January 1, 2011 by Amanda Zahn
With every new year, we are faced with the opportunities for new beginnings, new outlooks, and new approaches to how we tackle life. We’re often socially obligated to create resolutions and lists of things we don’t like about ourselves enough that we will attempt to change them. We go to bed, typically well after a normal bedtime, and wake up to a fresh restart button in the game of our lives. The game hasn’t changed, but we can approach the year with a new direction or motivation.
So here is my fresh outlook, my new approach. I suppose every new endeavor should begin with an introduction of some form. I’ll save the biography about how I grew up for later, but this is me: soldier, student, gamer.
Soldier: I served in the United States Army as a parachute rigger for seven years. Home was many different places, from Fort Bragg to Germany, and I relished in how easy the rest of the world was to reach. It was so close, always within my grasp. I accomplished many things that make me proud of my service: the rank of Sergeant, awards for Soldier of the Month and Soldier of the Quarter boards, certification as a combatives instructor, multiple jumps from airplanes and helicopters, and a plethora of relationships that strengthen me as much as they propel me forward. I deployed twice while I was in the Army and, surprisingly, I miss them. It’s hard to explain deployments to people who’ve never experienced them, but I learned a lot about myself and grew in so many ways. Time had very little meaning; the world outside of our area of operation continued to turn without us. Catching up with that world after the deployments ended was difficult, but we adjusted and pressed on.
Student: The Army offered many opportunities for me to advance my education, and I took advantage of it as often as I could, but it was insanely difficult to focus on that education and fulfill my duties as a soldier and, in time, as a leader. Getting out of the Army was one of the easiest choices I ever made. I wouldn’t have known about Full Sail University if it weren’t for my stepdad, Eric. He had considered going to Full Sail at one point and I was surprised at how quickly the school pulled me in. It wasn’t a specific degree program that caught my eye; it was the way I felt immediately like a part of the entertainment field. The future looks very bright with every class I take.
Dragonfury: Playing video games is a common part of our society today. Most of my generation grew up with them, from ColecoVision to Playstation 3. I cut my teeth on Nintendo games and, while I do have an appreciation for console games still, I tend to prefer World of Warcraft to fill my time. I started playing World of Warcraft in January of 2005, a few weeks after the release, and have played on the Elune-US server since my very first day. I played a hunter originally, but the release of the Burning Crusade gave me the option to switch to a shaman and I took advantage of it. Dragonfury has been my main since then and will be my pride and joy until the end. My addiction to World of Warcraft goes farther than just the game, however, and some of the greatest friendships I’ve ever had have formed there. I would have struggled much more in the harder parts of my life without them.
So here we go. I don’t know if I would call this endeavor a resolution by any means, but I can say that it is an attempt to maintain the tenuous hold I have on my sanity, the delicate balance between stress and calm in my life. What are the rules? They’re simple: I’m going to write. I’d like to say I will write every day, but I have to be realistic or else this will end up being work. I can’t allow this twisted form of therapy to become work or else I’ll begin to make excuses to back out of it. Planning weeks upon weeks of blogging is already forcing me to relive so many memories, happy and sad, and I look forward to sharing some of them.
Happy reading, ladies and gentlemen.