I looked at my friends and family list this morning, sensing it changed in the night. I'm not sure how to explain it, because I hardly ever even glance at it, but this morning, I knew it had shifted. Sure enough, my premonition was correct, for another friend had left Azeroth, with no forwarding address.
There are a hundred reasons why we spend time in Azeroth, and probably thousands more of why we should not. I read the guild chat of folks expecting babies, recently having had babies, vacationing, all peppered with loot and gear links and achievement announcements. They are all giving each other parenting advice, raid tips, updates on what they're eating, drinking, nerd-raging, laughing, and generally enjoying each other's company. They are fine folks, and I am having a grand time with the raiding team and my guild-master. He's a great guy, and the two married guild officers seem like nice folks, too. But I look over at my boxes and closets full of other hobbies, abandoned and dusty, half-accomplished and given a cursory glance, and wonder to myself what the hell am I doing here, and why am I deaf to new siren songs?
But that bad dream I had this morning, I just can't quite shake it yet. And the loss of another friend seems to mirror my own self-doubts and...what is it? What is it?! I am not bored with Azeroth. I am certainly not lonely. Perhaps it is nostalgia. Nostalgia in general is a thorny emotion, with a soft underbelly. I can only muse to myself while in Duskwood on how it used to scare me, or marvel at the natural beauty of Howling Fjord, listening to the lonesome fiddle chorus wrap and squeeze around my heart, or look at the supernatural troll fires eternally lighting trolls' shrines, all the while thinking "I wish I could go back..." But I can't. It's a one-way treadle.
Many players have grand to-do lists, which I may just copy and paste for myself:
The issue with to-do lists is they become their own quest chain--I need to regain my own sense of the boon I am seeking, and rediscover...something.
Thassarian: You seem so--displaced, and rudderless, sir. You call with convinction that "We will RAVAGE this LAND!" in your death-rattle croak, yet, I sense you do not believe it. You seem defeated already sir, and tired. Arthas took everything from you, and you still feel a sense of duty and honor.
A suggestion, good sir knight: Perhaps you can regain your sense of purpose and go protect those who deserve your service. To all good knights and fair ladies, think about your actions. I urge you to read Precious and Soft's farewell to Azeroth post, and recognize two key things that I have always held as critical: story and humanity. A reminder: there are humans behind those characters, with health, financial, romantic, and other concerns and goals.
As I sat here writing this, I had Western Plaguelands awaiting me in the background. I can hear the whippoorwills and grass rustling in the breeze, and the pine needles playing their delicate wind-chime song. I smell the musk of the bears, and the scent of lake water and wood smoke. The honorable clomps of horse's hooves are the sound of security and watchfulness. There is a sour smell, too, almost imperceptible, from the scourged, diseased lands to the east. But when the breeze is blowing from the west, it cleanses the land and renews hope, although no one knows why. They just sense it.
To my dear friend, I know you are fighting the good fight out there with intelligence and humor. I wish you well, and godspeed, sir, godspeed. May the light embrace you.
Postscript: To my other friends: Don't get any smart ideas and take off.