Yeah so I dunno where to begin. I've wanted to update this journal a lot more frequently than I have, but I have this bad habit. It's a habit where I don't do anything for stretches of time, and it's really hindering to actually living a life! Hmm, maybe I'll actually write a reflective entry for once. It's funny, I usually have so much to say, but when it comes to actually putting it into writing, I always do anything I can to not write. And then when I actually do write, it comes out in spurts. I guess that's a really bad habit to have, doing things in spurts I mean. It's better to be constantly doing something if you ask me. I suppose I have to work on that. But I digress, let me actually talk about some things that are actually on my mind.
Hockey and what it means to me
I was born and raised in Edmonton for the first 10 years of my life. That means I grew up watching one of the greatest dynasties in NHL history. I got to grow up with the Edmonton Oilers winning the Stanley Cup 5 out of 7 years. And I can only describe watching the Oilers in the 80s as simply astounding. I've been a hockey fan as long as I can remember, hell most Canadians are. We take a certain pride in hockey, we invented the game (which is debatable) but what is for certain is that we put hockey on the map, and we're damn proud of it. Last year Canada took the gold in a decisive victory over the United States in the Olympics. Canada cheered and cried, we were once again on top of the hockey world, and Canadians everywhere were so proud, and that includes me. Watching my country's team win the gold medal was very inspiring and wonderful, it was something the entire country could rally behind and enjoy together in unison. Gone were our petty squabbles for a moment in time, during that gold medal run, Canada stood as one.
Hockey is really the only sport I can get emotionally involved in, I don't know why, and I don't really care, all I know is that I love the sport and sometimes wonder why I never got involved in it personally. Any ways what I am trying to get at is how the Vancouver Canucks did this year in the playoffs. The Canucks came very close to winning the cup in 1982 and 1994 making it to the finals in both years. The 82 team was more of a fluke, and at that time I was too busy being a 2 year old cheering for the Oilers. But my love for the Canucks has been strong for well over 12 years now. I watched a team of grinders make it to the finals in 1994 and come oh so close to clinching the championship, ultimately the team lost in game 7 to the New York Rangers. After the loss, Vancouver fans showed just how childish and pathetic they were, they rioted downtown causing mayhem and destruction. It was absolutely disgraceful, and only made our loss seem shameful, when we should have been proud. That loss in game 7 of the finals, that was the biggest disappointment in Canucks history, until two nights ago.
The Canucks have been in a rebuilding phase for the last 5 or 6 years, they finally got a core of players they could build around a few years ago and have been steadily improving. This year they set a club record of 104 points in a season and were ready to put the past disappointments behind them and get ready to make a run for the cup. The Canucks faced some early adversity in the first round being down 3 games to 1 against the St. Louis Blues, a very powerful and veteran team that has also had its share of disappointments. They overcame the 3-1 one deficit and won the series in 7. The entire city cheered and was so proud of our team, they showed character coming back from such adversity, and we were ready to make a run.
To make a long story short, a lot of the most powerful teams in the NHL fell to lower seeded teams in the first and second round and the Canucks had what seemed to be an easy road to the cup finals. But we lost, in game 7 of the second round, after being ahead of our opponents, the Minnesota Wild, 3 games to 1. Our team had squandered a 3-1 series lead and in a flash, all the achievements and great milestones for the team, and some of our players, meant nothing. Well, ok not nothing, but pretty much. After seeing my team lose in the 7th game two nights ago, I felt crushed. I wanted to cry. And I wasn't alone. It seemed like the entire city was mourning the loss of a loved one, and in a way, we were. The Canucks have never won a Stanley Cup, they've never been allowed to have those wonderful parades where everyone goes out to see the holy grail of sports championships.
