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Lonely Location, Lonely Life


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So I know that we are in a pandemic and all, so meet ups and con's are pretty much off the table for a while yet. But I wonder if there are any of you on here, like myself, who live in really rural areas and have limited access to the anime/manga community outside of online? Growing up I had no idea that anime or manga even existed. Growing up in a pretty conservative house I had only brief glimpses of such things through mediums like Pokémon and my friend's interests, but even these influences were limited by my parents. 

When I was in probably the 5th or 6th grade was my first real introduction to anime through some fellow classmates, mostly because they wanted me to understand why it was so cool. Soon after I began spotting Japanese styled books and shows everywhere and became pretty obsessed with the language and culture as well. I even started a club with my school mates (though honestly there were only like 4 of us and all we did was meet at my house to watch shows and eat snacks). But soon enough that small group disintegrated, either by moving away or the slow ebb of communication once I went off to high school.  

In high school I went to a coed academy in the middle of nowhere (very generous private sponsors my whole life), filled with lots of young people my age from my church denomination.  Strangely enough there were quite a few like myself who enjoyed the medium! To the boys dorm I became the download queen (Our school rules prohibiting private movies and dvds for our laptops), they would come to me for absolutely any and all anime, because unlike the other girls in my dorm I liked ALL anime and manga, not limiting myself to genera. Several of us made far off distant plans to travel to cons and experience the American world of anime, others (including myself) wanted to travel to Japan someday (though by this time my interests were not solely weeb and I had actual interest in the country itself). But time went by and people moved on. I graduated and went to China for 2 years (again sponsors), and while there never really lost my love for Japan.

After two years I returned to my small hometown in the middle of the US. and here I have remained for about 6 years now? But unlike the rest of my story I have been pretty alone in my interests up to this point. There are a few fellow weebs where I live, but I am not particularly close to them. My closest book/entertainment store is severely limited in both the anime and manga sections, with prices being jacked through the roof for conveniences sake. So now at 25, with two years of Uni down and another two to go, my single and alone ass is out here looking for other people like myself just to have a conversation with about our mutual interests. 

I am also wondering where all the guys from my church who liked anime and manga went... did yall fall off the face of the planet? Yall need to come back because ya girl never left.

But seriously though, I'm not alone in this problem right? At least the rural living, with limited access and few if any friends who share this interest?

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Welcome to AF! Your struggle is all too familiar to me. 🤣 I live in a scarcely populated, small-minded, and rural town in the middle of nowhere that's covered in snow half the time. Seriously we don't even have a Starbucks anywhere closer than maybe a couple hours away. There is nothing here but places to drink, a few churches of varying denominations, and sometimes we do rodeo and play hockey.

Despite all that, my husband and I managed to identify a handful of other weebs. I suppose the key item here is being able to ask it up front if they like X or Y. As long as you have a little circle of people you're comfortable being around (safely, of course, minding the pandemic,) then that's all you really need. If cons are more your thing, I suppose it'll just have to join the queue (Coachella, Olympics, Sturgis, TED, etc.)

All said, covid hasn't been making it easier, especially for us rural folks. Social functions have been largely trampled on in just about every way and Japan has already appointed a Lonliness Minister to address this very problem. Maybe more of us could use such a reach out. 😅

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I grew up in a rural community too & was introduced to anime via  syndicated series like Star Blazers, Robotech, Voltron etc. I’ve moved since but still not a hotbed of anime culture.  Went to a few screening of anime films that weren’t Ghibli before COVID. While never a situation where I was the only one in the theater, nowhere near capacity & very lowkey. Most anime merch is in Hot Topic or FYE, where I stick out like a sore thumb. It was a bit better back in the day with Suncoast & comic book shops (I was into the Xmen & Spiderman titles back then too). But pretty much relegated to online forums now. Though even there, I’m not really comfortable with the more high profile ones (Reddit) because too much trolling & toxicity. Likewise, not really a fan of the whole Youtuber culture either. Would much rather just interact with fellow fans not aspiring influencers.

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2 hours ago, Wedgy said:

Welcome to AF! Your struggle is all too familiar to me. 🤣 I live in a scarcely populated, small-minded, and rural town in the middle of nowhere that's covered in snow half the time. Seriously we don't even have a Starbucks anywhere closer than maybe a couple hours away. There is nothing here but places to drink, a few churches of varying denominations, and sometimes we do rodeo and play hockey.

Despite all that, my husband and I managed to identify a handful of other weebs. I suppose the key item here is being able to ask it up front if they like X or Y. As long as you have a little circle of people you're comfortable being around (safely, of course, minding the pandemic,) then that's all you really need. If cons are more your thing, I suppose it'll just have to join the queue (Coachella, Olympics, Sturgis, TED, etc.)

