As you might be able to discern from the past year of blog posts, I’ve been going through a weird time. “Post-twenties”. “Decade transition”. “Growing up.. but for real this time because I said that at the beginning of my 20s“. I’m definitely not trying to hide my confusion and desire to make sense of as much as I can. I recently realized a major cause of this “uncomfortableness” is the fact that I’m actually 3 different people. And each of them what different things, causing them to fight internally with each other everyday.
1. “Wong Fu” Phil
Somewhere along the way I became a “personality”. I never grew up wanting this, I still don’t necessarily need it.. but it’s become my life, and part of my history even if I were to disappear and stop today. This version of me is the largest part and has the most influence.. and therefore causes most of the problems. It’s because of wongfu-phil that I’ve experienced some of the best things, and the worst. Immense payoff and immense pressure. He’s complicated my life the most. Exposing me to things that I normally wouldn’t have, and therefore causing me to sometimes feel entitled or have expectations that aren’t necessarily reasonable. Producing temptations that I’ve fought off, and failed to resist, twisting and turning my life year to year. It’s hard for me to explain this completely but, can you imagine if you had the ability to reach millions of people today. What would you do? What would you not do? How would you change? I never asked for these choices, but it’s unavoidable in my position and I feel like I’m handling this personality as best a regular guy can. Not completely going off the edge, but still struggling to maintain my true self.. which is closest to…
2. “High school friends” Phil
This is the person I was before Wong Fu came into my life, before I had any idea I even liked writing or visual story telling. I was a clean slate and a direct product of my family, the girls who rejected me, my friends in school, and the media I was exposed to. Funny, all those things still amounted to an unusually emotional, nostalgic guy (how I was nostalgic even at 17 is hilarious to me, but I was), who was just discovering his creative side. I enjoyed dancing and performing, I used my family’s camcorder whenever I could, and I began writing in journals. When I see my high school friends now, WF is not a main focus or even talked about, and it gives me a glimpse at what my life would be like if I went through my twenties with a “regular” job. Not one that was dependent on views, likes, influencing, and comments. Instead one that was just about your group of friends, consuming entertainment, enjoying hobbies just for the sake of it, and taking trips to Hawaii just cause. That guy, still the 16 yr old, wanted certain things when he was in high school. I remember what I imagined life and relationships to someday be like… and it’s definitely not how things turned out, because WF came into the picture.
3. “Family” Phil
This version is sorta related to #2, but the difference is that this Phil is heavily influenced by society and the media I grew up on. Family sitcoms, comic strips like Foxtrot and Calvin, and Beverley Cleary books, all gave me this really fun and ideal image of an all American family. One that celebrates holidays together, takes fun road trips, has a big warm house with a white picket fence, and shares heartfelt moments; everything I wanted to emulate. This is where I’m suppose to be right? Adding to all that is my sister who has literally achieved everything just mentioned. And being only 1 year older than me, every visit home is a reminder of how far I’ve left to go.. and how far I’ve veered from the image I was supposed to chase. Being a husband, being a father.. that “what’s next” right? But is it a problem if I now see this life as something only attainable if “WFPhil” changes drastically?
So here I am, daily, feeling like I’m at a 3-pronged fork in the road. I generally feel like I’ve already chosen my road (#1), but the other two are still relatively close by, running slightly parallel to me. I could hop on over if I really wanted, but soon, I’m afraid they’ll be veering further and further away. But I never want “fear” to be what drives me to choose a path. So who wins in the end? Can all three of them coexist and get what they want? Will the paths meet at some point? Maybe I need to cut and pave and force them to? I suppose that’s the ultimate goal and the ultimate reward. And I suppose it takes a lifetime to complete.