rant 1: i could write my magnum opus or i could simply go to bed

Zukchiva

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rant 1: i could write my magnum opus or i could simply go to bed
By: Guess and Check, Editor-in-Chief



It is difficult for me to write something nowadays. I just don’t tend to have that spark anymore… no articles I feel like writing to challenge the region’s status quo, or something. IDK. But then today I watched a video titled “i could write my magnum opus or i could simply go to bed” by Savannah Brown. And the video just felt so relatable in terms of my personal feelings to the Union. And in that video, Savannah speaks of being vulnerable whenever they write something - and I was thinking hey. I’ve had these emotions bottled up inside me for a long time now. I have a newspaper that can be about literally anything I want it to be. So - let’s vent!

(If you don’t want to read a vent post about regionbuilding, I can’t blame you - not really. But if you wish to, read on!)

If you think about it, one of the most difficult choices we can make is to care for something. Because when we choose to care for something, we essentially being to forever worry about said thing. We wish the best for said thing. And we’ll always take the most difficult path possible to ensure that thing remains okay and even thrives. But that aforementioned worry is what makes caring so dangerous, so draining, so deadly. If the thing we care about fails - it sucks. Big time. You start feeling like a failure because you can’t fix it up, whatever or whomever it is. You feel powerless. Trapped. It’s a very tough sensation, which is probably why most people can only afford to give great care to a few things. Stretch ourselves too thin, and we can snap.

What’s crazy to me is that instinctively knowing that, there still remains a vast multitude of individuals who partake in the abstract concept of “region-building”. People who know the dangers of caring about something too much - everyone knows these dangers - yet they choose to establish a community in one of the most difficult places possible. A niche 2000s political simulator game that’s rife with pretend fighting that, oftentimes, can cause people to rip their hair out.

It isn’t easy to build a region. To build a region first requires recruitment, which means either spending extensive time or money to attract people to your community. Then you need to guide those players in playing the game, and hope some of them become interested enough in your region’s other aspects (and this hurts because sometimes those players leave the game or the region - making you experience a small existential crisis). And then, you need to run initiatives to make the place a great place to be. Any one of those things is challenging on its own and prone to failure - when you need to do all three simultaneously, it can be devastating. And, if you care about your region too much - soul-sucking if something doesn’t seem to work out.

And maybe I care just a tad bit too much about our region. Because you wanna know what’s one of the first things I do every morning? I check out our nation count, our World Assembly Delegate endorsements, and our regional message board activity. And everytime I see our nation count go down, or see our Delegate loosing endorsements, or see less RMB activity than usual, I feel just a tad bit worried. Is this the start of the end? Are we going to lose another 100 nations for no apparent reason? And does the fact that no matter how hard I try - nothing seems to make it better (even if in reality, things may be getting better and I’m just being pessimistic?)

It’s also a bit funny that I mention trying, because despite the time I spend worrying about UDS - I don’t really do much. Not that I want to do nothing, of course. But it’s kinda like procrastinating, y’know? But the reason I procrastinate is because whenever I do something small, it often seems to fall flat on its face and then I just lose any motivation to do anything. Or maybe the creeping thought comes in - that I’ve tried so many things so many times and so many have failed - so why should I put more effort into this UDS initiative when I could instead enjoy some Youtube?

Because trust me when I say that I often just feel unhappy sometimes when doing UDS stuff. When I see other regions having a billion people join their Discord, and then our Discord not gaining that many - I can’t help but compare myself. What is it that I’m not doing right? What am I doing wrong, that means my region is not doing as well as it could be?

There’s also that idea of me. Oftentimes, I feel like I’m the only one who cares at all about UDS. Which, frankly, is irrational - there’s tens of people who work hard everyday to keep our region going. The Admins, the RP staff, our Ministers, etc. Yet I think I’ve tied myself so much up with UDS’s welfare that I tend to only see my own actions versus those of entire other regions, sometimes. Which probably means I’m putting too high of expectations on myself and my abilities to improve UDS’s welfare. Which, I guess, probably comes from caring in an unhealthy manner.

So why is it that I constantly wake up and say good morning to stir up some discussion and see how everyone is doing? If this region-building just causes me stress, if this just makes me feel like I’m smashing myself against a wall with no hope of recourse - why do I keep worrying about UDS and making token efforts to improve it?

Because there’s a challenge here that I can’t run away from, at least not easily. Like Savannah says in her video: “...for whatever reason it's difficult to move through life without our poison's influence, not just consuming creative things but continuously engaging in the process of
creation…” I’m someone who finds it hard to become motivated in anything that doesn’t give me immediate gratification. But being unable to say that I’m good at anything hurts. I don’t have any great skills, any great passion for anything. Besides, well, regionbuilding on NS - even if I don’t do much of it and I suck at it.

But the fact is, despite how much I personally torture myself to do anything for UDS - doing such things simultaneously brings me a lot of joy. It brings me a satisfaction and a fulfillment I can’t get from binging Youtube or even reading a really impactful book. Like for example - did you know we currently have 14 registrations for our Hunger Games!? Thinking about that makes me so happy, because it means people are engaging with something I’ve done or helped bring about. That because of me, now 14 people are anticipating seeing their characters battle it out in a simulated world in two weeks. The idea that I can give something tangible, if small, to people who aren’t me is thrilling. And maybe it’s a highly selfish sentiment, but one that pervades anything I do here. When I see our nation count go up, I’m ecstatic because it means more people have found something potentially worthwhile in UDS - maybe something I’ve contributed to! When I see people endorsing our Delegate, I’m hyped because it means people have decided we’re worth enough to put some more effort into our region. And when I see people chatting actively in our Discord or Regional Message Board, it fills me with joy because it shows people are enjoying the UDS as a community space and want to build it up and use it.

In short, I guess the reason I do stuff for UDS is because it’s both rewarding and a form of self-validation. And I should prooobably make it less about self-validation (it ain’t healthy to validate yourself based on others, obviously).

But yeah. Rant over! I don’t even know what this is, or if it’s a good idea to post. But I guess being vulnerable is a good thing, sometimes. Anyways, I probably don’t think I’ll edit this - hopefully this gets lots of upvotes. Maybe that’s another bit of validation - but who doesn’t want to receive usefulness for their work? For people to say “yes, I like this?”

ANYWAYS, I’ll leave you with another quote from Savannah (go watch the video if you have time, it’s great).

“Really i just want to make someone feel something and is there maybe something selfish about it if that's what it is? If it's all just a glorified rambling time capsule or deranged infinite initial scrolling into the oak of the world? Of course creativity is not an entirely selfless endeavor but I also don't think it's selfish to want to be the one to give people those defining experiences or comfort or unexpected moments of understanding that you've had. I think it just speaks to our
desire to connect. I want to return or match or expand on what I feel the world has given to me.”

I want to make somebody feel…