Yeah it's just a game, and I'll get over the loss. But seeing how hurt the players were for blowing a lead like they had, and being such a huge fan of not just the Canucks, but the game of hockey as a whole, I have to say, this hurts like hell. I loved growing up and watching the Oiler's bring home the cup, but my heart belongs here, in Vancouver now. I absolutely adore this city, I want to always live here, it is a simply glorious place to live, and I hope that one of the things the city is most proud of, our hockey team, can learn from this experience, and come back with a vengeance, because we deserve a cup, and we're damn well capable of winning one. But I can't help but think that all this pressure the city puts on the players will hamper the team's efforts to win. Ask anyone, Vancouver fans are ruthless and we bitch like little babies when we don't get our way. We're a spoiled city sometimes, and it shows, just like it did back in 1994. I don't even know what I'm trying to say. I guess only a hockey fan that's gone through something like this (and there are plenty!!!) would know what I'm talking about.
I'm saddened and heartbroken, and I'm sure there are hundred's of thousands of people in this city who are feeling exactly what I am. But I'm never going to give up on this team and I hope the rest of the city doesn't either. We'll bounce back from this for next season stronger and wiser, just like the Oilers had to back in 1983... before winning 5 championships.
Reflections of myself
It's funny, I spend a lot of time thinking about myself, and the past, but not really doing anything with the thoughts I have. What I mean is that I think about it, but don't really get anything out of it. Make sense? Didn't think so. Or maybe I just glaze over it, I dunno.
I think about a lot of things, but what saddens me the most is that I don't look on my past with fondness, I look back on it with a mixture of sadness, regret, and contempt. I don't know about you, but I think that's a terrible way to look at one's past. It would be simple if I just said that there was no good to be found in my past, but that's a total lie. And I think for just about anyone else to who looks on their past with similar feelings it is a lie too. It is ridiculous for me to feel sorry for myself when I have been blessed with the ability to shape my own future the way I see fit. Yet I can't seem to shake those kinds of feelings. I know better, but I don't do better. I suppose that's a flaw of all humankind, but really, we should do better. Easier said than done? Of course.
If I were to list some of my biggest regrets in life, the list would look something like this:
1) Not getting involved in sports when I was younger, especially hockey, and my year of soccer doesn't count
2) Not learning to play a musical instrument
3) Quitting tae kwon do at age 15
4) Isolating myself from my friends and family, especially my parents and brother
5) Not taking my studies seriously in school
6) Continually starting to workout, and then stopping
Now here's the thing. 5 out of those 6 things, I can still do something about. Numbers 2-6 can be done any time really. Number 1 would be kind of hard to do especially hockey, but honestly that's the least of my regrets. I still have the desire to learn an instrument, and I can learn. Of course I can still take martial arts classes. I am still the intelligent person I have always been, I can do well in school and enjoy it. Working out? That will take simple discipline, but it can be done. Of the list, number 4 would be my hardest to work on, by far.
I look back on myself now and looking at it objectively, I can see that the seeds of my isolationist habits were planted very early in my life. I started playing video games, which can be either social or nonsocial, at the very early age of 3. Things weren't so bad until about age 12. That's when I started using games as an escape from all the crap in my life. And you know that isn't so bad, but sometimes it can get out of hand is all. I think things completely deteriorated between ages 16-18. Not coincidentally, that was roughly a year after I first got access to the internet at home, back in 1995.
Things were going really, really bad in school from about grade 8 till grade 11. And that's when I started becoming more isolated from everyone and everything. I started spending more and more time alone in my room (a habit I still carry to this day, almost 7 years later), and spending more and more time on my computer, as I still do today. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to blame the games, or the computer or the internet or anything else people like to blame for their problems. I'm just simply trying to analyze things as I look back on them.
Moving from Edmonton to Vancouver wasn't an easy transition for me, at all. I made some really great friends in grade 5, but then we moved again in and I went to a new school in grade 6, that was a turning point in my life, which is pretty laughable if you ask me. It's funny, my family has been so unstable in where we live. My brother and I have counted at least 10 different places we have lived in the past 10 years. That's fucking insane. Anyways I made what I had thought to be good friends in grade 6, and they were, until junior high. It's kind of funny now that I think about it. The main reason we became friends is because we were all rejected by everyone else. Sometimes that'll work, but it won't work at all when some of the people that were rejected have a strong urge to want to be accepted, you know by the "cool" kids. Man what a stupid concept.
