I’ve never really written about myself on this blog, and the last two years have been something else. A lot has happened. And currently I am at what I feel like is a true turning point in my life. I guess what I want to do here is put my story into words, for closure. Maybe just to help myself move on. It just feels like something I should do, and something I want to do. This is going to be a long post of my story from these last two years.
A little over two years ago, I was working at an office in Toronto. It was my first full time job after having graduated university. My job consisted of answering phones, processing forms, cashing cheques – boring stuff like that. But damn, I was good at my job. The department I was in had monthly deadlines, but I was breaking records with how quick I was able to do my job. I was actually too quick for the amount of work coming in, so I had a ton of downtime. Too much really, but there was no other work my manager could give me. I was on track to get a promotion within the year as well.
Despite my success at the company, I had some major issues. The commute was 1.5 hours each way – I was spending 3 hours a day in my car. That alone was really draining, I felt like I had no free time outside of work. It became very frustrating at times. My other problem was that I didn’t do anything outside of work. Whenever I wasn’t at work, I was at home playing video games, watching anime. I never really went out, or did anything memorable. My life very quickly had become one where all I really did was work and sleep.
But then I received an offer. It was on one of my off days, I received a phone call to meet with someone (through a connection, I wasn’t applying for jobs or anything). Considering I was pretty restless at the time, and hated my commute, I went to meet this person. It was a man from a large company in Vancouver that had some ties in Ontario. We talked for a bit, and he offered me a position working as inventory control for the company’s head office. The pay was only marginally better than what I was already making, but he gave me some time to consider it.
The longer I mulled over the opportunity, the more I wanted to take it. While reluctant and hesitant at first, eventually I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Moving across the country, new city, new job, new possibilities. I kept thinking that this was a golden opportunity for my life to turn around and become exciting!
I handed in my two weeks to my employer. I found an apartment and got that all sorted out I accepted the job and signed my new employment agreement. In September 2016, my dad and I loaded up my car and set off for Vancouver, British Columbia. I remember the trip like it was yesterday – Canada is a beautiful country to drive through. Even now, I remember vividly how I felt about the whole move – a strong mix of nervousness and excitement.
My new commute had a beautiful view of the mountains. To this day I can’t help but stare at them when I see them. It’s crazy to me that the locals here hardly pay them any attention. The job itself started out well. I quickly made friends with my department, and I picked up on the job very fast. I was working inventory control for a warehouse that was close to 1,000,000 square feet, so it was very different than my last job. A lot more walking; it was sort of a hybrid between physically inspecting / counting inventory and inputting information on the computer. There was a lot of analysis and detective work tracking down lost inventory. It was pretty fun, at least at first.
I had come to Vancouver to turn my life around. I wanted to go out with friends, create experiences. I failed at this. At first my excuse was that I was still settling in to the new life, but then I began making other excuses for myself. Work started to become much more demanding. Very soon I had ended up in the exact same situation I was in before: work and sleep.
Work started to become pretty overwhelming too. My department was severely understaffed. We were working weekends to count inventory and struggling to keep up with demands during the week. Unlike with my previous job, here it didn’t matter how good I was, how hard I worked. I would work 10 hours straight only to come in the next morning to an even larger list of things that needed to be done. But I was good at my job. I had become an expert in many areas, and despite working less than a year there many people who had been working there much longer than I would come to me for help. At 9 months in I was promoted to senior inventory control. I was also up for another promotion to supervisor in the near future. That sort of became my reason for sticking around.
Quick tip: if someone at a company gets a “senior” title in less than a year of employment, that’s a pretty alarming sign that generally means high turnover / high stress environment. My department had high turnover rate. Up for supervisor within a year of starting? I may have been good at what I did, but this can be a pretty bad sign. Of course I knew this at the time and decided to stick it out anyways.
I fell into a routine that helped me deal with my job without becoming overwhelmed or too stressed. I also had a personal reason to stick it out, because of my connection who had gotten me the job in the first place; I didn’t want to quit in my first year and make them look bad.
