Friday, January 3, 2014

2014

One more year has gone by and it feels like a second has passed since we were trying to get used to writing "2013" instead of "2012" in our notebooks. Each year seems to go by faster and faster. I can't say I was having any more fun than usual to justify how time has flied. Regardless, let's hope the reason 2014 has gone before we know it is because it's just that much fun. Cheers!

Friday, December 6, 2013

People

What makes a person interesting? More importantly, is it important to be interesting? If you're not, does that make you a lesser human being, less worthy, less deserving?

My real question is "what makes a person worthy"? Worthy of what you ask? Anything. Life, happiness. I'm constantly feeling like I'm less important than everyone and that I somehow have to earn every shred of attention and appreciation. As though that isn't a damaging belief enough, worse is that I've no idea how to become worthy. The closest I've come to an answer is by being interesting. And that is where the problem lies.

How interesting you find a person is subjective, which is good I guess. If there was a measure for it, being uninteresting would be something unavoidable for most people. It would mean that being yourself wouldn't cut it, you would have to adopt habits and a way of life that doesn't express you in order to conform to a certain standard. Could you ever do that? Could you while knowing that you won't be happy? I don't think most people could. So, good thing we live in a world when there are as many measures for interesting as there are people, right?

No, not if most people are boring. Or rather, most people think you are boring. It's usually a mutual feeling. It's bad, but it's even worse when it's not mutual. If a person you think is boring thinks you're interesting, they're a bother, if it's the other way round, it hurts.

So really, how can one be interesting in a way that will appeal to the general public while also being happy? That means not pretending to be someone else or like things you don't. Even if you find people with common interests, it doesn't mean much. There's a certain undefined chemistry that can develop between people even if they have little and common, and others who have load in common have only that and nothing more.

I know that there are people that consider me a lesser friend than others. I'm not as important to them as these other people are. And it hurts. I can't blame the lack of common interests, though it doesn't help, but rather a lack of chemistry. That chemistry is more important than common interests and it's also harder to develop. Makes sense, since it's harder to put your finger on it. What is it really? Is it an understanding? Does it stem from similar experiences?

I don't know what to do to earn a more important place in people's hearts. Doing the same for them won't work, I know that much. Liking people more won't necessarily make them like you back. Unfortunately.

I don't feel like most people find me interesting. Despite the difference in interests, I'm not too funny, I'm not confident, I'm not... good enough? I don't know what it is I lack, but I feel like I lack something. I'm not happy with the amount of attention friends and acquaintances give me, but being as unsociable and hard to talk to as I am, I can't complain. Most of all, I feel like I have no right to complain or feel sad about it or want good friends. Probably what I need is a sense of self worth... I used to think you had to do something to earn it. Now I think it's something you either have or you don't. In some rare cases, you can build it.

But that brings me back to my original question; what do I have to do to be worthy? Is it all in my head? Am I supposed to automatically feel like I have the same right as other people to pursue the friendships and relationships that I want? Would that mean that it has less to do with how interesting I am as a person and more to do with how I feel about myself and how determined I am? After all, people are drawn to the energy you exude, not your personality.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Love junkie

You know that feeling, right? It's beautiful, strong, so much so that it's painful. But not the bad sort of pain, it's sweet, like your heart is about to burst from all the happiness. You're always smiling, in a good mood, your mind is preoccupied. You wake up and go to sleep with the same thought. This lasts for several days, sometimes weeks, even months. It settles of course, it goes from a wild excitement to a deep sense of contentment.

You know what feeling I'm talking about, right? Yes, the feeling of discovering a great new anime! Why anime? What if I don't like anime? How do I know what you're talking about? It's not exclusive to anime, you might have experienced it with a song, a movie, a TV show, though I don't know what's to fuss over in the last two cases. Unless it's Scrubs or The Big Bang Theory.

It's truly a beautiful feeling and you want it to last forever. It doesn't, but you can feel it over and over by discovering more anime. Sometimes with the long-running ones you fall in love many times over.

That's what's great about anime. You'll never miss that sweet andrenaline rush, unless you've watched all of the great ones and the new ones are absolute rubbish. That's what long-running ones are for.

The best part? You can feel this way without any of the stress or disappointment that usually accompanies such feelings. Anime doesn't let you down. It only disappoints to the point you want to dump it. You can't go wrong really. I hope at least.

