Hey Island guests, it has been a while since I partook in an OWLS tour! I skipped the last three. February and March featured themes that did not match up with how I see the world. April’s theme while beautifully themed around hope came at a bad time for me. There was a lot on my plate.. but now that I have adapted a bit better to the new situation I feel stronger than ever before.. and adapting is this months topic.
While I am sure that most of you know who the OWLS are, in fact most of you reading are OWLS I bet a little reminder for all those marketing blogs that follow me or mysterious passerby’s in the future. The OWLS are the Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-respect. Basically it’s a bunch of people who do not care about your skin colour, disabilities or how you identify yourself. If you are an Otaku or Geek you are one of us. A message that Pinkie very much supports.
In May we talk about adapting. Covid-19 has altered the world, it has brought us closer together in some ways but also put us further apart. Little things like shopping can now be a lot more anxiety inducing. We all need to recalibrate ourselves to a new lifestyle and constant uncertainties Through our favorite anime we can show you how hard it can be to adapt but to give you tips and insights! Words like.. Subaru handled it like this.. be like Subaru. So obviously… I am going to take a slightly different approach..because that is the type of OWL I am.
Hacking Through the Gate
Today I will talk to you about adapting to a new world compared to changing. I believe these are two very different things, and we should never allow a new world to change who we are nor can we expect the world to change for us. Adapting is needed.. but also a slippery slope.
If we change to much we risk losing ourselves and if we try to change external factors to make the world adapt and change to our bidding we are oftenly in over our heads. It’s a balancing act. In the anime Steins Gate, we can find a lot of of stories on how NOT to adapt. Yet also a few on how it is done correctly. So prepare your flippy phones as we take a trip into the past.
For those who don’t know what Steins Gate is about. A guy is Microwaving Bananas and more or less discovers a way to time travel through that. We all pretty much know what Steins Gate is about though. Okabe Rintarou can send messages through time and he uses it to change things in the past that he does not like.. including preventing the death of Makise Kurisu. As it turns out things are not that easy. You can not just change without consequences . As his life spirals more and more out of control we see him clutching for straws to keep his friends safe from the CERN organisation and to unravel what is going on.
The reason I chose this anime is because it highlights Okabe being unable to adapt. He can not accept things the way they are and tries to change the world rather than adapt to it in order to be happy. For those who have seen the show, those endeavours usually do not end great and in a way the solution was to adapt to a situation rather than change it. While it all may sound a bit flimsy I hope you keep on reading as I try to explain. As Steins Gate teaches us that the only thing we can truly change is us.
Now note that this post has nothing to do with our current situation. I assume plenty of people will have talked about it and have talked about it better than me. So think of these words more as advice in general. While I am all for adapting I am very heavily against change. Take for Example Urushibara Luka, the character that looks like a girl but he is a guy, smells and dresses like a girl.. but he is a guy.. you know that scene if you saw this show. Luka is tormented by gender dysphoria and always wanted to be a girl. Okabe’s answer to solve this for Luka is to convince her mother to eat more vegetables in the past. Which works and Luka is born female. We see change. However this completely invalidates Luka’s personality. Changing magically like that would create a completely different person, as we are made by our highs and lows.
While I get their plight, this is not something we need to change. Luka regardless of her body is a girl, she identifies as a girl and was molded by that. Changing that means Luka never existed in the new timeline, the new girl is someone else. While it is easy for society to say, you are born like a male.. act like one, for transgender this would not be adapting, it would mean changing. It is to big. The person we know and see would stop to exist and become another. Imagine changing physically that much each time you have to pretend to be another person.. forced to put on a mask.. pretend you feel your bones shifting and you got a good idea what mental agony change like that invokes.
This is NEVER the way one should adapt. What we can adapt though is stuff like , our location, what people see of us and who we interact with. We can move to a town or city that is more open minded, usually city cultures are much more tolerant towards the different than small town, we can adapt the way we dress so people might not even see the physical wrong gender and we can replace who we interact with. One can call it fleeing, but I ‘d say it is not. It is finding hapiness elsewhere. Don’t dig in a dry well.
Okabe’s reaction to Luka is rather toxic, calling her a guy while everything about her is female except for some chromosomes. Rather than asking for change in such a definite way, Luka should ask to be referred to as a girl by her friends. They are close enough and will do it for her, it’s not a complete road to happiness but it is a first step. If they don’t she should find friends who would.. It isn’t easy but adapting never is. Don’t adapt for others follow your heart and instincts for this one.
