Yessir, with just one touch to my magic stone, I could pop from right in front of you to halfway across the world!
I also used to have hooves and a tail. And ride around on a giant purple elephant.
And I was also a carefully crafted collection of pixels.
And, okay, I was playing World of Warcraft.
My character, Jujubii, was a beautiful, white-haired, draenei mage that I had diligently and lovingly worked up to level 62. (If you don't play WoW, before the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the level cap was 70.) This took me two years to do, for a number of reasons. Reason the first, I played at a friend's house, so my WoW time was limited to when everyone else was playing (otherwise I felt like a huge jerk for playing this game instead of hanging out with my friends). Reason the second, I would go for months at a time without playing, months I could have spent leveling, but instead chose to do far less productive things like working and interacting with actual human beings.
Jujubii and I had a very special relationship. I didn't like playing with other people in game, so it was always just me and Jujubii. When the world got tough and tried to keep us down, we'd just rub on our rune of teleportation and end up in a completely different place.
Teleportin' don't come easy. You've gotta earn it. You don't get the ability to teleport until you're twenty levels in. But once you've got it, you quickly learn how to mock those that don't. "Oh, you have to get on a boat to go to Stormwind? Well, I can get there in three seconds. Because I'm a freaking mage."
This was all blissful and fun, that is until Jujubii and I were torn apart. I don't want to get into all of the details, because some of them are pretty painful. Long story short, my reputation with the friends who let me share their account went from exalted to neutral to hostile.
All of my work, gone. Not just with Jujubii, but with the friendship, too. Suddenly I was out one gorgeous magical alien, and a whole group of people I'd grown to love. Also, I could no longer ride around on my giant purple elephant.
Fast forward a few months. I can't take it anymore. I miss playing World of Warcraft. So I bust into my bank account and spend money I don't have in order to pay for a Battle Chest, which includes the codes to play the regular game with the Burning Crusades expansion (which you need in order to play the Draenei race). In a fit of glee, I plugged in the codes and set up a new character. Jujubie.
As I played through the starter levels, I realized something. Running around without my elephant, without my arsenal of kick ass spells, without being able to touch a stone and teleport? It was hard. It was obnoxious. It was slow.
Which is kind of what it's like whenever you make a new start. I found myself at a new starting point in my real life, discovering who I was without these friends. Exploring the opportunities I never thought about before, because I worried about what they might think. It's been hard. Occasionally it's been obnoxious. And it's definitely been slow.
But sometimes, you've got to start from scratch and rebuild. You've got to take the chance to reset yourself and create someone new, a new character, even if it seems like you're spending all of your time dying at the hands of murlocs that just want to throw javelins through your chest. Because you'll get there eventually. You'll get back to that point where you feel like what used to take forever now takes just a snap of your fingers, or a rub of your rune stone.
Someday, I will be able to teleport again. And I will have earned it.
(This post has been brought to you by therealljidol™)