I have worked at a Vietnamese restaurant since March of this year. This being the first part-time job I’ve ever received in my life, considering I’m 21 years old by now, you’d wonder exactly what took so long to finally get to this point. That is unfortunately a story for another post were I to be courageous enough to actually write about it.
While I have never regretted working at this place, I may still not fully understand that this dingy little restaurant in the middle of a college town will be nothing more than a stepping stone in my life, perhaps even a small pebble. So I expected myself to be at least one of the best at what I did, considering the minimum I am paid on a biweekly basis. Though it’s come to my knowledge that I am in fact not the most useful person on this restaurant staff, it comes to no surprise. I am, unfortunately, not a motivated person. It is out of my comfort zone to actually go out and seek new responsibilities, to get new things done and over with. I’m often told that I space out pretty hard and forget very simple details because of it. Even as I write this post, I’m so lost in thought that I just stop for hours at a time just sitting in my seat, unaware of my surroundings, thinking about the most irrelevant things and filling my empty headspace with YouTube videos and Reddit posts. Thankfully, this doesn’t affect my ability to work effectively and to my own credit I do work hard and I work just fine. I just sometimes happen to get noticed at the worst times by my boss when others would still be in their A-game. And the more I work, the more I study for exams, and other things notwithstanding, I begin to feel as if my behavior and methods will slowly become so incompatible with society that I’ll eventually break myself trying to fit in.
Wow. That’s a really depressing thought right there.
Strangely, before the likes of Shirobako aired and became my go-to show for relatable work stress and general life worries, my time working in this restaurant reminded me of my experience watching Samurai Flamenco. But what really stuck me about watching the second half of the anime is that the story seemed to have taken Masayoshi’s base desires to heart and transformed the world around him into something he’s always desired: the world of super sentai and tokusatsu was a familiar and perfect excuse to be a hero. The constant escalations from From Beyond to Mr. Justice to Alien Flamenco struck me as some of the most increasingly self-aware wish fulfillment. Everything Masayoshi wished would happen to him had just happened to him. And it is of this aspect of the anime that I am envious of Masayoshi, because he never had to compromise anything about himself in order to get where he was.
Feelings of inadequacy and the pressures of high expectations are rarely uncommon traits in today’s mid-20’s generation. I’m sure everyone feels like they’re incompatible with society at some point. But the point is that you make compromises to fit in for the sake of moving on with your life. And it’s not like Samurai Flamenco didn’t portray how much Masayoshi’s idealistic behavior was of so much annoyance to the general public. Hell, even the people who create his favorite shows aren’t nearly as fanatic about heroism and tokusatsu lore as he is. But once Guillotine Gorilla happened, it became clear to me exactly how much the world had to change in order to fit what Masayoshi wanted out of his life.
And that concept worries me about my own future because I feel that my experience with retail both in this restaurant and my numerous summer camp endeavors will be reflective of how I’ll go about in modern society with my bachelor’s degree in accounting and the ever-shrinking job offers I may or may not be able to secure. I have a worrying deficiency in personal motivation. I’ve grown up learning never to want anything major out of my life and as such saw many life opportunities go to waste because I thought I wasn’t worthy of it. And I would love to find a way to be both successful and not have to change my own mentality that much in order to find that success. Yet, being reminded of how much Samurai Flamenco’s world had to change in order to keep Masayoshi at the top, I feel that a similar and more depressing shift would have to happen to my surroundings were I to ever have that kind of power. And someday I’ll have to confront myself about my own habits and change them to better fit what I’m expected to do.
- Boy, that was a pretty positive outlook. I’m still young to be sure, so all of this may just sound like an exaggeration.
- Right now as I’m attempting to type this sentence my attention turns to the window, where some christmas designs are stuck on the panes. There’s a dog now with a red Santa outfit and it’s cute as fuck. I’m now thinking about the artist Madeon. The mind-boggling number of Apple products in this Starbucks right now. Frog-kun’s Aoyama post. Thinking about watching some League VoDs once I’m done with this. I have now completely forgotten what I originally wanted to write here.