In September’s editorial post, I mentioned how the state of the world was getting me down. Politicians were behaving in a disgusting manner; dire warnings of climate change were being issued; and countries were at war with themselves and each other. Sometimes the idea of pulling the duvet over your head and hiding away from the world can be all too tempting.
But at other times, special people come into your life and make you realise that it’s not all bad. Whether they check in and say hello or offer a hand when you need it the most, their acts of kindness have a way of inspiring you to pass that feeling on. I’ve met some amazing people during my years of blogging and am proud to call some of them friends in real life; and in celebration of World Kindness Day today, I’d like to pay tribute to the WordPress community. Here are several moments when you guys have been utterly awesome.
When real-life stuff gets in the way
I met Ben through my first blog in 2013 and when big real-life stuff happened the following year, he was there for me all the way. Not only did he offer practical advice when it came to buying my first house and other adult stuff, he regularly checked on me to make sure I was doing ok. He’s not able to write anywhere near as frequently as did back then but that hasn’t diminished our friendship in any way. I still think he’s as awesome as I did back then, and what’s even better is that my other-half now loves him as much as I do.
When a fluffy companion passes away
When Pete and I adopted our cats in 2016, it was clear they’d been mistreated and it took a lot of time to get them to trust us. Eventually though they were frequently popping up on stream and became a firm part of Later Levels’ life. It therefore hit us pretty hard when Link passed away unexpectedly early this year. I really appreciated all the messages of condolence from bloggers, and I need to say thank you once again to thank Jonez from NekoJonez’s Gaming Blog for checking on me. You’ll be pleased to hear that Zelda is doing well and continues to star on Instagram.
When you’re nominated for an award
While at a friends’ wedding in April, I received a message confirming that Later Levels had received a ‘Highly Commended’ title in the UK Blog Awards – and immediately downed the glass of champagne I was holding. An anonymous person has originally nominated the site back in November and somehow it had managed to make it all the way through to the finals and secure second place in the Gaming category. I still have no idea who that person was, but I’ll always be grateful to them for seeing something special in my little blog.
When it’s time for a new job
Earlier this year, I decided I needed a career change. I knew I wanted to stay in IT but wanted to pursue a more technical role; the only problem was that I had no idea where to start. Fortunately, some very kind people within the blogging community – including Dan from nowisgames.com, Tim from GeekOut UK and Kevin from The Mental Attic – were willing to give me their time and advice. It was thanks to their guidance that I managed to secure a place on a new team and finally take on a job where I could indulge my love for data and code.
When a good cause is looking for support
My other-half and I were apprehensive about going into our 24-hour GameBlast19 marathon back in February. It was the first time we’d taken part as a team of two; normally we have at least double that number so we were worried about staying awake and meeting our fundraising target. Much love must therefore goes to Ellen from Livid Lightning, Athena from AmbiGaming, Ian from Adventure Rules and Luke from Hundstrasse for keeping us going; and to everyone out there who donated, helping us raise more for SpecialEffect than ever before. We can’t wait to do it all again in 2020.
For these moments and many others: thank you from the bottom of my heart. I never imagined I’d meet such good friends when I first started blogging all those years ago, but now the majority of my real-life companions are people I’ve met through the hobby. It goes to show that blogging doesn’t have to be just about writing and video games don’t have to be just about entertainment; they lead you to a group of lovely, likeminded individuals who can surprise you by just how kind they are.
I’d love to hear your own stories for World Kindness Day. Has a blogger touched your life in a way you didn’t expect, through a kind word or helping hand? Share your tale in the comments below – or even write your own post if you’d like – and let’s keep the positivity going. The world may be a tough place right now, but we can all make it a little lighter.