Monday, January 3, 2011

Raise your glass...

The last couple of days have been absolutely transformative for me.  I went from doubting myself 24/7 to having this overwhelming feeling of joy which is permeating everything around me with this incredible energy!

Ok, for you Myst Universe folks out there...this relyimah is doing the freaking happy dance.  Catch it this way in terms of the Book of D'ni...the Paar'li have been silenced and sent back to their homeworld and the linking book locked safely away with a do-not-disturb sign placed on the doorway and carved into the stone.  Ymur didn't even have to raise up and vanquish them.  Feel me?  There is a celebration happening right now the likes of which Yahvo has never seen.  If you're thinking in terms of the great kings of D'ni, the kidnapping plot has been foiled and the Loshemanesh Laws are in FULL EFFECT.  Now the Myst Universe folks are down with the with me y''s time to par-tay... Maintainers are on the scene ensuring safety and the world is a good and happy place.  If a Veovis-type person shows up to the party, they'll get to see bio-luminescent algae up-close and personal because I'm throwing them in the lake.

Ok, for you Myst civilians out there, let's just say that I've changed the rules a bit.  Yeah.  "A bit" is an understatement.  I decided to put my fate in my own hands and the response from all of my friends has been over-friggin-whelming.  When you make changes in how you view life, those who have known you a long time have one of two reactions to it, they'll either support it 100% or they'll give their criticism and let you know their point of view.  Well, those disagreeing with my latest change have stayed blessedly silent, either that or they aren't going to weigh in either way, which is very sweet and they get a thumbs up from me to just let the positive flow by not interrupting it with negatives.  However, the majority of my pals have been 100% supportive.

I broke away from my old guild.  I did.  I just decided to walk my own path.  It's like Barry said, if people aren't 100% on board with what you're trying to do, it's misguided.  I could have all of the noblest goals in the world, but if it was aimed at the wrong audience, it was all for naught no matter how noble.  So, I packed up my noble goals and decided to take Emerson's words to heart and cut my own path.  I figured it wouldn't do me any good to keep doing something that wasn't appreciated, wanted or wasn't fun (or healthy) for me.  So, being encouraged by a pal, I remembered Barry again when he reminded me it's ok to be a builder of empires, so with some help, I constructed my own guild, remembering that to build an empire, it has to have a strong base of humility, helpfulness and lots of love.  I figured that I'd be alone and that I could just relax and play on my own, no stress, no hassles, no answering to anyone but me...most of all, not having to leave my fate to someone who made me me miserable.

Well, I have to say, my screen doesn't light up in pink anymore except from folks from all over congratulating me and cheering me on.  A couple of people even whispered me, "Thank you for finally putting a stop to letting people use you..."  My jaw dropped on that one.  I hadn't thought of it that way before, but after the stories I've been hearing from people who are supporting me, I kind of feel guilty because I became this great welcome mat in my old guild that people just loved being around, and made them feel like they belonged there, but when they found out what was actually in the guild, they sat there miserable (like I did) or eventually bailed out.  After hearing how they really felt, I was overwhelmed with guilt.  I felt like I had lied to them, when the truth was, I was just being me, but I had to accept the fact that well, some folks in my old guild weren't like me at all.  They just used me to make sure everything held together like some crazy form of duct tape.

What shocked the ever loving hell out of me was that I thought I was going to be alone on my path, but it ended up completely the opposite.  My screen lit up in pink with nothing but whispers saying, "Take me with you."  Jaw drop again.  Wait!  I thought what I was doing was misguided!  Oh gets better, over the course of the last 4 days, I've been bombarded with one sentence that is still shocking the hell out of me every time I hear it...

"I only stayed because you were there."

My jaw is STILL hanging open from that.  I really didn't think people were hanging around for me, I mean come on, WoW players are selfish and after the quickest route for loot, aren't they?  Weren't my efforts misguided like Barry said?   I mean, come on, I'm not that special...I'm sweet to people, I say "please" and "thank you", I give more than I take...and most of all I don't ask anyone to do what I wouldn't, following the "do unto others as you would have done unto you" golden rule.  Is that so rare?  Last time I checked, I burp, fart and go to the bathroom like everyone else and I definitely don't shit marble.  So why the hell did they want to come with me?

Seems as their first impression of me with my whole "guild mom" routine really resonated with them.  They felt like they were cared about and that sold them on the whole prospect of playing in my old guild.  But it seems as since I left, they don't want to be there anymore because I guess what I do, no one else did.  Hmm...putting it into that context, is what I did so misguided?  Yeah it was, because the hard truth is, I didn't belong there to begin with.  I'm just not cutthroat enough.

