Of Fate and Friendship
"Don't trust strangers on the internet" a mantra we've all heard a hundred times. A mantra many of us have ingrained into our behavior, and a sensible mantra to follow. One should never trust a stranger on the internet, and even the the slightest sliver of information is a vulnerability. Its not paranoia, its simple caution. And with all this I agree.
Its also funny, that in six years actively on the internet, I've made friends who are just as strongly my friends as people I've known for much longer. People who, without even hesitating, I'd offer my couch and home to, people I've never met, thousands of miles away, across oceans and mountains and deserts. People who's images I've never seen, and who could easily be fabrications of my mind. Yet these are people I trust, people who know intimate secrets about my life, and people who have entrusted me with powerful personal stories. People who were once strangers, the type of people you don't trust, because trust is a weapon that can be used against you.
Yet somehow, we've transcended that, we've broken the chains of "caution" and in the process grown. As I sat there this morning, in the midst of one of the most annoying aliments known to man, insomnia, and talked with a stranger that is more than 4000 miles away, a stranger who lives six hours ahead of me, and with who correspondence is only possible thanks to the wonder of the internet. As we sat there, each in our own separate cloud of woe, sharing our miseries, I realized, this person isn't a stranger, but a friend. A person who I've told stories that maybe three other people in the world know, stories that I can share, out of trust, and because of the vast gaping distance between our worlds.
In talking with this no-longer stranger, this alien who lives in the future, I learned, I learned that our misery is kin, and that regardless of distance and time, we have similar experiences and attitudes. I learned that this not-stranger, this friend, *is* a friend.
This led me to reflect. In my time on TL, I've made of friends, some closer some further, some older and some younger, and I've lost friends, people who have simply vanished, people who've disappeared off the face of the earth with no trail. I've also realized why I've met these people, the force that brought us together, the common denominator. Its the same common denominator that brings you and I together reader, it is the force of TeamLiquid, and the passion and work we've put behind it. Its the fact that we've worked, shoulder by shoulder for months, perhaps not even noticing each other's presence, for the same goal. Perhaps in different ways, by different means, yet ultimately, it is the force of our passion and our love, for both games and this site, that has led me to meet many friends I would otherwise never have met, people who hide in the far reaches of Australia, or only an hours flight away, but who's path I would have never crossed if it weren't for the binding strength of teamliquid, and the willingness to work towards making tl and by extension all the games that tl covers better.
So, today, I want to thank Teamliquid, for the friends I've met, and the ones I have yet to meet. I'd also like to raise a cup to the one's we've left along the way, may they be happy and prosperous, even if we don't know where they are.