There was one constant, however, that helped some time go by when there were periods of inactivity, as well as work as a form of escapism (probably not something one would wanna have during the times I soldiered through). The irony of this one constant was the fact that it was, in of its self, a re-ignition of something I hadn't really put much time in over the last couple of years:
My seemingly on again/off again infatuation with Sony Online Entertainment's grandaddy to the MMORPG genre came back on, and has stayed on. When I came back to the game, most anyone I used to play with had long parted, though two friends from many years back had made the trek back over and started to gear up and clear some content that was new to us. Unfortunately I was the last man standing, as they both left, but nevertheless found myself doing quests and leveling up alts with an individual I became friends with through a mutual friend I've known for ages, who had returned a bit earlier than I did. Now I'm back in the position of clearing high end raid content a couple times a week and very much enjoying it all once again.
Through my re-ignition of an old love and passion I seemingly came around and was able to not only settle many of the problems I had encountered through the last year, but I started to regain that love and passion for what I've been doing for years - talking about gaming. Taking the down time to get lost once again in such a massive game world gave me even more time to get myself sorted and realign a lot of things. At one point I even had the urge to chronicle my raiding adventures, and how they differentiate from years gone by, though those desires seemed to have dissipated and in its stead was that spark I needed to seek out what I've enjoyed as things around me stabilized. I could still conceivably do weekly reports on the group, raid and other portions of the game anyway, but I don't want to hold myself down to a singular entry.
It really is something to sit here and realize that's as seemingly "innocent" as a video game, as well as good company throughout the time spent playing it, can be that one piece of a puzzle that manages to start making the big picture look a bit more clear. It's another reason why I have this passion burning for it all; gaming has so much of a meaning to so many different people, spanning through a plethora of genres and a myriad of consoles. It went from some geeky niche to a full fledged hobby that's enjoyed in countless ways. It went from being viewed as "children's entertainment" to the spectacle of eSports, where these "children's games" are now played in tournaments and big money matches around the world. Lets just hope these "all-in-one" boxes retain the focus of being a gaming unit more so than the 74th electronic household item that plays Hulu, Netflix and other non gaming related applications.
But that's another story for another time, and another day.