A dear friend of mine, M., has a saying: “I do what I want!”
Sometimes this is said in an instance when she auto-runs her toon head-long into a group of mobs, pulling a baker’s dozen that might or might not wipe the party. Sometimes it’s said in response to questions like, “Um… why are you wearing a [Lovely Black Dress] instead of your tier gear for this fight?” It mostly comes out, though, when people suggest that perhaps going north, then south, then crossing the river will save her 3.729 seconds on her run through Feralas instead of south then northeast then 16 degrees west.
Bottom line is, you don’t tell M. what to do (well, unless she asks).
I’m feeling inspired by M. this week. Not just because her Fel Guard’s name is waaaay cooler than mine (hers is Shaathun, mine is some unpronounceable thing with V’s and L’s), nor because she has the badest-ass pet collection eveah.
I’m feeling inspired because M. is someone who, even as she struggles with people who think they Know Better, always returns to that simple phrase: “I do what I want.”
Don’t think this is an excuse to do just anything. M. is careful, considerate, and thoughtful with those around her. Doing what you want is actually incredibly hard, and there are always a lot of people around waiting to tell you how you should have done a different thing or maybe see, that didn’t work you shouldn’t try to do it your way, or most often if you do what you want then other people will get all mad so you should just stop rocking the boat.
But I’m thinking that rocking the boat is just about the bravest thing a person can do. Sometimes it’s a total wipe, there’s no denying that. But most times that wipe teaches you a thing or two, you generate a laugh or 50, and you follow what you believe is right, not what people tell you. I’d rather have fun and wipe than /cower in the corner, in any case.
She’s not alone. Pretty much all of us who look that doubter in the eye and say, yeah, I play video games, or, yeah, I study video games, or, yeah, I’m a girl and I play WoW without flinching are kind of saying “I do what I want.” I’ve watched my friends I. and S. do this repeatedly in bars and academic conferences alike without a shred of apology, even when the crowd is giving the ole’ who is this chick and why doesn’t she fit my assumptions?
So here’s my invitation to you. Jump off a cliff. Step into the void portal. Do a naked dungeon run. Join 300 dwarf hunters and kill the Whale Shark. Join an RP server and hang out in Goldshire for a night. Have a dance party in Scarlet Monastery. Use your priest to tank.
In short, do what cha want. You might just find…. you get what you need.