[Applied Self-Confidence] Disobeying Prime Directive, Part 1

I grew up shy. I used to fear what other people thought about me, and might still as we all do, but as I try to advance myself as a writer, I will find myself coming into contact with others that will have their opinions of me. Most people probably avoid making things because of that opinion backlash. I liked the idea of the prime directive, but I dunno, I’d rather get out there more.

This screenshot is from the Endless War Pin Kickstarter chat.

When this essay publishes, the Kickstarter will be long over, but I figure this is a good time to write at length about the nature of celebrity as it pertains to even on the smallest scale like a Discord MMORPG MUD because that radiates out into the rest of one’s life. When I wake up at, usually, 6pm for my night shift job, I have a few places I check while my body and mind are waking up. I’ll check my messages in various places.

The thing I like most about Endless War is that it’s usually always active.

So when I noticed some activity in the pins channel and saw my freshly 3D-realized designed avatar, from the RADCON 4 Kickstarter has drawn by Pro Crastinators Podcast member Ben “patreon.com/bensaint” Saint, I was amused. The nature of this community is based on conflict. In Endless War, you start as a juvie but once you mine enough slime, you can enlist Killer or Rowdy based on primarily aesthetic or perhaps personal preference, and kill each other’s characters. When I enlisted Killer, that meant Rowdys would take a disliking to me. You could stay a juvie, but both camps hate juvies, so that sense of conflict runs throughout the entire game.

It’s fun, though, because there is comradery… amongst the Killers, at least.

When I saw this string of messages, well, I responded as one should in these situations. Let me take you back to a time and a place… I was at a kalapu drinking kava on the edge of town. I had been invited by someone I knew at the time that wanted to show me parts of Tongan culture, so we drove into a residential part of town to his friend’s house. Inside the meeting hall, there were about twenty guys dressed in plain polo shirts sitting around drinking this root drink, kava, and at one point this guy asked me to say something in Togan. He said it slowly so I could repeat it back.

I knew it was a two-part trick, but I said it anyways.

These tricks are common. The first part of the trick is to see if you’ll say something self-deprecating. The second part is to see how you’ll respond to something self-deprecating. I said it, we laughed, and we continued on the night as brothers. If I had refused to say this phrase, which as I recall was something like “I think your face is beautiful” or something silly, or if I had been offended, then, I wouldn’t have been cool, ya know? Ego is a sacred thing. You can have your ego secure and still make fun of it at kalapus or whatever. What that does is it shows that the artificiality of your external ego is flexible, whereas your internal ego remains resolute in its resolve. We all knew I didn’t actually think his face was beautiful, and by saying it, it was my way of saying “yeah, I’m comfortable being around you guys.”

Why get offended over external considerations like that kalapu or potentially this chat?

Somewhere between when I was a child and today, I stopped caring so much about what people thought. Was it from external factors like running into situations like this or reading books like How To Stop Worrying And Start Living? Was it from internal factors like meditating on the considerations of others, and how they can talk all they want, but that doesn’t directly influence my life? These are, after all, people that I’ve decided to interact with along my life’s journey. They don’t influence my paycheck or apartment-mansion. They won’t get me fired or evicted. Why would I care if someone from the other team talks trash about me? Why would I even care if the guy that brought my avatar into 3D said “hes just some DUMB BITCH” if I know he said it in jest? And if I know the whole PCP community, as a whole, has the attitude of tearing down the bad to bring it up better?

I thought about how to respond while bathing.

One aspect I like about Endless War is how your character changes, like any roleplaying game really, as you interact or are interacted with within the game. I started drawing my avatar being influenced by the game. I’ve been killed twice as of now, so I drew the two slices and who killed me so they could see the efforts of their efforts. Since a lowly possibly stay-dead – hated by all, even long-term juvies – suggested I needed a hat, I gave myself a lampshade, because the whole bit with my avatar is that it’s supposed to jab at the notion of taking life so seriously.

Here’s what my avatar in-game “looks like” now:

It feels good, overall, to be more “in the public eye,” if you will.

Even though this is still some obscure Discord server-game, I’ve made a splash within the community already. Moreso, this is a good chance for me to get over being shy. It’s OK to show up somewhere random, whether digitally right now or eventually in real life, say hello, make some self-deprecating comment about yourself, and still be secure in who you are. In the next essay, I’ll address how it feels getting out there and potentially embarrassing myself, since that seemed to be my major trepidation point. Maybe it’s yours?

If I’m going to overcome shyness, I might as well share the journey.


Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: Considering the nature of celebrity.
Related: Other Applied Self-Confidence essays.
This 4-part Disobeying Prime Directive series could be summarized like this:
1 – Others Talking Positively
2 – Outside Comfort Zones
3 – Nature of celebrities
4 – Others Talking Negatively
Picture: 2020 April 18 [8:56pm to 9:02pm]
Written On: 2020 April 18 [9:02pm to 9:54pm]
Last Edited: 2020 April 18 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.