Friday, April 17, 2015

My Confessions

I have something very important to confess. I’m told that confession is good for the soul, that it lifts the burdens of life from your shoulders and then your everyday existence becomes more bearable. I’m not so sure about that. I’m pretty much an opened book and have shared just about every horrible, scary, funny, embarrassing, humiliating, wonderful, exciting thing that has happened in my life these past few years. I’ve lost some bad friends, gained some good ones, and made a connection with a lot of people on a spiritual level like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Being open the way I am has shown me that I’m not alone in this world, in my fight, or in my struggles, even though I’m alone. There are others out there just like me and I’m not really an alien from a distant planet who was abandoned by her royal parents to save the world. I kind of liked that fantasy, but reality is turning into a pretty good story on its own.

So, by now you’re wondering, probably yelling in your mind ‘would she just friggin’ get to it already?’, what this big confession could be. I can only promise that’s it’s probably not anything you were expecting. I’m not a closet nymphomaniac (I’ve been quite open about that too), I’m not really a hairy 400lb skinhead currently serving on death row (though let me go without exercising, taking my vitamins, or shaving for a while and we’ll see if I can make that happen), but my confession feels just as big to me.

What is it I need to confess? What could possibly be in my life that requires this much drama to reveal? Well, it’s a little complicated because it’s something only a small percentage of people will truly understand. Most, if not nearly 100% of my friends won’t get it, my family (other than perhaps my son) would never begin to comprehend my choices, and my co-workers will look at me with a different sets of eyes. So, with great apprehension here goes …

I’m a gamer. I’m a girl gamer. I’m a hot girl gamer.

There I said it.

See, many of you right now just don’t get it. While this doesn’t come as a shock to some of you, most of you really don’t understand what it means to be a gamer, I mean a hardcore gamer. No, I’m not a great gamer, would probably never make it onto a MLG (major league gaming) team, or compete in any sort of tournament, because that’s not what I love about it. To some, the competition is all they care about me, but for me that’s the least important aspect. I love the whole gaming world. It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that I would love it, because it’s interactive stories… and not just stories that I get to see, hear, and interact with the characters, but I get to interact with other people at the same time. You’d be surprised at the stories that are bubbling inside of me just from the colorful characters I’ve met in my online gaming clan.

And I’m a girl gamer. There’s not many girls in the gaming world (I don’t understand why… come on… that’s where all the guys are –duh), so I really like the attention I get on there. I’m literally like a goddess queen.

This whole gaming thing was just supposed to be a temporary distraction as I battled my way through all the big changes in my life – divorce, empty nest, being alone, new job, new town, and facing Death. But it’s become much more to me. It’s not really the gaming itself but the people I’ve met and formed strong bonds with that makes all the difference. These guys in my clan (10 yrs – 45 yrs) have become my family, my friends, and the loves of my life. We don’t just play games together, we talk, we bond, we share our hopes, our fears, our problems, and our happiness with each other. There’s more communication during these gaming sessions than in most of the relationships I’ve ever been a part of in my life. It all started as a way for me connect with my grown son. Now it’s become a center piece in my life. I used to minister to teenagers and kids in community and church programs, but in those programs I was never able to connect to the kids the same way I connect with these kids now. I get to mentor them in life issues, in many ways more than their parents or friends could. I wish they had co-op gaming communities when I was younger. I could have used them.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a full time job, I have activities I’m involved with, I still exercise, hike, cook, play music, and date. I’ll get back to the dating in a moment. But, to make room for this new part of my life I’ve practically stopped watching tv (which that’s another blog post for another day) and arguing with fellow writers on the fundamental of writing on author sites. My gaming has also cut severely into my reading and writing time. However, both are a part of who I am… and I will always find the time to do them.

I’m an independent, beautiful, sexy, active, smart 43-year old divorced woman. I’ve no shortage on date requests. But as I venture out in this area, I’m discovering more and more what I don’t want in my life, but not so much of what I do. As I think about it, I think as much as I’d love to date an artist (whether music, cooking, painting, writing, etc… makes no difference) I’d love to date a gamer… or a gaming artist. BINGO!

