So long, and thanks for all the fish.
There are many reasons I'll have for missing the Wiki terribly, but I'm afraid that maybe it's best if we . . . [tosses hair] . . . split up.
As many of you know, I adore the Wiki. The past almost-year has been the greatest and most-missed of my life, and I will never forget a single one of you, though I encourage for you to forget me. It will be easier on you, and it will lift a load from my conscience.
"But wait!" the majority of my dear readers are likely saying, staring at confusion at their screens, their hands/claws/tentacles hovering over their mice/touchscreens/nuclear warhead detonation panels. "What's going on, TAD? What are you talking about?"
At which I likely am shaking my head, correcting the majority of my dear readers: "Certainly, my pretties, you meant 'About what are you talking?' rather than what you actually said."
"TAD! Are you . . . leaving?" my readers gasp. Some of them are quite overjoyed for they hated my guts. Others are relieved that this leaving-or-not drama plaguing me since October is finally coming to a head. A select few might be momentarily saddened because they know their hopes and dreams of receiving more demotes/Kataang one-shots/platypus bears on unicycles have been crushed beneath the heel of my, h'erm, sneaker.
I laugh. "Oh, no, of course I'm not leaving. I love this place too much." This is the point where I attempt to hug my computer but end up breaking the piece that rotates the screen about the keyboard, which is exactly what I get for using a cheap laptop, whose name I've never understood.
There's a murmur in the crowd. Most are of the disappointed subspecies, Murmurus daangitus. A few people stand up and leave, but the doors are locked. I snigger manically at them. One of them, dressed in the guise of an anonymous user out of being a hipster or laziness, drop-kicks the door and shambles out, followed closely by his compatriots, headed presumably for that exclusive club that sits in the Wiki capital. I squint and growl.
"Well then," I say to the remaining congregation. "I'm not leaving. No, no, this is from quite a different aangle . . . I've been kicked out."
Here come the hecklers. "And you're writing this column why?" someone shouts. A chorus of agreement follows. I strive to ignore them.
"I've been kicked out. You see, I've had that inactivity template on my user page for - what - " I count quickly on my fingers: October-to-November, December, January, February, March. " - five months as of today for a reason. Throughout this time period, I lessened my amount of time on Avatar Wiki so that my parents and sister would not find it suspicious or whatever it is they would find me. Does everyone get me?"
Audience members stare at each other, then back at me. "We thought you left then, like Courage, or French."
I sigh. "If I give out free cookies, will you guys stay to hear this?"
A murmur of assent. Murmurus whynotus.
The cookies are passed one; everyone who heckled me receives an oatmeal raisin cookie disguised as a chocolate chip. My petty revenge done, I return to the podium, clear my throat, and start to speak.
Cha, buckle up. Shove the seatbelt through that little plastic thing, unless you don't have a seatbelt, in which case just sit there. Get us up through the gears, easing yourself into high, and start driving down that endless highway. See how the road continues, opening up? Feel the excitement in the air - the adventures to come - the journey to the ultimate destination, wherever that might be? Smell it? Hear it? Taste the electrifying spark on the tip of your tongue, buzzing through you with its promise? That's the spirit of adventure. That's the point of the highway. Perhaps there wasn't a golden end, like the railroad, or the end of a rainbow, but it is the quest, the distance, the journey that is exhilarating.
