I think the title up above is pretty self-explanatory, but I believe most of you would appreciate some proper context as to why this blog exists, so here ya go (and yes, feel free to get some popcorn for this, because I don’t intend to keep this thing short):
Simply put, I feel that the way that I carry myself around this Wiki isn't quite as proficient as I used to be, and that thought concerns me because I care about doing my job as an Administrator as competently as possible, and I feel that maybe getting a little perspective on how you guys feel about my character would help me put into perspective any aspects about myself that I should probably consider changing or improving so, in the long run, all of you guys will have an easier time interacting with me in any given situation. I felt like making a blog asking for your guys’ input about this is probably the best way I can go about asking each and every one of you who’d be willing to participate in this, since it’d allow us to discuss everything that is shared by everyone in a public forum, to potentially add further input on any given thoughts or criticisms expressed in the comments if anyone sees fit to do so. Everyone would also be able to see and comment on my responses to what you guys say if I say anything in response to you or anyone else you’d like to express, and go from there.
I feel that if I don’t address any issues with my current personality and how it may be affecting my overall performance around this Wiki, it’d kinda be spitting in the face of everyone who has ever placed their faith in me as an Administrator, both past and present, but for me it’d especially sting in the case of the past. In the beginning I started out just like anyone else here has done -- a single individual, with no real presence starting out, trying to learn the ropes over how things worked around here and getting along with the site's community to the best of my ability. I've been on this Wiki for over 7 years now, and during that time I did what I felt I could do to contribute to this place however I could, and eventually the people of this community grew to trust me to the point to where they were comfortable granting me more User Rights than the standard User is normally privy to so I could do the work I was doing for this place more efficiently than I would've been able to if I only stayed a regular User, starting from Rollback to eventually Administrator and Bureaucrat. To this day I feel honored that there was many among this community who saw fit to entrust me with the rights and tools that I currently possess, and after acquiring these rights I did my best to prove my worthiness in obtaining them by continuing to do everything I’ve been doing before all the while taking on my new responsibilities as they were given to me with the upmost efficiency, because to me the idea of failing to meet your guys' expectations after placing that much trust in me was something I was unwilling to tolerate. I care a great deal about personal honor and responsibility, perhaps to a fault at times, which is why it was so important to me that I continued to be the person everyone praised me for being while continuing to improve on myself wherever I could. Failure was simply not an option for me.
And for a while, all was good. I handled my new responsibilities in a manner that was satisfactory to the community at large, made an effort to be on here as often as I could even when accessing the Internet, especially during convenient hours, became increasingly difficult for me to accomplish over time, and I always made an effort to remind people that in spite of my new responsibilities that I was the same person they've always known, that I was someone who knew when to be serious and responsible when the situation required it while also at the same time being someone who knows how to have fun and cut loose whenever appropriate. That's how I've always carried myself through life.
But lately, here in the present, I feel like, at least on some level, I haven't been living up to the old standard that I've set up for myself for a good while now. I still act jovial with everyone on here whenever I feel like it and toss quips left and right whenever I can, but when it comes to being an ideal Administrator for this Wiki, I feel that some parts of me have changed in a way that has made being as efficient in my job more difficult for me than it used to be. I think these changes in myself started to happen when my personal life started affecting me very negatively, and as a result I started to neglect a number of responsibilities both in and outside the Internet because what was going on with me was draining any drive I had to do much of anything besides keep up a minimalist routine that, after a while, I felt was one thing out of only several things that kept me functioning as properly as I could hope for day to day. And this went on for months and months, and eventually it reached to a point to where it wasn't uncommon to see me completely absent on here for weeks at a time, only coming on just to say hello to people while barely doing anything around the Wiki itself. And as my personal issues continued to gnaw at me, it eventually damaged my ability to focus and remember things going on throughout my day unless they particularly stood out to me in some way, and because of how numb and miserable I felt with my life in general I just couldn't be bothered to stay on top of everything that was going on with the Wiki itself after a while, only barely managing to summon up enough interest to occasionally check the forums for a couple of discussion threads at a time, and often I’d all but forgot about the existence of the Requests for User Rights forums most of the time, often not knowing of anyone being promoted to new ranks on the Wiki until well after the fact, which was a problem because in the back of my mind I knew that I should’ve been taking a more vested interest in the Users this community saw as respectable and trustworthy enough to consider the possibility of promotion to higher User ranks but I just couldn’t.
