Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Biweekly Music Wednesday! No. 36 ~Rainy Day~ (Animal Crossing)

Origin: Animal Crossing
Plays in: All day during a rainstorm
Status: Original Composition
Composer(s): Kazumi Totaka, Shinobu Tanaka, Kenta Nagata, Toru Minegishi

When it rains, it pours. Over the past month, the circumstances regarding my job have only gotten from bad to worse, and it's been affecting me deeply. I won't get into the gritty details, but it's been a maelstrom of miscommunication, finger-pointing and radio silence that's wearing me down. Not good, not good. 

I try my hardest to be a resilient human being. I've had a countless amount of challenges and hardships to overcome in my lifetime, yet every struggle ends the same: I slowly rise back up to face whatever comes next. At the end of the day, I have my dreams to live for, and there's people who love me that count on my existence. So far, it seems this case will be no different, as there's plenty of opportunities to look forward to. For instance, I'll be starting my JTP with GameSkinny next week, so I probably won't be completely jobless in the near feature. And I've excelled in my self-studying of Japanese (I was able to translate some of the 1st One Piece volume today!), so there's that.

And yet, this situation is still immensely disappointing to me. That I was able to make a difference in a district I spent over decade loving and hating as a foolish adolescent was both cathartic and monumental to me, and now that may not be the case soon. Not that neither side is completely faultless in the ordeal, mind, but I'd rather be honest over the ordeal rather than hearing, well, nothing.

At the heart of the matter is something I've slowly grown to fear over the past couple years: social skills, cues and conveniences I cannot glean due to having Asperger's. I still cannot comb my hair properly. My rate of speech is still too fast, and I cannot properly gauge the volume and tone of my voice. I unconsciously pace around. I hate using it as an excuse--at the end of the day, we're all human beings no matter what we do--and yet it's who I am. What's an Aspie to do?

It's not that I hate myself for having the syndrome; in fact, I'm proud I came this far as a member of the spectrum. But it's that fear that no matter where or what I'm doing, it always ends up being socially unacceptable or wrong. This is despite the fact I'm on the high-functioning end of the spectrum: I still know the difference between right and wrong, and what's sensitive and insensitive. But there's always going to be a blind spot in areas I continue to fail in, and neurotypicals will, without fail, pick up on that.

This isn't the struggle I imagined myself back in 5th Grade, where math problems were the bane of my existence and I was struggling with the reality that I was falling for my best friend. I've always known I was different and people were going to have difficulty accepting who I am, most of all myself. Funny how I always paint my childhood with rosy innocence, and yet I wonder if my hardships back then were just as poignant.

Does my choice of an Animal Crossing theme--one that happens to be one of my favorite rain themes in gaming history--strike as fitting? It's not particularly gloomy, given that it's from Animal Crossing and all, yet it's something I always turn to whenever I'm pondering myself. I usually walk away content, yet today is different. Am I searching for a piece of childhood that's calling out to me, refusing to be buried in the mists of time? Am I just looking for catharsis? I don't know, and yet I'm just staring at the storm.

Just what am I missing? What am I missing?  

Final Thoughts: By the way, this is the first time I've done a second music column on a single game, hasn't it?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

And My Next Game Journalism Job Will Be...!

Hey, all! My deepest apologies for the super-dry May; unfortunately, there's been a bit of a crisis regarding my IRL job that remains unsolved, and it's been requiring my attention. To make up for it, we'll get back to Biweekly Music Wednesday! tomorrow and finally pump out a review by the end of the week. How's that sound?

But first, I have exciting news! As I've been on the prowl for more game journalism opportunities over the past half-year, I've found myself participating within GameSkinny's Journalist Training Program! That means I'll be writing for the site under the guidance of their editors up 'till July, where I can continue writing for the site as my first paying online job. Wow, cool!

Lauded as my works are on Nintendojo, I still desire to improve my abilities as a writer, a critic, and as a game journalist who's still on the furthest fringes of the industry. There's still a lot of ins and outs, do's and don't of the profession that I'm unaware of, and I felt GameSkinny was the perfect choice to hone my craft. Unlike Nintendojo, you can expect to see me there on a consistent weekly basis in everything from news to feature articles.

And if you've enjoyed my works on Nintendojo, don't worry. I've been given special permission to continue writing there on a monthly basis. You won't be seeing any crossposting between the two sites, so I'll be working extra hard on my exclusive content there.

My JTP will begin next Monday, so be sure to check GameSkinny around then!