Recently I rang in my 28th birthday and I guess I had something of a mid mid life crisis, if that’s a thing. There was recently this boom in this app called Sarahah where people could leave anonymous messages for you to read. One such message left for me labelled me as someone who seeks validation and acceptance through social media and covering up my insecurities with narcissism. Basically labeling me as borderline pathetic. Now the message did come off a bit hostile but I could see that there was some truth in it.
I figured I would have a birthday thing where I’d invite my friends over. This is where my anxiety kicked in as I began to worry about no one showing and I’d be all alone on my birthday. Needless to say, a lot of my friends actually showed up and it took me by surprise. I had never felt so loved before in quite a long time. It did have an impact on me. Realizing that I am not so alone that I had been telling myself.
It’s been less than a week and some of these changes were taking effect before but I find myself mellowing out more. The day of my birthday, I didn’t find myself anxious as to who was going to wish me a “Happy Birthday”. I find myself not worrying about asking my friends to hang out. Worrying that they’ll say no because they don’t like me. Not looking at my messages to see if they’ve been read or if they’re going to be replied to.
Also not feeling the need to post on social media just because. There was some truth in those statements. I did use it as a means to get attention from people. Instead of doing the healthy thing and simply reaching out to them. I had been using it as a crutch instead of simply holding myself up especially when it came to people I care about. I’m not sure as to what got me to the point where I was using it to validate myself but I’m glad someone brought it to my attention, even if they were a bit crass about it.
Then there was also the self deprecation. If anyone is hard on me, it’s me. I’m routinely putting myself down and making jokes about myself. I can never really grasp as to why anyone would like me in any sense. Now that is something that I need to stop and have been putting a curve to. I know I’m a great person (not putting myself on a pedestal) and need to embrace it more. I’ve just been so used to using it as a defense mechanism and unfortunately started believing my own bullshit. This will probably take the longest to change but I’m working on it.
There is a saying that you never stop learning and growing. I find that to be true. One never really knows the answers and every day is a learning experience. So here’s to a lifetime of more learning.
My birthday is a month away and it got me thinking. I’ll be 28 and a few years ago I didn’t even think I would live to be 30. I make no secrets about my issues with depression and anxiety and a myriad of other things. There was a period of time from 2011 to 2014 where I was absolutely low. Low on myself. The amount of self loathing that I was going through was astronomical. I wasn’t suicidal or anything like that. But I honestly lost the will to live. This was reflected in my attitude where I was constantly angry and lashing out at anyone. This is something I’m still feeling the effects of as a lot of people want nothing to do with me from this time. I figured that one day I would just randomly wander onto the street and if an oncoming car hit me, then so be it. If I pissed off the wrong person and they wanted to take me out then so be it also.
After seeking out help for my mental health, I can say that I am in a much better place now. I won’t lie and say that I’m always in a good mood or anything. I still have my moments where my anxiety and depression get the better of me. I tend to overthink a lot and while sometimes that can be a blessing, it can also help exacerbate some of my issues. Just recently I had a really bad case hit me where my self loathing hit because of my overthinking and putting a lot and thought into something (Facebook) that is not really reflective of my real life. It has been a long journey from late 2014 to now. I am able to evaluate and process things more and my I have a better grip on myself and self confidence and self worth.
Today I woke up and realized that my birthday was a month away. As mentioned earlier, I will be 28. I honestly thought I wouldn’t live this long. I always get a case of the birthday blues. On one hand, I’m happy but there is always something in the back of my head that bums me out. What a roller coaster 28 years it has been. There are probably more downs than ups at this current moment. But I look around at my life and I know that things aren’t that bad. Sure there are things I wish were going better from personal relationships to employment situations. I take a look at my life and realize that things aren’t as bad as they could be.
I have a family that loves me and will support me and make sure I’m not on the streets. I have a lot of good friends that I really need to make time for but I’m someone who really prefers to be alone. In the latter half of 2016 and now, which is mid 2017, I have grown a lot more. I have become more bold and not afraid to go after what I want which is something that has always held me back. This has ranged from getting a second job so I can afford to go on trips to being more forward about my feelings with people so I can establish relationships with them, whether it be friendly or more intimate.
If you had told me that my life would be like this a few years ago I would not have believed you. I figured that if I was alive, I’d just be some lonely hermit that no one wanted to be with. That if I were dead, no one would even care. But here I am. Almost 28 and I’ll soon be 30. I can’t say that my life is perfect. I mean nothing is perfect. But I am glad to be here, despite having moments where I’m not. I’m glad to be alive and I’m glad to say that I have a fulfilling life.
So here’s to another 28 years. Then another 28 years after that.
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.
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.
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.
Now you would think with all my geeky interests, I would have attended conventions for most of my life. Sadly no. Either I was unaware of them or I was broke. That all changed in 2014 when I attended Phoenix Comicon for the first time.
Not sure what exactly spurred me on for attending that year. Maybe I figured it was time to do something different. I alsl had no idea as to what to expect from the whole ordeal. Whenever you see comic book conventions represented in pop culture, it is usually to the point of parody. So I walked in and it was nothing like I had ever seen before.
There were of course the people dressed in costumes also known as cosplayers. There were panels which are these things where there is a topic of discussion led by one or multiple and they engage with the audience. Going down to the bottom level it was where things such as artwork, collectibles, clothing, etc. was sold. It was like I walked into a whole new world and I was having a great time.
There was one thing that I definitely had to do. That was to meet the original Red Power Ranger actor Austin St. John. As many kids were doing the early 90’s, I was obsessed with the show. It was an interesting experience to say the least meeting the man. Nevertheless I am glad that I got to do it.
I was only there for one day but it was a fun day. I was exhausted by the end of it. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to bed at 8 PM since being an adult. The best takeaway from the experience? I was ready to go back the next year…and I did.