If you have been following me recently on social media or on my blog, chances are high that you’ve noticed me being offline more than usual and, the few times I’ve been online, more emotional than usual. For you who haven’t been following me, the gist of the scenario is that I haven’t been feeling too good lately. A lot of stressful things happened at once after moving away from home, and many ended up much worse than I had expected, and it left me emotionally drained. As it stood, life wasn’t that much fun.
During this period I played video games and anime a lot more than usual – a large reason as to why I wasn’t on social media as often – yet it wasn’t the same as usual. I didn’t feel much when experiencing the two; instead I felt rather apathetic most of the time. It was a strange sensation, as I had always found these things enjoyable – but suddenly there was no joy. I’m exaggerating a little: there were actually times I felt things. But it was very rare and in-between moments of despair. It was occasional sparks of light in the midst of the darkness, so to say.
Yet, I was still continuing working my way through some anime and video games franchises like never before. There was a sense of relief, perhaps as it reminded me of the time before I had moved away from home. It temporarily made me forget everything bad. In this sense, anime (and video games) was a blessing for me as it allowed me to breathe.
However, at the same time I today cannot help but wonder if anime was actually a curse. This may sound childish, but I worry I had painted a prettier picture of moving and starting university in my mind than it actually is. This would then be because of anime. In anime, you never see a depressing start of a new life; no, it’s always a rose-colored fresh start. You meet friends, you have lots of fun and it’s great. In the same sense, I think I had created expectations of how my move would go. When university class started, I would be able to socialize easier with others than before. When class ended, I’d be able to discover every nook and cranny of the new city. I would find that one friend. And so forth.
After having been on a break for over a year since high school, I feel I may have become disillusioned with how life worked. Anime had always portrayed it as this great thing, than I ended up in shock when reality hit me. Making friends wasn’t easy, moving wasn’t easy, classes don’t live up to your expectations and so on. Even the smallest of hurdles ended up breaking me.
At the same time, I recently broke out of this cycle I hope. I managed to, hopefully, pass a test that had stressed me out for a long time as the class was terrible and I didn’t understand squat. After this, I just went home and… relaxed. I watched some anime. Red some manga. Played video games. All day long. While eating candy, of course. And it felt great.
It was as if the curse had been lifted from my shoulders. Yesterday I ended up watching anime all night, catching up on the delightfully cute climbing anime Yama no Susume 2nd Season. And you know what? I had never felt more at ease. I was happy. Cheery. I felt things again. It was a fantastic feeling. As of writing this text, I am looping the opening song to the series and feeling all cheery inside, even moving my body along with the music. That’s how good I feel at the moment.
Despite having been a curse before, anime has now turned into a blessing.