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[sticky post] Thanks for everything [Nov. 18th, 2015|03:56 am]
The E-Hermit
It's been a very, very long time since I posted any kind of "serious" entry here. An irony, then, that it'll probably be my last. On LJ, I mean. Don't worry, I'm not being super-dramatic or anything. XD

See, I've finished up Wayward Son. Been working on this fanfic for 9 years, and finally finished it off today. Needless to say, though it might seem strange for a lot of folks, it's a definite watershed moment in my life.

Now, before I continue, I’ll just quickly drop off three links of relevance to anyone who’s not interested in the more personal ruminations that follow. Here are some nice treats fans of Wayward Son, or just good art and music in general, might like:

The fic itself:

And some more stuff:

-This is a .rar containing all the art the most excellent Databunny (databunny.tumblr.com) made for me for Wayward Son!

-This is the Wayward Son ‘soundtrack.’ It’s a listing of 89 songs I thought fit characters and events over the course of the stories, OPs and EDs for each “season” of it if it were an anime, and just songs I listened to while writing it.

And finally, here are the credits and thankyous for Wayward Son, in the form of credits styled like an anime ED, even using the VOTOMs ED:

Now, with those given out, let me get back to how I’m feeling about finishing this big ol’ fanfic, and what that means for this LJ.
I'm feeling many emotions at the moment. Happiness, satisfaction, and relief (now that the story is finished, I can say I've completed the absolute minimum of what I wanted to do with my life) are three. But I'm also feeling a little bit of melancholy, and more than a bit of heaviness of heart. The conclusion of Wayward Son--the big "THE END"--closes the door on not only a long portion of my life (nearly a third) but a very important part as well. It's also the conclusion of my time in the FE fandom--the time where I met many of my closest friends, gestated most of my present beliefs and convictions, achieved my greatest triumphs and suffered my greatest mistakes, and generally struggled through childhood, adolescence, and ultimately adulthood. There are so many happy memories here for me, so it’s understandably a bittersweet sensation to see all of them finally fulfilled.

At the end of the day, though, the emotion I feel most strongly at this point is gratitude.

I've wandered a very strange path through life, and hardly a perfect one. I've visited not only the Castlevania and Fire Emblem fandoms but everywhere ranging from Ogre Battle to Yggdra Union to Bloodborne forums. I've gone from an immature teenager to a respected moderator to a widely reviled troll straight back to a respected moderator (on two more forums), a public citizen acknowledged for his virtue in several communities, and above all, a contented, mature man happy with his lot in life who has found a very fulfilling middle way between the extremes of self-abnegation on the one hand and antisocial, misguided trollery on the other. I've went from being utterly naive when it came to women, to a sarcastically self-declared "misogynist," to, presently, a man who's at peace with the opposite gender, publicly abjured misogyny, and considers himself a feminist ally--simply because of the fact that feminism is less crazy and poses less of a direct threat to him than the self-declared defenders of manhood usually do. Over the course of those journeys I've met saints and sinners, sages and lunatics, heroes and villains, and a veritable panoply of all sorts of crazy characters so tremendously and insanely varied that you'd think my online life was a Kurt Vonnegut novel if I hadn't lived it. I've ran into die-hard conservatives, doctrinaire leftists, devout Christians, religion-hating atheist metalheads, man-hating feminists, woman-hating Goreans (look it up), Wiccans, Wiccan trolls, Scientologists, batshit insane Russians, Warhammer 40k-loving Nazis, fanatical homophobes, delightfully flamboyant gays, anime-loving Communists, furries, voreaphiles, futanari afficionados, and arborphiliacs. And I can say without hesitation I'm grateful for all of that. The many different kinds of people I met, the strange experiences I had, good and bad, expanded both my intellectual and social horizons far beyond what most people throughout history, and even today, I'd argue, could even imagine. I can't possibly credit myself for any of that, I can only thank God or good fortune that I've had so many crazy online adventures. But I'm grateful for it all the same.

