After neglecting this blog for several years, I’m finally relaunching it with a new design and a new name. Say hello to “The Pop Culture Couch.” Gone is the lack of focus of my old blog, where I wrote about whatever topic I wanted whenever I felt like it with no rhyme or reason. Now I’ll be focusing on looking at issues like mental health, relationships, and self-improvement through the lens of pop culture. It’s pretty much what I do all the time anyway; I just haven’t been great about putting it into writing as of late.
I’ve written on here before about going through a divorce (one of the few posts that will be left up in the new format), and that divorce had a lot to do with why I stopped writing. After becoming single again, I found myself with a lot more free time on my hands and few limits on what I could do with it. So, naturally, I wasted most of that time by sitting around and playing video games a lot. It was, after all, the path of least resistance.
I’m through that period, though, and out the other side. Here’s a pop culture reference to kick things off: I’ve been looking at possibly getting a tattoo (I’ll be turning 40 this year, so it’s mid-life crisis time) but for a long time I couldn’t figure out what I’d actually want the tattoo to be. After thinking it over for quite a while–overthinking things is a specialty of mine, after all–I decided on a tattoo of an airship.
Hold on, because things are about to get real nerdy.
Airships are a recurring motif in the Final Fantasy video game series. Traditionally, they always came at a specific point in the games. After you’ve been introduced to your party, learned the game’s mechanics, and played through the fairly linear first act of the game, you come into possession of your first airship. This was always my favorite part of the game. Suddenly, you can fly almost anywhere in the world. You have vastly more control over how you spend your time. You can battle monsters to gain experience and make your party stronger, you can talk to villagers and occasionally do side quests for them, or you can make your way to the next dungeon and progress the main story.
I loved that feeling of freedom. I loved being able to play the game how I wanted to play it. As a full-grown adult with a strong social safety net (something not everyone is fortunate enough to have), I now have that freedom in real life. Sure, there are some ground rules to follow, some gameplay mechanics to master, and if I don’t occasionally move the plot forward then the game will become tedious and monotonous. But without some basic structure to the game, there’s precious little reason to play it.
I’m incredibly lucky to be in the position I’m in today and to have the relationships I have with the rest of my party, whether those party members are friends, family, or the occasional tertiary character who leaves after their part of the story is done. The tricky part is making the most of my good fortune and living my best life. I hope that as I write about my attempts to do so, you’ll be interested in reading about them.
Oh and no, I still haven’t actually gotten that tattoo. Maybe after a few more boosts to my stamina.