Well hey, pals. It certainly has been quite some time, hasn't it? I hope you've all been well
Thanksgiving(and holidays in general) usually have me reflecting on the past and how things in my life have changed. Not sure why, but it's always been that way.
I remember Black Friday 3 years ago. 2007 was a pretty good year for me. College, my own apartment, and a load of cash from poker. If anyone remembers the old "What did you get for Black Friday" thread on the X-Strike forums you'd remember the fact that I spent a little over $6,000 that day. I was pretty ballin' for a 20 year old. Huge TV, 360, Wii, tons of games, tons of movies, and a load of expendable cash to throw around whenever I wanted for whatever I wanted.
Everyone goes through rough patches, mine lasted about 3 years. A lot of money can lead to a pretty party-influenced lifestyle, one that I embraced. It was the start of a downfall. I stopped doing things I know I loved to do, such as gaming, conventions, spending time with friends arguing about which Pokemon type is better. Poker and cash led to me doing worse and worse in school; I just didn't care.
Over the last 2 years everything I owned has either been stolen, or I've sold, in order to stay afloat to pay for bills, gas, and other living necessities. I stopped gaming, something which had been a cornerstone of my life since I was 4. I had no job, no money, and bills piling up. Besides seeing a couple of you at Anime USA in 2010, I hadn't seen most of you since Magfest in 2008. I lost track of what I loved doing, and of who I was.
Fast forward to 2010, almost 2011. I've really cleaned myself up, got my life in order, and put things into place. I have a nice job, I make a decent living, and I am slowly rebuilding my video game library. Tomorrow, I go out to get another X-Box 360, and a new LCD TV. I have compiled a list of all the old games I either had stolen from me or had gotten rid of to make ends meet. I have a good group of friends who I completely trust, and I have finally been getting back into the swing of going to conventions, which really are my vacations. I hadn't touched a video game in almost 2 years, but when I got my life back in order, picked up a second hand PS2, some games, and popped Ratchet & Clank into the disc tray, I knew I was back at home.
I missed you, video games. I hope you're glad I'm back.