Hey sis, good luck in your new town, here’s some pepper spray

Between the articles on rape in the newspaper, and my sister moving away from home at the age of sixteen, I can’t help myself from feeling a bit worried. And it got even worse when I started looking for housewarming gifts for her.

My little sister is amazing. She’s funny, nerdy, cute and really unique. She is so like me when I was her age, just… better. I love her to death, and I want her to get everything she wants in life and more. I want her to do everything she damn well pleases, and I’ll be there to support her every step of the way. It might sound cliché, but that’s the way it is. I have two brothers as well, which I love to bits too. But there’s something about my sister being a girl. I know the same struggles she has with boys, periods, the first bra and other embarrassing and annoying things that enters a teenage girl’s life.

She has always had her own mind. Her own, terribly stubborn mind. She, like me, did not like growing up in the middle of nowhere in a tiny village, where the nearest real town was a two hour drive away. There’s not much in terms of education either. For college I applied to schools 150 kilometers from home, but at the end I stayed in my home town, the only thing I ever regret in life. The school was comfortable, but not very good. At least not my line of education wasn’t. I ended college not even being able to apply into university in my line of work. Instead, I had to take a few extra classes in college to even be able to apply to uni.

So when my sister said she wanted to move away from home for college, I applauded her, (silently, in my head.) She knew what she wants, and she’s going for it. But as the date for her moving approaches, I get this nervous aching in the pit of my stomach. I know she’s a tough, smart girl and she will live with her best friend in an older lady’s flat. I know she will do well. But at the same time I can not help but worry. So when I thought of housewarming gifts, I don’t really know what happened. I didn’t even think about it, to be honest. It was the first thing that came to mind. Pepper spray and assault alarms. And I took to Google to find some good choices, and I sat there scrolling without it even crossing my mind how fucked up it sort of was.

I mean, when I was her age, I worried about homework and how I could score the most recent teen gossip magazine and if the cute boy with his locker opposite mine fancied me. Getting jumped on, groped or raped hadn’t crossed my mind. (This was 10-12 years ago. God, I’m old.) My sister is in the same fragile age as I once was. Worried about grades and boys and having crushes on celebrities and watching their movies over and over again. On top of that, my sister has to worry about all the bullshit which social media brings along. And if that wasn’t enough, she has to worry about if the cute boy on the late night bus want’s to chat with her or take her out to the forest and…

Ok, I won’t go that far. But you get the picture. At the age of sixteen you’re still a kid. You might think you’re the shit, but there’s dangers in the “grown up” world that also applies to younger people. I might be a tad over sensitive, but I know I’m not wrong. And this is not some “feminazi” bullshit like some people try say as a way to shrink these issues. The matter of the fact is, that times have changed since I was a teenager. And when my first idea of a housewarming gift for a sixteen year old is pepper spray, something’s gone horribly wrong.


I have nothing to play – The constant look for a new rush

We gamers are all too familiar with the feeling of “I have nothing to play.” It’s such a silly problem, the same with “I have nothing to wear.” My closet is full with clothes of all types, colors and fits. I got options for every mood, situation or weather. It’s the same with my gaming catalogue. I have Shooters, MMO’s, adventure games. Single player games, multiplayer games. Sandbox games where I can roam around for ages, and simple card games which conveniently can distract my mind for a while. It’s such a first world problem. I always hate myself a little while i scroll through my Steam catalogue and feel nothing but emptiness inside. I have plenty of games to play, but I’m not in the mood for anything particular.

I recently asked someone: “If you could do anything you want at the moment, what would it be?”
“Anything at all?” He asked.
“Anything. Everything is possible.” I answered. He thought for about a minute, his eyes pinned to the ceiling.
“I wish I could watch every movie again for the first time.” He finally said, and I laughed a little. Then, after I gave it three seconds of thought, I shrugged, understanding what he meant.

The sensation you have when you experience your favorite game for the first time is hard to top. You venture into a whole new world with childish excitement, exploring every nook of this new adventure. You are so sucked into the game that you ignore your text messages and the hungry cries of your cat. You even put your toilet visits on hold. When you finally bear yourself to go to bed, you cannot sleep. You lay awake for hours, staring into the pitch black ceiling, thinking of things you could’ve, should’ve, would’ve done in game. Or what you will do tomorrow when you play. Or both. You can hear sounds from the game when you’re in line at the store, your trolley filled with instant noodles and Mountain Dew. You accidentally call money “gold” when paying. You become an anti-social, smelly wreck. A shell of the old you. But you are happy. Oh, so happy.

Even if others might have a problem with you and your new game-love in your honeymoon phase, soon you start to get problem as well. When the game is finished, you might spend some more time going back, starting over or trying something different. If it’s a game without a story that you’ve fallen in love with, you can still get the same feeling. That happy, giddy feeling slowly seeps off of you, leaving you feeling… Empty, almost a bit numb. You finally shower, cook a normal meal and call your mother. Things slowly goes back to normal.

This has happened to me more times than I’d like to admit. My most vivid memory is regarding Fallout 4. At that time, I couldn’t really afford the game. But I had to have it. So I bought it, and ate dustbunny-soup for an eternity afterwards. And I was smitten. I’d played previous Fallout games, so the feel of the game was nothing new to me. But I was glued to the computer for days. I only moved to feed the cat, pee, get IRL fuel or catch a few hours of sleep. I was a disgusting lump of mega-nerd.The game was everything I’d hoped it would be, and more. But after a few days I had to get back to reality. I went back to my classes and left my beloved post-apocalyptic adventure at home. After that, I kept playing. But just a little. The game had sort of lost its appeal in a way. That first amazing high of the new, mind-blowing game was gone.

I’ve done the same with other games. I played the living hell out of Stardew Valley for example. It quickly became top three of my most played games ever. I loved it. It was amazing. I never wanted to leave my little farm. But again, after about a week I just stopped playing. I’ve tried multiple times to get back into the Stardew grind again, but I just can’t. I start the game, play for 10 minutes, get bored and close it down again. It just doesn’t feel the same as it did the first time. So now my library is full with good, exciting titles that I basically never touch. I look for that tingling sensation, the curiousness I possess when I enter a new world.

I have no explanation, I simply blame my restless nature.

About wanting to work to live, not live for work

For some, it’s almost forbidden to talk about it.
I don’t want to work full-time.
I’ve said it a few times, and almost every time I get the same reaction: Laughter or judgement.
Lazy, lazy generation. Doesn’t take what’s given to them. Doesn’t want to work to live.

Oh no, I want to work to be able to live. But I don’t want to live to work.
Shouldn’t that be given?

It almost itches inside my very soul when I think about it. Spending 8 hours a day, 5 days a week all year around, every year until you turn 65 or something, WORKING. I find that so bisarre. You spend more time in your office than you do living your life, doing what you want to do. Sure, people love their jobs. But what if they want to see the world? Help out with their grandkids? Learn pottery? Knit a sofa? It’s 2017, and we’ve come so far. The possibilites are endless, it’s a great big world and the sky’s the limit. So why do we limit ourselves to working?

When I graduated college I got a job at a local company. It was office hours and horrible pay, but it was work. I was fine.
But I wasn’t happy.
I made money, but I never had any time to do what I wanted to do.
And later, when I got layed off because the company downsized, I had time to do what I wanted, but not the money.
So why not compromise? Work a little, live a little.

I know it’s different in all countries, and some of us are blessed to have the option to actually make choices like this. So don’t be afraid, see the possibilies.