So let me start my story like any old man with an anecdote that doesn't really go anywhere.
I was trawling through my old blog entries trying to find out when I got Pokemon Diamond. I'm playing Brilliant Diamond and I wanted to see if I wrote down anything about my initial playthrough of the game. Turns out, 17 year old me did not see that as something worth recording.
Instead I seemed to be a little full of myself. A lot of the blog entries from that time are about my own fame and power on BZP, which in the hindsight of old age looks a bit sad and pathetic. Yeah, I definitely played it up a bit for laughs, but I have to confess that there was a bit of truth behind that.
It's hard when you're seventeen and you have all these hopes and aspirations. At school, you're just a regular person, but on the internet, hey, you just make some funny Flash videos and write some silly movie parodies and suddenly you're someone special. Of course it would go to your head, you're still a kid. What do you know about power or fame? How could you possibly use those things responsibly? I wasn't even that powerful or famous. Imagine if I were a real celebrity! Yowza...
For the most part, I guess I was well-liked. Certainly if I go onto Bionicle Discord communities, people tell me they have fond memories of some of the things I've done. So maybe I'm overthinking it, maybe this is just the imposter syndrome that we all have to face in adulthood.
And things could absolutely be worse. You hear all sorts of stories about people who use their power and influence to abuse and control vulnerable people. I definitely never did anything like that. I just made some blog posts that aged poorly.
I don't think I'm a bad person now or that I was a bad person before, I just think it's interesting how my values shifted as I got older. Right now I am 31. I run my own business where I give children speech therapy. “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That's my new aim in life: to help make other people feel good, not just myself. My power and influence speaks for itself, I don't have to brag about it on the internet, even as a joke.
Thank you for reading this. I hope you managed to grow beyond the person you were at seventeen too.