So I got to see the latter half of The Interview, the entirety of The Lego Movie (which is pure awesomeness as far as I'm concerned), and then got to rewatch Guardians of the Galaxy. All this, while with said CF friends, just having some casual chatting going on.
It got better, too. After the events of movie night were over, I got to chat with a couple of ComicFurians who're younger than I am. I don't know how old the other is, but one of them joined a couple of months ago. Both had heard of me, since I'm essentially a huge piece of CF lore. (Hard not to be when you've earned the third-highest post count thanks to an intense investment in the site and being very, very encouraging and active in other people's comics. Like I've said, ComicFury was an obsession, and I consider them a family away from family, in which every day away is increasingly painful, thus why I'm planning to return after spring quarter has finished and I have a college degree.)
Neither had interacted with me, though, and it was rather refreshing. Made me feel old, of course. But sometimes, that's a good thing. It's the other side of my personality that hasn't come out nearly as much since my frail mental state was made apparent: the wise old sage side of me. See, there's a part of me that's a small, vulnerable child. This is the emotional side of me. The transwoman, curled up into a ball in the corner, afraid. It's a dominant factor in my life right now, and I am particularly expressive of it with my mafia friends. (Though it does appear on CF, albeit not as often.)
Yet there's also that other side. The side I got to show them. I wasn't putting on an act. I wasn't being someone I'm not. It's still me. Just the other side of me. And that, that they got to see. I got to give them some maybe-actually-helpful advice, speaking from my vast experience on the forums. The childish side of me got brought up a little bit: you could see it in my enthusiasm and pure joy at being able to talk, and saw additional hints through some of my darker warnings about what I have been and what I still am. (Among them, that I'm a bipolar possibly-autistic transwoman in a bigoted household. Not exactly a strong, mentor figure when I was delivering that specific line to them. Though around it, I was.)
They definitely seem friendly enough to me, and it's good to maintain a connection to the community, for however small a part of it I may have had. I'm still gonna have major culture shock when I return, I'm sure. It'll surely be a bit awkward to have a fair number of "who're you?" mixed with "Ranger's back!" (from people I'll probably remember but will be extra-awkward if I don't but they remember ME), and likely "I've heard of you...you're THE Ranger?" in there as well. (I'm actually planning on making an intro thread, because I didn't make one originally, nor upon my return after my initial absence.)
Apparently, people still talk about me every once and a while, and from my understanding, it's nothing but good things. It's nice to know that the CF community as a whole has moved on from where it used to be. (Let's just say that the original me was not someone nearly as easy to say good things about with sincerity.)
I want to go back so badly, but I have to stick to the plan. I hate it. Hate it. But I know. Know. Myself far too well. Far, far too well. It's no self-fulfilling prophecy. It's no mere fear. It's no simple concern of mine. It's a guarantee. My life right now might seem unbalanced, but it's reasonably stable. I can't go back to ComicFury yet, because if I did...I know that'd create an imbalance I wouldn't be able to fix. I'd get that same obsession, because I love them so much. And ultimately, my life would implode on itself, hurting me more than I already am, making things worse than they already are.
I wish that weren't true. I really, really wish that this were me playing out the worse-case scenario. I wish that I could go back right here and now. But...I know better. There's a difference between being cynical and being experienced, just as there's a difference between being optimistic and stupid. I'm not being cynical; I know what I'm talking about. Because jumping in won't be me going in optimistically; it'll be me going in stupidly.
I need to work my way into it. I need a plan. I fundamentally NEED to hold some semblance of balance in my life. As much as I don't like the thought, I need to have that strategy into play. I'll never have all the variables under control. I can never build a perfect plan. I'll never have a clear path that'll show me the answers. But I don't need that. All I need is to have a fairly good grip on them...a grip that I'm working on establishing, but if I plunged in right now, I most certainly would not have.
So as much as I don't want to...I have to wait. This is not an indefinite wait, where I'll never come back. This is not a senseless wait, where there is no purpose to waiting. This is not a wait with no plan attached to it, where I just hope that the future is better than the present. This is a strategic wait, one that if I can bear the willpower to maintain for six months longer, will give me the stability I need for a lifetime, at least in theory.
Butyeah. The conversation was a reminder of what I am striving for: a lifetime of happiness. Sometimes, by taking on the role of the elder guiding the younger, you are reminded of the things you once needed to be oh so desperately told yourself. That fundamental right, to actually be happy and healthy, is something that's worth fighting for, and everything I do that is truly productive is an activity meant to reach towards that goal.
So it was a very good chat I had. When it came to today, I mainly spent it in chat as well, not to mention, reading TVTropes on The Lego Movie's page. Time well-spent, again, because while chat was mostly slow, I was chatting with friends. It even continued after my sister came home, and only stopped recently when my mom and dad came in.
...Has put me behind in other activities (such as me not being nearly as active in Heroes of the Realm as I by all rights should be given the current events), but I firmly feel reconnecting with my other side was needed. It's a reminder of just how much there is in my life worth living for, among other stuff.
Very good start to the new year. I believe 2015 will truly be a glorious year.