Last week, I got sucked back into Dragon Age: Inquisition. All right. That’s not entirely accurate. I don’t think I ever really left the world of Thedas and its colorful characters. As a result, this site suffered as my gaming obsession was one of the reasons for the lack of updates. These things happen. I just hope they’ll be fewer and far between in the future. Now, you’re probably wondering why I opened with a discussion of Dragon Age: Inquisition other than the fact that I absolutely love that game. All will become clear in time.
I know I’ve talked about having crappy weeks or my friends having crappy weeks. It seems like I only talk about personal news when it’s bad. Lately, a number of my friends have received a lot of good news. There are incoming babies, impending nuptials, new jobs, and new opportunities on the horizon. I’m happy for them all. Truly. These things couldn’t happen to nicer people.
For example, Micah is on a roll. He’s thrown himself whole-heartedly into advocacy for mental health issues. He drove out to Santa Fe and helped get a couple of bills passed in the state legislature. As a result, he’s been contacted to do some professional speaking engagements. On top of that, he has a gallery show for his art coming up in August and he’s been invited to join another art showing. I’m so proud of all he’s accomplished and how far he’s come in all of the years I’ve known him.
It’s one thing when your friends are going through hard times. To some extent, it’s a little easier to be there and be supportive. You can sympathize with their plights and do whatever you can to try to ease their burdens. True, there are some situations that are more challenging than others, but you make it through them because that’s what you do as a good friend. I know I still stumble over the right words to say from time to time. Then again, tact has always been a challenge for me.
It’s quite another thing when your friends are graced with good fortune.
I know I end up going through a number of emotional stages. First, I’m really happy for the friend in question. I mean, why wouldn’t I be? They’re a friend of mine which makes them an awesome person. Great things should happen to awesome people. Then, there are the self-doubts and recriminations. Good things would happen to me if only I did x, y, or z. Maybe if I did things differently, I’d be better off. I do try to avoid regret but sometimes you really can’t help it. After all of that, the grumpiness sets in. It’s just not fair that these good things happen to people who are not me.
Now, let’s get back to Dragon Age: Inquisition. One of the reasons I’ve been obsessively playing the game is because I intend to romance each and every one of the love interests in it. I jokingly refer to it as a form of romantic Pokémon. I could devote an entire blog post to that and what it says about me, but that’s another topic for another time. The most recent love interest I’ve been pursuing is Blackwall, the enigmatic Lone Warden.
One of the best things about Bioware games is the banter that occurs between your party members. Vivienne, one of the mage companions in Dragon Age: Inquisition, is full of supercilious snark. She’s not an easy character to like which is kind of perfect as it just makes her feel more real, flaws an all. When your Inquisitor is involved in a relationship with Blackwall, she decides to prod him about it and infers that he is not nearly good enough for the woman he loves.
To his credit, he takes it in stride and calmly informs her that the Inquisitor is free to love whom she will. He tells Vivienne, “Envy her for her ability to love freely, but recognize that envy is what it is.” It’s the latter half of that sentence that really speaks to me. When I get grumpy because my friends and family are doing so well, it’s envy that I’m feeling. It’s something I need to acknowledge and unpack.
That’s the tricky thing about emotions. They’ll sneak up on you at the most inconvenient times despite your best intentions. It’s up to you to recognize what they are and what they’re capable of doing to you and your relationships. For now, I’m all smiles for my friends because I know their good fortune is well-deserved. As long as I remember that there are moments when jealousy will rear its ugly head, I’ll remain in good shape and so will my relationships.