A bucket of sugar

Psst, hey, Prisse here breaking the 4th wall. You can roughly gauge how busy Morgane is by whether the regular updates are about the Pacific setting at-large, or if it’s one of these heart-to-heart things with us shipgirls. The latter is really us talking to you directly instead of us talking to each other (and thereby talking to you indirectly). 

Merry Christmas, and may you find rest and solace alone or with family, hard at work or on vacation. We’ll see ya in the next update, this year or the next. 

(waits patiently)

Okay, job’s done. Story time! 

Welcome to Prisse’s Consultation Corner. Hmm, need a catchier title…

I feel like these days, everything is always trying to tell you what to do. Do this, make yourself happy. Don’t do this, have some self control. Buy this, you definitely need it. Budget it, think about if you really want it. You get the idea, right? Heh, I’m kinda doing it right now, in a way.

But, what I want to share today, is how I think about why is it that I shouldn’t do something. One of those reasons is what I call the bucket of sugar fallacy. I love sweet things and I like to cook, and the temptation to dump in a literal bucket of sugar is very strong at times. 

You don’t need to follow the rules, cook however you’d like! You can let loose a little. C’mon, you deserve a pick-me-up. 

Those of you that saw my ginger cookie recipe knows yes, you do want a lot of sugar (in fact, given that this is a WW2-era recipe, you can say it’s mostly sugar) in it. But too much sugar’ll drown out the snappy ginger taste. It won’t taste good. Even if you trick yourself somehow and convince yourself it is, your stomach’ll be protesting pretty quickly down the line. 

You know as well as I that we’ve became a country that measures our lives via the content of our shopping bags and heals our psyches using retail therapy. You can argue that this is how it ought to be, sure, but then, have you ever experienced buyer’s remorse? Have you ever done something that wasn’t good for you – you know it wasn’t good but you did it anyways?. Maybe it’s skipping class to play video games and then flunking an exam. Maybe it’s throwing away thousands of dollars for your waifu in a gachagame (spoiler: the person who wrote in didn’t get the waifu). Maybe it’s buying that new purse that you really didn’t need (or want that badly, for that matter). 

All of this falls more or less within my “bucket of sugar” analogy. Over the years, I’ve seen just about every type of people imaginable out there.

I know plenty of people who knows internally why they choose to not follow “instinct” – out of ideological motivation, a sense of wanting to triumph, a desire to protect their own identity, or out of faith. These type of people just won’t dump the bucket of sugar, and thus will never suffer the consequences of burnt out stoves, near-unwashable pans, or the queasiness that comes with excessive consumption. 

Some people get burnt by this sorta thing once, and they learn not to do it. Some people are smart enough to apply one or two examples to other things in life, while others often need to experience the consequence first hand. My cookies are a nice E rated for Enterprise analogy. We can easily apply this topic to, say, alcohol or gacha games (yes, believe it or not, we get an awful lot of mail regarding bad life choices and rolling gacha).

Some people’ll get burnt by this sorta thing, but for one reason or another, is unwilling or unable to do something about it. Your friend that loves to get drunk and complains to you about her hangovers is in the former, addicts are a prime example of the latter. The first case, your friend likely have judged the consequences for herself and decided (possibly erroneously) that putting her liver through that every weekend is an “acceptable” trade-off. The second case, with addiction, there is a chemical dependency. At this point, excess consumption has more or less suppressed their own native identity and capacity for rational decision-making. They need the high and they’ll seek it, one way or another. Some people are able to, through effort, to cast off the shackles. Most people at this point are going to need some professional help. 

Some people will end up paying for their decisions in full. Life has no takebacks. I dump a bucket of sugar and I ruin my cookies, I have to bake another batch. Some things, like your body or relationships, once ruined, can’t be fixed again.

“Prisse! It’s almost Christmas. I’m on holiday break. Can’t you be a bit more positive?”

I am. You’re here reading me, right? Anyone who’s reading my story is easily capable of dodging this sugar bucket trap. It just depends on where you are in regards to how much you believe in yourself. This whole thing takes one two-part question. Do I really want (to do) this? If so, why?

Some people knows what the answer is, and they know themselves well enough that the answer is certain and final. This is the realm of anime protagonists, but every once in a while you run across one of those pillars of community types. They exist and are out there.

Some people knows what the answer is, and they believe they know themselves well enough to be certain of their answer. This is where I think most of us will end up, and it’s only natural for us to think like this. 

Some people know what the answer is, but they aren’t sure if they’re really sure. You’re all smart cookies here, so keep on asking! By the way, 99 out of 100 times, if you aren’t sure you’re really sure, then you probably don’t want it nearly as much as you think.

Some people don’t know what the answer is. I bet you that you can figure it out. Because there’s definitely one that’s ultimately better for your well being, and there’s gonna be a bunch that’s not. 

At this point you might be wondering, did Morgane get kidnapped or something? Why’s Pacific turning into a pseudo-self help blog with shipgirls? What’s this got to do with Pacific?

Well, Pacific’s a reality where we exist and you guys are all fictitious “readers,” right? Think about everything we do here as a way for you to get to know us better. The weaving of historical figures into our timeline, the real-timeline anecdotes, and the little pieces we put out, all of it serve this purpose. It makes us happy. 

By showing you who we are and how we think, we’re hoping that we can help you in some way, too. I can’t help you fix your car, or to help you pass your exam. I can’t help you sort out your family or your boyfriend/girlfriend, or fix your hairline, or help you lose weight. No more than you can help us fight the Abyssals and save the world. 

But do you know what I can help you with? We are mutually connected by the simple fact that we’re humanity. You’ve been moved by great works of literature, of religion, of art, haven’t you? The people who made those aren’t around any more – you can no more “talk” to them than me. Yet they’re real, aren’t they? You can find encouragement and wisdom in their words, or serenity and joy in their creations. 

We’re people. And so what works for me has a good chance to work for you. What helps to pull my friends out of valleys and dumps mentally has a good chance that it’ll help you. Hearing about the mistakes we’ve made might give you a better shot at averting those same mistakes in your own life. 

… We’re in a fight for the future of humanity, aren’t we? Let’s not forget, you’re a part of that too.

Merry Christmas! Until next time.