking to Hegel’s philosophies. It’s weird having your personal philosophy supposedly match a philosopher you were completely unaware of just months ago.

Yet, I’m still quite clueless as ever. I’ve been introduced to these terms & given a basic idea of what most of them are about, yet I feel I don’t have a true understanding of them.

If anything, what I’ve learned has a tendency to throw me off. About every month or two I seem to learn something that makes me question my assumptions & “what I should do”; all in the backdrop of a wider world & global system that I’ve known to be messed up, yet I keep discovering new perspectives that make it apparently bleaker then I thought. I’ve come to learn that the best information may very well be the knowledge & questions that deconstruct & challenge your foundations.

With such information I’ve struggled to really plan my life, & honestly I’m still struggling. I’m already of a hesitant nature when it comes to taking uncertain actions, but these topics only encourage hesitancy as you realize you could have pursued permanent paths for the wrong reasons.

Despite these concerns, I would regard these topics as being among the most important to pursue. They have brought about considerations I was completely ignorant of. It has lead me to think more critically about my actions & aspirations, in particular my reasons for them & their potential effects on the world. The path to understanding is messy & painful, but without this process we cannot grow & become smarter.

Still, I’m left with a lot of questions for myself:

  • How do my values, choices, & my more recent knowledge/awareness affect & drive my future?
  • What is my relationship to all of this, & how would I prefer it to be?
  • How does it make me feel about the “smart” path in a capitalist system?
  • A more recent one, how do my choices in this regard affect my family?
  • What the hell do I do with all of these considerations? How do I live in such a way that I’m content with the choices I’ve made?

I don’t have answers for all of these.

When I think about it, I’m not interested in pursuing what most people tend to pursue. I’m not interested in owning a house, getting rich, or being famous; I don’t think I even want children. I’m disillusioned on the idea that a “good career” will make your dreams come true. I’m more used to the idea that my dreams will rely upon self mastery:

  • I want to create great games, stories, & media that inspire & encourage people to be better.
  • I want to continually learn & understand the universe & beyond.
  • I want to have good relationships with good people & a good community.
  • Ultimately, be at peace with what I have become & where I’m going.

The problem for me has always been in how. I do feel like I need to be “going somewhere” but I don’t see anywhere that can help with the above.

So far I’ve been focusing on living week by week, finding minute victories in simple choices & actions. Things like getting myself to go on daily walks every morning on my days off, or making some progress on a prototype for an afternoon. Beyond that however I feel I’ve got nothing to gravitate towards but my own vague dreams. A part of me feels I can’t just keep living this way, but as it stands I have no real solution.

Until I find my way, I guess I’ll remain where I am.

Thank you for reading. I still have one more post to go – dealing with my aspiration for game development. Here’s to 2017… oh boy.


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