My mental acuity felt like it quite it was literally deteriorating after a while. I felt like I was becoming less and less sharp and perceptive than during my best days on here, and it became harder for me to properly articulate my thoughts and responses in a timely manner. And that's not taking into account my emotional state on an average day. After a while, I became so apathetic to what was going on here on this Wiki that a large part of me honestly wouldn't have cared if my User rights had lapsed and I all but stopped coming on here completely, because eventually I reached a point to where I could barely care about anything beyond trying to keep my own metal state as stable as possible. My personal life was having such a profoundly negative effect on me to where I just couldn't see myself ever returning to being the person I once was before everything started to fall apart for me outside of this place. Indeed, a part of me was actually hoping that I would lose my User rights, so that way I could be given the perfect excuse to cast aside the small part of me that wanted to continue to keep being a part of this place that still barely existed inside of me, that way I could focus more on trying to cope with my other problems without feeling distracted by the sense of guilt I felt in watching myself transform from someone who worked hard around this place and did his best to make it as fun and peaceful a place as he could to someone who could barely be bothered to remember that this site even existed in his mind, let alone be bothered to care about every single thing that was going on around this place. It weighed on me to see myself turn into someone so unworthy of the title of Administrator, especially when I remembered the old standards I held myself to years before.
... But thankfully, things are now longer continuing to go downhill for me. I was finally able to take care of most of my issues in my personal life that had been plaguing me for so long 6 months ago, and since then I've been working to rehabilitate myself, hoping that one day I can fully regain the mental acuity and emotional stability that I once possessed. So far, I'd like to think that I've been slowly but surely achieving this goal, but I know I have a long way to go before I can truly move past the damage I felt has been done to my psyche. But even now I'm happier with my life in general than I've been in years, and I'm now surrounded by people outside of the Internet who actually respect me and aren't constantly screwing with my emotions in one way or another. I'm eating healthier, and physically I'm starting to get back in shape. I no longer feel emotionally numb to most things – my emotions, especially positive ones, now come to me more naturally than they have in years, now that I’m no longer constantly suppressing them and feeling like I can finally be more honest about expressing myself without fear of unjust retribution. The only thing that I feel that has been slowest to come back to me is my mental acuity, the sharpness my mind once had, the ability to quickly and accurately articulate my thoughts without having to spend long periods of time trying to think of the best ways to express myself. I’m also still expressing some memory problems. But at least I can say that I'm in a much better environment for myself than I was in before, one that I’m going to use to try and recover and rediscover myself. I can even access the Internet, on my own PC, at my home at almost any time again -- I no longer need to go to a public place like a library in order to use a PC to come on here and do whatever I want to do around here, and on the Internet in general. Even if I still have a ways to go to fixing myself, I can't deny that I'm currently in the best position in my life that I've ever been right now.
That being said, I can't ignore the problems with myself I'm still continuing to face, and how they may be affecting how I interact with those around me – in and outside the Internet. In this case, how I find myself interacting with you guys. I think it's time that I finally get to the meat of this blog:
As I said at the beginning of this blog, I feel that I may have a few problems with my personality as of late that makes it difficult for some of you to interact with me without feeling at least some degree of frustration. And I want you guys to talk to me and tell me what parts of my personality, of my general conduct around this Wiki, that you feel that I should consider addressing. I want you to tell me what problems you may be having with me in regards to how I talk to and act around you. I want to know if any of you feel that I'm doing enough to contribute to the betterment of this Wiki (which could range from adding more content to the site, to ensuring that the site rules/policies are upheld and that everyone is getting along. Anything you can think of.), and if not, then what I can do to improve/fix that. I want to know how you guys generally perceive me as a person. Do any of you find me easy to approach on any given issue, or maybe the opposite of that? Do I come across as overly stern on certain issues, or not stern enough? Do you feel that I take enough in interest in you guys in general? Just what is it about me that you guys would like to see me address about myself?
I want to feel like I'm worthy to be an Administrator and Bureaucrat in the eyes if this community, and if possible return to being the User I once was before my personal life took a turn for the worse and started affecting me like it had. And I feel a good starting point in achieving that is by getting feedback from you, the community. I want you to think long and hard about the questions I'm asking you to answer, and answer me honestly. You don't need to hold anything back just to protect my feelings. I want nothing less than your complete honesty, as harsh as it may be. I am opening myself to your criticisms, so by all means… let me have it. Don’t hold anything back.
