Friday, January 22, 2010

Those strange, strange things you do

I have a lot of random little hobbies. In fact, I blogged about some of them for Roadtrip Wednesday a while ago. Some of my hobbies, I am more willing to share with the world than others. I mean, it's hard to know sometimes, if the things you enjoy are "normal" or if you're being kind of weird.

But then...why do we worry about this so much? I absolutely do have little pixelated petz running around on my computer, and come on: are they not adorable? But none of my friends have any idea what the hell petz is, or why I love the little things.
Or none did, anyway. Until I found other people online who played with these exact same little critters. I had things in common with them, and I felt for them and the best part: they came from all over the world. This was the first time really that I met people online.

And it wasn't the scary, To Catch A Predator type deal people sometimes imagine when they think "meeting people online". I still have yet to meet anyone I know from online in person (soon, though. Soon!) but it doesn't matter. A whole new world opened to me when I discovered how to befriend people I didn't get to see face to face. There was drama and laughter and tears and everything I had with all my offline friends. And I wondered how I'd never discovered it before.

That one little online community propelled me into others,
of course. I would have never discovered any of the wonderful writing community that led me to the YA Highway ladies had it not been for forums about the sims (which I blogged about on YA Highway.) I had a lot of fun with the sims, and with writing for the sims. I liked making ridiculous looking sims and gorgeous sims and having them argue and get along, and I also pretended I had skills at architecture, building them super rockin houses based off floor plans I found online. The little online community I found of people who also played the sims and wrote their stories made the game so much more fun, and made my hobby not feel so dorky.

This led me to forums for writing, my ultimate love. I wouldn't even call writing a hobby so much, because it's kind of so much a part of my life and always has been that it feels like more (and hopefully it will be more! A little extra income maker one day?) It's not one of those things I don't talk about because I think people will find me weird, but more because I think people just won't "get" it. The way I don't get how my boyfriend can sit and look at different cars (or worse--car parts) for hours on end. Writing is fun, it's rewarding, but it's also a lot of work! It makes me feel relaxed and happy, but sometimes tense and angry and sad and ecstatic, too, depending on what I do to my poor characters.

It was like being in heaven to discover other people who felt like me, and to get to know some of them on a deeply personal level. Because I was brave enough to branch out of my comfort zone and take a chance on meeting friends in an unconventional way.

I guess there isn't much to take away from this post except I hope you all find your own niches, find your own herd(s) of people who share your hobbies, no matter how odd.


Leah Michelle said...

Love the post! I agree that I've made a bunch of friends over the internet from silly little things whether it be World of Warcraft or Tom Felton forums back in the day. It seems the more nerdy I get, the more amazing people I bump into online. I wouldn't trade all the humorous, random, silly things that I have for anything.

Kristin Miller said...

I get it. ;)

Love this post. Must be a day for reflecting, today. Good thoughts and happiness over finding our true loves. And awesome friends. :)

Phoebe said...

I saw the first graphic and immediately thought: "Hey! A dogz!" and got all excited. I had no idea that there was an internet community around them--I haven't mucked around with one since I was 11 or so. Pretty nifty.

If it weren't for internet communities centered around writing fanfiction for Anne McCaffrey novels and the kids' show Space Cases, I probably wouldn't ever have considered taking myself seriously as a writer. Also, I met my husband on the internet. So there's that, too.

Emilia Joyce Plater said...

Great post :) I went: AIM chat (had some insanely fun nights with some fantastic online friends then), Neopets, Gaiaonline, then AW. Meeting so many incredible people along the way (like YAHlls). The internet is great, isn´t it? haha!

Amanda Hannah said...

I think your petz are cute! I've never played the game, but Ben and I made lots of friends playing World of Warcraft, and I loved my little pixelated characters. We still keep in touch with some of the friends we made playing that game.

Suzette Saxton said...

The Harry Potter poser is cracking me up!

Kaitlin Ward said...

hahaha I can't remember where I found that but it was too awesome. I had to shove it in there.