Falling Back into The Swing
by , 09-05-2011 at 07:25 PM (4550 Views)
We gaze out at the living room, admiring the piles of empty bottles of beer,
liquor, and vitamin supplements scattered amongst the cans of Coke Zero and half-smoked packs of cigarettes. We know we're nerds, because we always remember to take our B-Vitamins before and after drinking. I'm busy trying to piece together the events of the night before, and wondering whose bra was left in the kitchen.
We hunker around the living room, slowly eating leftover Pizza or the remnants of a Taco Bell run and The Gypsy couch dweller I took in looks up at me, grunts a little and says "Admit it, dude, you're like gamer Jesus or something. Just accept it."
My eyes come into focus and I see what the dirty bastard is getting at. Among the debris of our late 20's hubris is a plethora of polyhedrons, grid boards and scribbled character sheets stained with the rings of beer bottle sweat and nacho cheese. I suddenly remember the name of the half-elven druidess the bra belonged to....but I can't remember the player's name. ****. We gamed last night.
Let me back up a few months. Long story short, at the breaking point of my depression and self-imposed alienation after ending an almost six year relationship, I had decided to swear off gaming. I felt it had consumed me; every facet of my social life seemed tied to my nerdy habits. Even parties with strangers had somehow landed me rolling dice or playing esoteric board and card games. Borrowing a phrase that a friend of mine used to explain her own gamer hiatus, I was tired of being a bad-ass in a fantasy world. I wanted to be a bad-ass in real life.
The summer long hiatus wasn't bad to me at all. I have finally started writing again...the ideas of have been uncorked and flowing. It was rewarding – and relieving – to not have to be brewing stories in the hopes of interaction and player expectations. I also rediscovered in this my love of poetry, prose, the spoken word and abstract thought. I had also taken back control of my health, losing weight and getting my blood pressure back under control. I'm finally buttoning up shirts that I haven't been able to in years.
I also discovered something that I can't remember having – self confidence, and that I really can do anything I put my mind, time, and discipline to.
But one other lesson that came screaming back to me is that, while you can take the geek out of the game, you can't take the game out of the geek. And it's not a bad thing. While I tried so hard to mask my gamer nerd background in social circles, I rediscovered just how diverse and open geeks are these days. I somehow forgot the very thing that I have been preaching for years....that geeks are no longer the shut in basement types. While trying to hide my roots, I had many outsiders come up and expose theirs willingly. At first I thought I was cursed....I literally had dreams where I had an MMO-style exclamation mark over my head, and everyone knew I was a nerd. But now I realize that the traits that had these cool peeps open up to me are positive ones, ones that I shouldn't be ashamed to fly.
My summer came to an end with a new local FLGS asking me to run D&D Encounters, since I'm one of the few locals who made the leap to 4E D&D. I took it not out of a desire to game, but out of a love for the community and the wanting need to support our new shop (having been a former game shop owner myself.) Taking advantage of the bite-sized gaming session every week has weened me back into the DM chair.
Over the course of the past month, my attitude towards the weekly game has gone from slight annoyance and burden to an enjoyable time and, now, a rekindling of a pastime that I enjoy. A lot. And I can't believe I wanted to walk away from this.
The hiatus was necessary. It was a time to purge a lot of dead weight in my life, to get priorities re-aligned and to focus on things that I have been neglecting for years. I rediscovered so much about myself, and in the end I even got to rediscover why I love this hobby so damn much. A break from the vitriol, flame wars and other asinine things that can plague a good thing.
Forward to this morning. As we groggily pick up the trash and clean our place back up, the final life lesson here is that you can be a geek, and still kick ass. Our geeky hobbies teach us to think on our toes, how to gauge the odds and – most importantly – how to take risks. It's also blessed us with a witty vocabulary that lets us weed out the narrow minded, and find those true gems of people to be crazy with. Couple this with vivid imaginations and passions, and anything is possible at a geek party.
And in light of some recent controversy, you know....involving a certain article about dating a Magic pro champion....I'm reminded that if I have to hide that aspect of my life from someone, then I probably don't want to invest my time in them any way.
The Rev is back. Expect more dispatches from This Side of Entropy.