On Finding Yourself... In the Bizarre

Cool Beans Coffee Roasters, Marietta, GA

Cool Beans Coffee Roasters, Marietta, GA

The sky is dusting snow over Georgia, and I sit in a warm coffee shop facing a window, watching it fall. The snow has always offered a solid level of comfort for me; I expect it's due to how it reflects the state I'm in on a daily bases. Melancholy and hopeful. This kind of weather always makes me want to write, so here we go. My reflections over the past week: the bizarre ways one can find themselves.

Story Time

Enter: A virus. The kind that gives you a fever and the chills at the same time, making it impossibly to do anything comfortably. The bastard.

Enter: Myself. 14, hipster, lover of poetry and other pretentious things. With a pile of blankets over me and a stack of used tissues beside me, my teenage hormones were officially in full drive and causing me to hate everything and everyone. I could just see the coming monday's headline: Teenage Girl Suddenly Dies From New Virus... Parents Said Was "Just a Cold". (But seriously, I could not have been the only one this dramatic at that age.)

I was on my 3rd or 4th day of impending death at this point, so I had worn out my options of entertainment. Then I remembered watching a review of an anime a few days prior. Before this I had only seen a few episodes of one anime, so I wasn't ultra exposed, but I had at least a few more hours left to live, and this "Ouran High School Host Club" thing was on Netflix, so I took the chance.

And it was amazing. Funny, overdramatic, a kaleidoscope of storylines that gradually exposed the motives of all of the characters. It was everything I knew I loved, but brought forth in a medium I would have never guessed. 

And so I fell in love. Since that day I have watched over 60 anime (many multiple times) and don't plan to stop any time soon. 

Oh, and I didn't die.

But until a few days ago I never knew why anime had captured me in the way it did. After all, it doesn't exactly align with my other passions (music, literature, etc.). But then I saw a webcomic that brought it into perspective. 

The comic compared getting a tattoo to painting a house. When you rent a house, you know it belongs to someone else and you won't be there long, you don't paint the walls. But when you own a house, you treat it like it's yours: you paint the walls. Even though getting a tattoo and discovering anime are not related at all, it still struck a chord with me. At the time I was hanging around hipster musicians. They all loved foreign films, poetry, and taco bell, and although I like all of those things (and still do), they weren't mine. I actually remember not telling most of my friends about my new found love for a few months.

Anime was me painting my walls. It was discovering and loving something because I love it and for no other reason. I pinpoint it as the moment I started becoming comfortable with who I was and stopped participating in things because it was expected of me. It has done me so much good, even if the paint is made up of big eyes, bright hair, and dramatic monologs. It just goes to show you how much is in the world to love.

With that said, here is a list of the top 10 anime that have helped me paint my walls:

1) Fruits Basket

2) Ouran High School Host Club

3) Beyond the Boundary

4) Princess Jellyfish

5) Howl's Moving Castle

6) Red Data Girl

7) Soul Eater

8) Attack On Titan

9) My Little Monster

10) Kamisama Kiss

What unexpected things have you painted your walls with?