The past month has been, without doubt, the hardest I have had since I left Phoenix. I don't really know how to explain it, or why it's been so tough on me, without exposing my personal life completely. Maybe that's what I need to do, to indulge in some real emotional... vomiting and get everything out of my system. But I think if I did that, I would push away the few people I feel close to. Instead, I'll settle for saying that I feel very lost, and very confused right now, more lonely than at anytime since I came to this server (which still doesn't feel like home), and I don't know what I should do. Right now, I'm just trying to tough things out, and hope I can find some polar north again so that I know which way to go. I am grateful for the friends I have though, and for everyone who has offered me a shoulder to cry on.
Unlike our BCNM runs, the ENMs I've been doing with Kurai and Nix have yielded little other than exp. BCNM runs have given up a PCC and some Ni scrolls, though, so I guess it's ok.
Spent some time skilling up woodworking and smithing. Quivered some arrows so I could skill up with them at a later date (at the time of writing, Archery is my lowest combat skill, at 117). The dialogue for the quiver NPC is... interesting, given that she roams through cities in nothing but her birthday suit.
Dynamis... I don't know. We failed to clear on Sandy and Windy on our first attempts (timed out on Sandy with one statue between us and the final TE; wiped on Windy after a sac pull went wrong). Got Sandy on the second attempt, where I was asked to come pld instead of thf. To be honest, I was kinda upset by that. I know we were short on our usual plds, but there were plenty of other people there with pld75, who just show up on DD jobs, so for them to stay as is while I'm asked to change... is it a compliment to my pld, or a dismissal of my pulling skills?
On a related note, I've given up on Mandau. Could I make the money for it? Yes. Am I patient enough to sponsor runs and try to avoid buying from bazaars once it's no longer neccessary? Yes. But the thought of the northland items stressed me out, and I just couldn't face it. Already re-sold the currency I'd purchased from bazaars, thankfully for a small profit, so I guess it worked out ok, but I imagine people are upset with me. But hey, if there's a harsher critic of myself than, well, myself, I'd like to meet him/her. I'm very annoyed with myself for changing my mind so often. I've told my LS not to let me sponsor now, because I don't trust myself to see this through.
Fuck your over-powered Temenos NMs. Even if I had dia on, dying to two hits that strong is just silly.
Though I have no pictures, it was pretty rad two capes dropped from Ix'mnk on Saturday. That was long over-due.
Part of me is wondering if maybe I should just quit this game, though. I've spent the past 3 and a half hours stood either in my MH or Jeuno, doing nothing but chatting a little, playing with dats, and being let down by people. As much as I like the people here, my linkshell, and my friends, I'm finding myself wondering if they'd be better off without me. I know they wouldn't be (though I've no doubt some people would be very, very happy if I hung up my boots and called quits), but I need to admit that I'm thinking it. (It doesn't help that I have this morbid fascination of what my background checks - the ffxi version of obituaries? - would read like. My previous one was ruined by things that had nothing to do with me, but what little I read that was about me matched my expectations. How would the handful of people I have spent time with on Valefor remember me? I fear that, for too many, they would comment mainly on my aggression when things go badly. Believe me; such acts are nothing compared to the tonge-lashings I save for myself).
What all this essentially comes down to is: I am feeling a lot of self-doubt this past month. I am questioning myself more than I should. I am doubting the answers I find. I taught myself to do this ever since my teens, to question myself, to challenge all my thoughts and beliefs in the hopes that I'd re-affirm them or be able to dismiss them, and on the whole it has been a healthy, constructive practice (when I say "I screwed up", I am not partaking in self-flaggelation, but in an honest assessment of what I did; when I say that I'm secure in my vegeterianism, it means that no one is going to covince me to eat animal corpse unless they present an incredibly strong and novel argument; etc. etc.). But just like any other knife, what can be used for good can so easily be turned around in some grotesque act of emotional self-harm, and that's what this feels like right now. Like I want to shut myself up so that maybe I can stop with all these doubts. I know that there are people who want me here, who care for me, who appreciate me both as a friend and a player (and sometimes, they even break through all my defences and make me feel good about myself), but it can be so very hard to believe that.
There are still things I want to do in-game. I want to get Maat's cap (202 levels to go). I want to see Fusion kill JoL. I want this linkshell to be a respected endgame linkshell on our server, to shake off the stigma that some of our ex-members left to us. I want an Avalon Breastplate, simply so I can say "I have an Avalon Breastplate". I want to make a tier0 HQ which isn't a thrice-cursed gavial mask+1 (or three in a row, as happened when I was skilling up bonecraft). I might even level corsair to 75, like I've been telling myself I would for years. And I want to do it with my friends there, without feeling this distance that I feel is growing between some of us, without drama, without people whispering about one another behind their backs.
It should go without saying that not all my present problems are ffxi-related, before the impression is created that this game is my everything. On the contrary, rl problems make in-game ones worse. The recession is making finding decent employment incredibly difficult. I can feel my old friends growing distant from one another as they move into more "adult" life-styles, whilst I still refuse to let go of my youth (I am a firm believer that youth is wasted on the young. I adore the vitality of youth in an adult body, of someone who you think is 10, 15 years younger than they are upon first meeting them. I'm proud that many people think I still look like a student, even though I graduated years ago). And there are other things, which are none of your business, oh humble reader.
This has turned out far longer than expected. I'll end with some good news though!
Dooom <3's Lehko, just like the author of this journal (OMG! Revelation! Get bent). Dooom also <3's tasteful mods. I'm also only 14 merits away from having capped category1 merits on 5 of my jobs (war, rdm, brd are capped; thf needs two more in SA, pld one more in rampart). And while tidying my room I found the CD I'm listening to now, which I thought I'd lost several years ago (and has an incredible title, the kind I wish I'd thought of first). It's a benefit CD for art schools in America, featuring some of the more challenging, "arty" hardcore bands of the time. The South and Turn Around Norman both sound incredible right now (I especially like the section on Turn Around Norman's "Dying in black and white" where Laura sings, repeatedly, "For our weakness, will you ever forgive me?" while the band build up behind her - seems very apt right now. I'm a sucker for hardcore bands with girl singers though (even though I find Walls Of Jericho boring)). It'd be asking me a lot to "rank" my interests, but music would certainly rank highest. And my guitar playing has come on a lot recently. Of course, that means nothing given that no one reading this has heard me play guitar, but for those who have heard the bands I'm about to reference - think of The Assistant, Black Sabbath, Yaphet Kotto, and your pick of melodic hardcore bands such as Champion and Dag Nasty. The only cover I can play in full without advance notice to refresh my memory is Darkthrone's "Transylvanian Hunger" (though I can play oodles of other people's songs on bass). And I've still never broken a string, despite thrashing my guitar on a daily basis. For some reason, that makes me proud. And there's something else too which is keeping me afloat and stopping me descending into complete collapse, but I'll reveal that at a later date to a select few people.
That's enough for now. I feel much better for having written all this. Perhaps I wrote too much, but oh well. In doing so, I am reaching out to you! I am not doing this for entertainment, and if it sometimes makes you uncomfortable or wonder exactly what I'm thinking, then mission successful. This is not a stale record of events, but a living, breathing journal of emotions and occurances seen through the eyes of a kid who perhaps exposes himself a little too much, and so gets hurt too easily. Note what I write about! Events and drops have, as the journal has progressed, becoming increasingly less important compared to people and how those people feel about one another. At least I'm sure of one thing - I'll not be forgotten easily. And sometimes - even if the occassional ghost of someone I have left for dead reaches out to me and disturbs my sleep - that's all I need to know.