I became an adult at some vague point in the last 5 years and it's thrown a lot of my personality into disarray multiple times. Unsurprisingly, to me anyway, at every stage in my personal development, someone close to me has described me to myself as 'an Adam', and they assumed I'd understand what they meant.
Keywords to save everyone time:
Heteroflexible, sapiosexual, sex-positive, queer, polyamorous, cyberpunk, digital citizen, transhumanist, bodyhacker, ADHD-PI, medicated, roguelike zealot, pro/hobbyist developer, compulsive reader, minimalist, subreddit mod, vape enthusiast, former comedy wrestling referee, former Doomsday Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion. Well, my character was.
I play house and Splatoon with GraveTexan where our mutual aspirations allow. Sooner or later, I'll get around to formally ending my marriage to whiskeywhispers.
I've become something of a relationship anarchist in the last year or two, and I consider it one of the best series of decisions I've ever made. My wife continues to disagree, but my psych agrees that it was the right move for me.
TL;DR, I am capable, curious, and thorough. I used to be ENTJ, but I'm more of an (E|I)NTP now. MBTI may as well be a type of explosive ordinance as far as I'm concerned at this point. The real point is that I'm a thinker. I value logic, personal growth, truth, and progress above all else and I'm just awful at comforting people when they're sad because I just want to help them fix their problems and to feel uplifted by real progress, something they can take pride in.
I'm something of a hot mess, just without the being-a-hot-mess part. I wash my hands a lot, I organize my books by descending size from left to right, I'm fixated on symmetry, and I don't like wearing shoes with laces or anything that I can't sprint in at a moment's notice. I travel light, but I'm almost always prepared. I keep snacks and bottles of water in my car because I know I will eventually forget them, find them, and be fucking elated to have them. I have fetishes for bags and multitools. I spend at least 4-8 hours a day reading blogs, books, comics, tutorials. I live on the internet, but I don't die without it. I haven't yet, anyway.
Mostly I'm just trying to make my niche as a thinking node in the human organism, and trying even harder not to lose myself in the sense of insignificance that can come with that.
Here's the unabridged version.
These types of prompts get mixed replies from me. I used to wax poetic, I tend to wax philosophical, but none of that ever really gets the point across. Let me get as real as I can with you.
I could eat Whataburger taquitos every damn day and never tire of them. For a while, I actually did and thankfully, I lost that weight. A lot of it had to do with breaking up with the girl who was feeding me taquitos and getting with another girl who lost her job and lived on my dime for way too damn long. Ever had someone cheat on you with some random internet person from Xbox Live? I'm so glad this didn't interfere with my and my Xbox's relationship. Eventually, I broke up with my Xbox myself after spending 30 minutes verifying my identity to my console that no one but me played anymore.
If you catch me at the right time and place, my accent can go from Beaumont to Alief. I've known a lot of people and I've forgotten about a lot of them, but their mannerisms still stick with me in pieces. If you're just encountering me on the street, my non-regional diction is at the point where I've been told by non-native English speakers that "my English is perfect" and I "sound like a person in a movie" and asked by native Texans where I'm from because they think I'm from the northeast US. At the bottom of the mess, I ended up with a fixation on non-regional diction as an extension of my perfectionism and as a way of distancing myself from my redneck roots.
Sometimes I'll wake up before everyone else, wrap myself in the old horsehair blanket my Granny gave me so long ago, and watch cartoons while I eat cereal. I've been doing it for probably the last 17 years. It's one of the few habits that I try to keep from my childhood unaltered, and it's always a sobering moment to look into the black of a television screen and see the hairy man face of the present staring back at me where a still expect to see a wiry, lanky kid. If I'm feeling particularly mature, though, I'll put away the old blanket and wrap myself in the Zubat and Crobat quilt I was given last Christmas. 28 was a pretty alright age for me, if you can look past all the emotional abuse I had to come to terms with.
Up until 4 or 5 years ago, I used to get really excited about a lot of things, but after spending a lot of time either not seeing that kind enthusiasm in anyone else or basically having my interests derided by the people around me, I dialed it back considerably. Naturally, I spent years hearing from everyone I knew that they missed 'the old Adam'. Secretly, I still get just as excited but usually only in front of my family, who I know will understand, or my closest friends, who know me well enough to ignore how I may have just started raving mid-conversation about vidya games.
