Think about your future.
It’s important to have a north star,
providing you a direction to follow in life.
But it’s easy to get lost in all the noise.
People talking about their accomplishments,
their goals, and their motivations.
They are not coming
from a place of malintent,
but they all make me anxious.
They make me nervous that
I am not taking the right path in life.
Stressed that there is no
‘try again’ button in the real world.
Yes, you should have a north star,
but focus on your current path.
If you never look up from your compass,
you’re bound to run into a tree.
in the path you’re taking
and in the moment you’re in.
Keep the short-term goals in focus
and pay attention to the space you’re in.
– A small reminder to myself.
There has been a lot of upset in popular culture recently due to drastic changes in media that a lot of people are nostalgic about. Currently the millennial generation is starting to experience this, specifically referring to the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie, Spongebob Squarepants movie, Scooby Doo movie, and Pokemon games. Personally having been born in 2000, I grew up with these characters and franchises and they found a unique place in my heart and childhood. As time has gone on I’ve grown out of those interests, but I can still appreciate them for their quality and the importance they had on influencing me as a person. Even now I will testify that the first 4 generations of Pokemon games are timeless, and that the classic Scooby Doo movies are iconic due to their quality animation and plots. However, growing up means moving on, and as a result I haven’t kept up to date with a majority of the developments in those franchises. My attitude is simply this: I enjoyed them when I was young, and now it’s the younger generation’s turn to enjoy them, and I can’t blame the companies that have to change to fit this new demographic. However, I’ve recently given this change a lot of thought, and have come to a few conclusion about what it means for my nostalgia.
The new 8th generation Pokemon games that came out earlier this month are especially interesting to me in exploring this question of reconciling change and nostalgia. Before it was released, it was announced that there would be no more National Pokedex, a staple in all of the previous games that allowed you to “catch them all”, the slogan of the entire franchise. The reason for its removal: they didn’t want to make models for all of the Pokemon. Obviously fans were disappointed and rightfully upset; like me, they had grown up playing these games and were used to this important feature of the game. Personally, I haven’t even played a Pokemon game since the 4th generation, and I’ve been a critic of the direction of the series for awhile.
Usually I criticize the declining creativity in creating new Pokemon; they have worse names, concepts, designs, and generally look more and more cartoonish and childish. People might rebuke me and argue that the original Pokemon were even less creative, specifically noting Rattata, a Pokemon that is essentially just a rat. However, I’m quick to point out that at least those designs were consistent and developed a believable and interesting world; compare the 1st generation Pokemon to the 8th generation Pokemon and you wouldn’t recognize them as both being from the same game. The reason for this is obvious to me, and it is simply that the series has aimed to cater to younger and younger children, not to the original fans like me who have grown out of playing the games. This trend is apparent in almost every other franchise that I remember from my childhood. I’ve come to the conclusion that change is inevitable, but I still don’t agree with how these companies tamper with my nostalgia. I wish the new media didn’t reflect so poorly on the franchises as a whole; it’s frankly embarrassing that something I hold in such high nostalgic regard is now ridiculous and childish. All I can really do is ignore the changes and focus on the original art that I fell in love with.
I think a lot of people from any generation can relate to these feelings; almost all franchises that endure undergo changes that break away from the original. A great example of this is the Star Wars movie franchise, which has been added on to drastically, more than 30 years after the original movies came out. It is not uncommon for those who saw the originals when they were young to be nostalgic for them and resent the new direction of the franchise. Many people boycott the new movies, or become harsh critics of them in a way that can ruin it for the younger generation that the new movies are targeted at. Personally, I think it’s unfair that those nostalgic people try to ruin it for everyone else, and that’s why I try to stay out of the debates over my favorite franchises changing. In the end, I’m just happy that I got to experience the golden age of entertainment in my childhood, and I’ll always appreciate the originals and my memories of them.
I love stories about fairies. The combination of mischievousness and selfishness make them very fun characters to work with! Fairy/Fae lore is also super interesting because fairies have their own set of laws that they operate under and if any mortal wants to interact with fairies it has to be by their rules. The concept of a group of people who on one hand are hedonistic and manipulative, but simultaneously are strictly rule driven fascinates me.
Basil + Gideon is an ongoing narrative comic, if this is your first time reading check out the first installment here!
“Wait, how do we get to Fifth Avenue again?”, asked my aunt. She was trying to understand how to navigate the NYC subway system and she thought she could figure it out by observing how I did it. This was my 4th time here, so I took the navigation process for granted.
“Oh, so it says here we need to take line 1. First look at the direction train 1 is headed to, either downtown or uptown, then you double check when you get down there that the last stops are the same as the one on your phone. Also, make sure you’re going down the right subway entrance. Oh, oh and check if it’s the express or local! Makes a difference”, I said. Yeah she still didn’t get it.
Then, she commented “Well I suppose if I really wanted to figure it out, I’d have to do it myself without you”.
I thought about that. I suppose it didn’t occur to me that I was better at this because I had gotten lost so many times. Sometimes, it’d be the wrong entrance, another time I accidentally took the express instead of the local. There were also many instances when I was trying to get to a particular building and I’d miss it by five blocks. These mistakes taught me well and my sense of visualization of myself on a map eventually became heaps better.
Whenever I got lost (usually when driving), I’d always think “Well, at least now I know what not to do”. I’d once accidentally missed a turn on the way to Kroger and ended up on the highway and in a small neighborhood near AA. It was pitch dark and when I tried to steer the car into the opposite side of the road, I was afraid I’d nearly end up in a ditch I couldn’t see. Nonetheless, I got to Kroger and shopped before it closed.
All this business of getting lost served me well when someone commented, “You have a good sense of direction” as we got back on route after my shotgun rider forgot to inform me to get off the next exit.
Maybe amidst all this grappling and flailing with ‘life’, we have to accept that we may never have a great sense of direction in our lives. We can’t have it all, not when we’re so young. I suppose if we just lived, accepting everything that we choose in the moment, disastrous or not, we’ll know if it is right for us. We’ll know what we want, what makes us truly happy or how to find those answers.
We’ll also have to acknowledge that we won’t necessarily know what is good for us. What seem like a bugger now may turn out to be an opportunity later. The challenges we are trying to breathe through right now may just equip us to manage or avoid future situations. So take it in now, breathe. Think, maybe this is a lesson I need to learn.
Have I ever regretted anything I’ve done? No. Have I regretted being friends with people who weren’t good for me? Not really. We’ve all been there, made mistakes, stumble into thorns and emerge scarred. But hey, at least now you know what not to do.
And even if we make the mistake of repeating it, it’ll just affirm the previous lesson we learnt.