Today is National Comic Book Day, and it got me reminiscing about how I got into comics in the first place. I remember when I was a kid, my Dad would occasionally bust out his old comic book collection. He would have what you would expect from someone reading comics as a pass time. There were your Spider-Man, X-Men, Justice League, Avengers, all the big names. Then you would dig deeper and you could see that he had a lot of comics that you would not expect. There were tons of G.I. Joe comics, but that makes sense considering that he is in the military.
Then in the summer of 2000, I came out of seeing the very first X-Men movie and was blown away. I knew what I wanted to do once I got out the theater and that was start reading and collecting comics. So when I first started reading and collecting, I started with the two that would be considered typical: Spider-M and X-Men. Considering how huge of a Batman fan I am, you would think I would start with that but that was not to be the case. I never bought a Batman comic until 2003.
Luckily there was a magazine called Wizard that dealt exclusively about comic books and comic book related material. This really helped me figure out where to get my collection started. Not only just collecting to collecting as that is a fool’s errand. But where to go for the best stories and which creators were on the rise and which books were making an impact on the industry.
Geoff Johns’ run on The Flash is what solidified me as a comic book fan. I never really liked The Flash as I just thought he was a guy that ran fast. While that is true, his writing did a lot more for me. I realized that superheroics are fine but it’s the human element that really make these stories pop and stick with you for years to come. This is what would really make me become a comic book fan as I started broadening my collection. I would start reading things such as Preacher, Sandman Mystery Theater, The Walking Dead, Conan the Barbarian, Invincible and things that are not Marvel or DC Comics.
As I’ve entered adulthood, I don’t really read and collect comics like I used to. It’s kind of an expensive hobby to have at this point. I still keep my ear to the ground as to knowing what is going on. I also make a point of at least stopping by my local comic book stores once a month. There is nothing more than getting back into a good story with the characters that I’ve come to love over the years.
August 2017 was an interesting month for me. Towards the beginning of the month, I celebrated my 28th birthday. I guess you could best describe it as a mid mid life crisis, if that is a thing. But I’ve already gone over that in a previous post earlier this month. But the month has finally come to an end and it has me reflecting on how much has changed.
The biggest day would have to be the actual day of my birthday. That whole day I had a bit of the birthday blues. Not really excited as I was feeling that I had no friends. Whenever I put myself out, I feel exposed and that is never the best feeling experience. But needless to say, I was feeling much more better by the end of the night. I was surrounded by a lot of friends, some I had been on shaky grounds with and felt a ton of love. It was really a great night and I’m glad to have those people in my life. I will have to try and be a better friend to them going forward.
The rest of the month was something of a mixed bag. I bonded with a lot more people than I expected. There was something that people always tell me about me that I never really believe. Brave. People always call me brave for various reasons. I do not buy into that because a big flaw of mine is believing my own hype and that is when I usually mess up. But when I really started being myself, for better or worse, that is when I found out who I truly am and who will accept me into their lives. Last month, if you you told me that I would have bonded with this person or that person by the end of August, I would have called you a fool.
On the other hand, I’ve also lost a lot of people to this as well. There are those who will just not have me and vice versa. People I thought I’d be close with but their wishy washy behavior has completely turned me off from them. There has also been those who I thought I was cool with but who just turned out to only be using me for whatever reasons. It’s always a little disheartening when the former happens and absolutely infuriating when the latter happens. That is life though and I know I can’t let these things get to me. It’s their loss. Not mine.
Towards the end of the month is where everything came to a head. Not going to go into my finances here but let’s say I have been struggling with some things. I finally had to suck up my pride and do something big. In truth, I feel a lot better about myself now that I have done it. A weight has been lifted and one less stress in my life at the moment. I received a major wake up call and it was just what I needed. I know there are still some struggling times ahead but at least the road is less cluttered.
August 2017 was an interesting month in an interesting year. For the most part, it was a good one. One that I would not take back. I have some great memories that I will take with me for the rest of my life…or the very least immediate future. I hope that the remainder of the year is as interesting. I certainly hope that it continues to be life growing and changing.
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.