Gaming has been a big influence on my life. Replaying one of my favourite titles, 'The Last Of Us', I suddenly remembered how I felt when I played it for the first time, realising this virtual world had such similarities to my own world and the struggles I put myself through without realising.
Our main protagonists are Joel who is in his 40's and a brave, 14-year-old girl, Ellie. The story takes place 20 years after a virus apocalyptic event has happened and society is breaking down as a result. Now you're probably thinking, 'Yes, I forgot that Earth recently had an apocalypse.' and you be forgiven for not remembering because, well, it hasn't. However, looking past the zombie apocalypse and focussing on the characters and their journey I found myself really resonating with them, I even feel they perfectly represent the constant battles I had in my head in everyday life.
Due to being born in a quarantine zone, Ellie has this belief that there must be more than 'just this', her naïve nature and curiosity about the outside world makes her feel different to other people and a bit of an outsider. This independent person is very capable and someone a lot of us can relate to. Now Joel on the other hand, remembers what the world was like before it was hostile. Over time, he's begun to become numb to questioning life and just bound by doing whatever's necessary to survive (pay bills and get to retirement in our world).
Now I think you can tell where I'm going with all this, the world in The Last of Us is our world. It's tough, hard and incredibly unfair, most of the time. I see the quarantine zones as a metaphor of how I felt about my career, being told to conform to rules and structure imposed on me by invisible high up entities I never actually met, only ever hearing their name in whispers between colleagues: sound familiar? I released I was feeling this all the time but I wasn't doing anything to change how I felt. How crazy is that? It would be the equivalent of being ill and not taking the antibiotics you so clearly need. This is where I realised I was being a Joel, unhappily pushing through life, doing what I thought had to be done in order to get by in this world, whereas I needed to be an Ellie and start asking the right questions.
There's a point in the game (MINOR SPOILER ALERT) that Joel has to smuggle Ellie out of the quarantine zone, a couple of months ago I decided to get out of my quarantine zone and signed up for an online digital marketing course with the ambition to leave the corporate world and live a life of digital freedom doing something I find exciting and fun. It's going to be hard at times, I'll probably have to dodge a few digital zombies along the way, but I know this is the right move for my life, maybe it is for yours too? I've included the link below which helped me get started.
Who wants to be an Ellie with me?
Speak soon and thanks for reading!
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