Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Saga of Me Part 1: The Rise and Fall of a Nerd

I hope you won't think this too narcissistic, but today's post is going to be the first in a series of occasional posts about me.  Not that I like to talk about myself, but because I have gone through an interesting and, at times, difficult life, and I think for some people going through rough times, hearing the story of how someone else went through things can help.

We'll start at the beginning, I suppose.  My name is Dan Wallace.  I'm the firstborn of three kids, and I'm currently twenty-four years old.  I have a younger sister, and a younger brother, both of whom I love very much, and I am lucky to have.  I've got two parents, the usual complement of grandparents(most of whom have passed on, now), and generally your average family unit.

From a young age, I enjoyed video games.  My parents raised me on their Atari, and I loved the crap outta space invaders in particular.  Soon I graduated to the Super Mario and Legend of Zelda years of the Nintendo and Super Nintendo, and yeah, I was one of those kids who wasn't allowed to play Mortal Kombat because it was too violent(so I played it at friends' houses instead.  HA!  Take that, establishment!).

I'm not going to go into too much detail of my young life, except for a couple key points.  My parents home schooled me for kindergarten and first grade, which put me massively ahead of the rest of my peers in terms of reading and writing, and massively behind in terms of social conventions.  I don't resent it now, but at the time it was rather difficult and yeah, I was your trademark tortured nerd/teacher's pet.  In sixth grade I was pulled out again, home schooled again, and eventually entered college early, starting with two courses a semester at the local county college when I was fifteen.

Throughout this time I was about as socially awkward as could be.  I dressed up like an anime character(not cosplaying, I would actually try to accessorize myself like I imagined an anime character would), dreamed of having a girlfriend, and discovered the world of internet porn.  I finally found my first real girlfriend(and my first kiss), and started to mature a wee bit.  We dated for about six months.  After her, I dated another girl shortly who cheated on me early in our relationship, and I fell into my emo phase.  Bad poetry, teen angst, adolescent rage, the whole thing.

Around this time, we were in the middle of a massive renovation of our old house that we lived in.  I literally lived without walls, finished floors, or even a bathroom sink for a couple of years.  I was in kind of a shitty spot in life.  I felt like I couldn't connect with most people my age, my siblings were too young for me to connect with them on a peer level, and I felt like I couldn't trust girls again either.  I got down on myself really, really hard, and even contemplated killing myself once or twice.  Most of my friends were online, and that was the only real world that I interacted with for a while.

If any of this sounds like you right now I want to take a second and recognize you.  People may feel you're not really feeling real emotions because you're a teenager, or that your angst/bad poetry/adolescent rage are all an inconsequential phase.  They're right, in that it's a phase, but they're wrong in thinking it's inconsequential.  Your feelings are real, and you have a right to feel them.  You do have to realize that you're in a highly emotional place in your life right now, being a teenager, and that sucks a lot.  But you have to come up with ways to keep calm, and carry on(ha!). 

You may feel like you're in a hole right now, but I can promise you, you will get out.  It will get better.  Don't put too much stock in the negatives of your life right now, they will pass in just a short while.  For now, you need to apologize to yourself, first off, because you've probably thought bad things about yourself before.  Then you need to forgive yourself for it, because everyone makes mistakes.  Seriously.  You're no worse than anyone else in this world, and you are just as worth of love as anyone else.  Love yourself, first.  This sounds difficult, and it is, and it may sound silly, but it's not.  You need to love yourself before you can love anyone else, and before anyone else can truly love you.  Let your hurt go as best you can, and just tell yourself that you are okay, and you love you.

Not joking, give it a shot.  Go somewhere no one can here you, and say, "I'm sorry.  I love me."  Stand in front of a mirror and say, "I love you."  Realize that everyone is human, and everyone make mistakes, but you have no reason to hurt, or fear, or ridicule yourself.  You are an awesome person, I guarantee it, and you should accept yourself as you are, even if you don't like who you are.  When you're lost, you need to accept and recognize where you're at before you can figure out where you're going.  The hardest part of personal growth is acceptance of where you're currently at, and recognizing you have a long way to go before you get where you want to be.

So this was where I was at.  I was sixteen and angry.  Angry at the world, I suppose, but  mostly angry at myself(though I didn't really realize it at the time).  Slowly I started to crawl out of my hole, and things started to get better, but the anger stuck with me.  I think, however, that should be a story for another day.  I think I've talked about myself enough already for today, hahaha.

Tomorrow won't be about me(srsly), but it will be about the idea of personal acceptance and growth, and how this can relate to video games and video game characters.  Monday will be our next character breakdown, and I will announce the character in question tomorrow!  Make sure you like the blog on Facebook(there's a little button to your right on the sidebar right now), and follow me on Twitter to get regular updates on the blog!  Also, I've got a Google+, so if +1ing is your thing, add me to a circle on there!

See you tomorrow!  Until then, continue to be an awesome person! =)

Dan "DaRatmastah" Wallace

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