And then it happened. Friday, June 2, 2017. Just when I got home from another long day at work, I received a phone call. I can’t say exactly what happened in this post, but let’s just say that the company I worked for had done something that affected me. Affected me personally. I can’t give the exact details, but it was really bad. Worse than a one of my co-worker friends getting fired or something like that. It was something that was very personal, it was very insulting to me. I was not the direct victim of what they did, but I was directly related to what they had done. The best I can say is that I felt completely betrayed by what they had done.
The next week after that was rough. After I got the news, I developed insomnia. I began sleeping every other night. I didn’t go to work for a few days the next week. When I did go in, I felt sick to my stomach. Just being there filled me with a silent rage. My supervisor acted like nothing had happened, but he knew exactly what had happened. There was no announcement. No one except for management knew about it. It was very frustrating, and I couldn’t handle it.
June 12, 2017 I handed in one weeks notice to my manager. He acted surprised, which also pissed me off. I only showed up for two of the five days. They didn’t care. They knew exactly why I had quit. June 16, 2017 was my last day. I only showed up to hand in my key-card and then I left for good.
June 18, 2017 I started this blog. I was pretty messed up around this time. I was now unemployed, and I thought that the blog could be something for me to put some energy into. I was worried about becoming lifeless. When I go back and read my first post now, I feel like I can see right through my words. There’s a clear lack of confidence there. I spent most of the post writing about what I wouldn’t do. I didn’t even really introduce myself. It actually makes me a little sad to read over it now, but I’ll leave it as is.
My blog in 2017 was doomed to fail, because I didn’t use tags. I didn’t even know they existed. I wrote quite a few posts that were never seen by anyone. I’m fine with it though. I was not in a good place at the time.
As of right now, I’ve decided that my original “introduction” is null and void, and so I would like to go ahead and introduce myself right here and now (this is going to be a long post anyways).
My name is Chris, but I guess you can call me Yomu (I’ve decided this is much easier to say / remember than umaiyomu).
I’m 25 years old.
I’m a lifelong Christian.
I started watching anime in university, back in 2013. Since then I’ve watched 340 different anime.
My main hobbies are anime, video games, and piano.
I love dogs and cats, although I am allergic to cats.
I used to listen to a lot of Alt-Rock, but now I pretty much only listen to Melodic Dubstep & Electronic music. That and anime music.
I graduated university in 2015 with an honours degree in business administration, specialization in accounting, minor in economics.
And if you couldn’t tell already, I’m pretty introverted.
As for my current situation – keep reading 🙂
Blog aside, the next six months became my NEET phase. My worries about becoming lifeless came true. After losing my job (I know I quit but I felt like I had no choice), I really did not want to work for someone else. The experience scarred me – still to this day. So I did what I did best back then, I made excuses for myself. At first I thought “I just need some time”, and so I didn’t look for a job, I didn’t do anything. I spent all of my time inside, playing video games, watching anime, and playing some piano. Eventually my excuse became “I’m going back to Ontario soon anyways, so why should I get a job now just to quit within a year”. That’s the excuse that I ended up settling on, and the months started to pass me by.
I can tell you now, even though I had no real responsibilities, being a NEET was rough. Those six months were probably some of the worst months of my entire life. Every night I would go to sleep chastising myself for having done nothing productive, only to wake up and proceed to do nothing the next day. My bank account balance began to decrease, month after month. It was a depressing situation to be in. I certainly was depressed. My heart goes out to anyone who is going through something like this, it’s awful.
Months went by. I never really did anything productive in this time. I dabbled in some websites, purchased some domains and learned a bit about web design. But it was pretty half-assed, and didn’t really lead anywhere. On November 8, 2017 I wrote a blog post about Kaiki Deishuu, from the Monogatari Series. I put a lot into the post, planning to abandon my blog after one final effort. I still didn’t know about tags at the time so it didn’t get any views.
One morning, in late November, everything caught up to me. I woke up, and while staring at the ceiling, I completely broke down. Before then, I hadn’t cried like this in at least 10 years (with the exception of shedding tears over anime, which is different). That morning, it all came out. Regrets, loneliness, worries, it all hit me. I must have cried for 15 minutes, before getting up to take a shower, where I lost it again and cried for another 15 minutes or so. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so alone in my entire life than I did that morning.
