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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

My Question To All Of You

This has been a really wacky week. In one week alone, I have had trust issues, questioned everything that I ever really believed in, and nearly got run over by a gigantic truck crossing the street.

Believe me, that last part is true. I'm still kind of shaken up over coming this close to getting run over. Give how everybody in town has been shocked at the number of fatalities that we have had this week on the road, I think my feelings are totally understandable.

Anyway, we're not here to talk about near death experiences (at least not this time around). We're here to talk about requests.

And, well...for this week, I'm changing it up.

Normally on Wednesdays, I turn over control to all of you and I let you tell me what you want to see featured on this blog. For the last few months, it has kind of been a bit of a gift from me to you. And, don't get me wrong, I have been extremely appreciative of every single request that I have gotten. Seriously, some of my better blog entries have come about because of suggestions that I have gotten from each and every one of you, and I cannot show my gratitude enough.

But you know...there's been something on my mind lately, and I've been very afraid to state what that is because I know that by confessing this, I may have to rethink how I present this blog from this point on. At the same time, I've come to the conclusion that a lot of the reason why I am the way I am is because I fear making positive changes for myself because I worry that it will eventually be taken away.

(I know...irrational fears are the worst. I need to work on eliminating them from my diet.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that in this blog entry, I'm the one who will be making the request. And, my request will come in the form of a question.

I suppose that you could consider this the “Jeopardy” Daily Double blog.

You know, over the last couple of years, I've been keeping this blog mostly pop culture themed. And there is a reason why I have done exactly this.

It's because a lot of my life has been surrounded by pop culture, not necessarily as a choice, but as a bit of a survival mechanism of sorts. My home life was all right, but there were some moments that could be considered tumultuous. My ability to deal with kids my age was hindered by the fact that I didn't grow up around people my own age. And by the time I was surrounded by people my own age (a.k.a. School), I didn't know how to approach them or be friends with them. I guess in a lot of cases, I was spoiled as a child in that some of my best friends when I was three were all adults over the age of twenty-five. Every single one of those people always treated me with respect so I didn't really have to worry about them hurting my feelings.

Let's just say that a kindergarten classroom filled with five and six year old children who lack the maturity to play nice all the time was a real eye-opener.

In spite of all this however, there was always one constant in my life. One constant that helped me get through the pain that I was feeling at that time.

Pop culture.

When I was a kid I was always glued to the television, or I was playing make believe games with the toys that I played with as a kid, or I would grab a stack of paper and a handful of crayons and draw my own comic books, or I would always walk down to the convenience store around the corner to rent a video game for the evening and take out my frustrations on Goombas and Koopa Troopas in Super Mario Brothers 3.

And, I think it's safe to say that my obsession with pop culture has followed me well into adulthood. I have so many books and reference materials on pop culture. The Internet Movie Database is one of my favourite websites to visit at any given time. And given that I work in an electronics department, I'm almost always able to find a video game, compact disc, or DVD for a person (or at the very least, I have heard of the movie title or music artist to help steer the customer on the right track as to where they CAN find the items).

On the flipside, I do run into the odd person who seems to be taken aback by the fact that I do immerse myself so much into the world of pop culture. In fact, I have actually had some people jokingly make comments about needing to get out more, or that I need to get a better hobby, or that I watch too much television. Well, you know what? Maybe I do. What business is it of theirs whether I do or whether I don't?

In fact, I feel like doing a little bit of a mission statement here to those who have the audacity to make such claims.

In your opinion, I watch too much television. But did it ever occur to you that the television (as well as the video games I played, the books I read, and the toys I played with) kept me from losing my mind completely when it came to the stuff that I had to go through – stuff that I wouldn't wish on anybody else. So, don't criticize the fact that I have an addiction to pop culture by making jokes at my expense. It is insulting, and the next time I hear a comment about that in a negative sense, I will be letting you know.

Sigh. What was I talking about again? Oh yeah. My request.

Over the last two years, I've written over eight hundred blog posts. And, of those eight hundred blog posts, about seven hundred and ninety-nine of them have been pop culture related.

When I was first doing this blog, I was having a lot of fun choosing topics. I had a lot of creativity and I was coming up with topics that were diverse, yet easy to talk about. Some of them were received very well, while others were ignored. But you know, that's just a part of life. Some generations might prefer “The Brady Bunch” over “The Simpsons”, clearly because of the generation gap between those two shows. And, that's cool. I try to make this blog appealing to all ages.

(Which is why I rarely ever swear in this blog, or give a disclaimer whenever I do have a video clip that contains swearing.)

But lately, I've been finding that writing pop culture themed blogs have been incredibly hard work. Mind you, I've been doing this blog for two years straight, so maybe a part of that comes from the fact that I have been doing the same kind of blog post day after day. But this last month or so, I've been taking a long time to even get one blog post done, whereas beforehand it would only take me a couple of hours.

At first I was thinking that it had to do with the fact that this past summer has not gone exactly how I thought it would, and that I have had some personal issues to deal with. But now that all of those things have been resolved, I'm still feeling the same way.

Lately, I find that it's much easier to write about my thoughts and feelings about certain things, rather than have a spotlight on a toy, or a feature on a television show. As much as it might make me sound as if I am searching for some form of self-gratification, or tooting my own horn, so to speak, I find that by talking about things that are bothering me, and talking about things that are on my mind at any given time, it makes me feel better. It gives me clarity. It makes me realize that I can still hold onto the possibility of great things eventually happening for me.

And, that's why...that's why I'm considering making a huge change to the blog.

I'm considering cutting down on the pop culture aspect of this blog and bringing more of myself into it, no matter how manic or how poorly, or how confused I am feeling at any given day.

It's not as though I will be able to completely change the focus of this blog completely. I could never truly sever my ties to pop culture, and I will tell you that I'll still be featuring a Tuesday Timeline, and that this blog will still have lots of music videos scattered through it.

But I think it's about time that I make this blogging project more of a discovery of self, rather than just an information dump on pop culture.

And the possibility of that scares me.

I was reluctant to talk about myself when I first began this project. Seriously, have a look at some of the entries I wrote back in 2011. They're kind of cold, sterile, and lack focus. Of course, we all tend to be our own worst critics, and look back on some of our older works and criticize them because we've honed and developed our craft since then. But for me it wasn't so much of a style thing as much of a personal thing.

Truth is, I didn't think my life was interesting enough to talk about every day. I've never been outside of North America. I've never gone bungee jumping. I've never gone scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. I've never been married, never had children, never taken a real vacation. All I ever really have had in my life when I started this blog was home and work – and let's be honest. Neither environment has provided me with much satisfaction.

But I'm simultaneously thinking that if I do reveal more of myself on this blog, it might make things much clearer. I could have one of those a-ha moments right here on this blog that might motivate me to make more positive changes for myself...or at the very least, help me come to the understanding that I owe it to myself to make these changes for my own self-preservation.

But you know. This is just what I'm thinking. In order for me to make a decision, I need your input.

Should I cut back on the pop culture content? Give it up entirely? Or are you happy with the way things are?

I'm serious. I need to know what you want to see. It will weigh heavily on the future of this blog.

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