Friday, September 06, 2013


Respecverb 1) To Re-specialize, 2) To reallocate one's resources in order to change one's tactic, particularly in the context on a role playing video game.

When I was 16 I think I was drinking about two liters of diet coke a day.   This continued into my early twenties and didn't really lay off until I was 24 or so.  It's interesting to me because I used to live off of caffeine.  In a story that is surprisingly common when I talk to my peers I was living a nocturnal life fueled by ubiquitous minor stimulants.  I remember being a teenager and my father asking me if I would be able to sleep as I drank a diet coke at seven or eight at night, and honestly back then it wasn't an issue.

It's interesting for the same reason I find a lot of things interesting these days.  I've been alive long enough now that I can measure an arc.  There is a version of myself that was very very different from who I am now, and it wasn't simply a matter of the growth that occurs all through childhood and adolescence.  It's a point where I can look at my record as an adult and really consider what I'm doing as an adult.

When I was sixteen my English teacher told me that your life doesn't really start until you're eighteen.  My knee jerk response was that if everything I had done already was nothing than I didn't think I could handle the actual thing, but these days I completely agree with him.  The rest was all just a big loading screen.  An opening cut scene.

Looking back on my adulthood now it really feels like a respec.  And not just because the way 26 year old me lives his life is so radically different from 20 year old me, but because the events of 18 and 19 year old me are now used differently.  The 20 year old build used them as the built up lifestyle of an obsessive video game player.  The weird kind of cred that comes from being a gametester and vague undefined college ambitions.  The 26 year old build uses them to understand what it means to really work in an academic setting . The value and necessity of a sense of drive and purpose.  The struggle and torment of living on minimum wage.  The consequences of stimulant addiction.  It's a completely different spec.

It's not all changed though.  Those experiences still echo with what they once were.  And I know that because it's past midnight, and I'm awake, because I had a diet coke at around 8, in what I always assured my father wouldn't be a big deal.


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