Bag and baggage

After my last post, a concerned friend hit me up on gtalk to tell me that I perhaps wasn’t being dodgy enough about my secret location. After all, she had no trouble hunting me down! And indeed, based off the information that I gave, I would expect that anyone with more than a passing familiarity with the WoW blogging community would be able to figure it out.

Fortunately, I’m mostly trying to keep my distance from some people that know of my blog but who aren’t otherwise plugged into the rest of this world. And I’m hopeful they gave up reading months ago, but only time will tell.

But the fact still remains that I’m very adamant about not going back to Azuremyst. I count up the number of people I’d like to never see again, even virtually, and realize I could just about put together a 10-person raid group with the names on that list.

Sobering thought.

It seems very dramatic to assert that any of these people are real enemies of mine or anything like that, although some of them have seemed very unwilling to bury whatever hatchets might exist and just move on. My last year in WoW was one of my purposefully seeking out different servers to play on and get away from the stress and drama, only to have people find out where I was and follow me, so that even my alt-time had a shadow cast over it. Some of that, I believe, was purposeful and some was likely purely coincidental, but the end result was the same. And this year, despite my not really playing and not really blogging, has been the year of my getting publicly attacked and blamed for shit that happened a year previous to the other person(s) writing about it.

And no, this isn’t about WOE UNTO ALAS, PEOPLE DON’T LIKE ME.1 This is about how difficult it is to look at things like this objectively when you feel somewhat stalked and harassed and when you’re the subject of angry rants out of the blue.

I understand the angry rant. I’ve written more than one or two, usually while in the middle of some situation. But a year later? I might have some strong feelings about a person or an issue, but I’m hardly likely to write about it like it’s currently poisoning my very enjoyment of life.

So while I was able to mock and dismiss these separate year-later blamefests wherein I was pointed to as the source of all evil in someone else’s gaming life, I do find myself troubled by the whole concept of there being an aversion so extreme on their end that they want to name my name and point fingers and an aversion so extreme on my end that I want to leave that server, change my name and never be found.2

But the popular saying about failed relationships is that maybe you’re the common denominator in all of yours. I’d be lying if I said that this was something I like to think about, but it is something that I have given some serious consideration. That’s where it’s hard to be objective. I can admit to having made mistakes, some more egregious than others. I can admit that I was always highly visible in my guilds. I’m certain I disappointed some people along the way.

After four shit, five years of doing (and a few of those spent writing about) the leadership thing, I still don’t believe I am any closer to figuring out how to be any good at it. I don’t know at which point in the social contract it’s on me to take blame and at which point I’m more or less innocent of wrongdoing.

So I’m writing it down in the hope that maybe seeing the words on the page will help to resolve my recent thoughts into some sort of sense. That I might have a moment of enlightenment about how to better handle the baggage I carry. I want to put it down. I want to walk away. I’ve even thought I did leave some of it behind, but occasionally I’ll find that the suitcase I thought I left by the wayside a few years ago was actually just repacked into a different suitcase and then strapped to my back where I couldn’t see it.

I feel like the metaphor is starting to fall apart or was never very good to begin with, and I’m not seeing a point on the horizon. I still don’t know what to do – if anything – with the carcasses of failed relationships and I think my¬†metaphors¬†are about to take a turn for the morbid. I’m not even sure if this little ramble makes any sort of sense to anyone looking at it.

Maybe it’s just that as much as I like to think a move is like a fresh start, it really isn’t. Coming back here to write about everything only solidifies that notion. Maybe the answer isn’t in hiding myself away from my past but in learning to really accept it and move it.

What do you guys think? Have you ever tried to start over only to find out that it didn’t go entirely the way you had hoped?

  1. A concept that I’m growing quite comfortable with, actually.
  2. I just paraphrased Brandi Carlile. I am awesome.


Bag and baggage — 8 Comments

  1. So, something to keep in mind about modern blogs. Blogs are not “websites” anymore. Almost every blog in existence comes with a free tool, namely an RSS feed. You don’t have to add a widget make a tool, or create a script for this to work. It just does, if a blog conforms to the modern-day standards for content, and Blogger and WP blogs generally do by default.

    The reason I mention this is that in my experience, a lot of people use RSS readers (e.g. Google Reader, et al) to follow blogs. I do, for example.

    The lovely thing about an RSS subscription is that it’s out of sight and out of mind until an article appears.

    What does this mean to you? Well, basically what I’m saying is that it’s a lot more work to STOP following a blog than it is to KEEP following a blog, if RSS subscription is the way it’s being followed. So your faint hopes that certain parties might not be following your blog anymore are predicated on the assumption that they went out of their way to unfollow, which I consider to be highly unlikely.