Allow yourself to feel like that for a person and taste the pain. It's no one's fault, but it still hurts. Way too much... Is it worth it?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Can't come up with a decent enough title, so this'll have to do

For someone that hates drama, I've always been very prone to it. I seem to cause it, yet I hate it. Why do I cause it if I hate it so much?

Take this blog for example. It's all so emo and dark and stupid and melodramatic and horrible. I hate that. Why do I have to write such stupid pseudo dramatic things? I absolutely hate it. Yet, there are few personal posts that aren't over the top. You could say that happens because I tend to write during times of emotional turmoil or that I focus on the negative things whenever I do write in a stable state of mind- well, as stable as I can be at least.

I wanted- no, needed, people to read it, acknowledge it, maybe even respond to it. I didn't blog for myself. I'm not sure if I am now, but I like to believe I'm better off. Still, I can't help the thoughts of view counts popping into my head. Not that I ever check them anymore, but the thought is present at times.

Thing is, this blog, it is a reflection of my inner self. And I hate that. I hate myself.

It's funny actually. If I hate myself so much, why do I put in such a significant effort to stay alive? I'd say I put in a little too much effort, to the point of reacting to fears that may or may not be irrational, like what will I have to do to survive should I not get into university. A little extreme, right?

Despite that, I can't help but loathe myself. Like my blog, I feel I'm of no worth if no one acknowledges me. With the blog it makes sense; what's the point of a blog if no one's reading it? But with me? So what if no one likes me? That's an excruciating thought, and most frighteningly, could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Can't you tell what I've been looking at these days? I used to be very paranoid about my physical health- still am, to the point of fainting due to anxiety during blood tests- but now I'm also a hypochondriac when it comes to my mental health, checking lists of mental disorders. I always knew I had problems, but it has recently been brought to my attention that they may be worse and harder to solve than I initially thought.

After ruling out bipolar, I found what one of my problems could be. Giving it a label has made it so much worse though. I still don't know what to do and I'm still problematic. And even worse, I don't know why I'm the way I am. Not that it would change anything...

I'm aware of my situation and I want to change. But can I? How can I? Is it possible? It's not healthy to be this way, not for me, not for anyone.

Problem is, I feel like it's out of my control. I'm ruled by fear and controlled by my emotions. During adolescence, I was very impulsive and aggressive, thankfully now I've settled. But even now I have spells of impulsivity. After a recent disappointment, I purchased a book. Okay, not all kinds of impulsivity are bad! It was a rather sensible purchase too. Three euros for a timeless classic. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I don't recommend it to non-native speakers of English. At first it was hard to understand, but I got the hang of it quickly. Accents and dialects, you know.

Instead of covering up my faults I flaunt them and laugh. Maybe because I think I'll attract attention this way. What can I accomplish that it so worthy of attention for me to use it to get my fix? It's easier to use what I've already got. What I need to do is not hide my faults though. I need to eliminate them. But yeah, until I do so I'll have to hide them.

Acceptance and the eternal battle to obtain it. There's nothing wrong with that really, except the fact that when I do obtain it I stop caring. Being beautiful just for the sake of being admired but having no interest in being approached... That's not really how I feel, but idealising such situations means there's something wrong with me. I do have a history of putting in effort to be accepted and when it happens that's it. That's all I wanted and I got it. Except it's not. But my emotions seem to think so. Isn't it weird? My emotions wanting the opposite of what I want. I'm at constant battle with them. A lot of my behaviours contradict themselves. It's easy to tell; people seem to read through me right away. I'm a terrible liar.

I can explain that behaviour though. I'm am always pursuing acceptance because I've been denied it so many times. Being more sensitive than the average person, instead of getting on with it, I let it affect me. There's one thing I like to think I do right. I don't like to blame my issues on other people. Or so I think. It's easier to hate and punish myself, so I like to think I'm responsible for everything. It also gives me a sense of control. But that's no good either. I need to stop. I need to say "so what? It's fine" and it really be fine. Maybe instead of punishing I need to start apologising to myself and forgiving myself.

I hope I can get over it some day. Stop feeling so deeply, be less sensitive, be more sensible, be more stable, be in control of my emotions, be less scared, be less delusional, be a proper grown-up. Find out who I am. Actually no, become who I want to be. Not necessarily a perfect person, but one I can stand being.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dating developments

Hey there, it's been a while. I can't say I've been busy this summer, unless you consider watching loads of anime and chatting on facebook non-stop work. I was supposed to be studying but...

