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Space Cadet Heeds Sayori's Wisdom
Dr. Wood LXXIV
Today and yesterday were very interesting days. Well, I guess I’ll start with the foremost thing – I got a response back for the email I sent to take a break from the fellowship group. As expected, he was extremely understanding and supportive of it, going as far as to offer to let me talk to him about it if I wanted, and reiterating that the hangout group on Sundays is strictly recreational, without any real theological discussions or associations. Honestly a best-case scenario for the anticipated response. Makes me feel like I made the right decision, but also kinda makes me wanna attend one of the hangouts at my own volition. Or is it “of my own volition”? Yeah, I think it’s that. I have yet to respond to his response (just gonna give it another day I think). But that’s that now.
Today I watched another anime adaption of Little Women (movie version) and started watching a live-action miniseries of it. The movie was fine, and the TV series is enjoyable so far. But I’m thinking I should probably limit my video-watching at work. I feel like I’m making some really dumb mistakes during my duties. For this one case I was working on, I noticed that there were four lines of coverage that the commissions were wrong on. I feel like that’s waaaay too blatant of a mistake for me to make… but then again, I can’t think of who else might be behind such errors. Fortunately, those lines were rendered “uncompetitive”, and thus the errors were never really a problem… but it makes me worry a bit. I also find myself catching my own errors more frequently. It’s good that I’m catching them, but not good that I’m overlooking my data entry in the first place. I seem to get very easily distracted, despite being a diligent worker. I think I’m gonna have to just stick to listening to music at some point soon. We’re about to hit the crux of busy season. I have a feeling this particular October is gonna be a monster. Not just with work, but with my personal life too. I’ve got the breast cancer walk in three weekends, and the anime con in five. And then my friend is supposed to be visiting me this weekend, starting on Thursday. I’m gonna follow up on that either tomorrow or Wednesday. I’m not sure if she’s following through on it but I need to be prepared in case she is. Honestly, I really am not in the mood for a weekend-long visit. I was planning on having that weekend to myself, but didn’t have it in me to tell her “no” when she asked if she could visit then, considering she was going through a rough time. If she does end up visiting, then the weekend of the 9th is definitely going to be for myself. Well, unless my family decides to celebrate my stepmom’s birthday then.
Fudge, I really wanna have a weeklong break soon. I wanna take a week off to not talk to anyone and simply just go about my days, exploring the simple joys in life. I wanna go back to Somerville for another 16-hourlong adventure, just drinking expensive coffee, writing postcards, eating quesadillas, playing retro video games, buying manga, enjoying sushi, sipping boba tea, and following my feet wherever they decide to take me. It’s only been like three months since I last went (er maybe closer to four months), but I just really want that again. Heck, I’m thinking about even cancelling my Japan trip again this year just to have that. With the lingering effects of the pandemic – with some aspects of it heightening – I’m leery about traveling internationally. I really want my time in Japan to be optimal, so I don’t want the pandemic to be a thought by the time I’m visiting there. Could be a delusion of mine to think that that might be able to happen, but who knows. I’m in a really weird state today. There’s a fudge load on my mind right now. I still don’t know the results for the underwriter position I applied for. I’m trying my best to justify my error-making through general tire from the busy season. I’m constantly gambling on dopamine shots from playing Splitgate in order to keep my ego standing tall and high. I’m hungry at weird times and therefore snacking quite often. I honestly don’t want to have my friend over this weekend – I’m not mentally ready for it but don’t have the heart to say something about it, for fear of hurting her. I’m exhausted thinking about the entire month of October. Tyson is apparently also moving to Virginia for a little while, but long enough to be a pretty significant absence. My brother is extremely upset with my dad for reasons that I can actually empathize with, which makes me worried that I might actually harbor a nonzero amount of resentment towards him and my stepmom, even though I’d rather just have a happy relationship with them. I feel powerless under the weight of my own life. It all sounds so trivial and I feel bad that this much is what it takes for me to feel burnt out.
