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I am sorry.


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In recent weeks you might have [not] noticed that I have fallen off the radar. I don't even recall my last proper RP post. But what I'm about to say next, well, it's only about time I said it. It's been a good long time since I should've said this.

Before anything, I'm going to keep this simple because I have seen how those long preachy posts affect this community. I'd hate to waste your time, so read at your own discretion. And please do forgive me if it does get too long.

I'm also going to try writing this raw, the way I feel like expressing it, coming straight from my heart. So allow me to just take this time to apologize for my bad grammar in advance.

Anyways. Here goes.

I joined Europa in search of, well, something to kill time on a boring summer afternoon. Little did I know that it would change my life, or how it would change my life. And I really, really don't want to be corny on this, but some of you have probably seen how I came to Europa inexperienced, immature, and awkward. Not that I feel people do notice, but I have changed.

Those who have known me for the longer time have probably seen how I started out as Andalla: the guy who literally chose a random good-sounding name that popped out of his mind. I didn't even know what I was doing. And at that time I had this funny little interest in Oceania, so I initially intended to be some sort of Pacific Islander nation.

Anyway. That one evening was still fresh from memory, when I was talking with @Orioni about worldbuilding. I recall he mentioned something about how "Andalla" fitted a more European-like nation. We were just throwing ideas around, really. Informal talk. Nothing serious. But that was when the first realization came.

I absolutely did not know what I was doing.

That, and several subsequent events, pushed me to improve. I had  to research. "Let's just accept it," I said to myself. "You're inexperienced. Better read up."

And so I did. Now I won't go into detail about this, but before long I was basking in the glory of my posts. I valued high quality writing. Only accurate research and the best writing were enough to pass my standards. And I could see the fruit of all my labor - I was becoming more and more influential in the community.

That's where everything else came in. I co-founded ATARA, joined TRIDENT, became some sort of regional diplomatic heavyweight. I was with the big boys now.

But something was missing. I didn't know what it was, nor did I even care about it. And that's where the big mistake arises.

Success after success. When we came to the new forums and reactions were introduced, I could see how much likes my posts were getting. I was receiving so much positive feedback and compliments. I myself felt good about all my writing as well. Then suddenly I became an RP Mentor, one of the three selected to join a new program known as The Academy.

"This is it - I'm successful."

But something was still missing.

I wasn't the best.

Month after month, I was only putting more and more effort into my writing. An occasional jerk from school would put me off a bit, but soon after I resumed pumping out all my content. Posts became less frequent, but much, much longer and definitely more high-quality.

But I wasn't the best. Because month after month, new members were coming in, displacing the positions of older, more established members. And it all happened so fast, because technically I wasn't even "old and established" considering Europa's 15-year history.

Not that I hold any grudge against any new member, or any member for that reason really - you guys are all awesome people and I just love how you add so much vibrance to this community. But deep, deep down there was that unbreakable, unexplainable sense of competition.

So month after month, I would only find myself disappointed because I wasn't the best. Because all those posts weren't giving me the recognition I "deserved". Skandinavisk, Flight 371, the Mr. Simizi travel guide, that Pandemic post, that person in the Academy who I helped, my ATARA resolution attempt, you name it. I was giving so much effort yet getting so little in return.

Now before anything else - allow me to say that I'm not complaining. Again, I hold no grudge against anyone. Because what happened next is what really changed everything.

Slowly, little by little, it occurred to me that I was fighting the fight that I couldn't fight. Let's call it insignificant. I was "insignificant" in this community, not because I wasn't getting what I wanted, but because I was "wanting" too much.

Let me say again that I'm not complaining. This is all my fault, my mistake of doing what I thought I could do. At that point I just felt so inflated. Inflating myself with all that hidden ego that pushed me to believe that I was important. I find it hard to say this in any other way, but yeah. It's my mistake and I've chosen to accept it.

Anyway, there I was. Inflated. So full of myself. What better could I do but just keep on writing and writing?

Then, after all that struggle, it finally struck me.

Right now I'm on my last two weeks of school. Which meant that I was nearing the end of the school year, and right now I'm on the final leg. Lots of work to finish up, lots of requirements to complete. I had no time to write.

But did people really care?

What I noticed is that my absence did not disrupt the natural flow of events. Members came and went. Other new members established themselves. Europa was vibrant and full of life as usual.

