Pokemon Wednesday: Round Two

When I last wrote about my endeavors in the world of Pokemon (or perhaps I should write when I first wrote about my endeavors in the world of Pokemon…), I mentioned mostly how I came into the series and why I continue to like it, both very interesting in their own rights, but still rather finite, which doesn’t make for much of a continuing discourse, or for much incentive to come back….

And at the present state of my life, I need incentive to remember even the smallest things. If not for stomach pains, chances are, I’d forget to eat. If not for drooping eyelids, I’d forget to sleep. If not for the threat of Fs, I’d forget to study, too, but then I wouldn’t be busy most likely, since it’s my perpetual studying that’s absorbing most of my time these days.

I digress. This is, after all, Pokemon Wednesday not Let’s Rant Wednesday, so some minimal amount of relevancy is requested, if not wholly required, to be rightly delivered. But here I am, digressing once more…. This is why they invented the back button, and this is why I refuse to use it here: Pokemon’s a reflection of life, and like most blogs, writing this is itself a reflection of my present life, so to remove one representation of my life in favor of another is itself without purpose or merit here.

Allow me to elaborate.

Every Pokemon game in the main series (Red and Blue, Gold and Silver, and so on) begins on a most-similar note: You wake up in your bedroom, where you have a TV, a video game console (ranging from an NES in Red and Blue to a Wii in HeartGold and, what I’m playing now, SoulSilver), and in the newer games, a computer as well, and sometimes a clock. All of these things (minus the game system, disregarding my small collection of Nintendo handhelds) are similarly present in my room each day upon waking.

The game proceeds: You walk downstairs, you talk with your mom, you set out on an adventure. This, too, seems to parallel my own life in many ways: Each morning I walk downstairs, talk with my mom before leaving, and then set out on a new adventure (which today included further topics in integration in calculus and a less-than-spectacular track test in weight training, but again, I digress). And this is all in the first two minutes of gameplay!

The similarities don’t end there, although perhaps they do become a little more subtle. Your goal in each Pokemon game (and forgive me if I’ve said this before) is to become the best. Or if not the best, to at least succeed to your furthest extent and to have fun while doing it. Is not this the aim of anyone’s life? In these games, we capture our Pokemon and spend countless hours training them to their highest potential; we challenge gym leaders to receive badges that open new doors and allow us to progress further; we fight the elites and, if we prevail, even more doors are opened and countless new adventures await.

Constantly, we strive to become better, and constantly, new places lie before us for exploration and growth.

That’s the story of life at its simplest. And probably at its most expedited, but what can we say? Greatness, or any fraction thereof, is hard to come by in today’s world. We can’t train ourselves in a few days to reach our next goal like we can in Pokemon. But nonetheless, sometimes it takes a little hope–albeit in this case virtually given–to realise that what we’re working towards, what we’re aiming at, can actually be achieved.

When I was younger, in elementary school, studying was more often a chore than anything else. I did it for the sake of obligation and nothing more. In middle school, I started to enjoy certain subjects, and once I was a skilled enough reader, enjoyed most of my time spent studying. In high school, I had great study habits and loved getting my work done and learning new things. Oftentimes I favored one class to another, and on occasion I despised some, but I still explored new ideas and grew as a person.

One might say this accounts for three badges, others maybe just one, but in either case, it shows growth: it shows a progression toward something greater. And if we can’t strive tomorrow to be greater than today, what can we ever aim at?

That’s a question I often struggle with–I still frequently find myself repeating my penchant saying from my middle years in high school, “When will I stop preparing for tomorrow and finally be ready for today?”–but regardless of whether or not it has one answer or many, whether or not any of them are ones I can perceive in this world or in the next, what matters is that I keep trying, that I don’t give up. In Pokemon, no matter how much you train, there’s always the chance that someone’s Pokemon are stronger than yours, and sometimes you lose and get knocked down and beaten around. But even then, so long as you get back up and keep trying, the game goes on. What better lesson is there to learn about life than that?


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