What My Time Away From KSI Has Taught Me

KSI is just a gaming community, but the definition of a community hits on so many more notes than you might think.

The Return

So here we are again. It seems like it was just last week that I made my departure from KSI.
For those who don’t know, I’m ImPyyy. I joined KSI on June 29, 2011. It’s my 3-year anniversary today. What more fitting way to celebrate that anniversary than to make my return to the community I love.
This isn’t a post to talk about my legacy, or lack thereof, or to focus on what I plan to do this time around. No, what this post is meant to do is share a little of my story with you and maybe draw some parallels with something that’s going on in your life.

I remember coming up through the ranks and moving faster than those around me. I relished the opportunity to recruit, train, host game nights and above all, gain prestige. My focus could best be characterized by the term ‘tunnel vision’. I wanted to go as high as I could as fast as I could.

Time

All so I could destroy KSI. OK, that’s a lie. That was never in the plans. I just wanted to make sure the first few paragraphs didn’t put you to sleep.

But time changes everything. Two-and-a-half years is a long time. I went from being a rising college sophomore to being a soon-to-be graduate. I went from living in a dorm to moving off campus. I went from doing normal classes to having an internship.

During this transition, I went from being a General to a Co-Founder; from Division Leader to Director. All my hard work finally paid off on October 2, 2013. I finally became a Senior Director. But come January, I began that internship. I worked Tuesday-Saturday from 3-11 p.m. I didn’t want to admit that I was possibly in over my head. I didn’t want to approach those around and above me to say, “I can’t do this.”Instead, I tried my best to hide my struggles. I internalized a lot and I made several bad decisions in a short period of time that led those closest to me to begin to doubt my ability. I became defensive, argumentative and overall, just unbearable.

So I left KSI. I quit cold turkey. I blamed those above me for what had happened, but really, it was my own hubris and pride that caused my entire situation. They had been willing to listen all along. They had been willing to help me all along. But I neglected them and this community and forged a complete lie.

We’ve all seen it. Or at least, those who have been around for a while have all seen it. Sergeants leave and blame their Generals or Divisional Leadership. They cry, whine and sometimes even poach or threaten. We see Generals who take on more responsibility and crumble, but when they crumble, they grasp for a scapegoat to drag down with them.

We all like to think we are better than those people. We all like to think, in the most ideal way possible, that we could react to a little adversity in a much more mature way.

Reflection

Let me assure you. I am 21 years old. I am a recent college graduate. But I was not better than that 16-year-old kid who leaves and whines and threatens to hack everyone in the community. I reacted in a quick, irrational way and made a situation worse.

But over the last two months, I have toiled in my own poor decisions. I periodically check up to see what this community is doing and what have I seen? A committed and dedicated group of friends and extended family doing better in my absence.

Now, I never doubted that would be the case. But when you see that KSI will continue with or without you, it’s pretty hard to look back at the time you spent here, the connections you made, the good and bad times, it’s hard not to want to shut up, swallow your pride, admit you’re wrong, and come back to help make this community even better.

And while that’s what my current plan is, I hope this piece hits you before you reach that stretch of adversity or uncertainty. I hope you reach out to those around you here and use their support to lift your spirits and help you find the strength to do the right thing.

KSI is just a gaming community, but the definition of a community hits on so many more notes than you might think.

That’s why I’m happy to say that I’m back – where I belong – with all of you, and I hope this piece helps at least one person not make the same mistake I did.

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