Today I finished the Doki Doki Literature Club side stories, and I have to say – they were incredible. The term “side stories” really doesn’t do them justice, as they are like a whole other look into the world of DDLC. Where there used to be a game filled with horror and death and screen glitching and Just Monika, now sits a posse of four very lovable characters who are there for each other, growing leaps and bounds together. I’m amazed at how much depth the creators gave these characters. I wouldn’t call them “flat” to begin with, but… I also wouldn’t say they were heavily developed. The side stories flipped my perception of them on its head. Their personalities are no longer a means to the end of simply deconstructing a happy-go-lucky visual novel. They went from being typical tropes (deredere Sayori, tsundere Natsuki, dandere Yuri, and uh… yandere Monika?) to regular people – and I mean that in the best sense of the word. The one-size-fits-all archetypes no longer applied. You have Yuri, who listens patiently and unjudgmentally to her friends, and has dabbled in manga before and meets friends on the weekends for board game club; Natsuki, who is actually a lot more mature and vulnerable than she comes off in the original DDLC story; Sayori, who is still very much Sayori but has some really wonderful insights and really shines as far as her kindness and friendliness go; and Monika, who is transparent about her struggles with perfectionism and truly negates the “mastermind” aura that she bears in the base game as she is just so darn down-to-earth. I could easily re-view those side stories just to learn about the values they talk about again. I love that these values are not discussed in a cheesy way, either. It’s extremely palatable and makes sense, without being pretentious or copout-y. I think I could really apply these values to my life. The words of Sayori resonate still deeply within me: “I am not my feelings”.
This diary is like my literature club. Eh, not literature club, but Literature Club. Because the Doki Doki Literature Club is a special place, allowing its members to also build friendship through trust, understanding, respect, balance, reflection, and self-love. And in the Literature Club, you can be yourself. Here, I think I can be myself. I can share my feelings in their rawest form, and those feelings are not judged but listened to. I don’t really know of the extent to which my feelings are “listened to”, so to speak, but even just typing them is sufficient for me. I think this was a good point in my life for me to finish DDLC , because I’m feeling a lot of things these days (see nonsensical mess above). I’m feeling vestiges of contempt, a fair amount of frustration and a ton of exhaustion. I’m also feeling excitement and happiness. But also a little bit of sadness, or perhaps moroseness. And in some ways, loneliness. But like, the kind of loneliness where I just want a hug from a cute girl or something. Like something that could be cured from getting a hug from everyone in the Literature Club. Sayori loves hugs, I know she at least would oblige. Oh, I do also have my dakimakura. And my stuffed buddies. I have lots of things to hug here at home. I just don’t wanna hug someone and then feel indebted to them for comforting me, as weird and perhaps illogical and selfish as that might sound. Don’t know why I would feel that way. Don’t know why I feel a lot of the things I feel. But feelings are meant to be explored, understood and accepted, all while they are not the basis for our entire character. I’m slowly coming to terms with more and more uncovered feelings that I hold. I think this gradual revelation will be beneficial for me. Thank you, DDLC , and all the beautiful ladies within it, for teaching me lessons that I may hold dearly throughout my life.
I have about an hour and a half left before I have to head to bed. That’s not including shower time, so really more like an hour, or less. I started watching an anime called Urahara, which has to be one of the most visually unique shows I’ve seen so far. Its unrefined art style reminds me of the Girls’ Last Tour manga, and I really like it, especially since it’s everything to do with Harajuku: cute, funky fashions, extensive color palettes and sweets left and right. I’m two more episodes away from finishing Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs, and I also plan to finish Love Ribbon this week if I can. I don’t know if I’ll even be able to do my MAL update this Friday, but I wanna be prepared to do so. All right, time to go grab either my last ice cream bar or poundcake and play some Love Ribbon. Let’s flip a coin – heads is ice cream, tails is poundcake. All righty, aaaaand… it’s ice cream!
Also, just as one added note: just like how the “Just Monika” theme was stuck in my head during the entry where I first wrote about DDLC, the track “Dusk” from the DDLC soundtrack has been echoing in my head since finishing. Such a serene and warm score that is. Makes me feel contemplative. Ah, what an amazing VN that was.
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