All said, covid hasn't been making it easier, especially for us rural folks. Social functions have been largely trampled on in just about every way and Japan has already appointed a Lonliness Minister to address this very problem. Maybe more of us could use such a reach out. 😅

Still trying to figure out how forums work haha, but I think this is how one would respond? 

That's the thing I am just suuuuper antisocial haha. Like I can think of only a hand full of places where one could meet up with fellow weebs, but none of them are really places I feel I could just walk up and talk to random people.  And on another sad note, I haven't ever had the chance to go to a con actually. Yet another reason to be disappointed in last year and this one... I actually have the means to go (T.T). But I suppose I'll just have to wait it out.

 

Us rural folks will have to be each other's ambassadors to keep the lonelies at bay!

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On 2/22/2021 at 4:38 PM, chibicharlie95 said:

But I wonder if there are any of you on here, like myself, who live in really rural areas and have limited access to the anime/manga community outside of online?

Not really in touch with that particular problem.  With the exception of living in Huntsville, AL for about a year in 2nd grade pretty much all of my existence has been in extreme urban areas.  Currently I’m in So.  California in the foothills near Los Angeles.. it was somewhat rural when I got here ~40 years ago but it rapidly filled in.   Nothing but assholes and elbows as far as the eye can see around here now.

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40 minutes ago, efaardvark said:

  Nothing but assholes and elbows as far as the eye can see around here now.

Haha that is much too crowed for me! But I would like to have just a few more weebs in the Midwest. Feels like the really concentrate or are super spread out. There isn't really a happy medium.

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52 minutes ago, chibicharlie95 said:

Haha that is much too crowed for me! But I would like to have just a few more weebs in the Midwest. Feels like the really concentrate or are super spread out. There isn't really a happy medium.

I wouldn’t mind having a couple more local anime fans around myself.  The ones I know are mostly into just the popular stuff like DBZ or Naruto (and always dubbed).  I once tried to get a binge party going for 魔法使いの嫁 (Magician’s Wife) and got a resounding “meh” in response.

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7 hours ago, efaardvark said:

 I once tried to get a binge party going for 魔法使いの嫁 (Magician’s Wife) and got a resounding “meh” in response.

Geez, that’s not even that obscure. Guess people swoon over sparkly vampires or moody werewolves, but no love for guys with a longhorn’s skull for a head 😂

And I would’ve thought Cali would have one of the more active & diverse anime communities.

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8 hours ago, Ohayotaku said:

And I would’ve thought Cali would have one of the more active & diverse anime communities.


I’m sure there are more around but I have no time (or social life) to connect with them.

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Hello there! Your story hits home, I myself felt pretty lonely specially when I started to follow the anime route, after many years I've found people with the same interests as myself but I also learned the most important lesson in my life:
And that is Perspective. 

I do not intend to say that this is the correct way someone should live, and I do not intent to offend or attack someone. I am purely speaking from my experience with the intention in mind to help someone who seems to be in a place where I was before.

I've been really fond of why do we feel lonely, why do our feelings matter so much that in some cases they even make us take irrational decisions. I've went and tried to search for that answer (and still try to find out more about, we will always keep learning) in a bunch of places, philosophy , religion, psychology, teachers that knew about this subject and regular people like friends and family. The responses are quite different as expected, but there's one point in common and that is where your point of view in life is placed. It is placed on yourself, other people, something else which totally can mess up your mood in general and make you feel uncomfortable? I'll try to share my story with you, perhaps it will make you feel a bit less lonely.

For a long while and without knowing , my perspective was placed on relationships that other people had and which I myself wished to have, trying to make myself obtain something like that and ignoring my own nature and self pace, trying to become something as "the clown of the classroom" to accomodate myself in some groups, but losing interest after a while because I didn't know how to form bonds. After many circles of doing the same thing I became numb about myself, who was I what I was trying to reach or prove why do I want friends in the first place and why do feelings matter so much.

I had the luck of my life in 11 grade when I learned about a guy named Epictitus, an ancient greek philospher which spoke of stoicism (one of the many stances , or points of view, from many on the matter of life) from there on I tried to apply everything I was learning about life from those old texts, and finally realized that I should be the center of my own life and the first and most important person in it. I felt like a dumbass when I realized I was not caring about myself, not thinking once about loving myself and trying to fullfill myself without my own power. Life is not a stale river, but most of the time it is, and if you ever feel lonely due to not having acess of meeting people or feeling lonely even tho you're with someone, you have to realize that you're not alone, you are there and you can reach happiness with only yourself.

Those things that you learn from philosophy classes (or from people and even animes) come in handy when you don't know where you are in life. About 7 weeks ago I went to college and stayed for 4 weeks in there due to exams, I didn't have any type of human interaction and felt quite lonely in the beginning but I managed to get by and feel actually pretty happy when I realized that I am here, I am the one who should love myself.

