The Scars of Battle

It was a pretty lazy, uneventful day for me. I’ve been dealing with a horrible headache since Sunday. Honestly, it’s rather frustrating that no matter what I do or what remedies or medications I try, the pain doesn’t ease up. I’ve take Tylenol, ibuprofen, Excedrin, and the Vicodin I was prescribed. I’ve slept, made sure I’ve been eating regularly and healthy. I tried my essential oils, had Mosha massage my neck and head, used my head cold pack, and throughout all these things, I’ve pleaded and prayed to God. For whatever reason, I’ve not received any type of relief from the pain. As a result, I’ve been completely unproductive since Sunday.

Oddly enough, I experienced a moment of relief, not from the physical pain but a mental moment of relief, from one of the most unlikely places: a fictional world called Eorzea, the setting of my favorite game.I’ve been playing FFXIV for about two years now. It’s been such an experience, and my life has changed in so many ways since I started playing. I’ve made long-lasting friendships with other gamers through this particular game. Looking at how close I’ve become to some of them, I simply cannot imagine my life without them. They’ve gone beyond strangers behind fictional characters and become an integral part of my day-to-day life. Despite the distance between us, we are close, and they are genuine people. They care for me just as I care for them, and I’m grateful for all the times that they’ve been there for me.

This may sound silly to most, but in-game there is the ability to purchase housing. It’s something I always aspired to do, but I was never able to do so because of availability and pricing. However, today, I was able to purchase an apartment. Then the fun began: decorating.

I ended up bankrupting my character’s bank account (a little less than $2 million) in one day by purchasing and furnishing my place, but it was worth it. I’m sure you’re probably wondering what this has to do with my real life struggles, and here’s why it matters: it made me happy, happy enough to momentarily place my physical pain at the back of my mind.

I know that in the scheme of reality, this game doesn’t matter, and some would even call it a waste of time, but this game allows me to escape my daunting reality, however briefly, and experience a world where there is no cancer and wounds can be healed by others instantaneously. I’m able to spend time with my friends, create and modify my character and surroundings and partake in a mesmerizing story. So call me crazy, laugh at me, or roll your eyes, but I had a grand ol’ time today in my fictional world.

I was slightly disappointed in the size of my apartment at first (there are no size options when you purchase your place), but after I started furnishing it, it became my space, and my love for it grew. The cherry on top was when one of my previously mentioned in-game friends presented me with a housewarming gifts: an orchestrion and an armoire.

I have been wanting an Orchestrion for such a long time because there is one song that I am obsessed with called The Scars of Battle but you can only hear it in a specific dungeon. But now, with this Orchestrion, I can listen to the song whenever I want!

I tell you, it’s the little things in life that make me happy. ❤️

Dia de Gracias

Today was a good day.

It started with being able to sleep in until 9am. I was still tired and sluggish from the night before (we stayed up playing Hand & Foot with the Finches until about 2am), but I knew that I had to get up and get to cooking. To my surprise, my mom had gotten up early and helped by already putting the turkey in and doing the prep work for the candied yams and stuffing. I told her to go lie down, since I’m sure she’d been up since extremely early (which she had). I then put the yams and stuffing in the oven while I made the mashed potatoes, and then after that was all done I made the ham.

By the time we finished everything (my mom woke up later and came to help finish up) it was near 2pm, our usual eating time. My pops had left to go pick up my Tio Art so he could join us, and Dev had come in from working out and getting ready. Everyone helped to set the table and get everything ready so we could get straight to the eatin’!

We ate relatively quickly, then dispersed. Myself, D, Tio Art and Pops ended up lounging on the couch watching football. Lisa showed up with Andrew, so they visited with mom. I started nodding off (as did D) so we headed to the room to take a nap. Clearly we overate ourselves into a slumber. When I woke up, D was getting ready to drive Tio Art home, and Pastor John & Mary had just come by to wish my mom a happy birthday and visit with her for a bit. I came out and started addressing my graduation invitations (YAY!), waiting until D got home so that we could go visit his side of the family.  It took him longer than I thought, so I ended up falling asleep for abuot 20 minutes on the couch (again!) until he got home then we left.

We went to see Aunt Nita and the rest of the clan, and I have to say that its nice for them to finally be accepting me and treating me like family. It wasn’t always like this, so its nice to feel their love for me and to feel like I’m part of D’s side of the family.

We got home not too long ago, and D cleaned up the kitchen while I ate (again…). I came to the living room to email my bro (only one more Thanksgiving without him, then he’s home!!). I think that mom wanted to play games (probably card games) after she’s done in the kitchen, so that’s probably what we will do next. I’m grateful to have been able to spend this day with family and to be in contact with friends throughout the day. Days like today remind me how blessed I am and how full my life is.