Same goes for those who have a “undesirable” sexual preference, you can pretend to be different but that doesn’t bring anyone happiness. Adapting.. is about making things work FOR YOU. While change is making things work regardless the cost. There is a gravitation on being standard.. but being like others never made anyone happy in its core. Do not change yourself… only change within the confines of yourself.. that to me is what adapting means.
Don’t change so others can live with you! Adapt so you are happier with yourself.
Deal with pain
To adapt let no one tell you, your fear, anxieties and pain is not real, or over exaggerated. Only you know how you feel inside. Real men don’t cry is a stupid statement and I am sure many would agree. In the same vain, you are over-reaction is also ALWAYS wrong. While it serves a purpose and can make you look back.. that feeling you initially feel is genuine. That is never taken away.. if you feel so much pain that you overreact.. it must have really hurt you. Never change the pain to go away, accept that it hurts and adapt to it. “My friend said a nasty thing.. . I better suck up and pretend that I do not care because it’s guy talk” is wrong. You pretend to be someone you are not which means you slowly lose yourself. I have lost myself in the past adapting into the person others wanted me to be.. in time it will just feel miserable.
At the same time you can also not expect your friends to completely change. Nowadays we want to ban so many words because if offends somebody but that is not the way either, you can not expect the entire world to bend to you. It would force others to change. To ask them to change is just as unreasonable. Your friends might hurt you at times by being different, they might be stubborn and be unable to relate. Don’t demonize them for it. Instead you reach out.. so all can changes within the confines of themselves. You tell your friend “I was really hurt by what you said, could you please not do that when I am around” Your friend doesn’t have to suddenly not find his jokes funny.. because they are not PC, he just has to tone it down in front of you. Or give you a heads up he is going to make such a joke… two adapt so neither has to change.
Okabe SUCKS at this. He can not accept the death of Kurisu so he changes it.. which sets in motion a counter movement, which ends up hunting Mayuri. He can not accept the world he now has created and has to change it again. And Again and Again. Okabe refuses to accept things the way they are and suffers greatly for it. He changes things.. even himself to an extend but never adapts. His blossoming love with Kurisu make sure that regardless of what he chooses he always loses.. and he is unable to adapt to it. Up to a point where it is nearly driving him mad. He gets his happy ending.. not by changing the world..but accepting what he sees. There are facts he has to deal with! However what those facts means is where he can adapt. Just because he saw something.. and assumed the worst doesn’t mean the worst actually happened. He saw something.. and now has to make the best out of that. He adapts. Yet it was a lesson that does not come easy to him.
We see this inability to adjust amplified by his alter ego Hyojin Kyoma, he in a way changes himself to another person. Someone he is not. The fact that Kurisu falls for Okabe and not Hyojin once more shows that you have to remain yourself. You can not just change everything and expect to be happy. That just doesn’t happen, we have to accept things in order to make them work. Okabe learned that lesson which is important in order to adapt and we have to do so to.
Yes if you are not a straight-cis person some people will think poorly of your sexuality, yes people can be racist if you have a different skin color and no we do not have to accept that. We can make other people adapt, make them see there is much more than a binary spectrum of right and wrong. What they see doesn’t always have to be true.. like it was for Okabe. We can show them they make false assumptions and enlighten them. Allow them to adapt… we can NOT change them. They have to be the one the instigate this within themselves. We can just help them along their way. Just like we can not allow them to change us. We can adapt, but we should not change. Like how Rintaro can step up to save Kurisu or Mayuri, yet his alter ego his change is useless. Happiness can only be achieved if adjustments come from the real self.
Because we are forced to stay inside doesn’t mean you change into a recluse that is isolated from their friends. Send them them a postcard a gift or put on a webcam. Hang out with them on your Animal Crossing island perhaps. Stay yourself and allow them to stay themselves and just tweek the way you can meet. If you have trouble being accepted because of who you are, find a common ground from which you can be accepted rather than change others into accepting that one aspect they approve of, and certainly make sure you don’t change and take on an alter ego of yourself.
In that spirit the OWLS set a good example in adapting. Yes we are all very different, yes at times it can be polarising and no we will not always agree. We can refuse to accept this and refuse to adapt.. but it would end up driving us apart. We accept.. some things aren’t easy as we want them to be.. and instead of projecting this ideal world we accept that it’s not.. so we adapt.. to find that glimmer in the dark. We adapt to not see each others as those labels that set us apart but the label that we all share.. We adapt to bearing our Otaku badge as a symbol of togetherness while still being our true selves.
Check out these amazing other OWLS Posts as well!
Hikari went before me and you can check out her certainly amazing post right here!
Aria will do the next one , three days from when this post releases… so if you read this after the 19th you can click here to check more adapting goodness! Or if you read it before you can click here to visit the blog in advance.