I love animal crossing

hello

this post is dedicated to my friend kenny ackermann, who had wanted to hear my post-therapy thoughts as a poem, but this will probs be pretty prose-y

also, sorry for disappearing for months, ah ha ha #alwaysmakingatleastonekindofcontent #Ionlyhavetwohands

“so as we have probably gathered, there is a lot in my brain at all times, and it’s not always good stuff. so she was calling them weeds, and saying that I have to cut them out of my garden, and I should put positive stuff there instead. in my head, all I could see was my lil island, with the weeds everywhere, and it’s like ‘okay, we either gotta pick the weeds, or dig em out, whatever works just get rid of them’, and then instead of leaving space open, we also have to plant flowers, because there is a shortage of flowers in the garden, and we do deserve to have a pretty garden; it doesn’t have to be empty. we also don’t have to wait for other people to bring flowers, we can just get the flowers ourselves and plant them, so, that was very helpful imagery, and now I just have to actually do ittt, but yeah.”

this is the voice note I sent to kenny right after my appointment. kenny also plays animal crossing, so I was free to go full analogy mode as I explained what my therapist had suggested as a way to tackle the ever-present negative thoughts in my head. he then replied with even more analogies that I will save for another time, another prose-y post. maybe a poem. but for now I am including a picture of a weed for reference just in case you don’t play animal crossing (you’re welcome)

so

I’m having a good day today, but three days was not a good day. I was calling it the midas touch effect, but if you imagine every thought, every flower and open spot of land that my mind touched, turning into weeds, that was what was going on. distorted thinking on overdrive, negativity to da max

I will say that I handled it well. I reached out for help and gave myself space as needed, let myself cry, let myself laugh. I also sat and wrote out some affirmations and verses I’ve been collecting, and even if I didn’t believe all of them, it was nice to catch a break and think about flowery things. then I watched My Neighbor Totoro, took a shower, and went to sleep to recharge before my therapy appointment the next morning

the following days have been tangibly better. if you’ve ever crossed over from one edge of a rain cloud to another, the transition was like that. the ground’s still wet and you’re a bit chilly because your clothes are soaked, but at least you can put the umbrella away for now. and then you take out your switch and play animal crossing, because it is the best

where there are valleys, there are hills. you don’t know when the terrain will change, but as long as you keep moving, you will get through it.

to pull back and explain things a bit more for those of you who are not familiar with this amazing game that I’ve barely had for a month, you move to a deserted island and get lots of little tasks to progressively improve life for you and the neighbors that eventually move in. a lot of the game is time based–you can’t speed through tasks, and there’s a lot you have to wait for. if you pick all the fruit from all your trees, it’ll take a few days to grow back. clearing all the weeds from your island when you first arrive (or whenever you decide to do it) takes patience, because you have to grab all of them one by one. and the weeds do grow back, so you’ll see them around occasionally

and there’s more to this analogy. or rather, there are more instances in the game that make me think about life. like when my neighbor antonio wanted me to give our other neighbor gayle a gift on his behalf, but I accidentally opened it (I didn’t think it would open fr, I just wanted to peek). so, when I get to gayle’s house, she said she was kinda disappointed that antonio hadn’t wrapped the gift. I had the option to blame it on, him but I told her that it was my fault, and she said she’d appreciate it if I didn’t open her gifts next time

imagine a pink alligator making you feel genuine guilt. bruh.

so that was one thing, and then another one of my neighbors, shari, asked if she could call me a nickname. my name on the game is adunni, so everyone calls me that. which I like. I’m very big on my names being said in full. but for whatever reason, shari decided she wants to call me gigajolt

I don’t know

I thought about it before I said yes, because again, say my name in full. but staying in the context of the game, shari knows what my name is. she’s not asking for a nickname because she’s too lazy to say it, which is usually my biggest reason to not let people call me nicknames in real life. so I decided to say yes cuz, why not. and it was cute. until antonio asked if he could call me gigajolt too. definitely wanted to google if there was a way to undo my initial approval. but is it really the worst thing?

it’s a fun game. I have to make big decisions like where I’m gonna put my bridges because it’ll cost a lot of money to move them in the future, and I’m not exactly making the big bells yet. and any bells I *do* make, I need to be putting towards paying off the loans I keep taking to expand my house. which is a very cute house. in a very cute, fun game. it brings me genuine joy to run around my island, especially when my friends come to visit. especially when they bring gifts. speaking of which, I’m thinking I’ll have my birthday party via animal crossing, so be on the lookout for invites in june

that’s really the gist of it, so I’m gonna add some more pics because how cute am I? and how nice is shari? I’ve clearly enjoyed the game a lot and will probably continue to do so, but it’s helpful to have so many reminders to consider myself and my wants. and to do my therapy homework, because it’s important. I’m kinda rusty at this blogging thing, but the points I really want to drive home are that there are always lessons to learn and tools to use, they just come in really cute packages sometimes. so plant all the flowers, whether you buy them from nook’s cranny or your friends bring them over for you. but the weeds have to go, and no matter how many there are, it’s worth the time and energy it’ll takes to get rid of them

thanks kenny

Author: Iyaniwura Olarewaju

† | naija | nj | Cornell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s