2021-01-01 3 min read

Like everyone, I’m a complex person made of a myriad of pieces. Some of them are happy, some of the them sad, some broken, and some exceptional. But if you had to break me down into two basic concepts, they’d be the following:

o·ta·ku | /ōˈtäko͞o/ | noun
1. (in Japan) a young person who is obsessed with computers or particular aspects of popular culture to the detriment of their social skills.
plural noun: otaku


pan·​ic | \ ˈpa-nik | noun
1. a sudden overpowering fright also : acute, extreme anxiety 2. a sudden unreasoning terror often accompanied by mass flight widespread panic in the streets 3. a sudden widespread fright concerning financial affairs that results in a depression of values caused by extreme measures for protection of property (such as securities)

On one hand, I spend a lot of my time obsessed with computers - with a particular devotion to linux (year of the linux desktop anyone?) - and I consume a lot of Japanese visual media. I also read a lot of fantasy novels - so there’s that. And who could forget my weird attraction to POP! figurines - because, let’s face it, they’re uncomfortably adorable. Kawaii!! amiright?? I think this might also be a good time to bring up my love of cats, octopuses, and Doctor Who.

Seems fun - almost frivolous! A life of fandoms, fantastic stories, bright colors, and perpetual self-indulgence. It’s eclectic and rich! Right…?

But that’s not really the whole picture because, on the other hand, I also spend a lot of my time grappling with fear and dread. A staggering portion of my typical day consists of reading news, following politics, and struggling with ethical questions. And I’m sure there are a lot of people with the same kind of stark divide in themselves, which can be disorienting.

On the occasions that I can no longer handle the drone of political analysts - or distract myself with flashing lights - I listen to classical music, or opera, and drink tea. I try to put my life into perspective, and I sometimes wonder if maybe I don’t belong…

I have Halloween decorations out all year (once a year isn’t enough). I’ve learned that things will usually come back to Schrödinger’s cat because, as thought experiments go, it’s the closest one to defining my sense of self - both alive and dead. And while I reel from deep pessimism to cautious optimism - I do try to mitigate the darkness by reading books by Buddhist monks.

The world is complicated, I’m complicated, and that makes life really hard to navigate sometimes. But, this is where I’m going to sort some of it out. This is where I’m going to explore some ideas. And honestly, some of them may not be right - I may have to change my mind about things as I go, because we all grow and learn. So maybe I don’t fit in and maybe I don’t belong, but we’re probably not supposed to, and my hope is that reading some of my thoughts may help clarify some of yours. So, welcome! And thank you for reading.