Part 1: On Moving Across the Atlantic
Moving has always sort of been a part of my life. Due to the nature of my dad's job, we tend to move every 3 or 4 years, so the idea is always in the back of my head, that this arrangement is not permanent. Like the changing seasons, I've always had to keep myself ready for the day when we would leave behind our old home and start fresh making connections and friends. Just this year I went off to university, which has granted me an exemption from the emotional factor of moving, but not the frustration of actually having to transport all the things that you own across the ocean.
The summer before my senior year, my parents moved to a small suburb of Paris, while I stayed behind in Kansas City to finish up my high school and apply for college. This summer they decided that they would move back to the US to Connecticut. As a result I decided to spend the first half of my summer with them in Paris, both as a chance to see Europe again, and to help with the move. I've really enjoyed spending my time here in Paris on breaks and such, and I'm quite sure that I'm going to miss it while I'm gone. However, its gotten a bit stressful here as the move date gets closer and closer.
I don't know how many of you have moved with a 5 person family before, but just getting a handle on how much stuff you have is a pain in the ass. When I'm living alone in my room in Umich, I can easily box up the stuff I actually want to keep in a single night and just throw out the rest. When moving with the whole family, we had to devote hours upon hours to combing through our house and separating everything into "keep" and "get rid of" piles. Then we had to roughly sort our things into thematic rooms (kitchenware in the kitchen, china in the living room, etc) because when the moving company arrives, those guys don't fuck around. A van full of Romanian guys showed up and turned every single thing in our house into boxes in about 10 hours.
However, the stuff isn't even the worst part of the moving process. Given that my things are inanimate objects, I can do whatever I want with them as long as I have the physical capability to do it. Not so with the local governments. Moving from France to the USA we have to juggle customs on both ends including things like making an itemized list of everything in our house right down to our underwear. Not to mention having to go through cancelling our phone service, ending the lease, getting a mortgage for a house in the USA, and various other paperwork intensive activities. The fact that much of this is completed in a foreign tongue (none of us have amazing french) makes it even harder.
But now the bustle of the main activity has passed. Having moved out of our house, we're in a hotel in the center of Paris pretending to be tourists for the week. We fly out on saturday morning, so we're just trying to soak up the last little bit of Parisian culture, along with saying goodbyes to friends and such. It feels strange to have such a big date hanging over you, especially if you know what it feels like to have done it before. At the end of the day, little compares to the feeling of landing at night in a new city, with all your most important things in the trunk of your car. I can easily see why people fly all over the world, chasing the high that can only come from being somewhere new.
Part 2: On Discovering the Joys of TL
I first discovered TL in the winter of 2010 as I was searching for broodwar strategies. Being absolutely terrible at the game and trying my best to get wins on ICCup (only ever got 1), I was desperate to find some killer strategy that would give me the edge. My search brought me to liquipedia, where I discovered that there was a very fully developed metagame for SC:BW. In my attempt to educate myself further I came across cryptically labelled VOD's, leading me to TLPD and changing my life forever.
My first reaction at seeing professional broodwar play was "holy shit these guys are good", followed by the immediate realization that they were so good that they got PAID to play this game. I spent the bulk of my winter break watching every VOD I could find of moletrap, klazaart, and company casting these amazing games. I didn't really pay much attention to the site that they were on, but I was hooked on eSports.
Fast forward to fall of 2011. Having met a friend at my school who both played and watched SC2, I had discovered a kindred spirit. Watching the TSL3 with him over the summer had convinced me to finally cough up the money to buy SC2, and was fully immersed in the professional scene by the time the start of school rolled around. My friend introduced me to liquibet, and I decided that I might as well make an account so that I could bet my eSports dollars on my favorite players. At the outset I didn't post almost anything, but I liked to have the account in case I ever wanted to ask a question.
2 threads in particualr really changed my experience from a being a lurker to being a poster. The first was the APA: Transgender Is No Longer A Mental Disorder thread. The topic was one that I'm somewhat passionate and informed about, and when BlazingHand featured my reply in the OP was encouraged enough to continue posting. I've gotten in a few General Forum debates thus far, and after getting a feel for the conversational flow of threads on here, its something that I really like, and can't get in other places like reddit.
The second thread was the What Are You Reading 2013 thread. As a relatively quick reader, I got to come back to the thread a lot and eventually got to know the people in it. Being introduced to people like farvacola and sam!zdat brought me into a broader sense of community on TL.
Once I got settled into paris for the summer I realized that I didn't really have all that much to do. As a result I poured myself somewhat into following professional SC2 (and now dota), which of course led to me visiting a much wider variety of threads on the site. I've started trying to contribute in LR threads as well as the strategy forum (that one is harder since I'm so bad ). Overall I've really enjoyed becoming an active part of the TL community, whether it be through General Forum, LR, IRC, or anything else.
Since we're moving, I'm going to be without stable internet for a month or so. I probably won't be able to do Live Reports, or get in extended internet arguments over the the most recent SCOTUS decisions. However, I'll still be around (definitely in the What Are You Reading thread since I'll be reading a lot), and I might even blog a bit about my experiences.
I know that in the future I want to try to contribute more to the site. I've been practicing doing Live Reports, and I know that there are plenty of times when a good LR would be a great contribution. I also want to learn more about editing liquipedia, since I just started this week and its addicting (I really want a silver coin). Lastly I just want to further my ties with the TL community, its a fun thing to be a part of.
A couple people to thank in particular since people seem to do this in blogs
@farvacola: Thanks for always being a good example of how to post in the general forum. You're always friendly, and your contributions make TL a much more interesting place. I'm looking forward to the final wrap up post for the TLBC. Also, thank you again for the TL+, it means a lot.
@Shellshock1122: Thanks for showing me the ropes of Live Reporting, and covering for me when my internet and/or wrists die. I may never be able to match your speed, but I hope to someday reach your level of Live Reporting prowess.
Thanks for reading (if you actually got through that wall of text), and I'll see you in a month or so