It is now October 2022, the halfway point of the estimated 6-month wait time that I was given for our citizenship paperwork to be processed by the corresponding Italian authorities. The past three months have gone with me spending a considerable amount of it in a self-sustaining chain reaction of health issues, stress, and family bs. There’s been some time here and there for retrospective, and this is one such time.

I don’t know how to begin this, or if I’m even using the correct phrasing to build this entry with. I want to dabble in the simple but very much important of keeping oneself real, from my own perspective — and by that I mean true to oneself, your goals, friends, loved ones, and dreams.

When I was younger I was very naive and innocent. I cared little for the serious affairs of adults, and was content within my limited world, ever so dreamful of what things the future would bring, especially with computers, technology, and video games. This carried through most of my atypical adolescence, and perhaps all the way to the present in some capacity.

Because I simply went my own way instead of going with the curve, I was often the point of mockery among my family due to the way I am and what things I found myself interested in. Some time ago I mentioned that I always felt like the odd piece out, be it at school, family, or even work, and that’s always been a constant in my life. I’m the jack of trades, the Red Mage in the party. I do a lot of things but I’m not particularly a high level expert in any of them.

I never found myself interested in the ‘normie’ aspects of Venezuelan life, and that includes the whole party going, drinking, and spending resources and time on instant gratification rather than playing the long game.

There was a time, around two decades ago, when my cousins would mock me for ‘liking Dragon Ball’ and other ‘childish’ things like that instead of engaging with the staple ‘Venezuelan teenager experience,’ whatever that may be. When I got my first job, another family member, God rest her soul, was in awe at the prospect because ‘the heaviest thing that kid is ever going to lift is a pencil.’

The amount of flak they’ve said over the years is definitely something else. I sure don’t lose any sleep over it, that’s a given.

Today, I find myself in the peculiar position of seeing how each and every of those esteemed family members now constantly seek my aid and guidance for things and matters, most notably recent, those pertaining to what I consider to be the final conclusion to the unwinnable Venezuelan game: gtfo of here.

So what changed then? Surely, something must’ve changed for the tables to have turned and for them to suddenly think so ‘highly’ of me after all that after years of ignoring my well-intended advice, right?

The country changed, yes. You know the tale by now.

Technology has changed, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

Payment methods have changed, whereas I’d have to wait in line to pay our internet bills. I can now do it with a handful of clicks. Checks are essentially a thing of the past, and our national currency now has the ‘Digital’ prefix because it is, essentially, more digital than physical currency.

The culture has changed, not just here but across the world.

I haven’t changed. Deep down, I’m still that same old fat kid that loved Dragon Ball, Power Rangers, and all that stuff.

While they would seek to conform and change with the trends and times, I’ve always remained true to myself and my interests. Yes, the events of the past decade have certainly done a number on me, but despite all that I’ve been through, I still am the same old guy, just older, tired, and worn out.

I am five years older than what I was when I first opened this website, and much older from that kid that used to dress up with sheets and brandish swords made with leftover school materials in this very same room back when I was 14, acting out the wildest concoctions of my dreams — of which some echoes ended up enduring and evolving into the basis for my upcoming novel series.

At halfway to 35 years old, I may not be all that I could’ve been had I gotten my shit together as a teenager, but I am me, uncompromised to the core, flawed as I may be, and with my own vices and virtues like everyone else does. I am like the laptop that I am using to write this: With factory defective hardware, worn, and with severe boot issues, but if I can get to boot (wake up) I will function.

My dreams remain the same, I don’t dream of luxuries, political power, fame, or fortune, much less to be a person worthy of idolatry. I just wish to do my own thing, work on my projects, and use whatever comes from it to help others in return, thus fulfilling my debt to the world by paying it forward.

Understandably, there will be times when wishing to be left alone won’t be sufficient. I’m sure some may disagree with my political stances, just as I would disagree with the opinions of others, it is only natural and I do not see that as a problem that one would ever need to ‘apologize’ for. You believe in what you chose to believe, be it by nature, nurture, or faith.

At the end of the day, I may not know a lot of things, but I know what I must keep fighting for, and that’s all that matters for me.

Had I caved in to what my family expected me to act, then I would have fared worse, perhaps I’d be in the same position they now find themselves into. Everyone has their own way to approach life, my family did their way, and I did mine. I wish I hadn’t undervalued myself during those teenage years, alas, it is what it is.

What I want to say with all of these ramblings is something along these lines: No matter what others say or think of you, no matter what they try to impose upon you, you gotta keep being you, keep doing the great things you do, keep striving towards those dreams of yours — so long as your intentions are good and you do not seek to maliciously harm others, you’re cool in my book.

Happiness is anamorphic, it’s up to you to determine it for yourself.