Written March 24, 2014
In 8th grade I started playing an MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role playing game. yes. I'm a nerd.) that I played hardcore and consistently for over four years. In those four years I found myself in the mix of a beautiful and expansive online-family some of which I still consider to be good friends today.
I used to take pride in the fact that I had such cool online-friends. These people were powerful in our game-world. Influential. They were smart and fast and they always had my back. It was kind of a joke on our server because while my character was well known I was never a high level, nor was I ever really good at the game. I think I successfully stayed below level 25 my entire high school gaming career, and not because I didn't try and level up. The truth is there wasn't much I could give them that they didn't already have, but none of that mattered. Because I had people I loved, and friends I trusted and a group of people I could count on, as well as people I knew could count on me. So I gave them the only thing I had. I repaid them in friendship, love and encouragement, as well as an ear if they ever needed it.
These last few years have been a roller coaster of learning. I've traveled the world and while it has been beautiful, I've come to realize that real life - growth, experience - is more painful and trying than we would has assumed. Life is not a video game and somewhere in the midst of everything comparison weaseled it's way in. My entire life people have been telling me that playing games is a waste of time and, because some of them were people I admired, I began to believe it. But it always felt wrong.
I spent my time online laughing and listening. We formed family. We fought for each other. We invited each other in. And you're telling me that's a waste of time? Behind each of those two dimensional characters - no matter how shitty the graphics - was another human. And I loved those humans. That can't be a waste.
But I entertained the lie anyways. Perhaps I had faked myself out. I grew jaded in some areas, and angry in others. But today all of that bullshit was shattered with a reminder from a long-time online friend; the truth I knew was somewhere deep inside of me: that life is, in all it's simplicity, the love we afford one another.
" I remember one of the first things you wrote to me on Facebook and that was that you loved and missed me, that day I explained that the word "Love" is rarely used between friends in Sweden due to it's meaning but I think I understand now. I love you as well, thank you for teaching me that Love has more meanings that I thought it had."
Hey. You are set free right now to pursue the way you feel drawn to love others. Be teachable and open and trust your feels. Find your truth. Truth speaks. It moves. Just like love. Be who you are. Continue to love deep and recklessly. and always remember:
Influence is not limited.
Love is not bound by location.
Mediums do not dictate the effective nature of sharing what we all desire.