The Straw   58 comments

A while back when Larissa and Tam announced that they were going to close the doors on their respective blogs, they both kind of said the same thing: I just woke up one day and knew I was done.  I often wondered what one thing, one post, one comment, one email, was the catalyst to them walking away.  What was it that, intentionally or unintentionally, ended up being the straw that ultimately broke the camels back.  I’ve always kind of believed that the straw the breaks the proverbial camel’s back would be tiny.  So small that no one would truly realize that it was the thing that caused everything to tumble to the ground. 

When Tam left, I sent him my own private goodbye.  I always felt close to Tam because we entered blogging at the same time, and in those early days often supported each other quite a bit.  Eventually he went left down the road, while I went right, but I always remembered those early days when we kicked at rocks together.  Anyhow, when Tam left one of the things that I shared with him was that I was tired.  And when we responded he told me “I can tell”, he then proceeded to give me some fantastic advice that I have summarily ignored, but that’s really neither here nor there and I digress.

Let’s get back to this camel should we?

There are a few things on my blog which I’m incredibly proud of – my openness, honesty and being true to myself is one of them.  Which is, admittedly, why I feel the need to write this post.  Because this blog has first and foremost always been my avenue of expression.  Sure, the guides are great and I have fun making them.  Sure, the druid talk is insightful and I love engaging in it.  But when I opened the doors here it was because I needed an outlet for myself.  And in my two and a half years of blogging, I think that I have been pretty true to that goal, blogging for myself.

Beru, you ramble.  Can we get to the point of this before my coffee gets cold?

In the interest of remaining in open and honest I feel it is only fair to share that last night, for the first time ever, I seriously considered retiring my blog.  Let’s go back to the camel.  In my ponderings on what broke Larissa and Tam, I frequently wondered what that straw would end up being for me.  Because let’s be fair – no one can blog about WoW forever.  I know that someday it will be inevitable that I rest my branches.  Hell, I’ve even made a poor attempt at starting a personal blog because I know, now that I’ve fallen in love with blogging, it isn’t something I can every completely walk away from. 

Anyhow, the straw.

There were a series of events over the weekend that occurred and ultimately culminated yesterday that made me wonder if that was my straw.  And I won’t lie to you, they upset me quite a bit.  Sometimes words to a stranger can be so cold, even if that isn’t your true intent.  And as I told Tam, I’m tired.

When Brade came to bed last night, he knew something was wrong.  I had been off all night – at home, in the raid, in general.  When he asked me about it I responded “I don’t want to talk about it”, which he is finally wise enough to translate into “please make me tell you about it so I can have a good cry and get it all out while you listen and find me some chocolate to go with my tears”.  so I told him I was thinking about quitting my blog and everything just came flooding out.

I’m pretty sure this wasn’t what Brade expected because I love my blog.  I love what I do here, I love the people, I love the community, I love the outlet.  I love it all.  And he knows this.  But here I was considering it nonetheless.

After about half a box of tissue, Brade finally got a smile out of me.  It was truly silly, really.  You see I have this habit of looking at my snot after I blow my nose.  The truth is, it’s disgustingly intriguing for me.  All slimy and gross.  But for some reason I can’t help but to explore what my body just expunged – and after about the third time I did it last night he had to pause in his comforting and ask me exactly why I do that.  To which, had I had my mind about me, I would have responded “FOR SCIENCE!”.  However, instead I sheepishly admitted I just liked looking to see how slimy it was.  Which, of course, caused uncontrollable laughter from both of us.

I know, I know, I digress again.

It has long been said that laughter is the best medicine.  And sometimes I think that there is a lot of truth to that.  Once I was done with my snotty giggling fit, I was able to have a more cohesive conversation.  And so Brade and I stayed up way past our bedtime talking about it a little more.  He pointed out to me that I love my blog, I love the writing, I love the escape.  I talk about it all the time.  He didn’t think I should stop.  However, rather than give me his usual “tell the world to fuck off” mantra that he usually does, he commented that this series of events has obviously bothered me a great deal, but then asked why I should give up something I love because of it.

And he’s right.

Those of you that have been here with me for the past two and a half years know me pretty well.  Honestly, probably a lot better than you may even realize.  The truth is that I’m not all sunshine, rainbows and gumdrops.  The truth is that I have a sharp wit and an even sharper tongue (and I’m sure there’s more than one commenter who would attest to having been victim of the latter).  I’m not a perpetually happy person, and I’m not always friendly.  I’m just me – and I’m pretty comfortable with that.  It takes a lot to shake that up – but several things over the course of the past few days, not even all related, have done just that.