I'm actually laughing as I write this because I sound like some hopeless, depressed brat. We have a term for this in Tagalog: KSP (Kulang Sa Pansin), which simply means "Lacking in Attention". Please let me assure you again that I've accepted it and I don't feel any negative feelings toward any member, or toward Europa as a whole.

Moving on. I finally realized that I really could not do anything more. I was exerting effort at my full capacity, so much that I would stay up very late even on weekdays just to finish writing my posts. And at the same time I was getting all the recognition that I really deserved.

The real problem did not lie in the fact that I was "under-recognized". In fact, I was "over-recognized". Thing is, I was dreaming far above what I really could achieve. And if, in terms of effort, that was the furthest I could go - the proper solution was not to do more, but to accept what I really deserved.

So here I am. I've fallen silent to reflect on what has been happening for the past [almost] 2 years of my stay in Europa. Many people say "ups and downs", but for me it was like both "ups" and "downs" at the same time. You ever split your body in half to ride two different rollercoasters? Yeah... that was probably me.

Now don't get me wrong - from time to time, I did post things. And I was often online on Discord as well. But that was only because I was in denial.

I had accepted it all, but another problem arose - what now?

I had high hopes for Andalla. I envisioned completing all the RP threads that I had began. I envisioned finishing my main IIWiki page and constantly adding to other pages. I envisioned becoming a core member of the community, helping to make Europa a better place.

I envisioned too much. But I had already done so much in my futile attempt to attain the unattainable.

So I tried to deny it. I was aimlessly writing at that point. Did you know I had my next installment of Flight 371 in the works? That, and so much more. I wanted to "revive" myself, but with a seemingly different goal.

But my schedule was still hectic as usual. My Flight 371 draft was going nowhere. Everything was going nowhere.

And the realization came to me again. Was I really doing what I wanted to do, or was I still fighting the "un-fightable" fight?

Yeah. The latter.

During the Holy Week I had the chance to travel to the province, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and away from the Internet. And that's where I realized how much my life had changed because of Europa.

Of course, there was the positive side - I was so much more knowledgeable about the world around me. I had a very keen interest in learning new things.

But I slept late. You could say it was becoming some sort of a sleeping disorder. Insomnia, if you will. And I had also developed a spinal problem due to sitting in front of the computer for prolonged periods of time. Mind you, that may sound funny, but the eye problem you were expecting from prolonged computer use had been lingering around since childhood (and for other reasons aside from the computer). Let's just say I'm using this really old chair and table which... doesn't fit me so well anymore. So there's that.

I had also lost quite a good chunk of my social life. Here I was, a robot typing at a screen late into the night. And I had also lost time to pursue my other hobbies, specifically photography. I was putting that much time into Europa. That's why all this just struck me so hard after I realized it.

But what am I doing right now but going around in circles? It's time to get to a resolution. And I promise you - I really don't know how else to say this one, because it pains me so much to say it.

I'm leaving.

Whew. Bet you expected that, after reading all this. But in all seriousness, I've seen how I've affected myself with this useless pursuit of glory. Now I'm never going to say it was Europa that affected me, because it was myself - my ego, my own personal mistakes - that was the problem. I just love this community and I'd hate to see it go. And I'm afraid I don't see any other way to stop this suffering, than to just leave.

I know, it will be painful. The entire journey was painful. But I just loved it - I was in love with Europa. Just writing about Andalla - it provided me a way to escape the stress of life. I was in my own self-created paradise, where anything I wanted could be done. But deep down I was also in my very own self-created hell. And so all good things must come to an end. Especially if you thought it was good, but in fact it was just slowly eating you from the inside.

Don't get me wrong - it's so painful to leave. It's not like I just made this decision to leave in an instant. I have been considering it since last year. And it's been a long, agonizing process. So rather than just making it worse, it's better that I just go. I hope you all understand.

So I'd like to dedicate this portion of my long speech to the dreams I held, and still hold, for Andalla. I may never be able to accomplish them. I had hoped to fully establish my lore and history, as well as to paint a vibrant image of Andalla today at the hands of my writing. I had hoped to truly enjoy writing my long RP posts. I dreamed of seeing members of the community come together to participate in the Thalassan War. I dreamed to see Flight 371 as one of my greatest accomplishments, a long story that truly made Andalla come to life. And of course I also dreamed to see all those long, boring bureaucratic things achieve success. ATARA becoming a core pillar of Eurth. My aviation projects finally taking shape, in the form of our very own ICAO. I had dreamed all this. These dreams I must set down and forget.