I failed 5 lessons in the midterm and final exams and so far I've been managing to achieve higher scores in them, but still not high enough to pass. I really think seeing 3 instead of 1 on my grade sheet will make me feel better about myself. I failed once again, but this time not as miserably. Whatever, I'm not giving up!

(note: Any similarities between that last statement and typical shounen anime characters is coincidental, but understandable)

So, repeating my exams is the major event going on right now. Along with some other things...

I can give you the short version or I can give you the long version. Being me, I choose the latter. But worry not, I will give you a hint; I think I might be dating someone.

And here goes:

Have you ever watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? In a certain part of the film, we are given a whole description of the random events that led to Cate Blanchett getting hit by a car. She survived, don't worry. Things that seemed- and were- completely irrelevant to her made it so that the car was there at exactly the time she was on the road. If any one thing had been different, the accident wouldn't have occurred.

That's sort of how it went. Well, not exactly. But I have the habit of doing this, thinking of events and what led to them and each time I'm reminded of this film. Not each time, but a lot of the times. As you know from previous posts, I made a profile on a dating site, which I have since deleted. Overall, I didn't like it and I wanted to delete it right away. But I didn't. And this is good.

I got talking to people, as you usually do on such sites, namely ones with similar interests. My current obsession being anime, I liked to discuss that with people. This one person said Shingeki no Kyojin was good. I had heard of it before, when searching for new music by Sound Horizon. Judging by their release pattern up to that point, it was about time they should have released another album. All I found was a song by Linked Horizon, made for this anime I didn't know. I watched the video and thought it was alright (just alright, would you believe that?!). It was so vastly different from their usual stuff, so I wasn't impressed right away. As for the anime, it didn't look like something that would appeal to me, and also, for some reason, I thought it was about Nazis.

This guy said he was obsessed with it so I thought I'd give it a go, expecting very little. One episode, one episode was all it took. About six episodes were out, the seventh coming out the next day. It was a big- and very pleasant- surprise. As the weeks went on, I loved it more and more. My anticipation for the next episode was unbearable sometimes. So strong it was, I even changed my facebook pictures for something relevant to SnK. I don't do that easily. Never before have I had an anime avatar. The fact I made this change speaks of my adoration by itself.

That little action of mine caught the attention of a fellow student. He started talking to me and that's how it began.

Now, I probably would have started watching SnK after seeing all the hype over it, but not until later. I don't know how much later. Maybe I wouldn't have changed my profile pic in the spur of the moment and this whole situation wouldn't have occurred. And for that alone, I'm thankful to my dating profile and the people I spoke to.

A girl in touch with her nerd side might be most guy's dream, but what if the girl is a bigger nerd than the guy?!! Nerd... Tss. More like otaku...

I think that's it for now. Exams are currectly keeping us appart (he lives far away) and I miss him so much. We're supposed to be meeting again soon, but even that seems too long of a time. Isn't it funny that over 90% of our communication has happened through a computer? Even though we've been in the same uni for a year, we've only spoken a few times in person.

That's that, ja ne!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dystopian fantasy is the cure for depression

People with depression feel like there's no hope in the world. For them, at least. And envious human nature means that seeing someone who is better off will only make them feel worse- if that's even possible. When they know there is a worse situation than the one they are in, they'll be sad for the ones that are in it, but even more so because there is still way till hitting rock bottom. If you think you are already there, you can look up. But doing so will make you feel worse for being who you are.

The ultimate solution is dystopian fantasy. The predicaments of the characters are so unbelievably bad it's almost impossible for them to occur in real life, meaning there's no fear of sharing the same fate. Plus, you feel ten times more sorry for them and ten times better about yourself. As long as I'm not placed on a battlefield and forced to kill in order to survive... because I'd be total prey.

I'm not trying to justify some crazy love of gore which I do not have (whatever is meant to be inside the human body should remain inside) although I do like a bit of blood now and then. Having the characters you love die is unpleasant, but then again they are fictional people who never existed and in the end it doesn't make any difference. It's just fantasy and imagination is almost limitless. As long as you can separate the two it's fine, and as long as it makes you feel a tad bit better about things...

