The Inexplicable Rage of Alex

So recently with all that’s been going on in my life I’ve noticed a bit of a change in myself which I’m not particularly happy with. I’ve found myself becoming angry over some of the smallest things. I feel like my senses have grown more sensitive to smells, light, sound and touch. So whether I’m sitting in my office or on my train I’ve been keeping my sunglasses and my headphones on to try to block out as many external factors as possible.

I think I know some of the factors that are really affecting me are the crazy personal circumstances that I’ve got going on right now and the distinct lack of quality sleep. Insomnia is a big factor but even the nights where I’m able to sleep I wake up several times. Even though I know the issue, I’m finding it pretty hard to manage it and it’s affected how I deal with regular every day situations. It’s made me grumpy AF (that’s what the cool kids say right?).

So here are some of the regular every day things that I am finding rage inducing at the moment.

  1. Being able to hear people eat even if they’re quiet.
  2. Having to speak to pretty much anyone.
  3. Someone sitting next to me on the train.
  4. Said person being inconsiderate enough to repeatedly hit me with her bag and constantly nudge me as she gorged on the worlds biggest bag of crisps.
  5. Every time anyone in the office says anything.
  6. People saying literally anything that I disagree with even slightly.
  7. People who walk slower than me in the street.
  8. The sound of a train approaching the platform.
  9. Trains.
  10. Not being able to decide what to have for lunch.

So yeah, some of these things are pretty irritating. But while I haven’t had any outbursts yet, I get very very agitated over them. Disproportionately agitated. The loathing I feel for the people/objects is unreal. I’m trying really hard to manage this anger and make sure that I don’t lose it in public but that’s proving very very difficult.

My question to you all is, if you’re ever feeling angry about the smallest things, how do you calm yourself down?

A

The Internet And Online PC Gaming: A Double-Edged Sword

I love the internet in so many ways. The internet allows me to connect with people across the world through my blog, Facebook, Twitter etc. It allows me to join communities that I wouldn’t ever be able to access without it.

I’ve recently taken a dive back into online gaming. I’ve played games online since I was about 15 and always been very aware that there are some arse wipes in the online community. So when I hit 17 or so, I stopped playing competitive games online. I played single player games and co-operative games where there was a lot less random abuse being thrown around.

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There are also a lot of Harambe jokes about Winston! Pahahaha

At 25 I finally dove back into the competitive online gaming scene through Overwatch. It’s a brilliantly addictive game and I’m beginning to think that I’ve become obsessed with it. It features a diverse cast of characters from around the world and most of the voice actors are native speakers of the languages that the characters speak. When I’m not playing the game, I watch streams online of other people playing, I watch videos on YouTube of people playing the game and then try to emulate what they’re doing whenever I play (I’m notoriously bad at video games so I need all the help I can get).

One thing I was completely not prepared for was how horrible and disgusting people can be and how seriously people take something that’s supposed to be for fun. I’m not talking about the pros, of course. If that’s their job, by all means take it seriously.

If you’re just playing for fun, you get a whole heap of abuse and anger thrown your way. Even when you’re not playing in the games hyper serious “Competitive” mode. Some of the insults are pretty nasty. Some are a little less intense, the “you suck” and “you’re really bad at this game” are not constructive but also not particularly offensive. The others though, fuck me…

I was playing a game recently on a map called Lijiang Tower which is based in China and within seconds, people start making racist comments about the Chinese, the culture, their “slitty eyes”, the classic “HERRO” and lots more. Of course, I called them out and mentioned that I’m Chinese and they’re being pretty shitty. Their response was “do you eat dogs though?”. My response was obviously a “no” to which they responded “well then you’re not a real chink are you?”. In 2017…

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It’s not all bad, there’s the occasional fake proposal too. 

This is the tip of the iceberg too. God forbid you’re a woman and you play the game. The number of rape comments, “why aren’t you making me a sandwich” comments, and “fake female gamer” comments is unreal but ultimately extremely common. First of all, and most simply, how can someone be a fake gamer? If they’re playing the game they’re a fucking gamer. Why do so many men think that playing video games is/should be a solely male past time. Secondly every time I stand up for someone mid game, you can be sure that I get abuse too but mine is nothing compared to the women I speak up for. Even when they’re insulting me, it’s still directed very much at the women. Thirdly, you know the insults will fly thick and fast if the women are just better at the game. Holy crap, some of the men who play this game have such fragile egos that losing to a woman at a video game results in them hurling abuse at them. Finally, NOTHING, anyone does warrants threats of rape or murder. Stop it you disgusting pieces of human shaped shit.