After that morning, I began taking long walks. I started self-reflecting. I spent hours and hours every day, picking myself apart. Breaking myself down. I questioned myself – my opinions, my fears, my flaws, my goals. I focused on identifying everything that was wrong with me. Everything that needed fixing. I completely broke myself down.
And then I began to put myself back together. What did I want to do, why did I want to do it, how would I do it. How should I think, and why should I think that way. How can I fix my flaws, how can I quell my fears. Always asking “why”. Sometimes a thought would go through my head and I would immediately pick it apart, asking myself why I thought that. It might be hard to understand, but I spent weeks thinking things like this. Self reflection helped me out a lot, and it’s something that I had never done before in my life. I also became more attuned to my faith than ever before, but I don’t want to get too religious in this post so I’ll leave it at that.
When I came to Vancouver I thought I was going to turn my life around. I thought that moving to a new place would be the catalyst for this to happen. I was wrong. My home, my job, the people around me – these things didn’t need to change. What needed to change was me. I moved across the country and went through a lot to learn this. I wasn’t changing by coming here; I was running away. Just like I so often made excuses for myself – running away from the real issue: myself.
It’s funny that I’d seen this situation so much in anime, but I never applied any of it to myself. I used to be so set in my ways, my opinions were set in stone. Completely unwilling to change or even consider it. Arrogant in how I viewed the world, thinking I had everything figured out. Too arrogant to criticize myself. Too arrogant to think that I needed to change anything about myself. I can clearly see this now.
Everything has been going much better since then. 2018 is a new year, and while it’s a little cliche, I feel like a different person than I was for most of 2017. I have a clear vision of what I want to do now. I have a dream, goals, and I know what I need to do to make them happen.
May 2018, this month, in particular has been very special to me. May 1st, on a whim, I decided to write a post on this blog about the rule of seven & anime. It’s something I had heard about game design that I thought translated well to anime. This time I tagged my post. And, for the first time on this blog, my post got a comment. TPAB, you may not realize it, but that comment meant a lot to me – it gave me so much motivation to continue this blog. Your first six year anniversary post inspired me to put more effort into interacting with this wonderful community. I’ve been regularly browsing the anime tag since, and reading everyone’s posts has been awesome.
I’m glad that I had never tagged any of my 2017 anime posts. At the time, I had no intention of browsing other blogs and interacting with the community. If I had, I would have learned about tags much sooner. But I didn’t. I was too arrogant, too unmotivated, too depressed. My blog truly began on May 1, 2018, despite the earlier posts (although I am still proud of my post on Kaiki Deishuu).
A week from now I am driving back to Ontario.
I’m not running away from anything this time.
Since the beginning of 2018, I have been working on a new project. As of May, I now have a product selling on Amazon (US). It’s still early to say how successful it will be, but I’m not worried about it. Even if I only break even, the lessons I’ve learned from this product will make my next product that much more likely to succeed.
In a few weeks I will be taking a course to get my commercial drone pilot license in Toronto. I plan to start a new company with someone close to me in this field. It’s a very unexplored space, with huge potential for growth as drones become more integrated in everyday business. Even now, I can’t bear the thought of working for someone else again. I’m going to do my best to forge my own path this way instead.
I plan to take more risks, and put myself out there more. No more shying away from social events. No more excuses. No more being a complete shut-in and only focusing on work. It’s time for me to improve myself and my life.
And of course I plan to keep this blog going. This last month has been amazing for me. It makes me happy to see that my posts are actually getting views. It makes me happy to be a part of this community. Everyone who has followed me up until now, and in the future, thank you. Everyone who took the time to read my story, thank you. Thank you all. You’re all amazing!
These last two years have been a real journey for me. I learned a lot about myself. And despite the hard times, Vancouver ended up giving me the kick I needed. It may have taken two years, but I think that I can leave now with no regrets, because what I’ve taken away from all of this has been life-changing. And who knows if I ever would have changed without this experience. I feel like I can turn a page in my life and finally move forward to towards my new goals.
Thanks again to everyone who read this, and to everyone who has been so welcoming in this community. I look forward to creating more posts and interacting more with you all 🙂