Monday, July 1, 2013

The nationality of Shingeki no Kyojin characters

No one really knows, at least those of us who only watch the anime, so we can only speculate. If one thing is for sure, it is that they have what we would call a nationality since it's set in the real world. There are people that doubt this, but at this point it is definite. In episode 11 (look away if you haven't watched it) Pixis mentions wars that happened in the past over things like race and religion. Basically like us. There are a lot of references to the real world and even the existence of different races, along with explanations as to why most of the characters we see appear to be European. Apparently, people that came from the orient for some reason died out (if I remember correctly they were killed by the titans, but then again wasn't most of humanity?), and Mikasa is descended from them. So it's a given that the story is set in the real world.

It's also worth mentioning that it's set in the future. Yes, it may look old, but with the titans wiping out most of humanity, it goes without saying that the same would happen with technology. You see the damage they cause to buildings and stuff. The world as it is today would be completely destroyed within days. After that, humanity would be left with some very basic weapons. Taking into account what Pixis said about the wars and it being mentioned that humans have possessed artillery for centuries, it's obvious that we're dealing with a future real world.

That's where the nationalities come into it. They don't exist anymore because there are no countries, only human lands inside the walls. Languages would have died out too, with the most prevalent among them surviving. That won't stop us from speculating what country each character would be from had they been born 107 years earlier. We don't have much to go off other than names. We can take physical appearance into account, but that doesn't provide solid facts. The origin of a name is relatively indisputable, it's more reliable than a character's appearance at least. Here goes...


Eren Jaeger

"Eren" is a Turkish name that means "saint". "Jaeger" is clearly German and a variation for Jäger, which means "hunter". By that logic, Eren has Turkish and German roots. The German part was obvious from the beginning, everyone can tell right away just from the name. But the possibility of turkish ancestry doesn't surprise me. It's going to sound silly, but I'll say it anyway.

Way before I considered the origins of his name and thought of it as merely the japanese way of pronouncing "Helen", I thought that during the ending credits he looked Turkish. He is drawn differently than usual, of course, to the point I started referring to him as "Turkish Eren" whenever his close up came up. I found that even Mikasa gave me strong vibes for a nationality which we will discuss later. Based on their names, I turned out to be spot on about both of them! Anyway, it's just an ending sequence, doesn't say much, right? True, let's consider his appearance canonically.

To put it simply, Eren doesn't look non-Turkish. In fact, it's obvious he's not 100% Western European like other characters appear to be (*cough* Armin *cough*). The same way Mikasa looks Asian you could say, but then again a lot of us will have been affected by the japanese sounding name. He's fairly tan, and although I wouldn't call Turkish people tan the same way I wouldn't call Greek people that, it's a sort of common trait. Not as much as people would think, but then again pale-as-a-ghost me, after getting enough sun to become less white and more golden (by no means tan), I was called that in England. So, even though I wouldn't call Turkish people tan, perhaps a foreigner or a non-Mediterranean person would. So Eren's skin tone can count as evidence to support a Turkish ancestry.

I might also mention his very bright eye colour. We get a lot of Turkish shows over here now that we're too bankrupt to produce our own, and most of the actors have really light eyes. Even though they aren't uncommon for Europeans, they will be combined with fairer skin and hair. The difference with them is that they'll have dark hair and skin that isn't really light (not necessarily dark in my opinion, though it can be the case). That set of colouring, along with more Eastern rather than Western-looking features, it's possible. Of course you don't look at him and go "Turkish, no doubt about it", especially when it's likely that he's mixed with German. If we take a look at his mother, she's more like it. From the first time I saw her, I thought she must have come from the eastern side of the european scale. Hadn't necessarily thought as far as Turkey, definitely not beyond that.

Not much I can say about his father. I really can't tell. But if someone told me he's German, I'd believe them. Considering Jaeger is his last name, it's most likely the case.


Mikasa Ackerman

"Mikasa" sounds japanese and "Ackerman" sounds German. Yes, "Mikasa" it is in fact japanese, which makes sense since it's established that she has Asian ancestry. "Ackerman" is German for "fieldman", but it's also associated with Åkerman, a swedish surname. The reason I'm bringing this up is because during the ending credits I thought she looked Scandinavian (Norwegian to be more specific, but that's just what popped into my head first).

We know for sure her mother was Asian, Japanese most likely, considering Mikasa's name. Her father was not. He could have been either German or Swedish, but if hair colour is an indication, Swedish is a bigger possibility. We'll leave it at that. Pick the theory you like.


