Archives for posts with tag: Portal

I’m currently playing Portal. It’s not a new game. I’m likely the wrong person to ask whether it is a “hard” game. It hasn’t been especially frustrating, which I had worried about before I started. I’m enjoying the experience of playing it, which feels good. I admit, I’m currently stuck on a level, but honestly, I’m okay with that. I’ll get it figured out. 🙂 I keep at it. Nothing screams “restart” like being stuck on a particular challenge in a video game. Good news; life works this way, too. Stuck? Start over. Begin again. Take another approach. Try again. Give it a rest and come back to it later. 🙂

The worrying about the challenge was a bigger challenge that the challenge itself. There’s a lesson in that. lol

Video games are another rich source of living metaphors, for me. I enjoy that, too.

Fish swim in the “big” aquarium (size being very relative; it’s only 30 gallons). Shrimp scuttle about in their smaller aquatic habitat. My betta slowly recovers from recently jumping out of the aquarium; it’ll be weeks before he’s “well”, I suspect, but he’s doing okay. I hand feed him each day. He seems to welcome that. The world beyond these walls continues to make its way around the sun. The world continues to figure itself out in this time of pandemic. People continue to both disappoint me mightily, and also to impress me beyond expectations with their humanity, compassion, and will to do more/better. Life at home is still a puzzling mix of “how is this any different at all?” and “wtf – why this? why now?” My partner and I enjoy the opportunity to share experiences, projects, conversation, and to explore topics of shared interest more deeply. We help each other. We’re both in acceptably good health, enduring little more than routine middle-age-y sorts of concerns. We’ve got a lot to be grateful for.

I slept in this morning. My coffee is good. Yoga in the morning as the sun began to rise. It felt good to move and to stretch. Later today, I have an errand to run out in the world. I no longer look forward to such things, I just prepare myself, and get them done, and quickly return home. Meditation felt joyful and effortless this morning; the world seemed to be sleeping, and all was quiet. The news is too bleak and weird, lately, to bother with on a pleasant Sunday morning. Instead I sit down to write, and end up sipping coffee and watching fish swim for some while, instead. I’m okay with that.

…In general, “in real life”, I’m okay, generally. 😉 I hope you are, too.

I look around my studio… there’s much to do, to achieve the state of order I feel most comfortable within. My eye falls on my “to do list”… I add a couple things. I sip my coffee. I think about the day ahead, and find my mind wandering. I breathe deeply. Exhale. Relax. I pull myself back to this moment – it’s a lovely one, worth enjoying. There is no need at all to complicate it beyond what it is, right now. I glance at the aquarium next to my computer tower. I know what I’m going for, with this day; “calm waters”. A “steady state” of contentment and ease. No “waves”. No “strong current”. Just this moment, right now, and a state of gentle, slow, flow. 🙂 Achievable. With practice.

I smile into my empty coffee mug. It’s time to begin again.

We’ve all got them, right? Challenges. Things that are “hard” for us, as individuals. Those don’t always make sense to anyone else – we are each having our own experience. Some things take time, or practice, or self-work overcoming some internal resistance to change. Some things are just… complicated. We have baggage. History. Perspective that is uniquely our own, however much someone else feels they “get it completely”, we have to do the work to “get it” ourselves.

…We have to do the work ourselves. Yep. There are verbs involved. 🙂

I’m looking at playing a new (for me, sort of) video game, with the intent of later sharing that experience with my Traveling Partner. I don’t expect this to be an “easy” undertaking. It is a game that requires specific things of me that I am not very good at, and also struggle to learn or master because they land right in the “thinking holes” that result from my brain injury. Some things I learn pretty well and easily. Some things I learn with effort, over time, with considerable repetition. Some things… I learn, eventually, then lose almost overnight if I am not practicing every day, then learn all over again… with effort… then lose… then learn it again… then lose it, again… over and over until finally pure frustration with having to explain to yet another person, one more damned time, that no, I don’t remember how to do that, and yes, I’m aware we “used to do this together all the time” and no, I don’t expect to pick it up again immediately… and omfg. Shit. I’ve got baggage full of this particular… challenge. lol I gotta let that go.

The peculiar learning challenges that result from my brain injury are weird and persistent, and in a small way part of the awesome that – taken as a bundle of characteristics – are part of this person I am. Over time, I’ve learned to accept that some things are potentially forever out of reach simply because the investment in time and repetition to learn and relearn them as often as necessary to ever become “learned” exceeds the value in the resulting knowledge.

…I’m hoping this particular game is worth overcoming the challenge. I am eager to enjoy the shared experience doing so offers. I’m less eager to deal with the frustration of having to explain my frustration. I’m less eager to listen attentively to someone else’s pointers on overcoming this particular challenge, most particularly when they don’t have this challenge, so… how do they expect to share something with me that overcomes what they don’t experience? It’s a very human thing to want to say “I know exactly how you feel…”. It’s rarely true. As commonplace as so many experiences actually, we each experience those quite differently. Part of being individuals is… being individual. Unique. Being different from one another in small ways, even though we share so much DNA in common, is also an exceedingly common human experience. 🙂

So… I face the challenge with some eagerness, and also with some reluctance – it’s the nature of real challenges, isn’t it? I take a deep breath, and a sip of my coffee, and prepare to begin again.

…I’ll probably have to begin again a bunch of times. I’m ready for that – it’s part of the experience. Well… no more stalling. It’s time to begin again. 😉