This week has been a long week for me- some of you know my circumstance in real life and some don't. It happens to be this week I get my Gjallarhorn completed after years of work. It's also been a week of a lot of thinking. It's been weird finally completing the relic horn. It's been weird trying to pinpoint how exactly I feel and why.
Wednesday night was interesting, I was really down about the windy run- my idea of less BLMs and meleeing stats really didn't work out that well here, as it had in other zones. It has been a -long- time since I'd had to say to just buy people out and give up a run. After the run Kuro mentioned wanting to buy the rest of the shells left, and while he went to check on stuff and coordinate the purchase with Tik, I kinda panicked going through my friend list and trying to think of ways to contact different people I wanted to be there for the horn- I got the horn, with only a fraction of everyone I would've wanted to be there, but it was a happy moment. After the run I had to go out with a friend and deal with some complicated RL stuff (nothing terrible, don't let your imaginations run wild).
Ultimately, my mood this week has been nostalgic and grateful. I realize that, to many, the horn is an achievement of status, while to others it's a big investment in money/time, to a lot it's both- but to me the more I think about it the more it means the culmination of experiences I've shared with now hundreds of people. Looking at my horn I think of so many people and the time I've shared with them because of SM. I couldn't possibly name everyone, but i wanted to try and name a few to help you understand how I feel about it and how grateful I am to this shell and all it's meant to me.
I see this item and I think of so many memories. I rememeber our first run, it was Bastok and we timed out without being able to get past the chocobo stables—I still have the first hourglass we ever used. I remember the first time we killed Dynamis Lord years later. I remember meeting the people who later became officers and some of my best friends. There's that one time years ago Tulaq gave me 50k gil cause I was broke and didn't have enough money to pay for stuff at an event. He challenged me to turn it into more money instead of just spending it. Those 50k have become millions upon millions I've made and used up over the years. There's the time that Nyena stayed up all night listening me talk about some of the most horrible things that I've had to deal with in my life. There's all the times that Kuro has HP'd cause he was angry at himself over something dumb he really had no control over but felt responsible for. There's all the times that 11c would listen to my ideas despite how much he didn't agree with them and the pep talk he gave me this week. I think of all the people that have come as jobs they didn't really want just cause I asked them. I think of all the XP Bubbo and so many others have lost just to let me try out some random idea I had that week- and when they started calling it RPK. There's the times that Ame would help me try to "toughen up" on people cause I was too nice to stand up for myself. There's nio, bobo and nap, and fantastic fanny, sexy lexy, beautiful Bella and all beautiful ladies of SM. There's the BLMs led by Tik yelling at me about how the melee crowd them, but being willing to die over and over again each week anyway. There's the day that we got our first RDM hat and there were problems with the lots and I got 40+ tells about it from people and cried cause I was so stressed out- and then another RDM hat dropped within 5 mins anyway. There's the time the LS frontpage was a collage of screenshots of me humping people. There's all the people that have left angry cause they thought I was trying to cheat them; there's all the people that have come back. There's that one Sandy run where one of our members got the call that one of their family had died. There's all the babies that have been born while people have been in the LS. There's countless friends and hours and work and frustration and fun. I realize that many of these people have gone their own ways in or outside of game. Some of you are here now but there have been so many before you. As leader of this shell I've been lied to, stolen from, taken advantage of and disrespected. I've also been praised and admired, I've been listened to, loved and cared for and trusted.
This week has been weird and great, not just because of the achievement we've had, but because I've been able to sit down and realize what it all means to me. It's the opportunity I've had to share my life with so many people. It's hours, sometimes fun, sometimes frustrating, that others have spent with me for good or for bad. I've gone through college while leading this shell and I will be 30 this April. I've been madly in love with "the one" a few times and had crappy breakups. I've made friends with so many people that I would never have known otherwise (including my favorite heathen and movie critic). It's been rough, I've wanted to quit, and I've wanted to strangle some of you. But above else it's been something I've shared with all of you. And I am grateful for the opportunity you've given me to share these 8-10 hours with you every week, for however long you've been here.
Tulaq and I were talking once. I was leaving the game for a while and he was taking over for me as leader of SM. He was worried and mentioned wanting to make sure things live up to my dream, what I had envisioned for the shell. I remember telling him that if the shell closed down that day, my dream had already been fulfilled. I had made so many friends. We had achieved so much together. We had spent time together and gotten to know each other. Had the LS ended that very day, I would have still been happy and satisfied. I still feel that way. When I look in my inventory and see the relic horn I've worked on for years, I feel it all over again. I made this LS with hopes and ideals. I have achieved those goals and continue to do so every week. I've met amazing people from all over the world and have shared time, effort and work with all of them. I am proud and grateful for the experience I've had with SM. I'm grateful for the good and the bad. I'm grateful to you who are with us this day and I have so many fond memories with so many of you who are no longer here.
Thank you and here's to another 4 years of friends and fun and lives spent together 8 hours a week!