“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
Recently, dear reader, I have been in a bit of a funk. Overwhelmed by work, feeling like no matter how much I get done, there is always so much more than when I started. And this has been grinding on me. I’ve needed an escape, somewhere I can go or something I can do that is completely disconnected from the world which is causing me so much stress. And I have found it.
I am once again, dear reader, going to be playing Dungeons and Dragons. Now some of you may laugh or mock me for this. I’ll admit, D&D isn’t particularly cool. It isn’t what a lot of people would do. And to that, I say I don’t give a rat’s arse what you think. For to me, D&D is a way in which I can escape from my problems for a few hours a week. It is something that brings me joy, and a great deal of pleasure.
I haven’t played D&D since I left my old adventuring group behind me in Korea (now, we are spread out all over the world). And I miss it a lot. It was something I could do that let me leave all my problems behind me and have a great time with like-minded people for a short while. And that is important. It is important for anyone to have such a release, but especially important to me. Recently, my mental health has taken somewhat of a nosedive, dragging me kicking and screaming with it. I think that D&D is just the release I need to help me ensure it doesn’t consume me like it has in the past.
I don’t know much about the people I will be playing with. I met them through a forum (Roll20), and our first game isn’t scheduled to take place for another week or so. But I am sure we will have a great time. I am playing a wood elf cleric, my first time in such a role, and I am excited. To be able to get back into a hobby that you love is a great thing. I urge you all to do it. Take time for yourself. Even if, like me, you feel like you don’t have that time. At the end of the day, life is far to short to spend our whole time working. Personally, I hate the person I am at the moment. Always obsessed with work, thinking about work or doing work. If the me from a few years ago could see me now, he’d probably think “Good God. You’ve become a tightly wound piece of shit!” It was stress and disappointment like this that made me leave my last job in the UK before jetting off to Korea. And I am certain that, in a couple of years, you’ll find me on the road again. But until that time comes, I will settle for the twisting path of fantasy and adventure that D&D brings me.
In the words of Brian Blessed – “Don’t let the bastards grind you down!”
Go. Do something for you today. It will help you feel better, I am sure of it. No one ever regrets doing too much for themselves. But a lot of people regret not doing enough.
Have a great day,