2014 was a significant year in my 17 year Realms career. One in which I received many accolades, each of which carried with it not just an honor but an obligation. I became a Knight of the Realms, something which to me is not just recognition of what you’ve done and who you are, but an obligation to continue to contribute to the community at the highest level.
The challenge was that within nine months of accepting that belt and obligation, my personal focused had shifted. Karate, working out, building a business, improving our home, and getting to know our new neighbors all competed with the attention I had for game. Being a steward of the Realms and being true to myself often came into conflict.
I’ve continued to do a decent amount for the game. By no means could one say I’m not an active player, in fact I know I’ve maintained being a strong contributor. That said, I’m not meeting my own standards for doing as much as I would like to be for the game, and in particular for the View.
In the past months, one of my joys as I’ve struggled and done less, is seeing Jenn, Alex, and Kelly step up and do more and more with the View, and developing confidence in their ability to take over.
In time I started to recognize that had I continued with the same level of commitment I had previously, they never would have had that opportunity because while I would have been helping them, I also would have been in their way- perceived as senior, my opinion given more weight.
Recently a meme made its way around facebook:
You are under no obligation to be the same person you were a year, month, or even 15 minutes ago. You have the right to grow. No apologies.
That meme got me thinking. I also remembered another honor I received last year, being voted Best Role Model, and I started to question and ask myself what I would advise someone I mentored were they in my situation.
I’d tell them that life is meant to be lived passionately. That sometimes you push yourself to do things because you’ve committed, and sometimes you step up because someone has to, but if on a regular basis you are feeling that you are pushing yourself to do something out of obligation, while at the same time not having the time for all the things you could be doing passionately, it is time to move on. It is ok to change.
It is time for me to move on from being a part of the core staff for the View. You are in good hands.
Post my sharing my decision with the others on staff who were so sweet they made me cry, and tell me I might be kept around in some unofficial capacity. I was asked if I was leaving the View or the game. To be very very clear, the Realms is my family- not just Folkestone- all of you. Some are my parents (Dave Dolph <3), others my siblings, some my kids, some cousins, and second cousins, and even some black sheep. I didn’t know how to be a good friend and family member before I found our community. I’m forever grateful. I’m forever committed.
I’m still making events. I still will be contributing. I still will occasionally help out at the View- you know I couldn’t resist if I tried. I’m not going to take lead on things for a bit though, unless the passion and drive comes back without me forcing it.
In this case, I’m going to do what in my heart I truly believe is the best thing I can to be a good role model, and graciously step aside to let others step up and get the recognition they’ve truly earned.