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Looking Forward, Looking Back

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My mom likes to send me old photographs from time to time. They usually feature me at various periods of my life--grade school, college, whenever. In some, I have a full head of hair, like the ones from my days at Oberlin, the first place where I was never concerned by the mark on my neck left by my violin (the dreaded violin hickey I had to constantly explain in high school). In others, I stand next to former boyfriends in front of Colonial buildings, or am in the midst of playing some sonata or another, or singing in a choir. Some of them I took myself. When I went to music festivals, I was fond of taking pictures of trees for some reason. Those photos don't often feature people, but there sure are a lot of leaves. 

I bring this up because for much of my life, I haven't taken many photos or written down many memories. I haven't collected many birthday cards, or kept up my address book. Over the last few years, this very blog has fallen into disuse, too. I wish I had tracked life better. I wish I could identify all the people that do appear in photos. I wish I could remember where I was and what I was doing in, say, November of 1996. I have only lived in the San Francisco area for about six and a half years, and I will run into someone, and he'll say hello, and ask how life is, and how GameSpot is, and I will smile and nod and chat--and wonder, "Where do I know this guy from?" 

Most of my thoughts on games appear elsewhere now. Long-form ideas appear in actual GameSpot features now rather than remaining delegated to a blog post, and bit-sized thoughts get tossed onto Twitter and Facebook. What's missing is an outlet for personal musings. In some ways, I tend to be reserved in blogs, at least since I have worked here. It's kind of odd being a public figure, even if it's just "Internet dude that writes about video games" kind of publicness. More words open me up for even more ridicule, as if nasty review comments aren't enough to keep me consistenly humbled and sometimes humiliated.

But not so long ago, something in me changed. I recognize that words have power, obviously--I write for a living. I know that words are more than letters arranged in some semblance of order, but containers of ideas, thoughts, dreams, and emotions. And I will never allow people to disparage the ones I love, and always stand up against those that use words to hurt, demean, and accuse. I have never been very good at letting terrible words bounce off me; I take them to heart quite often, which is why I tend to avoid comment sections. And when I do visit them, I become invariably emotional. Often, that means feeling hollow inside for a while. Sometimes, it means a few tears. Other times, it means becoming defensive, and standing up for my work or that of others. But that thing that changed in me--it was a realization that I must stop giving people power to hurt me. 

This isn't meant to be a "QQ" post or anything--just sharing. Part of that realization was that expression can be incredibly cathartic. I am an extremely expressive individual, quick to Tweet what I am thinking, quick to cry when I am hurting, quick to talk about meaningless subjects to people who politely listen but may not have much interest, bless their hearts. And yet there are major parts of my life that stay in my mind, and I explore them alone until they become entire worlds of thought and feeling. And sometimes, it's nice to invite others to explore with you. 

And so I want to share more, and invite you to join me. Sometimes, it might be about games, but a lot of the times, I will probably blog about something else. Most of my game thoughts you can find everywhere on this site, and all over my Twitter. (fiddlecub is my Twitter handle. so feel free to follow me.) There's a lot in my life to share right now. Maybe I'll share with you the trials of gaining so much weight back, and the current efforts to lose it for good and ensure it remains gone. Or my journeys to art galleries and Seattle coffee shops, and my mom's summer visit. In any case, in a few years' time, I want to have a place I can look to, where my memories can be jogged and I can have those moments back for a while. 

Here is as good a place as any for them to live. I suppose this blog post is revealing my age; at 40, I am becoming more aware of the things I wish I had done. I can't change the past--but I can embrace the present and the future. And right now, I know there's a lot I want to share and document. I can't start yesterday, and tomorrow is too late. But now--now is just about right. 

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