    A lamentably deceased friend of mine, a follower of the Bagwhan Rajneesh (-10 spelling I’m sure) in her most recent incarnation, had this philosophy on recurring issues. She felt that the Universe would continue to subject you to the same problems until you learned whatever lesson there was to learn, and move on. Whatever mechanism you attach to this (sentient universe, hand of God, MCP), it’s an interesting concept. I’ve found it useful to identify mistakes I make consistently and resolve them instead of drag them around, as you so elegantly put it.

    As an example, there are people online that it just doesn’t matter what happens, they’re gonna hate on you and that’s all there is to it (looking at you, Bill B.). They’re not worth it. At some point you have to give yourself permission to ignore them.

    As a friend once told me, “eventually your enemies all float by, face down, in the gutter.”

    Honestly, who knows why cranks drag out old arguments for no good reason? The person in question certainly didn’t gain anything material from it, and in most cases, lost most or all credibility with people that were actually around at the time. He had greater effect on you than anyone else. And possibly that was his goal.

    • Well, I definitely take your point and it’s something that I gave some thought to. I do have the mild satisfaction of knowing that at least one of the people I hope doesn’t read me anymore was too technologically impaired to know what a reader was, let alone use it. For the rest, they could be hanging around.

      I will say though that I don’t think any one of the people I mention have done much to harm me on their own. It’s the fact that I have a small collection of such people that gives me pause. Am I a terrible person? I don’t know. I think I have more people out there with whom I have built positive relationships, but I do sometimes wonder if the number of people I have out there who seem to hate me is comparable at all to, say, the number of people out there who seem to hate you (assuming you have anyone like that at all, and I would be shocked if you did because you’re pretty affable). Just because you have a voice and a platform. That’s what gives me a little pause. That’s what makes me wonder what, if anything, I could have done better or differently.

      • That reminds me of something else; it’s a lot easier to remember the negative relationships than the positive ones because they just make a bigger impact on one’s self. “Name three good things about Cata. Name three bad things.” I bet it’s easier to do the latter, even though Cata is in no wise a hideously bad expansion.

        My list of enemies is long and even includes a famous science fiction author (of which I am unduly proud, I am certain). I could make a 25-man raiding guild. But I got tired of making enemies. So I try to focus on the positive and ignore those that would vex me.

        I’m not always successful. After all, that’s how I ended up in your guild in the first place. Rather than take my own advice and ignore the schmo that was bugging me, I let him force my actions in a different direction. At least in this case, I benefited far more than I could have imagined. Given my track record, that’s amazing. :)

        • Three good things about Cata:

          1. Revamped 1-60 experience
          2. Guild perks and whatnot
          3. Cauldrons

          That was easy.

          Three bad things about Cata:

          1. Firelands
          2. Firelands
          3. Firelands

          That was even easier!

          I am now insanely curious as to which famous SciFi author is on your list.

  2. Quit being so hard on yourself, stop caring about what others think or say about you, you have no control over how they feel or what they say.

    You have nobody to blame but yourself if you aren’t happy. You are in control of your life not them.

    If somebody is negative around you ignore them, don’t talk to them, don’t give them the satisfaction of giving a rats ass about what they say, or feel on any given issue that’s of importance to them.

    Lastly, move on.

    • Oh, I just read the response to Grimm. If I’m in that group you speak of, disregard everything I posted. :p

      • Well, well. Look who is still around! Hello!

        I certainly don’t include you in that group I mentioned to Grimm. We had our differences, but we also moved on.

        I suppose I have something of a difficult time moving on if there isn’t any feeling of closure. It’s very likely untrue – and my head knows it, but my heart or my gut doesn’t – but if I haven’t hashed out an issue with a person, I assume they’re still out there trying to stick pins into an Alas-shaped voodoo doll and cackling madly. It doesn’t keep me up nights or anything. I was just thinking about how many people I never do want to see again and thinking aloud about the whys.

        For the record, I am happy. Happy with my life, both real and in game. I just tend to think about the things that shaped me, and all that time spent being a GM is a huge part of my background.

  3. I’m glad to hear everything is well in your life.

    As far as the above, I wouldn’t think on it. If the people are who I think they are. They don’t matter.

    If you are thinking back on things like that wondering, let me just say it wouldn’t of mattered if you did things the way they wanted them, and bowed down to every request, when they failed it would still be blamed on you. Trust me on this. :)

    Move forward, learn from your mistakes and don’t look back at the bad. It isn’t worth your time or energy.

    For the record, I believe you did everything possible to try and balance everything and everyone.
    Did you lose your cool here and there? sure.
    Did you say things or type things that shouldn’t have been said or put in a blog/forum? you bet.

    I had my issues as well, I have put those to rest as well as WoW. In the end the good far outweighed the bad.

    When I think back on all the effort and time you put into running everything, what can I say but,

    Thank you Alas for a wonderful gaming experience, and for being a good friend.

    Good Luck :)