One Week Until Star Wars Celebration

Sometime towards the end of last year, I decided that I needed to get out of town for a vacation. The problem is…where exactly do I go? That’s when I was reminded about a little thing called Star Wars Celebration. As everyone knows, I’m a huge Star Wars fan especially after Disney bought the franchise and things became more streamlined. I remember seeing things on various websites such as IGN and Collider about Star Wars Celebration. It is the multi day convention that is officiated by Lucasfilm. So that means you can expect to see people from the cast and crews of the various projects going on and news dropping. So I decided that I wanted to go to that especially since it will be the 40th anniversary.

So I got a second job so I would be able to buy a planet ticket, book a hotel, buy a ticket to the actual event and have enough cash on me to buy swag while there. That’s what I did too. I worked countless hours where it left me completely tired at best or completely drained at work. But it was something I wanted to go and experience so I was willing to make the sacrifice. After making all the necessary purchases, now I look at the calendar and the time has almost arrived.

I’m honestly not sure what to expect. There is a lot to see for sure but I have no idea what it is like on the floor of the event. Will I meet some cool people? Are there cool activities to do? I know for sure that I will be going to many of the various panels that will be going on especially ones where cast members from the movies are attending. It does make me wonder why Hayden Christensen, Anakin Skywalker from the prequel movies, will be attending. He has been somewhat hesitant about Star Wars and understandably so considering the movies he was in and the reputation.

All I can say is that I’m excited but the excitement hasn’t fully hit me just yet. I’m sure by the time I’m in the airport, it will be in full effect. Nothing like going to something where I’ll be surrounded by something I love with people who share the same passion as me. I will be sure to keep this updated with my experience…experiences there as well.

Me and My Depression

I’ve made no bones about my battles with depression. I guess I’ve had it for some time but it wasn’t fully acknowledged until I started going to therapy in the latter half of 2014. One day I just woke up and realized that I did not like myself. Not really that I hated myself or anything like that. But I did not like where my head space was and how I was treating the people around me. I knew that something had to change before things got even worse.

When I started going to therapy, I was hit with some real hard truths about myself. I learned about my issues with entitlement, selfishness, lack of compassion and so on. This had all dovetailed into self loathing about how things weren’t working in my favor and how my life wasn’t where I expected it to be. This self loathing also combined with anger and I was a worse version of myself. One that I could not imagine myself being in the past but there I was.

Looking back during what I call my “Dark Jarvis” period, I was a real piece of shit. I was rude, brash, angry, selfish and just a real turd of a human. I cannot take back the things I said and did during this period, even though I wish I could. I also cannot blame people for wanting nothing to do with me after this period of my life. Though I do hope that most can and will understand and are willing to forgive me but if not, then c’est la vie.

I have been continually going to therapy on and off for the past two and a half years. It has had a real positive impact in my life. Many of the people in my life who have stuck around have noticed a change in myself. Though at first, I may have overcompensated for some of my misdeeds. But I am glad that people have noticed the change and I take pride in myself in that fact. Of course I did not do it for anyone else but ultimately for myself.

I wrote this post because as I said earlier, I have never been embarrassed about my depression issues and getting help for it. I hope with me acknowledging this issue it helps anyone reading this. It is okay for you to get help for your issues. You are not weak for doing this. You are in fact a strong person for acknowledging your problems and taking the steps to get in front of them. I hope this does help someone take a positive step in their life. As for me, I’m continually a work in progress.

Why I Identify As A Feminist and Why I’m Proud Of It

Lately I’ve been telling people that I identify as a feminist. Usually I get certain looks when I say this. I chalk it up to my frankly gruff demeanor. But then someone else (a woman) told me that it might be that but it might be because it’s me being a man saying that. Either way I identify as a feminist and I’m proud of it. I have always said that I was raised by two strong women, my mother and sister. Before I continue, my father was very much in the picture and always in my life. But my mother and sister were and continue to be a strong influence in my life.

