The Quintessential New Years Post

I actually had to look “quintessential” up since I didn’t know it’s exact meaning. My use of it is misleading since I’m not writing a list specific resolutions, thus making this post not a quintessential New Years post. But it’s such a fun word that I refuse to change it. This is my blog and I can name my posts whatever I want. So there.

I hope everyone welcomed in the New Year is a good way. (And yes, I consider sleeping to be a good way!)

I found that while Christmas Eve made me miss my family (my parents are building their new house and don’t have a phone or stable internet yet so I couldn’t talk to them), New Year’s Eve made me miss my hometown.

Generally I appreciate my quiet, hardworking new compatriots (being a quiet, sortof hardworking person, I fit right in), but for one night, I missed the rowdy, overly affectionate way we highlight the changing of years. Americans talk about kissing someone for New Years. I think this is the first time in my adult life (with the exception of the New Years I spent in California with Clockwork Bard, where we cooked all day and ended up spending New Years half passed out on the couch, watching Serenity) where I don’t lock lips with what feels like half of Québec city. But it was nice to meet some other young people in town, I had a blast chasing the kids around the house, and OMG I’m hooked on Dance Central. I’m heading to WalMart like RIGHT NOW to buy an XBox Kinect.

I wasn’t going to do a New Years post, but after reading everyone elses, I feel like I have things to say.

Of Resolutions and stuff

I don’t do resolutions because when I decide to make a change, I just do. I don’t wait until a special occasion. Last year was an exception – as I was thinking about 2010, I reflected on how much blogging (aka learning to really write) has had a positive impact on my life. Speaking is extremely difficult for me so I need to rely on writing to get by. Blogging helped me develop writing skills and throughout that year, those skills opened a lot of doors for me. I was suddenly angry that not everyone receives that opportunity: there are tons of Canadians who are illiterate. So I resolved to become involved in literacy.

Which I didn’t do.

The closest I came was writing a 3 part FAQ on blogging (part 1, part 2, part 3).

But maybe this year I will. My town does have a literacy program. It focuses on English Second Language, not on primary literacy, but it’s still a step in the right direction.

2011 in Blogging

My most read post in 2011 was actually written in 2010 so it doesn’t count. It was that post on Holy Paladin reforging. It’s so terribly outdated too. I cringe whenever I see the hits come in from search engines.

Otherwise, 2011 was pretty quiet on the blog. My real life was hectic with clerkships, graduation, Pharmacy Board Licensing exams, moving across the country, my parents selling the house I grew up in and building my new career (made especially difficult by the fact that the store I was sent to was in terrible, terrible condition when I got there). Blogging obviously took the hit, with real life holding my interest far more than my virtual one.

I don’t believe I did any real comedy posts. I miss writing funny posts (I’m very proud of WoW on the First Date), but I’m:

1)just too tired to look at the world in an amusing way
2)too comfortable in the blogging world to feel the need to rely on jokes.

Let me take a nap, then pull the rug out from under me. Should make me spill comedy posts all over the place.

Anyway, my favorite posts of 2011:

WoW and The Social Contract

This post completely summarizes my attitude toward guilds and playing with guildies vs playing with strangers. Accept the Social Contract in your guild life, accept that PuGs are very close to a state of nature (there is a social contract in PuGs, but it’s very temporary and very shallow), and your WoW life will be way less stressful.

How to Keep Shyness from Ruining Your Game

I usually write about social phobia in a comical way because I believe that my eccentricities should be used positively. And thus I clumsily attempt to turn them into an art form for the enjoyment of all.

I get annoyed at the social premise that shyness is bad and should be eradicated at all costs. Obviously, a crippling mental illness that prevents you from enjoying the things you’d like to enjoy in life is bad. And social phobia/anxiety is that horrible mental illness.

But there are ways to work around shyness to get what you want out of life without changing who you are as a person. It’s totally possible to live a satisfying life (and play multiplayer games…we’re still talking about WoW, right?) and love yourself while being a shy person.

When I started ignoring those who want to turn me into a social butterfly, I came to like being shy. Being shy forces me to think more, it forces me to appreciate the people in my life more, it makes me appear to be a gentler, calmer, more sensitive person, it teaches me empathy, it prevents me from acting impulsively, and it inspires me creatively.

So yeah, social phobia = bad, but shyness = neutral personality trait with a shitton of upsides.

Don’t let shyness ruin your game.

The 5 Traits I Want in a Leader

This post was so much fun (and so therapeutic) to write. The grievances I hold against my past guilds (all woopin’ two of them) are all leadership-related. So I thought about the WoW leaders I enjoyed working with, and what about them made me tick.

It’s a personal post. Different people appreciate different leadership styles. That post was me, reflecting on which style makes me happiest.

