So, I've been dwelling on this quite a lot lately and I've finally decided to put my thoughts down in some coherent form. I plan on doing a few on this subject but I want to start off with my story so that anyone who reads these knows where I came from and what led to this.
I have found in my time here that I have a considerable amount of growing to do. I need to grow as an admin, a member, a role-model, and as a person. I know a few people that would disagree with this but I believe that as a person I have a set of responsibilities to the people around me. I affect each and every person's life that I come in contact with and in the past I have taken that simple fact for granted. I have been selfish, cold, and downright rude to others with little regard for them or their situation. I have turned a blind eye on someone struggling with an issue I myself could do so much to alleviate. I'm not trying to say that I am a bad person at all but I am trying to explain where I am coming from as I type this. Joining MadCast made me quickly realize all of these things and looking back I am ashamed to admit that it was me. That is why I have been on this "quest" to become someone I can be proud of.
It all started with joining WoW guild, and with my obnoxious behavior. There was, in me, a very hateful, cynical, depressing person. I was not happy with myself and I spewed my unhappiness at others to give myself a sense of self worth. Raging and negativity were common for me until I met a person named Chris. As much as I hate to admit it, Chris was the first person who completely leveled with me on an even playing field. He didn't rage back, or fall into my little game of negativity, he flat out confronted me in a way I was not used to being treated... calmly and with respect. This was a huge shock to me at the time. I didn't think I was worth respecting and so nobody respected me, it was a viscous circle that just perpetuated my own negativity towards myself. When Chris asked me to come into ventrilo with him I wasn't sure what to expect. Here was this guy out of nowhere that was not affected by my toxic spew and on top of that, he wanted to befriend me.
When I finally joined the server he was on I was met by not only him, but by an entire group of people (including Gezus and a woman who went by Tetisheri) that welcomed me happily and even went out of their way to help me. I have to say that it was really refreshing to have a positive relationship with a group of people. It was like I was not just some character in the game, but a person that was inherently good and that deserved respect. This revaluation shook me to the core, I began caring about what they thought and I did whatever I could to impress them and live up to this crazy new view that they had of me. I made so much progress that I was soon made officer in the guild where I continued to try and improve the way I carried myself and how I cared for others around me. I still lacked something though and I could feel it.
I was beginning to become annoyed when people didn't want to be around me all the time. It was wrong and I knew it, I just didn't know why until I read another blog about bettering yourself that I had developed a warped sense of entitlement. I was entitled to respect, I was entitled to my rank in the guild, I was entitled to these friendships. I was wrong, so very wrong. I began to distance myself from the people who were my friends online in order to bring myself in line, I focused on becoming a better player thinking that this would magically solve the problems with myself. I was again wrong. I had come to a standstill, stopped growing, and I was again not happy with myself. This is when I all but dissipated from detectable life. I focused on school, and in my off time I ran or lifted weights just to keep myself busy. I re-devoted myself to wrestling, ad didn't hold much of a social life for nearly a year. Then I graduated high school and to my dismay, I had no idea what I wanted to do at all. To top it all off, my grandmother, the one person who I felt I could go to any time for anything fell ill and passed away. Without sports to fall back on to release my frustrations I turned once again to gaming. This time League of Legends. I wasn't particularly good at it but I was having fun and that is all that mattered to me. This is when I met a fellow some of you may remember, KhanArtist.
KhanArtist and I had been playing together for a while when he brought up this cool community called MadCast. He had joined it and they were just getting a growing LoL following so I thought "Why not?". For this first month I was doing everything I had learned from my time before to make a good impression and when I was accepted it was like this entire community had accepted me. Not just the SFMs at the time, it felt like each individual person had seen me to be a person worth associating with and that put a fire in me that to this day has not died out one bit. I wanted to be better, to do things that would make these people who had accepted me happier and to make this community greater than it was. I was proud to be lumped in with the likes of Tort, Maday, Prince, Oliver, and others. I looked up to them with a degree of respect that was only lesser to those of my parents and awe at what they had created from the ground up. They had given me the same respect since the day I had come hesitantly onto the forums and I wanted to earn that respect ten fold. I began again trying to improve as a person. I listened in on these people's thoughts and took the core values here as the base line for everything I did.
From then on, my relationships elsewhere flourished. I began talking to my step father again after nearly 6 years of silence on both ends, my love interests were far more successful, and my friends outside of gaming noticed this incredibly positive change in me. I was driven, I now knew what I wanted from life. I wanted to make others happy in any way I could, to repay those who helped me develop my own sense of values, and find myself in the mess I thought I was caught up in. Shortly after I began putting more effort into everything I did and as a result I was given the chance to lead this community, something that at the time I thought I was ill prepared to do. Still, I relished the opportunity to again better myself and to pick the brains of the people I respected so much. What started as "I'm just filling in to help" turned into "I want to stay and continue bettering the things around me" and has led me to where I am today. I am no longer satisfied with just drumming along for the sake of drumming along. I want drive down the path less ridden and blaze trails for others to see and be inspired by like I was inspired by those before me. I wont stop either, not until I am proud of the path I have laid out behind me and I am sure that those who follow are put in the right direction to create their own path, one that they can then be proud of.