Anyways, my friends turned out to be snakes, and not the cool kind of snakes in the metal gear games. That really hurt, being not only ditched by my friends, but subsequently picked on by them!! Kind of funny how since I refused to turn to drugs and hang out with total losers just to fit in, that I was ostracized by them, but that's what happened and it pisses me off. I think I have the right to be pissed, right?
I find it amusing how the things that really bothered me back then, wouldn't even dent me if they were said to me today. I guess that's part of being a kid and growing up. Its really easy to say "well you shouldn't have let that bother you", and that's true, but look at everything in the context in which they happened. I think that's a key element a lot of people who say being teased in school shouldn't bother someone, seem to neglect. But I wasn't just teased, sometimes it became physical, that's the worst part, and that really pisses me off. I know it does nothing but hinder my own life to just dwell on the past, and I don't really dwell anymore. But like the headline of this entry said, I'm being reflective, and I have a lot on my mind. I suppose writing all this stuff down, something I have never done, could help me in breaking some of my habits that get in my way. I have a lot of bad habits that stem from my past battles with depression that linger today and get me in trouble.
I think one thing that I need to stop doing is thinking so much L O O O O L irony, (read the sentence again). What I mean is that I keep thinking and don't do. So I end up thinking, and psyching myself out, and don't do anything. One thing I forgot to list in my regrets is letting my friendship with a good friend of mine from highschool die. He was a true friend who I think was going through a lot more shit than he let me know and after our friendship dwindled, he contacted me, but I gave him the cold shoulder, I really, really regret that. Hey maybe he'll do a google search for his name someday, an in case he does I just want to say Ryan Gobolos I am sorry.
I wonder if anyone I went to highschool with has actually become successful. Back when I was younger, I never would have though that I would have ended up the way I am now. I turn 23 in September and honestly, I've been very inert in my life for the past 5 years. I just feel... lost. Though I am starting to finally find my way. I've been so busy looking at the past, that my future has been so vague and blurry. I think that's one problem I have, I keep looking back, when I should be looking forward. When I look to my future I see only a few dreams, dreams which I have to turn into goals and that scares the shit out of me. Being so afraid of failure actually turns into being afraid of success. I won't be able to do it alone though. Call me arrogant, or deluded, but I know I'm capable of great things, I won't change the world, nor do I wish to do so, but I can get things done, and in a big way, and I want to. But I need good support, I can't do it alone. No one can do great things alone.
It's weird, but I don't think I've had a bunch of friends over to just hang out and have fun for years, and that really kills me. I'm one of those people that likes to have all his friends become friends so we can all enjoy each other's company and have fun, and even work together to get things done much faster and better than if we did it alone. But just about all my friendships have deteriorated into that comfortable "buddy" zone, and many if not all of my friends in Vancouver have left the building. Man, that's just heart breaking. I don't have a single good friend in Vancouver right now. The best thing is how I am really bad at making friends in the first place. I don't want buddies, I want someone I can call a friend. I take friendship really seriously, and I have to be honest about something. My friends online, I don't think we'll ever become real friends if we are always in contact through online means alone, and again that breaks my heart. The worst is how even our online contact has been less and less over the past year. College will do that to people I suppose, and maybe I just need to move on and accept that they are moving on and meeting new people and making new friends. It hurts, but I don't know. Do I desire a real friendship with these guys? Yes, very much so. In fact I know that if we ever had a chance to be near each other, the friendships would just blossom. It has happened to me once, it can happen again, I really hope it will.
I let my past bother me too much without learning from it. Then again, I have learned from it, I just don't put it into action. I know my mother and father have been wanting to talk to me lately and I have not called them, yet another bullshit habit of mine. Putting things off, and off, and off, until either I do what needs to be done, or I suffer grave consequences. What the hell is that? Jeez man, that's just self destructive.
I'm going out to have an extremely late dinner with my brother now, it's 4:28am, don't be surprised if the tone of this entry suddenly shifts to something different when I get back. Or maybe I'll just post it when I get back and continue my thoughts tomorrow, we'll see.
Ok wow, it's 6:23am, which means ZzzzzZZZzzzZZZZZ
P.S. Those are my initials
P.P.S. I'll write more later