Now, here comes the thing that gets me, people are still coming.  They're transferring servers to be a part of my new little endeavor.  People came from out of thin air that I've known for a while and are asking for invites...they're talking to their friends to bring them along.  Out of nowhere, I've not even spent time talking to anyone, outside of two people who mean a lot to me, about the whole thing.  It's viral!  I'm not even making an effort and it's like a tidal wave coming in.  As soon as people found out what was happening, I've had nothing but whispers of support, e-mails, cheering, and all of the things I never in my wildest dreams thought would happen!  And they're all just coming in!  I'm blown away.  Just absolutely jaw-on-the-floor blown away.

Here's one more for the jaw drop list, I had someone send me money via paypal to pay for our vent server for the year.  I didn't even say anything and they just stepped right up and sent money!  I have folks volunteering for jobs like leading old world raids, organizing fun social events, I've had requests from people asking if they could become the guild tailor, alchemist, leatherworker, engineer, you name the profession and they've all stepped up and volunteered!  I didn't even ask!   They're just so on board with my whole philosophy of "greatness comes from a feeling of family," that they're going out of their way to make sure the folks are getting organized into five man heroic groups and gearing up, they're making each other gear, food, flasks and the guild bank is filling up with things for people to use!  They've all been actively collaborating with me and each other to create an organization that supports and succeeds because they believe in each other and would never dream of leaving anyone behind.

I. am. blown. away.  I thought I'd be alone, I really did.

Now what I did put a halt to is what I found out about last night, which is one of them, in their zealous support, had been talking to a few people from my old guild to try to get them to come over with us.  When I heard that, I about flipped.  I put my foot down and said a resounding "NO MORE" to them.  I told them, "Look around.  Is there anyone here that has been recruited?  No, there's not, everyone that can see our guild chat is here of their own free will.  If other folks want to come along, they'll whisper us, so don't bother anyone in our old guild anymore.  Our old guild was kind to us and I want them left alone, they've already taken enough losses.  We're not desperate for people, we've got plenty of folks here already to do any number of things, so you let them alone.  And that goes for everyone.  You leave those poor souls alone, they're playing the way they want to, so just as you want to have fun, you let them have theirs.  The choice to stay or go is theirs and theirs alone, we should not be any sort of influence in their decisions, they're adults, they can make up their minds on their own.  As I respect them, we should all do them the same service, no matter how you feel about what happened to you or me or whomever.  We all have friends, we're all social, but don't you DARE try to recruit anyone, we're a guild of free will and folks who WANT to be here and it's going to stay that way.  If they want in, they'll let us know."  So after stamping out my first fire, everything went back to business as usual with a stern warning to the individual who took it upon himself to go try to get people.  I thanked him for the effort, but reminded him it wasn't appropriate and not how I do business.

After all that, we headed off to organized five man heroics.  Bosses fell, people picked up gear, things were placed in the guild bank and it was very awesome listening to people talk freely, constructively offering solutions and working together for a larger purpose.  We had our moments of wiping, but it was such a unique experience...everyone exercised a level of patience and perseverance like nothing I had ever seen.  After a wipe, it was a breakdown to even the smallest of spells and abilities to try to get the pull right.  Instead of just one or two people discussing it, everyone did.  There was no blame, no calling people out, just constructive suggestions and adjustments.  Sure enough, with everyone communicating and even a lecture on "hold your nut" for those really crazy DPS folks who love to pull aggro and rage starve a tank, it started clicking in a huge way.  I walked out of the instances just blown away on what a beautiful sight a group of people who WANT to play together and have a common goal look like.  My jaw is still hanging open.

What I still can not get over, besides the fact that it's snowing in Vegas right that all of those people followed me.  I mean, I figured maybe, on the outside and at the most, one or two would want to tag along...but not on the scale I'm experiencing.

It's amazing what happens when people feel wanted, valued and supported.  I told them, a guild is like a house, we have to have a solid foundation of trust and acceptance.  Everyone here has their own innate nutritional value they bring to the table and have abilities that will amaze us if we just give it a chance.  The walls will be decorated with love, respect and fun.  And, if I hear anyone maliciously telling someone else they suck, they're out on their ass.  At which point, they all commenced to tell each other they sucked in a very joking way.  *facepalm*  Which made us all burst into laughter because we all know that we don't suck and we know how to play.

Wow, to go from negative to's like the sun has broken through the clouds...if it doesn't last forever, I'm cool with it, but this has got to be bar-none one of the most positive experiences I've ever had.

Ok, on that note, as I raise my glass to all of the darling souls who have been giving me nothing but positive energy and support, let's boot up the newest addition to the soundtrack, P!nk's "Raise Your Glass."

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