And that's not the only thing I'm grateful for, or even most grateful for.

If I could do it all again, there's tons of stuff I would change, plenty of mistakes and foolishness on my part I would correct. But at the end of it all, on balance I'd still say I lived a good life. A very satisfying life. It's a lucky man who can look back in his dotage and say, "I've lived a rich, full life." It's the luckiest of men who can say that before they're even thirty. So I'm happy for all of it, every single bit! I’m glad for everything that happened to me, both my successes and my failures, my joys and my sorrows, my wisdom and my foolishness. I'm grateful for every single step I took. Why?

Because I was able to meet all of you.

You, my friends, made me who I am today, and if there's anything good about me at all, you deserve the credit. I'm glad I joined the FE fandom and got a Livejournal, because I was able to meet so many wonderful people who taught me, supported me, and nurtured my talents. While I wouldn't delve into Internet trolling if I could relive my life, I can't deny I'm glad I spent a brief time in that milieu, either. Despite how foolish and stupid of me it was, I learned a great deal despite myself. I was exposed to a wide variety of people and viewpoints I never would have seen if I'd stayed in my bubble, and astonishingly--again, I can only credit my luck--I also ran into and learned from incredibly intelligent, accomplished people who were far smarter than I at the time, yet tolerated my adolescent trolling hijinks nonetheless. And, needless to say, I'm glad I got out of that scene as well! In the process of lifting myself up from my previous anger and resentment, I met more friends, from /m/, the Castlevania Dungeon, all sorts of places, who helped me grow into not only an ex-troll but a self-reliant, respectable man in his own right.

So that’s why, as I bid farewell to Wayward Son and 9 years of my life, I feel so grateful. All of you, from the FE fandom, the CV fandom, my days as a troll, everyone from every corner of the Internet—sustained and strengthened me as I completed what is currently and will likely remain my greatest accomplishment. So, in the end, it belongs to you to, as well as me.

But every journey has a destination, and ever chapter must close. And today, the part of my life marked by Livejournal comes to an end along with Wayward Son, the story it most influenced.

It isn’t because I don’t like any of you guys, quite the opposite. I love my LJ friends as much as I ever did. But no matter how much love is there, there’s always a time to move on, and I think finishing Wayward Son marks that time perfectly. Even if for no other reason, Livejournal is pretty dead nowadays. There are only a couple of my friends still on at all, and very few people post with any consistency. As much as I can appreciate this blogging platform for essentially starting my internet career in a meaningful way (though I visited some e-forums beforehand), it’s not healthy to stay attached to it forever. It’s time to congratulate it for having a great run, and then retire it quietly, in dignity. (As an aside, the same applies to the FE fandom in general, which I touch on in a separate post. As much as I loved my time in the general fandom, I’m just not as interested in the games as I used to be, and there’s so much baggage here that IMO I’d be best served by moving on—though maybe if a really great FE game comes along someday, I’ll come back XD)

But even beyond that…Livejournal, this livejournal specifically, gunlord.livejournal.com-represents a stage in my life I think I’ve moved past, no matter how much I dearly love it. I’m no longer the same person who made this blog, and something like it no longer serves the purposes I’m really concentrating on right now. I’ve moved over to both tumblr and wordpress, both of which are oriented differently than this LJ was—tumblr in obvious ways, my wordpress in more subtle ones. So there’s no real reason to pay a whole lot of attention to this LJ anymore.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to delete it or anything like that. That would be silly, there’s a whole lot of good writing here. And hell, I may even come back every once in a while. I learned a long time ago that making absolutist announcements is a good way to look foolish. But I think it’s very likely I’ll be posting even less than I usually am. I guess you could say it’s silly, since this LJ’s been effectively abandoned for over a year now. But I figured I might as well make it official.

So, that’s it. For all my friends, and even whatever enemies I may still have…thanks for everything. Maybe we’ll meet again someday, somewhere. But until then, as corny as it might seem, I think this picture the talented Databunny drew for me is a perfect way to close this little journal down.

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