As I have grown older and my world has expanded, I see the trials and tribulations that women go through. Whether it comes to pay wages, sexual assault (verbal and physical), being looked over for jobs, casual and over misogyny, etc. It’s all really disheartening when you think about it. What kind of person would I be if I were to overlook these things? It would be selfish and entitled of me to think that these issues are not as big as they and not troubling either.

As stated earlier, I’m aware of why people might think I’m skeptical. I am a pretty gruff person with everyone and that includes women. But my motto has been, I’ll treat you as an equal. I will treat you the same way that I treat my fellow men. Yes I can be gruff but that does not mean that I do not care or invalidate your feelings or thoughts. So I can understand why that might raise some eyebrows but let’s not get it mistaken for anything other than what it is.

My name is Jarvis Reddick II and I’m proud to identify as a feminist.

Going to Star Wars Celebration 2017 and The Long Road To Get ThereĀ 

Since I’ve been a legal adult, I have not been on a vacation. One day last year I was sitting around restless. I knew that I needed a change in my life but wasn’t quite sure as to what. I must have saw a friends’ post on Facebook and they had gone out of town. So it was right there and then I decided to take a trip out of town? But where?

I was always aware of Star Wars Celebration. The 2016 event was held in London but I found out that the 2017 one would be in Orlando, Florida. That would be a much easier trip to make. I don’t really havr to explain how much of a Star Wars fan I am. I also haven’t been to Orlando since I was a baby. 

So first things first I booked my hotel through Expedia. They have a pay when you arrive and free cancellation. But I knew I could not really afford to go with my income. I would still have to pay them when I got there and flights are never cheap. That’s not taking in the expenses such as dining and actually getting around the unfamiliar city.

So sometime in October I walked into Target and found out that they were having a hiring event for the holiday. I applied and was hired that day. So throughout the whole holiday, I must have worked on average of 65 hours a week. Exhausted became my new best friend. Bags underneath my eyes became my new fashion statement. 

In November, I purchased my ticket for Star Wars Celebration. That was the easy purchase. A few days before Christmas, I finally bought my airline tickets. It was now official that I would be going to Orlando. Then it clicked in my head that I now had four months to save up and prepare for my actual trip. Already calculating how much I plan on spending and emergency money. 

So now I am currently working two jobs still to help pay for this as well as my own personal debts. As the days go by and it becomes more of a reality, my excitement grows. Excited about a new experience. Excited about indulging in something I love. Just excited about everything that is going into it. 

When Comics Changed My Life

Summer 2000. I had just come from seeing X-Men. I grew up in the 90’s when superhero movies were scarce and weren’t very good at that. I guess like any young boy I always liked superheroes particularly watching Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series. But something clicked in my head that day. I guess the best way to put it is that a door was opened. 

My Dad always had this comic book collection that he kept locked away. So when I got back home, I immediately pestered him about pulling them out. Eventually he conceited on the condition that I bag and board all of them. The problem came when he had over 300 and since I was 10, funds were limited to say the least. So it took me almost the whole summer to complete the process.

As I was completing this task, I started reading them as I was bagging and boarding them. I was familiar with the more mainstream heroes such as Spider-Man, X-Men and Batman. Then I discovered heroes such as The West Coast Avengers, The Outsiders and Thor. I had no idea that this task just to see my Dad’s old comics would lead me down a rabbit hole. 

I was surprised by the sophisticated storytelling going on. One would not suspect that initially considering the ridiculous circumstances going on. But you can see the nuances and issues of the 80’s (the late 80’s is when my Dad got his issues) peppering the issues. After reading a ton, I decided that I wanted to start getting my own and start my own collection. 

Of course my first comic book would have to be an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. Now I do not know how many comics I have collected over the years. I would certainly say that it is probably close to 1000 if not a little over. I do not really collect comics anymore but every now and then I will walk into my local comic book store and delve in. I still get a good feeling that I got when I was 10.