I had a pretty bad night last night.
Sometimes this happens, and it seems to happen apropos of nothing - or at least, when I’m looking back on things, I can’t trace it to any sort of root cause. Sometimes a night just crosses over the event horizon, and there’s really no turning back. I can run through my list of reasons of why I should be happy, why I shouldn’t be feeling the way I am at that given moment, but it doesn’t change it all (or most of) the time.
Sometimes there’s really nothing more that can be done except to just let go and feel yourself tumble over the waterfall’s edge, hoping that you’re going to have the strength afterwards to push back up to the surface and break through, gasping to reclaim the air you spent screaming out on the way down.
Black moods like this one cause me to look at my life and my actions with more clarity - admittedly, a more critical clarity than is necessary, but a clarity nonetheless, borne out of wanting to overanalyze myself and explain why exactly I spend time doing things, especially when I’m very convinced (at that moment, anyway) that all the things I do are intrinsically awful and that the world would be much better off were I to just nip off and stop bothering everyone forever.
I had one of those moments last night when I realized that communication is one of the most important things in the world to me, and is a driving force behind most of what I do.
Sleepy Hams is a pretty obvious no-brainer - the entire project is based around providing voice chat and creating a safe place for people to be social. Facilitating a community, helping people make friends? All good things.
Twitter, Facebook, instant messaging - all forms of social media are really pretty obvious - they’re direct communication, but they’re all something I take very seriously. Twitter alone has opened up massive new amounts of people to communicate with.
I didn’t really understand why I was driving myself to host blogs and websites for people - it’s a fun hobby that I enjoy (most of the time), and the new tech skills have already paid off in my career - but over time, I’ve realized that what I really want more than anything is to free other people up as much as I can to just focus on writing, on communicating.
My day job is all about writing software that zips communications between companies around the world - which honestly sounds very boring to most anyone I try to explain it to, but is something I’m passionate about.
Writing? Sometimes it’s the only way to communicate my ideas. Sometimes it’s not the only way, but it’s the best way, because I can
edit say exactly what I want.
Gaming? I enjoy gaming a lot, but quite honestly, I’ve grown to where playing games solo really isn’t something I enjoy. For me, I have to have a strong social factor which involves communication.
Even looking at many of the things that bother me in life, they spring from communication. An anxiety trigger that seems to come up a lot these days is not getting responses to things - emails primarily, but other things too. It makes me feel a pretty horrid bundle of assorted feelings. Did I offend the other person? Did I say something stupid? Does the other person just feel like I’m not worth responding to?
Well, that last part is really just sort of the normal anxiety train of thought I have in my head, wondering how I have (or am, or will) fucked up at any given point in time.
Communication, though. It sounds like sort of a silly motivation to do things when you put it on paper (or screen, as it were). I wonder how many people share this as their motivation, and how many of them suffer from depression and anxiety. How many others are just trying to reach out in whatever fashion they can to communicate, to figure out why they can’t just think normally, why other people can do things so much easier? How many of those people create methods and means of communication, methods that they control to some degree, all as a form of fighting off their own inner demons of anxiety?
Viewed with that lens, my projects are only a partial success, because I’m not even making use of them. I don’t spend much time in public Sleepy Hams channels because anxiety. I don’t have a blog on my own servers anymore because I didn’t feel like I had anything important to contribute.
I guess I don’t feel bad about the blog, because my perspective on WoW’s changed so much over the past two years that it’d be pretty tough to write something and six months later still believe it. There’s other people out there who write more, who write better, and I’m quite honestly pleased to be associated with them even if only tangentially as their web host.
Sleepy Hams is something that I need to change, though. Registrations have slowed and server traffic is down, which (while somewhat disappointing) means that the community that does use it is slowly growing more solid, and keeping myself out of it isn’t doing me any good. I need to get over the notion that people flat-out don’t want me around in their conversations, and just go participate.
I can’t help but feel this post changed direction a few times, and tone too, but I guess that’s sort of inevitable as I am trying to avoid editing the things I write. Ah well.