Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Saving the Princess.

For a long time, it always seemed like my princess was in another castle.

Let me take you back to a long time ago. I'm not exactly sure when it began but I was always very fascinated with heroes as a child. I would try to find books where a heroic protagonist could take me far, far away to a magical place where I could watch him save the world...or the universe. Courage, power, wisdom, and tenacity were the only qualities I really valued back then.

It wasn't until my gaming phase came into full swing that I could really lose myself in a hero. I could actually become the hero. It's amazing how wonderful it is sometimes when you are a young boy with low self-esteem to lose grip on reality for a little while and fight monsters, save the princess and the world. I don't really regret all the time I spent...sometimes. I think that all that immersion in other worlds and fantastic heroes really rubbed off on me in a good way.

I think even though until this past year I was always hurt when attempting to court ladies, I think it was better that I had a chivalrous, noble attitude towards it than a chauvinistic, womanizing one. Even without a good relationship with the Lord I still had a strong ideal of what a good, heroic man was and strove for it.

Still, I spent a long time as a loner and as such could be very alone with my thoughts. Because of all the stories I read and the heroes I became in video games I had a very unrealistic hope for my future. This has been somewhat tempered by the past six years of real life slapping me around a bit.

Despite that, what I still really want sometimes is to be a true hero. Not in the simple sense of a role model, or even someone who saves a kid from a burning building...something more like Link.

Link is the main character of a series of video games I've only recently been able to find time to enjoy. Link is a green-clad swordsman who travels across the land of Hyrule fighting incredibly powerful foes and exploring dungeons in search for missing pieces of the puzzle to saving his world. He is often allying with or saving the Princess of Hyrule, Zelda, and must always defeat the evil Ganondorf, a powerful warlock.

The more games in the series you play, the more you come to realize that there are actually many different Links with many different adventures throughout time, as well as many Zeldas and many Ganondorfs. See, in Link's world, there is something called the Triforce, and as the Triforce has been separated, the three parts have cleaved themselves to the hands of those who best embodied the three parts. Zelda has the Triforce of Wisdom on her hand, Ganondorf the Triforce of Power, and Link, the Triforce of Courage. Thus, Link is the living embodiment of Courage. Somehow, whenever Hyrule is in trouble, some incarnation (or reincarnation) of Link is ready to save the day. Link is exactly the sort of hero I like.

Life can become so disappointing when you get a taste of what it would feel like to live as a hero. I have a gift for suspension of disbelief - a suspension that allows me to really feel like I am the one who is really having these incredible adventures...for a little while. I guess it's not always a good thing.

I just wish that I had some kind of outlet for this intense desire to have a grand adventure. In this world there are no quests, only work and play. Sometimes only work.

I am at this point going to anticipate some instruction from my well-intentioned friends/readers. I know that only God can fulfill all of my desires and that heaven is the greatest quest on earth. Thank you (without any sarcasm). However, if you are telling me this in relation to my post, you have entirely missed the essence of what I'm trying to relate.

I'm going to at this point bring this back down to earth a little bit. I suppose the main point of this rather incoherent narrative is that I don't know how to reconcile my lofty aspirations with my easily-earned place in life. I have a great relationship and a good future. I just don't know how to appreciate it...and that makes me feel selfish.

I just wish I could make my own life more exciting somehow.

There was a dream that I dreamed, and that dream was for adventure.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

People always fight in relationships.

It's unavoidable.

It may seem like something that is obvious to all the relationship experts out there, but to me this is news. I guess I somehow thought that if you found the right person you would have arguments...very rarely. Oh, naive me.

Well, needless to say my girlfriend and I do fight sometimes. Usually not very heatedly, but it still hurts. And you know what? It just happens. To everyone. More and more I accidentally witness other couples fighting...I even see videos online about fights in relationships.

My girlfriend and I watched an animated video together about a true story of a man and woman fighting over things like taking off shoes and renting a video. Trivial things. It was a bit eye-opening - I could see my behaviors and her behaviors played out before my eyes...The back and forth "No, I'll give in, no I'll give in, well, I really don't care" or the "You just don't get it!" moments...and for once, I could sit back and see everything from the third-person perspective, and understand. It is really a communication thing. And in the end, the more you understand the miscommunication, the more you realize just how trivial some arguments are.

If you seek a relationship with someone, it doesn't really matter who it is. Eventually you're going to find something about them that just bothers you and makes you mad or frustrated.

However, the more fights I get into with my girlfriend, trivial or otherwise, the better I understand why they happen. So long as we talk about the argument later, it seems like each time it happens again, I learn something about how I can "clean up the mess," so to speak, or even better - avoid them altogether. See, after this much time with her I no longer see our arguments as a possible reason to break up. I see them as a reason why we're meant to be together.

I have learned patience from my girlfriend; I have learned that when she is quiet and stone-faced, she is upset, and is just trying to find the words for how she feels, and that I just have to wait for when she's ready to talk about it. I have learned humility from her; I have learned that I need to apologize and show I love her first, and then share why I never really meant to do wrong to her later. I have become better. That matters more in a relationship than any argument.

I think if we just kept arguing without ever understanding each other and learning something, even if we talked about it afterwards, that might be a red flag.

As it is though, I think things are alright. Even when we get in a fight everyday. Because really, I think it's about how you solve arguments together. Not how you have them.

There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to understand her.