Sadly, this isn’t something exclusive to the realms of online gaming. It’s the whole internet. Reddit is a pretty horrendous place sometimes. Again, I use it to read creepy stories, discuss PC parts, learn how to play the Pokémon card game and learn about science, technology and the world. But some of the most offensive, horrific memes are posted there too.

The internet is a powerful tool for good if used in the right way. It’s also a place where cowards, racists, sexists and straight up stains on society can hide behind a veil of anonymity and speak their horrific, twisted views. The internet makes people brave which isn’t always a good thing.

But the main thing is, I’m sorry to all POC and women who have to put up with this kind of shit. I’ll always do my best to speak up and help. I hope that other people who read this will do the same. And to all you racist, sexist, xenophobic pieces of shit who abuse people in video games and online, just shut your mouth. You’re ruining a great thing for everyone and you’re making yourself look like an absolute fool.

A

Note: All this aside, I also often come across really lovely people. I started chatting to someone on the opposite team who was playing the same character as me and me and the opposite team just hit it off and were having a little fun while playing the game by skating around on walls etc with Lucio. One person on my team got very very angry though and started hurling abuse at me at which point, the other team pointed out I was the only one doing anything of use on my team and to calm down as it’s only a game. I still game with them today.

World Mental Health Day 2016

Bonus post today! Today is WMHD and the theme this year is psychological first aid and support that people can provide to those in distress. I of course, am no expert on psychological first aid so I’m not even going to attempt to advise on that.

If you do know someone who requires help, you can find information or someone to talk to at these places.

http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/

http://www.samaritans.org/

http://www.mind.org.uk/

For me, I’m going to talk about that feeling you get when you feel like you aren’t doing enough. I’ve spoken to a few people about it over the last few weeks and it’s been playing on my mind.

A lot of the most ambitious people I know are doing a whole shit load of things. Setting up businesses, creating amazing things for people, looking after their families and friends and challenging stereotypes and making the world a better place.

Lots of people however, not just my friends, feel like they’re not achieving enough. They don’t fit into the normal boxes that society has created for us. They might not be getting the “stable” job or going a traditional route through education. What they are doing though, is carving a new path for themselves.

One thing that a lot of people from generations past just don’t understand is that it’s a lot harder for people these days to find one job, one career and stick to it. The days of long term contracts is gone and we have to live life a little bit different. This is exemplified in the place that I work. It’s a great job but due to funding, our contracts don’t go for more than a year. Our roles no longer consist of one singular task. We have to be photographers and videographers, youth workers, video editors, social media experts, tech gurus, social action moguls, event planners, workshop deliverers and more. It makes for a much less secure role, but it allows us to learn and develop skills that will surely help us to find other employment and/or start our own projects or businesses. You can’t just do one thing anymore so don’t have a go at us for splitting our attention. It was previous generations that have led us to this point in society where we’re forced to chase dreams differently.

There’s a lot of pressure put on young people to find a job that we’ll have forever and to have kids and a nice house in the suburbs. Lots of people these days are unlikely to ever own a house. Lots of people don’t want kids. Lots of people don’t want to do a 9-5. If any of those are you, then that’s fine. You don’t have to do what society tells you to do. You can be the creator of a whole new way of working and living. We’re the future of this planet and so we need to implement the changes we want.

It’s really easy to compare ourselves to each other, to successful people you know and admire and feel like you’re not doing enough. You are, though. Everyone has a different path to get to where they’re happy and healthy and successful and some are straight and simple, while others are meandering and complex. Either is fine. If anyone tells you otherwise, smile, nod and then go achieve what you want to achieve and show them how wrong they are.

Don’t beat yourselves up. You’re doing fine. I still don’t know if the career I’m in is what I want to do forever. I don’t think I’ll ever know. You don’t have to either. I just make sure that I’m doing something. Make sure you’re doing SOMETHING and you’ll be learning and growing.

To finish, I’ll leave you with a video. It’s a TED talk about having more than one passion. It’s one of my favourite talks and I watch it regularly to remind myself that being passionate about everything is a good thing. 🙂

A