And it took a snotty tissue (gross) to regound myself and remember that I like who I am.

Much like Psynister’s Three Legged Stool, I feel that I have three arteries that feed my WoW heart: My Guild, My Blog and Brade.  If one of those were to collapse, I’m not sure how long the other two could support the flow to my heart.  And depending on which of those three collapsed, I’m not sure it would be possible for the other two to make up the difference.  Each one of these three things is my support system for WoW.  One of the key reasons that I continue to devote so much time and effort to the game.  They truly are lifelines and severing any of the three is potentially catastrophic to my survival in WoW.

The truth of the matter is that I fell victim to mistakes that I blogged about myself and made careless, frank commentary to someone I did not know well enough to do so – and subsequently received equally careless commentary as a result.  And that was damn near the straw.  Damn near.

But the second truth of the matter is that I love my blog for everything that it is, and I’m not ready to give that up yet.  So here I am.  Still sans sunshine, rainbows and gumdrops.  Still with my sharp wit and sharper tongue.  Still me – warts and all.

58 responses to “The Straw

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  1. I’m not sure I’ve ever said this before, or will ever say this again, but I am so, so grateful you always look at your slimy snot. I’m glad this wasn’t the straw.

  2. Beru, you scared me! I’d be so sad if you stopped blogging. Brade gave you some truly great advice and I’m glad you took it to heart.

  3. Just *hugs*

  4. I like to look at my snot too!

    Glad to hear that I am not alone in doing that >.<

  5. *offers hugs and a cookie* I would have been quite sad to see you go D:

  6. Beru, I can only repeat what everyone else has said… You scared me for a minute, andim so glad that Brade was there with a box of tissues and wise advice, and I love your blog, please don’t leave us!

    • Honestly, when he actually had more to say than “fuck them” (which really is his go to mantra) I knew that I needed to listen. In our relationship he has long been the rational one and I have long worn my heart on my sleeve.

      Thank you for your kind words.

  7. Beru, I was incredibly sad when Tam retired his blog, and sad when Larissa did hers, and I wondered if you were trying to spit it out… But you are right, no one can blog about WoW forever. I started coming here because you are someone of my own class and spec who gives great information that I can put to use. I stayed because you write well, because you write who you are, about your experiences, both personal and WoW. I stayed because YOU, with all your sharp wit and tongue, are a good person, and that comes across as well as the more acid side, which, we must admit, we all have. Do I learn about my class and spec… sure, I do, but if you switched to a personal blog like BRK did, I’d still come here because it’s you. Just like with Ratters and Daniel and Bell, you’ve become more than just a information source for many of us. Be proud of that, because it’s not many who can be both wonderful informational bloggers and good people at the same time. :)

    I’ll be around to listen, no matter what you want to talk about. :)

    • Thank you for your kind words. It’s also good to know that if I decided to start writing about rutabagas instead, I’d have at least one person popping into read now and again! (Don’t worry, I have no intentions of writing about rutabagas. In fact I had to resort to the dictionary to look up how to spell the damn word!). I’m glad to know that someone understands that a person is made up of more than just the good, and often the not so good is what makes a person whole. Actually, that’s kind of the whole Ying/Yang philosophy, isn’t it? So perhaps a whole bunch of people understand. Man, this comment is getting kind of deep!

      Again, thank you for your support.

  8. Hope you are doing okay now <3

    Also, I imagine druid snot looks like Effloressence!

  9. Hey, don’t be freezing off those warts. They’re pretty cool, as warts go.

    Hmmm.

    That sounded more icky than I expected.
    ;-)

  10. Advice, however excellent, should always be summarily ignored; it is by far the best thing to do with advice. I’m pretty content on the other side of blogging but there are voices I miss like I miss old friends – yours among them. I’m glad this straw did not break you, and I’m glad your blog continues to be as well-loved as it absolutely deserves :)

    PS – Chas does that thing with his snot. You are both repulsive aliens. What on earth are you expecting to find in there. Seriously.

    *hugs*

    • Such wise words from the rare sighted Anacona Chicken!