I was called the nicest person in the group once by a large group of people. It's true to an extent, but it's more political than anything. I resolve conflict and I get things done, I open dialogue and I help people learn, because I feel like most conflict comes from fear or confusion on the part of one or all parties. So I said, "I won't deny this, but I want to clarify that I'm not nice because I believe in being nice to people, I'm nice because I think people are shitty and I want them to quit it." Which is basically true, myself included.
I've kept an old trunk since I was a kid that's loaded down with photos and old keepsakes. When I was moving it to my last apartment, it had never been so heavy. I chuckled about it to myself at the time, because luckily for me, I'm more than strong enough to carry my own literal emotional baggage. When I moved out of that apartment, I moved the trunk into storage at my parents' house. There was no reason to keep carrying it around.
Clutter bothers the hell out of me, so I don't really react much to stuff, objects. (You'll hear me refer to them as 'artifacts'.) They don't carry much sway with me. I prefer tools, gadgets, furniture: things with presence and use. When I want adornment, I go for meaning rather than flash or pomp. I'm a collector of both curiosities and the curiosity of those around me. In the same vein, I used to be preoccupied, even obsessed with being an interesting person. Having more than established that, my fixation has shifted not to being a person of interest, but to stimulating the interest of others by showing them things they never considered.
When I was in high school, I went with a friend to the apartment of someone else he knew. She was a very mystical person, and she had a deck of very ornate cards with animals on them. My friend asked what they were, and she said to draw one to find out his spirit animal. I thought it was silly, but I had no reason to doubt it, so I took a card.
It was a frog.
I was underwhelmed that it wasn't a bird or a bear or a wolf, something with more grandeur that I'd be more likely to see in Native American art than in black light posters. I looked it up eventually and the frog represents metamorphosis, fertility, transition. It's a symbol of pure growth. I've never questioned it since, through any iteration of myself.
It's been a long time since my essay was this long, but I have a lot of stories to tell. I'll save the rest for when you need to hear them.
Being the change that I want to see in the places I care about.
Update (1/2/16): My Super Mario Maker level, "Can You Survive the KOOPARENA??" was voted in as the r/MarioMaker Best Experimental Level of 2015. That's apparently what I'm doing with my life now: building award-winning Mario levels and marveling as other people adopt my automation techniques and mechanisms in their own weirdo levels. If that doesn't paint a clear enough picture, well, there's all the text after this.
Let's be real with each other: I hate the word 'geek'. I think its surge in cultural acceptance as some kind of ascendant nerdery is flat out bollocks and I also just don't like being associated with the Big Bang Theory. (I mean the show.) Geeks are collectors. They pick up trinkets and trivia and they're basically tech hipsters.
I consider myself more of a nerd in that my interests are much more involved and I am more involved in them. I spend a ton of time on Reddit on the daily engaging in conversation around my usual haunts like r/PixelDungeon, which I still moderate and of which I am now de facto owner, r/MarioMaker, r/Splatoon, r/BindingofIsaac, r/ADHD, and r/electronic_cigarette. I use Reddit as a regular source of up-to-date and vetted information and I try to contribute where I can so that I'm not just lurking all the time. Most of the time, this means writing long, verbose posts about play strategies and stage/weapon design in Splatoon, handing out Super Mario Bros level critiques, and relating my own experiences to others dealing with adult ADHD.
Games are at the core of who I am and what I do. Mostly video games, because they tend to have the least overhead and also lend themselves to online communities, but gaming in general is very central to how I roll. I've spent my whole life playing with my brothers and sister and parents and taking little lessons here and there where I can, slowly building up this repertoire of skills so that now I'm at a point where I can pick up most anything and play it at a high level almost immediately. In a cruel stroke of irony, the better I am at games, the harder it is to play with other people because no one wants to just pick up something new for funsies and get steamrolled by some nerd who, for the record, has never lived in a basement in my life.
I'm not going to try to pretend I aspire to change the world in some grand fashion, but I'm trying to make things less shitty, bit by bit, one well-thought-out decision at a time. I write more online than I give myself credit for, and when I write, I write to teach.