Armin Arlert



This is a toughie. For "Arlert" the best I could find is that it's a surname used in Sweden. It's meaning is unknown. As for "Armin", I had the opposite problem; too many origins.To name a few from Wikipedia, it's a Persian name, a Germanic name, even an Ancient Greek name. With the power of logic and a quick Google search, we can rule out 1 and 3 and keep that it's German, with Herman as a variant. For blond and blue-eyed Armin Scandinavian or German roots aren't surprising.










Sasha Braus



It's hard to tell from "Sasha". We're looking at Germany, Russia and many others. Her surname doesn't make things any easier since it's hard to figure out how it's actually spelled. If we take "Braus", we get German for roaring. Her appearance doesn't give many clues. She doesn't have any features that pinpoint to a certain ancestry or rule many out, so German is the most probable.





Jean Kirstein



Even though "Jean" is a french name, any spelling of "Kirstein" is german. All we get from his look is that he's Caucasian, most likely Western European. With the presence of this many german names, at this point we can start to speculate about what geographical area the walls cover. I'd say France to be honest, because we can already guess it's in Europe and because of the climate, but it could be near the south of Germany. I wouldn't place it too north (doesn't rain that much), but not that close to the Mediterranean either. But I would say more south than north of course. It looks like it's warm there.






Annie Leonhart


"Leonhart" comes up with German and Dutch, and if I had to guess I'd say it means "lion's heart". It's Annie we're talking about, it's not unlikely. Her first name is too common to be found in one or even a small bunch of countries. A lot of people go on about her being Russian, but since I've not read the manga to know if it's stated (and to be frank, I don't believe it is), I can't take it into account. I don't know whether it has anything to do with her look. Then again, sexy blonde women can be found in different parts of the world, Netherlands and Germany included. With everything we have now, they are the safest assumptions.









Connie Springer


"Connie" is a name of Latin origin, short for "Constance" and "Springer" has Middle English and Swedish origins. It shares roots with the German, Dutch and Yiddish words for "leap". His look also doesn't give many clues other than Caucasian, but from his name we can assume he is Western European, most likely German since so far all characters seem to have such an ancestry.







Reiner Braun


Not much analysis needed. He's German.







Bertolt Hoover


Same here.











Marco Bott


"Bott" is an unusual German surname and "Marco" is a name deriving from the Latin "Marcus" and used in many countries. Also most likely German.










Krista Lenz


This is an interesting case. Her first name is an eastern European form of the name "Christian" according to Wikipedia and "Lenz", which had many spelling and variants, ultimately stems from "Laurentium", literally the city of laurels. It's associated with names such as Lawrence and Laurens. It became a popular name among Christians, and here is where it gets interesting. Also according to Wikipedia, "Krista" means "follower of Christ". With a very European look and "Lenz" being a German surname, she is probably German, perhaps eastern German.




Ymir


This is the best one! "Ymir" is a Nordic name and is used in Iceland. "Ymir" is also a figure in Norse mythology. Interestingly enough, that figure is male and the name seems to be used for males exclusively.




Erwin Smith


"Erwin" is a Germanic name and "Smith" is a name that originated in England. That along with his look point towards a German and English ancestry.










Levi


Some people spell it "Rivaille" and wrongly assume he is French. He isn't since "Rivaille isn't his bloody name. Now that we've heard it in the anime enough, we know it is pronounced "Ribai". Which do you think is closer?

So, "Levi" is the Hebrew word for "joining" and in the Bible he was the founder of the Tribe of Levi. Now heicho's appearance is pretty ambiguous in my opinion and I can't really determine his nationality from that. The safest assumption is that he is Jewish, specifically from the Israelite Tribe of Levi. According to Jewish tradition (and Wikipedia) people with that surname are Levites. That might not be the case though, since it's not definite whether Levi is his first or last name.

(EDIT: It's Levi not Rivaille. Who else but the author himself on his official twitter can confirm this? If you search his blog well enough, you might also find it there, along with how he came across the name in the first place. By the way, it supports my Jewish heritage theory.)



Hanji Zoe


Couldn't find anything definite on "Hanji", as for "Zoe" it's a name used in many countries. It originates from the Greek word for life, but since "Hanji" isn't Greek, we can't conclude that she is. Also, I don't believe of all people any Greeks would have survived (then again, with so many of them living in Germany, you never know). If Mikasa is the last Asian when the Chinese population is well over a billion, I really don't think there's a great chance many would have survived out of a pool of ten million. Conclusion; nationality unknown.