Onto 2012

I make no promises. I have lots of blogging ideas for both this blog as well as the Giant Spoon without the Pally one, but so little energy. I’d like to write lots of funny posts. I’d like to share more travel stories. I’d like to talk about paladins more. But “like to” is not a promise. I do what I can do, and accept what I cannot do.

I hope to play more different games. I hope to play different games with the guildies that I’m about to leave.

I’ve always been the type of person who plays the shit out of a game, them moves onto another game with shit that needs to be played out of it. It’s impossible to play the shit out of WoW, so I haven’t played many other games. And I’ll say that it’s kind of embarrassing, when asked about my gaming, to say that I haven’t played much other than WoW in years.

I’m not done with WoW and you’ll probably see me around in each expansion to come. But maybe hell will freeze over and I’ll have a year where my real life is stable (stability bores me, but maybe gaming will help), maybe I’ll expand my gaming horizons a teensy bit.

And with that,

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

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8 Comments on “The Quintessential New Years Post”

  1. I feel the same way about WoW, I’ve played it for 5 years nonstop with so much as looking at another game. Now I am playing ToR and finding it frustrating but amazing to be struggling again.
    How do I get into LFG?
    where is this flashpoint?
    I don’t know anything & I did not realize how much I missed that. In my WoW guild I was sometimes referred to as “WoWNiki” instead of WoWwiki because I knew the location of every npc, quest item or strange location. Just ask WoWniki, she’ll know.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Hahaha, WoWniki! That’s brilliant!

      I can’t play SWTOR yet because $%?&%?&?$%%”/$ Purolator lost the /$%$”/$”/ computer I ordered and my laptop hates SWTOR. But I’m really looking forward to learning and exploring a new game again. I love the familiarity of WoW but I can’t wait to see something different. When I found out that SWTOR ended up being a unique game and not just another WoW-wannabe, I was really happy. Hopefully I’ll be able to play by this weekend!

  2. AliPally Says:

    I was talking to a friend of mine about how I preferred to be at home with a book than out in a big crowd of people, and she said I could work on my shyness and eventually be ‘more normal’, to which I responded ‘maybe I am happy being shy’. She seemed quite startled by that!
    Being uncomfortable in social settings doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you; as long as you are happy with your own life, that is all that matters.
    Thanks for sharing your views; I always read them with interest.

  3. ozolin Says:

    I too wish to thank you for your blog, opinions, thoughts, and perspective and I too read it with interest each time I see a new post in my blogroll. Happy New year!

    I’m not uncomfortable, per se, in crowds, I just don’t care for them. I suppose I’m either hyper-aware and can read people very well, or I’m just an overly judgemental ass. Either way, I’m fine staying home reading or playing on the computer. I’ve been a WoW addict for years and it’s not completely due to SWTOR’s release, but I’ve been playing that a lot more than WoW over these last couple months (I was lucky enough to be in a lot of beta weekends.)

    I will never quit playing WoW- I signed up for the Annual Pass! but I’m happy to have something else to do. It’s always nice to see someone, like yourself, who is working on balancing real life and the virtual and who recognizes the need to distinguish between them.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Aww thank you so much for your lovely comment!

      There is a difference between being an introvert and being shy. Not all introverts are shy and not all shy people are introverts. (I imagine shy extroverts must be those who suffer the most.) I do find, though, that since accepting that I’m an introvert and not the social butterfly my mom wished I’d be, my shyness improved A LOT. I’m totally an overly judgemental ass too. I get annoyed by how strangers talk, how they move, what they smell like. One thing I love about my small town is that there aren’t many strangers anymore.

  4. Dreamy Says:

    Good luck in the new year, you have a whole new year to make all kinds of posts you’d “Like” to make, and I’m sure you will, even if you don’t it’s fine, you should always write what you feel. 🙂

    I really enjoyed the Social contract post as well as the Shyness post. On that subject, don’t feel bad that you’re not a social butterfly. I’ve had people try to force me out there with other social butterflies and get me “out of my shell” too. It’s just not natural and it turns out most people out there being super social are not compatible with me.

    I like shy people because we usually have similar personalities. When I meet them the bonds are much stronger than someone super social who has a billion other friends/acquaintances etc. I have to say I like being shy as well, and I agree it does make one think more often and have the chance to observe the world around them more while others are making small talk. I admit I am probably in social phobia zone as well seeing as being around lots of people gives me a panic attack 90% of the time, and I try to work on that a bit here and there, but there’s no way I’ll stop being shy.

    Happy New Year 🙂
    Cheers- Dreamy

    • Ophelie Says:

      Aww thanks 🙂

      I find I get along best with other shy people too. Shyer people just “get” me better, and yeah, they seem to have the same preference I do for close friendships. Although there are a few outgoing personalities that I mesh well with because we compliment each other well. I like them because they facilitate social interactions for me, and they appreciate me because I don’t compete for the spotlight.

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