Now, who would like to volunteer to let me know like what that feels? Anyone? Anyone at all? No? [twiddles thumbs and stares at her hands] . . . I see. Well, I will never know, because in my house, with my father, it is "his way or the highway", except that there is no highway. No highway at all. And since my sister is unbelievably good at convincing people, it's more "her way or the highway", minus the highway. No, my sister isn't a bad person. Last year, she was scared of Koh, so she ordered my DVDs destroyed. [coughs] They were. I got new ones once, and those were trashed as well. Thankfully, I'd ripped the episodes and put them on a universal serial bus. But no . . . my sister isn't a bad person at all. We're been playing this cat and mouse game for years, both of us becoming steadily better, like some sort of evolutionary arms race, cycling forever, ending up with frogs that slowly poison themselves - humans who rust to death from iron buildup - dewy gazelles snapping their long and speedy legs in half, moaning, bloody stumps thrashing against the unrelenting golden plains, their families gone, their only hope to beg a cheetah to find it swiftly and bite through the neck with its powerful jaws and sharpened canines. Anything to take it out of its horrible pain. Anything. My sister knows very well that I require a computer in this day and age, and thus she cannot remove it from me entirely, but she also knows she must monitor me carefully lest I use the computer for too much. Too much . . . too much . . . how much is too much? I will never know beyond that she tells me, growling at me, rushing into my door, monitoring my nonexistent history, waiting for a slip-up. I'm aware that on any one site I usually have six months, though on one I was able to haang on for three or four years. Avatar Wiki has been in the middle, but for some reason I will miss it the most of anything else. Perhaps because Avatar Wiki is the first place I've ever shown my real face, or given out my real name, or fallen in love . . . and this year has felt like so many, composing an entire another lifetime. Now that I look back, I see that I did last on Avatar Wiki for six months, with the past "extra" time being taken up by constant dodging and wishful hoping, but my so-called golden era was up. Ha ha, I suppose my sister won this one.
On a slightly related side note, my mum also threw out my replica poisoned dagger and tore down/ripped up my giant map of the Avatar World, telling me that it was a dangerous obsession and that I likely have borderline personality disorder. Hint: I don't.
So, what now? Well, I would like to announce that - considering my dear username - I'll return someday, I assure you, if only to finish them, either here or somewhere else on the Internet. I'm not entirely sure when or where, but I'll be back, and by then perhaps Skynet will have repaired its bloody 4G coverage. [throws arms up] At the moment I can't deal with it. Furthermore, I'd like to leave the Wiki with a few parting requests:
- Please strip me from the hallowed ranks of rollback. I haven't really deserved it since . . . mm . . . May? Cha, take me off the poor battered list and give it a break. If I do come back, I'll re-earn them, which is the amazing thing about the Wiki.
- Everyone who will vote in any future admin nominations, read or at least skim through all of the questions without paying attention to the username until the last. Can we make this a vote and not a popularity contest? No, I'm not saying anything about the quality of the admins we select, but I've often seen a bandwagon effect for which I do not particularly care.
- If you wish, continue the AvataRPG without me. I understand that some might request me to monitor its progress from off-site and contribute to its via someone else acting as messenger, but I very firmly doubt it. Very firmly. There's no chance at all. [fiddles with her glasses]
- Increase tolerance on the Wiki. KFAJ posted a blog about it a bit back, yet so far I've yet to see much of a chaange at all. Even I am kinder to Zutarians - on other Avatar fansites, since I completely understand that Zutarians on the Wiki are few and far between - than before, and the phrase "Zutaracaust" is now, more than anything, a joke between my friends and me.
- Please delete But Where Would They Live? and Finding Compassion. Yes, this is a poor cop-out, but since I have five and two chapters there respectively, I doubt they need to remain. Naturally, if the respective fanons can also be removed from my ABCLAF template, that would be fantastic. Why do I want them deleted? If I end up posting them - here or somewhere else - I refuse to be accused of plagiarizing myself.
- For the love of all that is dear, please fix the bloody search box. I would suggest some sort of Google search, which I attempted to test a while back but which failed due to daang Wiki markup. However, the current search box is unacceptable. If you do not know the exact name of a term, then you will never, ever find it. Ever.
- Here's the big one: Because I hop from place to place, I know all about the backlash against new users. By the end of the six months I usually rise in popularity, but it may take me all six months to get there. Be kind to new users and nonies. I started out as one. So did many of you reading this right now. Give them a chance. Just because they made one mistake means nothing in the long run, and hating on them for it . . . have you never made a mistake? Cha, does anyone realize how many potentially amazing users we chase off? I mean, I just happened to be able to make friends quickly, but I'm a special case.
The Wiki isn't bad. It's amazing. But I must admit, since I'm hopping off for the last time, that there was the something about the impersonal way with which it treated everything: It took the Avatar out of the show, and it nearly ruined Avatar for me completely and utterly. I eventually had to step away, take a deep breath, and was able to return. Avatar Wiki is a wonderful tool for infrequent users and nonies to find material about Avatar, but I doubt that many of the latter do because of the advertisements, the inability to find anything on the search box, and the harshness of our supreme leaders to our new arrivals. Right now, Avatar Wiki is teetering at the top of the so-called "wikia" standard, but if we try, then Avatar Wiki can become truly great, rising from the ashes to become something akin to the most-loved websites on the 'net, like the
Chicken King Dodo King Phoenix King, only on the side of good, not evil, and without all that crazy light up the sky like it's 2050 jazz. [coughs] Looks like I'll need to repair the TARDIS . . .
