Truth 1: I fucking love this place
I know I am not alone with this thought, but I feel the need to express it. I have been coming to TL for more than a decade. 30% of my life (and 99% of my online existence) TL has been my homepage. I have come here for friends, laughs, news (always 2 days late), advice, satisfaction, justification, and so much more. The best part is that TL has been the same for so many people.
Truth 2: TL has loved me
I have gained respect in this community by being a cog in the TL machine. I have had people trust me enough to PM me their deepest problems in search of advice. I have had people believe in me in order to send me thousands of dollars to act as an informal escrow between two members. My threads, posts, blogs, and comments have attracted praise and attention that both made me feel wonderful, and motivated me to continue working hard on the site.
Truth 3: I'm getting old
And this is the hardest thing to reckon with.I woke up today with probably a dozen posts in Men in Red in the past 6 months. I work full time, and heap FOUR part time jobs on top of that. Combine that with my new found commitment to hockey and fitness, and, well, there isn't any time left. I already don't spend enough time with my family, how can TL compete?
Basically the site has passed me by, and I feel this inexpressible conflict between pride and shame. Goddamn I am amazed how TL has become the hub of SC2, despite the fact that it was almost a given plan as the years went by. TL has branched out to really be the team and site it deserved to be in BW. We have the respect of the internet, and not just the esports world. I recently spoke with the owner of a fitness page startup who complimented how well TL had done ad how well known it was in the internet community.
Then there is the other side. Some time ago I asked to be removed from the admin level because I felt this crushing guilt in witnessing discussions I wasn't taking the time to be a part of. Months later I think I will leave the red ranks altogether for the same reason. Content wise, I can't even browse my old news articles by the forum index, the articles section is hidden away, and moderation has gone from sniping to machine gunning in the past year.
I've gone from reading every post in every thread to being an observer of the proceedings and lurker in blogs and sports. And I'm ok with that. It just hurts the heart.
San Francisco, 2004, I flew down with my laptop on my knees to live report ForU, Midas, and Xellos games. Little did I know that it would lead to Uhjoo's girlfriend, and eventually Uhjoo coming to the site.
LA, 2007, god whoever organized the casting was bad. I got to join Tasteless on stage and shoot the shit about Brood War while my heros played on stage.
Paris WWI. 2008, LiquidMeat and I played SC2 before almost anyone in the world. I remember Testie playing the game (with his leg folded over his knee as was his style) yelling at me "MANI THEY FUCKED UP MY GAME!" Meat and I went on to rape the 2v2 community tournament, only to lose to the devs in 8 minutes. At the bar that night Meat talked about TL, the future, and how I should take a position on the site moving forward. Being a family man, I couldn't make the jump. Not enough balls, too much reason. I cannot praise Hot_Bid enough for what he did. He made the decision I couldn't, and I hope to god it works out wonderfully for him. I am pretty sure he is already on his way.
It will happen to most I think. The internet has taken over so much of our lives, but it hasn't yet taken over life itself. At some point many of us will stop staying up until 4am to watch Korean gamers, will be unable to ladder 20 games a night, and will "put away childish things" as Paul wrote. Not that I feel TL is childish in itself, just the circumstances in which I enjoyed it.
So enjoy the ride.