It’s almost 14 years ago, my first time. I was scared and it was dark. I had been given a tour but I still didn’t know what the hell I was doing. A virginal experience, great…and I was on my own. I could tell this was going to be unlike anything I had done before. I heard a noise in the dark…I began to run; little did I know that noise in the dark, the path I started running on would lead me to where I am today.
That first night of my very first LARP would lead me to find out what the bond of family meant, how friendships can stand the test of time, what loving with your whole heart feels like and how home isn’t where you rest your head but where your soul feels the safest. I also learned how power can corrupt, what a real bad guy really is, how drama is never really left in high school and how believing what everyone says can not only hurt you but hurt those around you.
I sit here watching the rain almost 14 years later, marveling at how life has changed. Back then life was about having fun, raising hell, flirting, messy relationships and being too naive to realize how much people cared and how drama would follow you for years to come. It was before kids, marriage, illness. Before real responsibility and life really set in. I was so innocent minded, naive hearted and optimistic. I thought life was so hard. I was a gypsy soul with a faerie spirit. There were only two things I knew for sure…That I knew who would be around for the rest of my life and that I had fallen in love hard with someone who would change my world forever (even though I hadn’t told him).
Now those people who I called family only see each other at funerals and promise to see each other more often. We’ve drifted apart and we try to stick together when we can but we know IF we are NEEDED we show up en mass. There are people that have drifted away to find their own new adventures. There has been marriage and divorce, lots of little ones along the way. Drama has dwindled although give us too many bottles of wine and we will bring it up and laugh about it now.
I listen to my sprites chatter away as they are falling asleep and I smile because so much of my life has changed. I have planted roots in a place I never thought I would. I have lived in more places than I ever thought I would and I am in school to help others in ways I should have been helped as a teenager. I spend my days running to appointments for the countless things that are broken with my body and my nights editing for independent authors, writing in at least one of my novels and doing schoolwork.
I have bills and I can drive a car. I know what real life and responsibility are. I know why I can’t just move with a change in the winds. Life has taken me on a hard path and I have stumbled and fallen so many times I can’t even tell you how many scars I have but I keep moving forward. My mind isn’t innocent anymore but my heart is still pure and loving and I can still be way too optimistic for maybe anybody’s good. I’ve been told I should be jaded but I can’t be. I’ve been told I am a lot stronger than I was but I don’t see it. I guess I am glad other people can see it in me. Life is still sometimes flirty and full of raising hell (and by hell I mean the sprites of course). Messy relationships are still happening every so often but by now I know when to walk away.
I still have that person who I knew would remain in my life forever. I have found ou that if you’re good friends with someone for over 7 years you will be friends with them forever. Thinking about my closest friends, I met the ones that are there and have been there through all the ups and downs of life through nights int he woods. We still share the laughter and tears, the inside jokes, the secrets and the boozy nights of going “why did we think our shit was that hard?!?!???”. That guy that I felt hard in love with, I still am and I don’t know how not to be, he knows now though. Although he is not in my life in the capacity I wish he was, he is in my life and I know he always will be, that is the stuff that matters.
Life changes around you all the time, 14 years ago I found the place I needed to start finding the path to my destiny. To the woman, I was to become. Be it in Avalon or Ravenna, I always knew that I had family, laughter and a place to escape for a while when life got to be too much. For that I am thankful