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Should Be

June 14, 2011

Dear Reader,

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my personality and “who I am.”  I don’t mean that in a new-age hipster soul-searching (or soul harvesting, either) way, but more about who I already am and how being jobless and wowless is effecting me.

See, I’m a teacher at the core.  It’s truly a calling for me, not a career.  Before, when I was bored with WoW and took a break, I was still a teacher.  I was still me.  Now, though, since I’m not really teaching at all (community college hardly counts as it’s adults instead of kids; it’s a methadone for my addiction), being bored with WoW is scraping my personality.

I think I’m basically three people: husband, teacher, and gamer.  The husband thing’s secure, except my wife has been gone and will be gone again shortly for an entire month, so it’s “secure” in the long term at least.   The gamer is kind of secure as I play a lot of games, but honestly WoW’s always been top cat there.  And I’m not teaching, really, so teacher’s basically gone.

That means my distance from WoW makes me feel almost 2/3rds gone.  While 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, 1 out of 3 kinda stinks, so this is a fundamental change in how I feel about myself.

I’m not sure when or what caused my WoW error.  I used to be a serious part-core raider.  We were knocking down Kara, BT, ZA, Naxx, ToC, and ICC for a long, long time.  Something in me clicked, though, recently.  Perhaps not raiding for such a long time put some perspective on it.  I somewhat doubt that, though, because Beru’s been feeling similarly and has also been pretty hardcore raiding a lot.  Perhaps WoW was secondary to teaching, but I  didn’t know it until I no longer was teaching.  Maybe I can’t really enjoy WoW without my job security; that’s a very Maslowsian (new word alert) explanation.  Or perhaps I’ve just had enough, like Beru, and have reevaluated the costs.

I’m not sure about any of those, though.  The not raiding thing seems like if I started again (I did a bit and stopped) that I’d be back rearing to go.  I’m not.  The job thing seems – I don’t know – the most likely, actually, though I didn’t think about it until now.  Initially I thought I’d say “… seems unlikely since I’m still relatively well off and without immediate worries.  The fed up thing seems like it should wear off, but it hasn’t.

When I used to play, I was highly motivated to improve my character in any way possible; grind for gear, practice rotations, read new strategies.  Now, while I still read to be informed, the grinding just isn’t it for me.  Something fundamental about that one aspect of the game turned off, and I have no idea how to turn it back on.

As you know, dear reader, I’ve been leveling, and I hope that will rekindle the interest.  The struggle of group leveling my mage didn’t give me that opportunity, so perhaps the shammy will.

I don’t know, though,  I finished up Tol Barad (even though I hate the grind I still freaking did it) just the other day and noticed I had 37 revered reps.  I checked my rep window and saw that Thorium Brotherhood and Timbermaw were close but not done, so I knocked those out.  I never bothered finishing the Bilgewater rep, either, though I’m only about 6k away.  I donned the tabard but had to log.  I’ll get it next time, I figured.  Then I realized I’d spent hours that I should have been leveling doing that grinding.

And there’s the problem, in my own damn head: “should have been.”  There are now, I think, too many “should be’s” in WoW – for me at least – and I just don’t like that.  I love to read, but hated reading books assigned to me, books I “should have been” reading.  I don’t like being told I “should be” doing something, but if I’m just asked to do it, I haven’t any problem doing so.  It’s some sort of  authority disorder or the like, I’d assume.  But when did WoW, coupled with my own mind, become “authority?”  Become something telling me what I “should be” doing?

And that’s the final fundamental change, dear reader.  WoW itself, or the community, or perhaps just my perception of WoW, has become authoritative.  It’s not a game anymore, it’s an assigned book, assigned by my own mind, by my habit hobgoblins, prescribed to me for my free time.

So I need to play.  Just play, I think.  And I’m doing just that, for now.  I hopped on Earthen Ring and respecced my warlock (by respecced I mean specced him, since I haven’t been on him since Naxxramas was end-game content) in anticipation of moving him if I like the shammy and the guild on that server.  We’ll see though.

We’ll see.

Sincerely,

Stubborn (who thought Ben Franklin said, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” when in fact it was apparently Emerson.  Whoops!)

10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2011 5:52 am

    …Or maybe that’s just how we’re meant to feel in times of change and transition. I can relate to your post very well as I’m at a very similar point in my life, having left a very long and intense time with WoW this spring (and having given up teaching for another possible career I’m still not sure about).

    And it seems to me that we tend to try and flee those times of re-orientation and insecurity in our lives because they feel uncomfortable, but that’s not always for the best. that empty room between where something ends and something new can begin, is such an integral part of life. I think we need to learn to deal with such phases and let them happen, without trying to “over-coat” them by busy-making. so that we may be able to hear and see where our path truly leads when the time’s right. embrace that empty space and your free time imo. :)

    • June 15, 2011 12:35 pm

      I think the empty room to which you refer looks a lot better when you know you’re exiting in. When you’re in it, stuck for an indeterminate time, I think it seems more like a doctor’s office reception room with old magazines, sick strangers, and the feeling of being forgotten.

      That said, I’m still putting out job apps and trying to keep hope alive. WoW helps by distracting me, which may or may not be a good idea, but it is at least something familiar. In fact, going back to my lock has been immensely fun since I haven’t played in such a long time and there’s been so many changes and new mechanics. I can heal and regain shards at the push of a button after basically every combat? When does this get hard?

      At any rate, thanks for the kind words of support. I hate to say I’m “hopeful” about anything, but I did have an interview yesterday morning (before I wrote that piece, actually) that may lead somewhere. We’ll see. I don’t want to get my hopes up, but with nothing else on the horizon it’s hard not to.

      We’ll see.

    • June 16, 2011 7:33 am

      And I hate to say “good luck!” with that because it sounds so much like a phrase, but I’ll say it anyway! :) the thing with the horizon is, it can change really fast!

  2. June 15, 2011 5:35 pm

    I also went back to my Warlock recently. About halfway through 80-85 on a whim decided to try out Demonology again, which I had found utterly boring when I last tried it back in Icecrown [when it provided a massive raid buff]. Demonology fucking rocks now. I honestly can’t put my finger on what I enjoy about it so much, but it’s got me very exited about playing my Warlock again.

    It’s easy to get bored when you do the same thing over and over, I mean, the gameplay itself in WoW isn’t amazingly deep once you’ve mastered the technique for your own role. Where WoW excels as a game is in the sheer amount of stuff to do in the world, and I have so much respect for Blizzard when I realise how often the new things I try turn out to be a boatload of fun to explore and to figure out.

    [The only thing in recent memory that didn’t do this for me was Paladin tanking. The rotation just seems two steps removed from what is actually happening in the game– Like the holy energy is doing all the real work, and I’m just managing a production line that keeps it flowing.]

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