Now I'd like to dedicate this part to those who have walked with me along the journey of Andalla. Here's a special toast to my fellow Sea Negro brothers, @Iverica and @Selayar. And here's one to my ancient IC brother @Ahrana - the Sjadska civilization is in your hands now, don't mess it up (wink). And here's an equally-special toast to everyone else - the TRIDENT boys, the ATARA gang, the Mod/Admin Team, my fellow RP Mentors, and everybody else really. You guys are all awesome. I promise.

A very, very, very special thanks to @Orioni. Long ago, there was once a post on r/NationStates by a young innocent Andalla looking for a region to join. You replied. And the rest is history.

 

Indeed. It is about time that this happened. From the very beginning this was predestined to happen. And so, before I leave Europa, let me take this time to just try wiping it all off to a clean slate.

I'd like to apologize for what I have done. Even if it may have not affected you, please do accept my apology. I tried to pursue what I could not pursue and so I have met the consequences. And I have accepted the consequences.

I'd like to apologize to anyone I hurt, or anyone that I might have formerly held a grudge against. I'd also like to apologize for all my shortcomings, which did not necessarily provoke any negativity, but rather made people annoyed at me. Well, I must say that there have been times that I did make a mistake so big as to hurt someone or provoke some sort of negative response. So please, please do forgive me.

I know I look like a coward, just quitting it all. And frankly I wouldn't apologize for that. I hope you do see how this is really the best decision that I can make. Because anything less than leaving would continue to bring the pain that this whole thing has brought to me since long before. So please give me some leeway.

I can tell there are people who hold their own secret grudge against me. Maybe there are some who are even happy that I'm about to go. Perhaps I said something or did something irreversible in the past. But that is all the result of my own mistakes and my own wrong decisions. And so, I would like to offer a special apology for that. I wouldn't hold any grudge against you. Let us end all negative feelings.

 

There is so much more that I have to say. So let me say again, all good things must come to an end.

I regret to say that I will most likely never return to Europa, or to any worldbuilding group for that matter. Only time can tell if I will still choose to lurk around on Discord, maybe dropping by even on the forums every now and then. But for the next few days, I'll be completely silent - I need the time. And I won't be wallowing in my sadness, so don't bother to do so either. Life goes on - the grass is still green, the sky is still blue. And so nothing changes, unless you yourself choose to do that change.

I really don't want to do this because it pains me so much. Seeing everything about Andalla flash back before my eyes, and even my dreams and aspirations for this imaginary plaything of mine. But if you stop hurting yourself, the pain still lingers for a while, but the wound is soon healed. Either you stop, or you choose to have that pain continue to cause you much suffering day by day.

So learn from what I have just said. Don't let history repeat its mistakes. I myself hope it will not - I've seen its destructive power and it's all just so painful. So again. Learn from the past and carry on towards the future.


In my stay here, people have came and went - nothing happened. And so Andalla came and went, and I hope - his departure will not affect this amazing, vibrant community. Carry on without him. Keep mentioning him, but only if need be. Or perhaps, soon, remove him from the map and cease all references. Either way, it works for me.

I sincerely offer my final apologies to those who may be affected by my leaving - I hope there are none. Rest assured, you'll see me around.

 

I wish everybody all the best.

 

 

- Andy

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Best of luck, @Andalla!

I was wondering why I'd not seen you around recently this morning - I was briefly talking to @Derthalen about Eurth having powered flight start in a few places.

Your in-depth work always amazed me and I'll certainly be sad to see you go.

I know the feeling of burning out a bit, though :P

If we see you again I'll be glad but if not, I hope the future holds great things for you!

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First off, let me wish you a good luck, man! I want to thank you for being one of the most friendly people around here. If it wasn't for you approaching me and helping me setting my nation up here last year, i wouldn't be here. You're also one of the reason this community feels so fun (lol yeah), to the point that i returned back from my abrupt leave. Thanks a lot, my man. I know i might not be the right person to say this since i'm relatively new, but i will never forget you, as short as our interaction was, it was a meaningful one.

Edited by Selayar (see edit history)
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The only person you should really compare yourself against is your past self. I think old Andy would be proud of the current Andy.

Speaking for myself, I can honestly say I'll miss you, as a person and as a player. Maybe someday, who knows, we'll meet again.

I wish you the very best of luck in whichever challenge you undertake next.

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