      I am very glad to hear from you Tam, and more pleased to hear that you are enjoying life on the other side of the blog! Thank you for your support, truly. You know, the best things about old friends is looking back over the scrapbook of your mind and walking through those memories and laughs and reliving them, as if they were caught in a snowglobe, insulated from the world and forever preserved. I only ask that you don’t shake at mine too hard, as I don’t much care when the flakes get caught up in my branches :)

      As for my dirty, shared habit, all I have to say is this: When the doctor asks me the color of my mucus, I always have an answer!

  11. Beru,

    I can’t tell you how much I respect and admire you for blogging as you do. Your posts are helpful, fun, well-written and a variety of other adjectives I could put here. I’m glad to know that whatever things recently happened, you’ll be continuing on. But I do want you to know that I think most of your readers would strongly agree that if that time does come, a time when you need to put yourself before your blog, when expressing yourself through it doesn’t do for you what it once did, we’ll understand. I know I’d miss you, but I’d hope there would be other avenues of communication (twitter, email, more podcasts? :)) that would still work.

    The bottom line is… if and when you experience The Straw, people will understand you putting you first. <3

    • Thank you very much for the encouragement, Kurn. Sometimes things happen, and your reaction to them startles even you. It’s generally also those things that teach us important life lessons and stick with us as we navigate through, but that doesn’t make them any easier.

      As for podcasts, I’m in. But let’s make Majik spring for the chocolate this time. Surely he could learn how to conjure some up.

      Get it?

      Conjure?

      God I crack myself up. :)

  12. Hey Beru, I don’t really know the context of what happened, but I am glad you haven’t left us! Also, that story is very funny…horrifying, but funny. :)

    • I have to be honest and say I am just enamored by the snot. I can’t really explain it any better than that. I’ve truly tried not looking…and I may, or may not, have had to pull a tissue back out of the trash as a result. But we won’t talk about that now. Nope, we won’t.

      All joking aside, I find that I am also glad.

  13. Sounds like you really needed this brain dump! Blogging is a hobby (for most of us) and meant to provide something for US (and hopefully be fun!) I’m glad you had that late night talk, snot and all, and figured out for yourself whether you’re still comfortable with what you share. I have appreciated your frank honestly and lovely rainbows and am glad they’re not going away yet <3

    • My assistant and I were talking today, and I told her that sometimes when I just need a good cry, I’ll put in Beaches. Because I know all the sad parts in the movie, I pretty much cry for two solid hours. It’s cleansing. In fact, I may have referred to it as an enema for my soul. (Yes, I just made a paralell between Bette Midler and an enema. Just go with it!)

      In many ways writing this post, and subsequently being humbled by the commentary, has been a similar experience.

      Thank you very much for your kind words.

  14. I will not be understanding or sympathetic. When the straw finally hits, I will think only that I’m losing someone who has been an incredible supporter and a constant presence in my blogging world. I will be mopey, generally cantankerous, entirely irrational and convinced that the world just got a little dimmer. I will consume copious amounts of chocolate, even though I hate the stuff. I might even berate small animals and strangers, for no good reason at all.

    But until that day comes, I will remain firmly in denial that anything could happen to the Beru I’ve come adore. Now don’t ever scare me like this again.

    /harrumph, for good measure

    (<3)

    • It’s a good thing that I do truly have allergies that cause my eyes to water at times, or my office mates would probably be wondering why I’ve been sitting at my desk wiping at my eyes all day. While I’m not sure I can condone the berating of small animals (well, maybe, if they were squirrells!), I do thank you for your kind words and your unending support.

      Perhaps when that day comes we can sit together, tell war stories and and have chocolate covered strawberries. I’ve got it all worked out – I’ll take the bottom, chocolately half and you can have the top, completely healthy half. :)

  15. I was really glad that this didn’t turn into a quitting post.

    I found your blog because you were a druid and stuck around because I like your style. Whether you’re writing about your guild and its leadership, progression achievements and frustrations, or what book or series of books you happen to be reading, it’s the quality of your writing and how easy it is to relate to what you write about that makes you one of the few blogs I read first even when I’m horribly behind and one of the even fewer where I feel comfortable enough to comment.

    Although the end will come eventually, I’m sincerely glad that you were able to get past this hurdle and continue on.

    • Thank you very much for your kind words. I am also very glad this didn’t turn into a quitting post.

