Anime has always been my first love. Ever since Sailor Moon debuted in North America in the 1990s, it became my entry point into the vast and wonderful world of Japanese animation. I discovered Cardcaptor Sakura, Fushigi Yugi, Ayashi no Ceres, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and so much more. Manga followed closely behind, mostly because many of the anime I fell in love with were already based on a manga series. When homework and studying were done during my high school and college years, I couldn’t wait to spend my weekends or vacations from school diving into an anime series I was into. Now with those days long behind me, I find my anime viewing to be dwindling until a great sense of nostalgia (or boredom) nudges me to see what’s currently available on streaming.
One of the great burdens of being an adult is weighing your options to make the best possible decision. Is this really a need or a want? With the world being what it is these days, those choices are crucial to ensure you have enough in your savings to pay bills, meet basic necessities, and still have enough for those just in case emergencies. Buying the latest video game release would be far below anyone’s list of priorities right now, if you have the extra money to spare. If you’re a gamer cutting back on purchasing games on a whim for any number of reasons, the ever daunting backlog becomes increasingly useful to have when saving money is what’s more important at the moment.
There have been times I wish I didn’t have a lot I was interested in like anime, manga, video games, classic literature, comic books, and writing. I often thought it would be easier if I just had less to focus my attention on during my downtime. I still think that way, but having your hand in so many pots does come in handy when you’re suddenly thrust into a global health crisis no one could have ever saw coming.
I’ve written about how some escapism is necessary right now to cope with the uncertainty we’re living in. It keeps you sane and prevents you from unraveling. The past four months in lockdown has me turning to fantasy as a way of dealing with a world that no longer looks familiar.
Video games offer another entertainment medium and outlet for escapism and stepping into the shoes of someone else’s life. I’ve played a fair amount of video games where I was a human Grey Warden, an N7 soldier, a crown prince trying to take back his throne, or a teenager attempting to get a handle on her time traveling abilities. In every role I assumed during my time with a game, it allowed me to really get inside the head of these characters and truly understand what their experiences were. But one experience I could probably do without are the sex scenes found in some mature video games.
Four months into lockdown and monotony can set in. Every day is a never ending loop of waking up to the exact same surroundings and doing the same thing over and over again. Each week hardly looks distinguishable from the next. While staying at home for an extended period of time hasn’t been that difficult for me, we introverts are often thrilled when we aren’t forced to interact, there is a sense of longing to be able to go on trips or hang out with friends without worrying if the big bad C will come and get you. To add a little variety during my weeks, I have taken the initiative to pick up other skills or hobbies when I need a little break from the usual ones I’ve been doing.
After making a better commitment to fit more reading time into my schedule last year, I thought it would be helpful to finally give the Goodreads app a shot. Although my adoption of the app has been woefully late, compared to other passionate book readers, I can’t imagine going without it. Since writing a post last year about my initial impressions of Goodreads it has continued to be one of my most used apps on a daily or weekly basis. Again, what took me so long to finally become a Goodreads convert?
Spending most of your time at home, until it is deemed safe to resume life somewhat normally again, means you’re no longer figuring out what to wear each day. Your outfit of choice when you’re working from home is either your PJs or sweatpants. When your every day clothes has been reduced to whatever is comfy at home, unless you have to show your face from the waist up for a video conference, there hasn’t been a lot of need to “dress to impress” these days. Although the pandemic has temporarily taken the stress out of deciding what to wear before leaving the house each morning, I do find myself longing for a time where I was able to wear my prettiest dress to a party or donning a favorite sweater and jeans when I went to the office. The fashion deprivation I’m currently going through has led me to live my best stylish life through Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
One of the reasons why I enjoy writing my own stories is the total control I have over everything. I get to decide if my story takes place in the real world or a fantasy. I choose what my characters look like, what color eyes they have, and how they dress. I can dictate if my main character will be a heroine who lives happily ever after or will have their life end in tragedy. That’s the thing about writing—there’s no limit to what you can do. You’re in the driver seat the entire time. But one of the challenging parts about writing is deciding what to name your characters.
There’s always a bit of hope when one thing ends and another begins. That has always been my world view anyway. I try to see life from the lens of optimism, even in the face of crushing struggle and heartache. When 2020 arrived a global pandemic that brought a sinking economy, massive job losses, and the worse public health crisis anyone has ever known wasn’t exactly what people had in mind. I had hoped that the start of a new decade would bring about a world of possibilities. Instead, most of us of are staying home and wondering when this will all end.
What I miss the most since the pandemic started is being able to meet up with my friends and family without any fear of contracting a deadly virus or giving it to someone else. Many of us are longing to hug each other or picking a restaurant to dine in at. Though these things are temporarily off limits, one thing I am forever grateful for having is an Internet connection.
Between news stories about the number of coronavirus cases rising or the deaths that have resulted from COVID-19, there have also been stories about the hottest item to own right now while you’re currently sheltering in place —Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The video game that has taken the world by storm, and was reported last week to have sold a whopping 13 million copies in 6 weeks, New Horizons is emerging as a welcome respite from our dark reality.