I'm also developing my own roguelike, which I told a group of people I would bring with me to next year's US International Roguelike Developers Conference, and the process is literally realizing an impossible childhood dream for me.
On the same note, I'm pretty damn good at playing games. It's an art form to me, and I've been doing it for almost literally my entire life. I try REALLY HARD not to be a pretentious shitbag about it and I can talk about it for hours at a time if left unchecked. The philosophy, the design, the technology, the artwork, there's so much depth to it. As children, we play to learn to be adults, and as adults, we play to remember the child we were. The wisest of us are lucky enough to do both, to grow infinitely younger and older in proportion. The tension, the mystery, the wonder, and the lessons that can be found are innumerable and inexhaustible, and I am determined to know them all.
"Why is that guy smoking a walkie-talkie?" #vapelife
"I like your shirt." The pinup Zelda shirt gets this the most.
Other than that, I'll probably be in the back of the room, fading into the background of the situation, making eye contact with people in ways they can't sustain. Small talk kills me. I avoid it like a plague.
I love a good movie like I love a good game or a good book, but I prefer to watch a movie in one sitting, so I don't always have the patience to do so. As a cross-section of my movie preferences: The Holy Mountain, ExistenZ, Sunshine, 28 Days Later, REPO! The Genetic Opera, Reefer Madness, The Running Man, Zombieland, Splice, The Fountain, Miyazake movies, INTERSTELLA 5555, Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas, Tron and Tron: Legacy.
I'm more likely to watch TV than a movie, but even then I'm most likely to sit down to watch anything if I'm eating, because I don't like to try to eat and multitask. When I say 'TV', I mean 'Netflix', because this is the future and it's where I live. I'm still trying to get GraveTexan to watch all of 30 Rock and BoJack Horseman because I loooove them both. Kimmy Schmidt was way better than the trailers made it look. One day, I swear I'm going to go back and watch OITNB from the beginning. Same with House of Cards.
Music depends entirely on my mood. When Last.fm went in the toilet, I moved to Spotify and I couldn't even fucking tell you what half of the crap I like now is. Their playlist recommendations are getting better, so I fall back on the Mood playlists a lot, like Night Rider, Groove and Glitch, Amped Up, and Heady Beats. My latest fixation is on my Discovery Weekly playlist, where they just build a playlist of shit that sounds like something I'd listen to every Monday and then I listen to that through the week.
My gaming habits consist of mostly roguelites, platformers, and shooters. Since I swore off the whole Xbox line, Splatoon has become my new go-to shooter, and if you haven't played it, you should. It's a shooter for people who don't like shooters. I spent the first half of 2015 playing The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth through to completion and earning my 'The Real Platinum God' achievement. That probably means nothing to you, but I honestly consider it the pinnacle of my gaming achievements and I'm proud as fuck of it.
Every time I come back to revise this profile, the above line is always the one thing I never touch.
Whether or not the thing I'm typing takes the proper tone for the audience, because at least once recently I have caught myself doling out the harshness and rewrote the harshness out because I didn't want to come off like I was mansplaining.
That embarassing thing I did when I was a kid that I don't talk about but haunts me almost every day, despite having done WAY, WAAAAAY more embarrassing things since then for a laugh.
How I can work puns into basically everything, because I quantify my own cleverness in volume-of-eyerolls-received.
My next tattoo.
Whether or not I can focus on something hard enough to comfortably skip another meal so I can maintain my weight. I'm fucking awful about idly snacking.
...you want to crawl some dungeons.
...you want to play vidya gaems with me.
...you know how to handle your high, and more importantly, your whole damn life.
...you know/care what a roguelike is.
...you share my religious fervor for procedurally generated content.
...you want to bullshit about indie games, your thoughts on the freemium publishing model, DRM and its implications and implementations, and how much more cyberpunk the world would be if the sky wasn't so damn blue.
...you're not ignorant, closed-minded, or afraid of change.
...you want to go for a run sometime.
...you feel like you recognize me from somewhere.
If we mutually like each other and I don't message you, it's probably because I am a stupid boy and I'm fucking awful at starting conversations and clicking the star is my way of digitally making eye contact with you awkwardly from across the room and smiling at you before looking back down at my phone.