I know it's easier told than done, but as one of my favorites characters once said:

Have hope. - Gankutsuo.

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On 2/28/2021 at 6:42 AM, Kurosaki27 said:

For a long while and without knowing , my perspective was placed on relationships that other people had and which I myself wished to have, trying to make myself obtain something like that and ignoring my own nature and self pace, trying to become something as "the clown of the classroom" to accomodate myself in some groups, but losing interest after a while because I didn't know how to form bonds. After many circles of doing the same thing I became numb about myself, who was I what I was trying to reach or prove why do I want friends in the first place and why do feelings matter so much.

I had the luck of my life in 11 grade when I learned about a guy named Epictitus, an ancient greek philospher which spoke of stoicism (one of the many stances , or points of view, from many on the matter of life) from there on I tried to apply everything I was learning about life from those old texts, and finally realized that I should be the center of my own life and the first and most important person in it. I felt like a dumbass when I realized I was not caring about myself, not thinking once about loving myself and trying to fullfill myself without my own power. Life is not a stale river, but most of the time it is, and if you ever feel lonely due to not having acess of meeting people or feeling lonely even tho you're with someone, you have to realize that you're not alone, you are there and you can reach happiness with only yourself.


My version of that is to always try to be myself.  That much I know I can do.  :)  It is a fool's notion to try to be someone else.  Let's face it, most media or other "pop" personalities are fake anyway so there's little point in emulating them, and there's only about a 1:7,800,000,000 chance that I am the best human at anything.  So I just try to be me.  Of course from there I try to do better but a much more realistic and practical goal is simply for this week's me to be better than last week's me.  After doing that sort of thing for a few years I've discovered that I'm actually pretty good at a lot of things.  Some of these things I use to make money.  Some of them I use to help people.  Some of them I just enjoy being able to do.  Trying to be something you're not is just asking for trouble.  Worst case you can wind up with issues caused by repeated failures to attain the unattainable.  However, I've found that trying to be the best me that I can be can not only be quite satisfying, it also has side benefits.

As for Epictitus.. I can't say that I agree with everything in the Enchiridion.  It isn't a bad start.  (My favorite quote: “Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.”)  I do think that quite a lot of happiness comes from within, and keeping a level head is never a bad idea.  But Stoicism is not itself happiness.  Modifying yourself to accommodate others isn't always the best path, or even the easiest.  For sure there's wisdom in knowing what can be changed and what must simply be learned to live with, but give in too much and people will walk all over you.  Everyone needs to push back at least a little.  The trick is in picking your battles.. knowing when to push back and when to accept reality.

For myself my philosophy can be roughly summarized thus:

donoharm-takenoshit.jpeg.1714bc8e35d43eafe1ec7a8c3671f4d1.jpeg

:)

 

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2 minutes ago, efaardvark said:


My version of that is to always try to be myself.  That much I know I can do.  :)  It is a fool's notion to try to be someone else.  Let's face it, most media or other "pop" personalities are fake anyway so there's little point in emulating them, and there's only about a 1:7,800,000,000 chance that I am the best human at anything.  So I just try to be me.  Of course from there I try to do better but a much more realistic and practical goal is simply for this week's me to be better than last week's me.  After doing that sort of thing for a few years I've discovered that I'm actually pretty good at a lot of things.  Some of these things I use to make money.  Some of them I use to help people.  Some of them I just enjoy being able to do.  Trying to be something you're not is just asking for trouble.  Worst case you can wind up with issues caused by repeated failures to attain the unattainable.  However, I've found that trying to be the best me that I can be can not only be quite satisfying, it also has side benefits.

As for Epictitus.. I can't say that I agree with everything in the Enchiridion.  It isn't a bad start.  (My favorite quote: “Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.”)  I do think that quite a lot of happiness comes from within, and keeping a level head is never a bad idea.  But Stoicism is not itself happiness.  Modifying yourself to accommodate others isn't always the best path, or even the easiest.  For sure there's wisdom in knowing what can be changed and what must simply be learned to live with, but give in too much and people will walk all over you.  Everyone needs to push back at least a little.  The trick is in picking your battles.. knowing when to push back and when to accept reality.

For myself my philosophy can be roughly summarized thus:

donoharm-takenoshit.jpeg.1714bc8e35d43eafe1ec7a8c3671f4d1.jpeg

:)

 

Indeed, Stoicism is not happiness, it was just my start for a long journey that will hopefully last for the rest of my life ☺️ (gaining more knowledge about myself and the rest of the world) . But what I wanted to share above was the importance of having a start for building up your own world, one can easily be lost in the mist of life. 

I am very happy to see you sharing your own philosophy, it quickly shows your experience of solving problems, which I do respect in people.

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