Vanity, vanity, all is vanity

Vanity, vanity, all is vanity

They say never meet your heroes. But what they should have said was never accomplish your dreams. Unless you like feeling hollow and empty on the inside. I’m not sure what to do now. I’m not sure who I can trust. It all just seems so… meaningless.

But let’s back up. The only place to begin a story is, well, at the beginning, and this story is no different.

When I was but a wee lass, enjoying college (okay, “enjoying” might be a stretch. Let’s go with “attending.” I was attending college) and beginning my foray into the world of adults and stuff, I realized something: I need to be entertained at all times. I get bored fast, and I need more and more and more things to look at or do to keep my little mind from breaking. I don’t have ADD; it’s more that I just can’t focus for a long time and get easily distracted and maybe I do have ADD.

Anyway. What was I saying? Right. I’m bored.

But though I realized my problem, I could not think of the solution. What was a girl with no attention span to do? Would I forever be doomed to be…dare I even say it… bored??

And then one day, my sister showed me something. Something wonderful. Something amazing. Something that could occupy my fragile little brain for hours.

Bubble Shooter.

Have you ever played Bubble Shooter? It looks like this:

bubble

It’s exactly what it sounds like – you shoot bubbles at other bubbles. You have to match the colors and when you get three of the same color to touch, they POOF away and you get points. It’s very satisfying. First of all, anyone can play it, as long as you understand what colors are. And there is no time limit – you can leave it for hours and come back and all your shiny points will still be there. Since only maybe six people in the world are playing it right now, you can always get a high score, and when the bubbles pop they make a very exciting sound that lets you know how cool you are. It’s just the best.

I started playing Bubble Shooter when I was 20 years old. I played between classes, I played when taking break from homework, I played instead of homework (sorry, Mom and Dad), and when I wasn’t playing I was thinking about the next time I would get to play it.

But when I graduated and spent less time in front of a computer, I was unable to play with the bubbles very often. Time passed, and soon it had been years since I had had the satisfaction of matching their colors and hearing them pop.

Until one day, when both my kids were napping, and I found myself to be a little bored. The dishes were done, the laundry was laundering, the floor had been vacuumed in the last month or so. With no chores left, I turned to the computer, and it was then that I remembered my beloved bubbles.

I started to play in my free time. After the kids went to bed, I would play. While Daniel and I planned our future and talked about our finances, I would play. While my Pop-Tarts burned in the toaster oven, I would play. Time and time again, I would come so close, so very close to winning, only to be thwarted at the last second. I told myself it wasn’t about winning; it was about the joy of the game. And I believed that. But as time went on, my yearning to be the Bubble Shooting Champion grew stronger and stronger.

Some might say I was obsessed. Well, to those people, I ask: Does having a dream mean I am obsessed? Does spending every waking moment planning my strategy for the game mean I am obsessed? Does seeing the bubbles dance and burst in front of me as I lay in bed mean I am obsessed? Does playing the game over and over while my children beg me for food as they sit in their dirty diapers near the kitchen where dinner is burning and the house is filling up with smoke mean I am obsessed? DOES IT?

Okay, I can see your point about the last one.

I played for days. And then weeks. And then months. And then one day I realized something incredible: I was about to win the game. I was about to shoot the last bubbles and finally, finally have my victory. The anticipation was almost unbearable as I positioned my mouse to shoot the bubble in the precise location that would finally grant me the achievement I had been working toward for eight years. I pressed the mouse. The bubbles popped. And I saw…this:

bubble-shooter-high-score

That was it. A high score and a blank game board. No fireworks. No fanfare. No glitter. It was almost as if I had been playing something trivial. It was like my hard work over the past months was meaningless. A meaningless, hollow victory.

My world seemed to shatter around me, popping into nothingness just like the bubbles I had worked so hard to shoot. How could this be? How could I have come so far, only to have it end like this? What does it mean? What does any of it mean? Is nothing in life sacred? Are we not allowed the simplest pleasures, filled with bubbles and funny sound effects and joy? Why did this happen? WHY?

It hit me hard. I didn’t shower. I didn’t eat my veggies. I just marathoned Pretty Little Liars on Netflix and tuned out the world. These are all things I do all the time anyway, but it seemed sadder now. I just wasn’t ready to face my friends and family yet. I’m still not. Until now, I have never shared this heartache with anyone.

So now you know my sad tale. Sure, I may seem a little jaded, a little cynical. Wouldn’t you be, if you were me? Wouldn’t you be? It’s easy to judge without understanding the whole story. This wasn’t just a game. It. Was. Bubble Shooter. Almost a decade of hard work, gone, just like that. I just don’t know how to go on anymore.

Never meet your heroes. Never follow your dreams. It all just leads to sorrow and heartbr-

Holy crap, I just found the sequel to Bubble Shooter:

bubbles

Look at it. So shiny. So enticing. I must win it. I must win them all. Brb in eight years.

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