If none of you mind, I think I'd like to start us off. I’m asking you guys to give me input on the things I just asked of you, but there’s some parts of myself that I feel that even I don’t need anyone here to point out to me that can be rightly seen as something of a potential problem whenever I interact with anyone in any given situation. I want to make this list, 1) Because I want to show you that I can recognize at least some of my potential faults and am willing to admit to having them, and, 2) Give a brief summary over how I see these traits as being problems, or potential problems, and provide a solution on how I plan to fix them, solutions which you can comment on and add to if you wish, in case you feel that I should consider any alternatives to the things I identify as flaws. To keep you guys from suffering from more of my rambling than necessary, I'll do my best to keep this list short and straight to the point:
1) I talk too freaking much. I think many of you can probably agree that I have a bit of a problem keeping a number of my arguments/responses short and straight to the point. I have a nasty tendency to ramble, to try and justify my position more than is required, and as a result, after I am done writing, I find myself confronted with walls of text which, when I look at the full size of the reply and compare it to the average response everyone else makes, must hurt the heads of those who don't like to read long replies from people on forums/discussion threads/whatever. I'm trying to address this best I can, because while I may have a lot to say on a given topic, the last thing I want is to bore you to death trying to get my point across. Right now I think the best way I can handle this is by constantly reminding myself to be succinct with my responses whenever possible, and think of ways to shorten my sentences without losing any of the points I may want to get across.
2) I seem to have difficulty properly articulating some of my statements. This is a problem for a big talker like me, because if I'm failing to properly convey my thoughts/arguments/tone/etc., it can lead to some misunderstandings, and create responses from me that could be perceived as radically different from the actual message/tone/etc. that I'm actually trying to convey. I try to alleviate this problem by editing my responses as soon as I notice any mistakes in them, hopefully before anyone else sees and responds to them, so I can try to avoid having anything I say be perceived in the wrong way, because the last thing I want is for anyone to misinterpret my position on things, but it looks and feels ridiculous to me when I see myself, on average, editing messages I make on blogs/forum threads more than four times, if not more, just to make these corrections, which are often minor anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if it gave one the impression that I'm not entirely secure in my responses, and to be honest, no I'm not. I could explain why I think I have this problem, but I don’t want to get too far off-track. Bottom-line, I need to make an effort to proof-read what I say more before actually posting it, even if it takes me a bit longer to respond to some things at times, and how I plan to achieve this is simple: Remind myself that not everything you may want or need to respond to needs to be responded to as quickly as humanly possible. Remind myself that not everything is a race.
3) I’m more prone to respond to things quicker than I used to be, and as a result it’s become more likely that I may not give myself enough time to think my responses through, or even decide whether or not I should make one at all. The reason why I see this as a problem should be pretty self-explanatory. Like with problem #2, I feel that the best way I can solve this is to remind myself to stop/slow down and think things through before choosing to throw in my 2 cents in an issue or respond to a statement/reply to something I or someone else may have said. Basically, the same solution I have for problem #2.
4) I probably don’t do enough socializing with everyone here on the Wiki. I say “probably” because while I feel I’m slowly making more of an effort to socialize more on here, I am running with the assumption that at least some of you may feel that I don’t really interact with anyone on here very much at all, only showing up to do a few random tasks around the Wiki and commenting on a forum thread here and there, but not much else beyond that. If this assumption of mine is correct, then I think the solution to solving this problem is obvious: Talk to you guys more. Make more of an effort to learn about you, and give you more opportunities to learn about me.
I want to make one thing clear before you guys share any of your thoughts with me: I am perfectly capable of taking any criticism you can throw at me, whether it be on this blog or anywhere else, at virtually any time, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to take heed of everything you might say to me. I'll only ignore any criticisms from you if, 1) I think about what you're saying to me/about me and come to the conclusion that what you may be criticizing about me isn't something that I don't need to really change about myself for whatever reason (like, for example, if you were to tell me that you see my having a certain kind of stance on a controversial issue, or even having a certain stance on any type of discussion over any topic you can think of, as a fault of mine that I should address for whatever reason, especially when I am talking to any of you about it here somewhere on the Wiki, or even somewhere off the Wiki, I'll only consider addressing this kind of criticism if you can give me a sufficient reason why I should consider what it is you're saying to me, because if you are unable to do this then I will see no reason to change that aspect about myself and just move on.), or, 2) I decide that what you may be criticizing me for is simply untrue, because why should I take such criticism from you if I feel, or even KNOW it to be simply untrue of myself? Bottom line, I promise to listen to what you have to say to me in this blog... but I can't guarantee that I'll agree with everything that may be said here.
... So, now that I got that last little statement out of the way, and that we have this short list as a starting point, shall we begin?