      I’m incredibly flattered by your comments, and since I’m being honest today and all, I will say I’m always a bit tickled when the “what to read/what I’m reading” part of my posts gets more feedback than anything else. I love to read and I always enjoy seeing who else shares that passion :)

  16. There needs to be a name for this straw, Beru – not the straw that breaks the camel, but the straw that makes you realize that the camel can break, that it’s closer to breaking than it’s ever been before. I think it’s fairly common public knowledge by know that I’ve found that straw, too, and that my blog is the thing I love, so you have my empathy. I know how it feels. God, does it hurt sometimes.

    I love your blog, and I’m glad you love it too. I don’t stop by to comment often enough, mostly because I’m so very terrible on my Druid, but I read a lot of your posts via email. But, like I said – I’m so very bad as a Druid. I’m okay with that.

    Keep writing for as long as it brings you joy. :-)

    • I agree, we need a name for that straw!

      I read your post the other day, and I’ve not found just the right words to say yet. I actually stared at the comment box for a good hour the other day trying to find the right thing to say, and I couldn’t find the words to illustrate how the post made me feel. If that makes any sense at all. But I am so very glad that you shared, and equally as glad that we will continue to have your voice in the community.

      For what it’s worth, bad things can still happen even when you sit side by side and play together. It’s still a dance, a careful juggle on a tightwire. The trick is finding your balance as you go from side to side. At least I hope that’s the trick, or else I’m screwed since I have no net underneath me to catch me if I fall!

      Good Luck to you sir, I hope to read much more of your advice, and many more of your adventures in the days to come.

  17. I have to say that the three-legged stool metaphor, both psyn’s and your modification, is ingenious; it gets at exactly how I’ve been feeling about the game, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    That out of the way, I know I’m still a new kid on the block (not the boy band… not that, please), so I don’t have much weight to throw around, but I’m glad that you’re still blogging. It’s simultaneously refreshing and horrifying to find that one’s been failing to follow our one’s own advice, but the truth is that we all do it. Like diving into a cold lake, it can both shock and refresh us, and how you personally respond will determine whether or not you go swimming again (that analogy started out better than it ended, didn’t it?). Anyway, I’m glad to still have you around to read and borrow (steal) ideas from, and I hope the massive community swarm to wish you well has lightened your heart a bit.

    • Psynister’s analogy is so good. I absolutely knew what he was talking about when I read that post!

      My mother always told me that I had the power to chose to let something upset me or not. It’s good advice, and I’ve even sagely passed it to others. It’s just damn hard to follow sometimes! :)

      Thank you for your support!

  18. I am so glad you decided to continue blogging! Perhaps it’s selfish, but the community would get a little sadder without your insight. Here’s to you blogging for as long as it brings you joy!

    Also, I look at my snot too D:

  19. Oh, btw… I forgot… yes, I share your disgusting habit, but as someone who has suffered from sinus infections at least once a year… yeah, you gotta know what color is coming out of your nose… It’s for your own health, after all!!! =)

  20. OK, OK, I’ll get a bunch of yellow gems, I’ll keep Harmony up >80% and I’ll use my Tree diligently. Just don’t stop blogging.

    (And why would anyone take a perfectly nice strawberry, and dunk it in yukky brown chocolate? Ugh.)

    • Thank you very much for the support, Deppi! No need to do all of that! I’ll settle for just seeing DeppiTree a little more. Let those branches fly in the wind! :)

      And, um, chocolate rules!

  21. You will know when it’s time to quit your wow-blog. You’ll just know. It’s sad but also a relief. But you know what? You’ll also know when it’s time to start again. I have, but in a different area, and it feels so good. I guess it’s hard to get rid of the blogging bug once you catch it. The need for an outlet will always be there.

    hugs

    • I’m so happy to hear you are doing well, Larisa! I did happen by your new bar the other day, and I have to say I found it absolutely wonderful! I can’t wait to pour a glass of wine and read more :)

      I think you are probably right that when my time has come I will know. I think the emotions that I went through the other night were the best indicator for me that that time is not yet here.

      Thank you for your kind words.

  22. Y’know, reading through the comments already posted, it seems people who don’t look at their snot are the rare ones!

    I’m glad you decided not to stop writing Beru, I’d miss you <3

  23. So…how come “I don’t want to talk about it” doesn’t just mean “I don’t want to talk about it”?

    Aside from that everyone has said all of the good stuff :)

  24. Snarky comment aside I am really glad that you are sticking with it.

    P.S. I do the looking at the tissue thing too. I have even said the “For Science” line hehe

  25. Hey

    I remember some time ago that i commented on something you wrote, the words were careless but not meant to harm, they pissed you off pretty bad, you went ballistic and i got a verbal beating from you then.

