Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Kwantsu, Dudes" and Other Reasons I Work Hard

As a twelve-year-old girl, I was obsessed with two things: the movie Surf Ninjas and solitaire on my parents' desktop computer. I also thought non-stop about boys, which is pertinent to this story.

Surf Ninjas is a movie about a teenaged surfer who discovers that he has ancient martial arts powers. The two stars of the movie were father and son: Ernie Reyes Sr. and Jr. Rob Schneider and Tone Loc are also featured, if you're into that. Leslie Nielsen melodramatically plays the evil tyrant to great comedic results. The entire movie is on YouTube, but here is a silly taste of what you've been missing.

My thoughts swirled around every inch of that movie. I memorized lines and considered taking up surfing. Our family rented the VHS over and over again, since its lack of popularity made it impossible to find in stores. Being young and adoring a movie is a part of life, right?

For that whole summer, I often sat in my parents' room and played solitaire. The real reason was because I needed a filler between my allotted Internet usage; I didn't want to miss a second of that delicious dial-up. Playing digital cards allowed me to stay close to the computer and to be on my own, which was a rarity in my seven-person household.

Every once in awhile, I would have a reawakening. My pixelated attention would snap back into focus, and I would realize how much time had passed. The futility of my activity would penetrate me and I would think:

"Ernie Reyes Jr. would never want to be with someone who spent all day playing computer solitaire."

While the likelihood of our love connection was asymptotic, I was motivated to make something worthwhile in order to be desirable. Because I was a preteen, I merely slumped in despair and continued playing hand after hand of cards. But the sentiment still rings in my head today.

I have a hard time fully relaxing because I still want to impress Ernie Reyes Jr., or at least his universal equivalent. When I participate in a fruitless activity, such as iPad games, my pressing guilt overwhelms me. I want tangible evidences of my time on Earth and the ability to point to my past as well-spent. It's tough to have that when I watch the same four YouTube videos over and over again. Therein lies my trouble.

You may be asking why I feel so strongly about this topic and yet can list many time wasters under my interests. When I watch TV or cruise the Internet, I utilize those "wastes of time" to initiate later conversations or to analyze human behavior. Music, memory keeping, and making silly movies with my sisters are shaping what's most important to me over and over again. Almost all of my casual pastimes are means to an end—bettering myself. I better myself for myself, but I still feel those twinges of desire.

I want to publicly excel. I think about what I can add to my list of achievements. I concern myself far too much with how I am viewed. And I worry about what I am going to leave this world with more often than is healthy.

As far as I know, there isn't an answer for this. I will try to play more Angry Birds just for fun until I figure it out. There is also still time to take up surfing.

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