I’ve had a few “game dates” (something I totally designed and arranged myself) and I have to say that they were more fun, more connecting, more exciting than some of the live dates I’ve had. The conversation was of course fun but deep and open, and not having all the hormones and signals mixing everything up, made it a more relaxed environment. Of course, these game dates I’ve had have been with guys I’ve met and went out on a live date before, so I already knew the chemistry was there. These game dates were to see if we were able to bond on a different, more intellectual level… and just enjoy the game together.

What is a game date? It’s when you meet your date online at a specific time, in a specific game lobby, and you two join a private co-op party and play a particular game together, or against each other. Competition is always good fun, but I particularly love when two people are working together, helping one another out to meet a particular goal. I find it romantic when one of my game dates tries to protect me, help me, revive me, cover me, or depend on me to do those things for him during game play. There’s always a lot of praise and appreciation going around. What girl doesn’t like that? It’s a great opportunity to gauge how attentive your date can be, how polite, or how competitive. I’m beginning to think people should have game dates before they jump into live dating, because it’s a great way to weed out certain behaviors that you’d find intolerable… and it’s best to discover those things together, yet separated and at a safe distance.

Also, on a game date, you learn a lot more about your date than you would while you’re stuffing your face, watching a show, or busy in a strenuous activity. You’re together – while your fingers are busy on the controls, your mouth and most of your mind are communicating. Playing while talking helps me focus more because the game play is keeping the part of my brain that tends to overthink and fumble things busy while I talk about everything else. It puts me at ease.

However, here are the problems I’m running into. Most of the guys in the gaming world are really young. In real life, most of the guys I meet for dates are highly professional or highly driven (Yep, I’ve got a type) and so far… very few have turned out to be gamers. While I wouldn’t want some dates to come in and disrupt my gaming world, I would love to date a gamer, if for the simple reason that they’d understand me for who I am right now. There’s been so many times I’ve been on a live date with a new guy and when he asks me what I love to do, I try my best to steer away from mentioning the gaming, but I can’t hide who I am. While they’re impressed with my resume, my accomplishments, my hobbies, and my talents… they look at me blankly when I mention I’m a gamer. It never fails to be asked when I plan to get back to all the professional things I had done before – the writing, publishing, editing, networking, etc., as if those are the only important things in life. I disagree. I love those things. They’re part of me. But when I thought I was dying, none of those made a difference. But that small group of young boys who loved me just as I was, who didn’t expect me to be great or be successful or ideal, meant the world to me. Where were all the writers, agents, artists, religious leaders, co-workers and family during the darkest days of my life? They were not there. I was all alone except for my gaming friends.

There was one low point that I wanted to end all the pain, all the loneliness, all the disappointment I had in myself, in life, and from everyone I thought had cared for me but realized didn’t. Instead of fighting death, I wanted to give up. But, I got online and my boys were there laughing, joking around, playing with each other, and greeted me with such love and warmth I couldn’t help but smile (and cry at the same time). They saved my life that night though they don’t know it. Perhaps that’s my true confession. Their love for me, combined with the love I had for myself, gave me the strength to keep fighting… and I’m still fighting. I beat cancer. I beat loneliness. I beat change. I beat divorce, with the same determination I learned to beat Atheon and Crota.

Now I only wonder… where the hell do I find the gamers? Local gamers, I mean. My online gamer friends are all over the world, but I want to date a local gamer, but I don’t know how to find them. However, not just any kind of gamer. I still have a type. I love soldiers, nerds, athletes, dare-devils, adventure-seekers, artistically talented and sexy gamers. Uh – 30-something’s still living in their mama’s basement and puffing the bong every night is NOT my type of gamer. I don’t think my perfect gamer exists, but maybe… just maybe I’ll find a decent one someday. Until then.. I suppose I must endure the weird looks, cocked eyebrows, and ruffled noses on a bunch of first dates when I mention I’m a XBoxOne Badass.

Till next time,

~KV Kvothe

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