    Its very, *very* easy to just fling out words without realising how they might be perceived by the reader.

    What im getting at is that you shouldn’t let words from strangers offend you. Strangers might be out to intenionally hurt you, or they might be doing it without realizing (like i did then) – my point is that its *strangers* that’s talking to you, and what they have to say is ultimately as important as the dirt under your shoe if you so choose it to be.

    *You* pick whose words you want to give value – ignor the rest. If you can’t do that then might i suggest learning to make a long nose at someone and just shrug it off?

    Your Resto-Druid PoV +commentary guide video’s are very valuable for the rest of us R-Druids, it’d hate to see you stop making them.

    PS Snot is discusting, what were you thinking?! ( <– making-a-long-nose exercise starting here btw)

    • Believe it or not, I was actually thinking of one (or two) of my replies to you, specifically, when I indicated that I am sure people have been victims of my sharp tongue :) Text is definitely a very challenging medium. It’s so easy to say what you want, but not have it mean what you meant!

      Thank you for your kindness!

  26. I just found your blog maybe 2 months ago so I’m not a long time follower, but I have become a big time fan. I’m a casual raider in a very casual guild on one of the lowest ranked US servers – basically so far from your caliber of player that it’s laughable. But you know what, I watch your videos and I devour your posts because you give solid, helpful advice and you do it in such a genuine way. My team may not ever come close to achieving a “server first” but they will darn well have a resto druid that knows her stuff, thanks in large part to certain tree named Beruthiel. :-) I’m so glad this “straw” didn’t break you!!

  27. Beru if I could make you feel better by sending you something warm and cuddly or even something cold and crunchy (maybe a Frigid Frostling/Ice Chip to finish your awesome collection?) I would. You have many supporters as everyone can see by the many responses to this post! Would miss your blog if you stopped, but Beru has to do what’s best for Beru… and her tissues warts and snot ><

  28. Even though I let my account lapse, I still enjoy reading your blog. Say hi to Brade.

  29. I’ve been following your blog via e-mail for ages now and even though I haven’t played world of warcraft in several long months I can quite happily say I still find enjoyment in reading what you write. It’s not just the content that makes a good read after all and even though your insight into the mechanics and going-ons in the virtual world are of little actual use to me I find myself returning anyway.

    You have a lovely writing style and I very often find myself able to relate to things from my own time in the game as well as emotions and thoughts that concern more everyday things and the ‘meta’ if you will. Snot and womanspeak-translations included.

    When you inevitably do stop blogging about world of warcraft, I will happily read about how Brade deals with your Beru-ness, the colour of your slimy expulsions and how you tore someone a new one because what they wrote got to you. Until then I’ll be around, not commenting often, but happily reading.

    Keep it up, Beru!

  30. I started playing in BC content at the suggestion of a friend that quit playing before we hit 70, I found a casual guild that was helpful and we started raiding Karazhan, I was a cat at the time and was talked into healing and wasnt sure I wanted to do that. Now I level as a boomkin and heal all night and love it.

    When Wrath came out thanks to finding a few blogs I was able to understand Resto Healing and gearing better and was decently good at it. Then Ulduuar came out and THE NERF, I went from almost single healinga 10 man normal Naxx to barely making it through 5 man dungeons that before I could heal throgh anything. I didnt make the adjustment and since it was my only toon quit playing for about 2 years.

    A friend at work talked me into playing again about a week after Cataclysm came out on some PvP server but he was almost never on and so I picked up my druid again, I was able to change and adjust to the new style and enjoy it alot, and in looking for Resto sites to see what I need to do found your site literally a week ago, I am glad you will be around a bit as people in my guild ask me how I do so good lately and I point them to your blog.

    I am on a lower rated server and finding more than 4 people that dont stand in poo is hard to do, including guildies. I will never again run current content heroics because of that but I am ok with this.

    Thanks for your time in sharing your feelings with us as well as your knowledge, I greatly appreciate it.

    Poisnoak of Khaz Modan

  31. Pingback: New Double O Podcast – Episode Six! « The Stories Of O

  32. I’m glad that this wasn’t the straw. <3

    (Also – I look at my snot, too. ^_^)

  33. Pingback: Thursday Reading | Cynwise's Battlefield Manual

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