Don’t Think Twice

So, I’ve been lazy about my blog this week because Kingdom Hearts 3 released on Tuesday and I’ve been spending all of my free time playing it. Which has caused some concern to a few people in my life lately. I get it, it’s a video game, and it’s silly to not sleep just to play a video game. It’s silly to focus so much time and attention on it because it’s just pixels and button mashing, and it wasn’t what I thought it would be in the end.

The thing is, I’ve been waiting for this game for thirteen years. There’s been other games released in the series, but this is THE game that I’ve been excited for a significant portion of my life. Kingdom Hearts is beyond a game for me. I’ve inscribed my love for the story on my skin, even.

The series stands as something far more than a game, because it’s a symbol to me of friendship and love, it’s a story I turn to in times of fear and times of uncertainty. It’s something I consume wholeheartedly when I am so afraid that I don’t think I can get out of bed.

There is no real reason for this, besides the lessons I’ve learned through playing it. Like any other story it carries themes and Kingdom Hearts happens to carry them heavily.

But I don’t necessarily want to get into the story with you, it’s something that would take much more time to explain than I have here, and it would be outside of the realm of what I’ve been considering this week. So I’ll leave you to understand the plot line of Kingdom Hearts elsewhere, as it’s not something I can explain as well as almost anyone else could.

But, it’s stood the test of time as my favorite game series. It has been a foothold for me in times of desperation, because I have learned lessons through my years playing it.

At all times, and I really mean, all times, the main character is this brilliant light that is unflinching. His fear and his anger and his sorrow are rarely seen. If they are, they are masked with this burgeoning light that shines from within him. He is the character we all want to be. Unafraid, filled with curiosity and joy. We all want to be those people who can live without guilt or fear or worry and Sora has always been that symbol for me, because when I was a kid, I watched another kid on a screen face down overwhelming odds and tackle them with ease, because of his friends, because of his duty, because he knew what was right through the duration of the series.

Then came Kingdom Hearts 3, where that same character who I’ve rooted for, for years, because of that light, began to show the weakness within himself. There were moments in the game where he would falter, he would wonder if what he was doing was really worth all of the trouble he was going through. He wondered if the light he chose to fight for was the right thing to fight for. I saw the uncertainty within him unfold in the story, because that has always been his flaw. He has drawn all of his power from his friendships and his connections, he has always been the thing holding the worlds together, and he did so because he was so bright. Then, in the final game for this part of the story, I watched him fall to his knees in tears, because he couldn’t be that person when he needed to most.

We all feel that way, when the pressure of the world is overwhelming. When darkness is approaching and we can’t stop it, and we’ve all wanted to fall to our knees and scream because too much has gone wrong.

It was there that, after being upset about quite a few things in the game, that I realized it wasn’t just a story about a character succeeding and failing and working to be better. It was a reflection of real life. The beauty of the series has always come to me in small ways. Usually through poor dialogue choices and meteoric levels of cringe. It wasn’t until I reflected back on my youth, playing the game and soaking up all the cringy lines about light and friendship and hearts that I really begun to realize how much it’s impacted me.

That’s how life is.

I can count on one hand how many times I’ve said something to someone that has been of any value and also sounded good. More often than not, it’s awkwardly fumbled out or my words are covered in cheese and we end up laughing about it later. But that’s the reality of life. That’s the reality of wanting to be that light to others.

I think a lot of us get caught up in the spectacle of it all. We want to appear as these well kept and understanding people, we want all the knowledge and we want all the answers. We want to deliver them through eloquent speech and we want our actions to be a symbol of ourselves, but how often do we consider our actions? How often do we think about everything we do? How often can we be that put together?

All of that made the scene that much more impactful for me, because I watched this character who I had spent my formative years idolizing fall to his knees in a real anguish, he didn’t have any sappy words to cheer up the team, he didn’t have a way to keep going, he just laid there in sorrow and waited.

Because he was afraid.

I’ve been afraid of the darkness for a long time, whether I admit it or not. I really am. My future scares me sometimes, hell, today scares me. I care so much for so many people around me and I don’t want anything to happen to them. I pray as often as I remember for them to lead great lives, better than anything I could hope for them. I hope they have Kingdom Hearts lives. Where the shadows can’t get to you, and as I was playing through the latest installment it really hit me how much that isn’t going to happen.

Not because we are destined to be miserable, but because light cannot exist without darkness. There is good within the bad, and vice versa. They coexist, and we coexist with them. A combination of both.

What I’m trying to say, is that no matter who we want to be, no matter who we look up to, the weight of the world doesn’t belong on our shoulders. Even the “chosen Keyblade wielder” didn’t have to finish his journey alone.

Neither do we.

 


 

 

Thank you for stopping by!

There was a lot to unpack in the game, and I came to a lot of realizations while playing it so you’re likely going to hear more about KH3 in the future, but I’m waiting a while to talk about it because I don’t want to disclose spoilers and such. It was an amazing game.

I feel like a huge part of my childhood has come to a close, too. Which is kind of sad, but it’s so much more exciting.

Tell me, do you have a game or a book that has heavily impacted your life? Tell me why. I’ve been looking for new stuff to read/play. ❤

Salt + Iron Productions

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