With temporary work placement now behind me, I have a little bit of time to catch up with other matters. After being freed from my previous role, back in May, time has been my friend. Yet a few weeks back working and those previous life struggles, of having the time to flex my freedom and explore possibilities, came pounding back. Those few weeks allowed me to earn money, sure but ultimately I did nothing else but work, eat and rest. This shouldn’t be how we, in the 21st century, now live our lives.
If anything the months from May to August have allowed me to see life in a way I haven’t done since the long, heady summer holidays of my youth. Obviously that old phrase, ‘youth is wasted on the young’ has kept playing its way into my thoughts during this time. As an adult, I feel a greater appreciation for pretty much everything over the last few months. I’ve looked at this time away from the sedation of the 9-5 as a real benefit to my mental wellbeing and feel stronger for it.
Onwards to October and hopefully some clear night skies!
Yesterday, reclined in a chair with needle in arm saying goodbye to another pint of blood, my thoughts turned to those close friends I once had. While donating blood, I don’t normally have these reflective moments. Usually I watch how other donors are doing or talking with the nurses. Let’s be clear, my mood wasn’t low but just sweepingly thoughtful. There have been many times when the dreams that I have had involve friends from my childhood(that I still know). I suppose it’s my brain trying to find a logical place to put these relationships.
Now it’s easy to blame the rise of social media like Facebook for the decline of old friendships. Having hundreds of ‘friends’ with endless updates to read and like/comment on isn’t my idea of a healthy relationships. This is why I prefer formats like Twitter where friendships are made not predefined. Yet for old, long-standing friendships, to keep these alive, it’s more to do with distance and effort. As an example, I no longer live near any of my oldest friends. One lives in Portugal, another an hour away by train in London. To keep these relationships alive takes a different kind of effort. And although I’m no saint, when the effort is unbalanced, complacency creeps in and other local issues are deemed to be more fruitful.
Being philosophical about my older friendships just means that I make the most of the times that we are in touch. Why waste energy and emotion on how it could be? Maybe it’s better to just work with what I have than to force a friendship to be what it no longer is?
With version 1.03 now patched in, I returned to Firewatch after the false start made earlier in the year. False because upon release the game was glitchy and (for me at least) unplayable. I had said to myself that rather than struggling through and spoiling the whole experience, I’d wait…and wait I now have.
missing you already
When the credits rolled at the end of day 79 I was left with a feeling that rarely comes my way. It was there, to a degree, after I’d watched the last episode of Stranger Things. But the relationship growth between Henry(Hank) and Delilah, in those short hours that I got with them, is the best I’ve experienced in a videogame. In finishing the game I wanted to know what becomes of both Henry and Delilah. Do they meet again in the summers after? Is Henry still estranged from his wife? Has Delilah being lying to Henry all along? It’s testament to the writing and voice acting that these questions have a weight to them.
Filling the void
Normally a good book will get to me the same way Firewatch did. But the investment of playing Henry and the interaction with Delilah? That’s something passive entertainment just doesn’t give you. So I have to decide what’s next to spin on my PS4. I have been reliably informed that Life is Strange needs to be played so that’s probably next up. With that said, next week will see Bioshock: The Collection released and I have a special place in my heart for Bioshock. It could be a fairly fully week or two of gaming.