Here is what I learned from Avatar Wiki, what I will always take with me and never, ever forget, no matter how many idiots might whisper in my ear to the contrary, no matter how many monsters may lurk under the bed - although in fact that would be the Saurian King, thirsting for my blood - and no matter much my parents tell me anxiously and maliciously that all is a lie:
I learned that love, true love, is real, and it can be more powerful than anyone can imagine. There are different kinds of love, and no one kind is more important than all the rest. Each is vital and important in its own right, from the love of family to the love of a lubov to the love of siblings to the love of friends. All are equal, though some are more equal than others.
I learned that age means nothing except in the eyes of the government. One's skills vary widely with one's age and do not necessarily correlate, and that is a good thing.
I learned that one should never look at someone else's appearance before looking at that person's personality, because one's appearance will give one bias when meeting him or her personally. Blame evolution.
I learned that people chaange, and one always loses friends and makes new friends, though distance and time mean nothing with true friendship. Sometimes people chaange for the better; mostly for - in the eyes of the original friend - the worse. Take it from me; one of my greatest friends and most trusted companions changed, and though it wasn't as bad as I thought . . . that spark of something is no longer there. But at the same time I've found new friends in whom to confide, and overall I'm happier than I was.
I learned that one of the worst feelings in the world occurs when someone abandons you for a long a time, then returns and expects you to simply fall over him/her and thank them for coming back to you. Cha, or, worse, when you actually do it, without the other person "expecting" it, only to find out that the s/he has chaanged irreparably. That feeling a of abandonment . . .
I learned that one must never stick with doing something one hates. It is always better to be happy yet less successful than depressed yet "successful", whatever that actually means. For instance, Avatar Wiki and I have never gotten along, potentially because I merely showed up at a bad point in time, or because of the issues listed previously.
I learned that taking hot showers is an excellent way to generate ideas, say for a list of things one learned during a certain period of time, and that the sudden shock of cold air received upon leaving is an excellent to instantly forget all of those ideas.
I learned that one cannot climb to the top, then stop working, but one must work even harder to stay on top. Unless, of course, you're the Russian government, which is 140% corrupt and 20% cooler. Toss out another statistics like that and watch the house of card stacking come crumbling down. Moving on: If the hierarchy is corrupt, then he who is at the top must continue to prove his position.
I leaned that one must always shy from toxic relationships, especially those that begin as good, natural ones but develop issues. Or isshus. Toxic relationships do no only come from living organisms: Hobbies, organizations, web sites, and more can become poisonous.
I learned that one must express my feelings. When I came into Avatar Wiki I was a closest agnostic spouting conservative appeals while huddling on a no-politics-allowed rug. Now, as many know, I'm an outspoken atheist who not only delves into politics but also has painted herself with so many shades of red that her steering wheel is permanently stuck in the left position. Not literally, of course. That would make me quite the unnecessary hazard on the road, wouldn't it?
I learned that music is powerful. So are words. They are so powerful they can chaange not only people but how one's entire world is organized. It did for me.
I learned that even though blood runs thicker than water, glue runs thicker than both - and by glue, I mean that of friendship and forged family. One does not come into this world with a family ready-built; one must find his or her own family, and although for most this found family does include their biological parents/legal guardians, for some it does not.
I learned that some people are frustrating in their ability to even consider the opposing viewpoint and that sometimes it was one who is the frustrating one, though one doesn't see it initially.
I learned that controversial opinions are controversial enough to ruin relationships forever.
I learned that amazing relationships are amazing enough to survive anything, and it is for these that one must be the most grateful.
I learned that writing a lot and meaning a lot are two different things.
I learned that learning is better than both.
Now, moving right along . . . cha, how many times have I used that? Well, I'd like to thank a few users, both here and gone. If you're not on the list, don't fret: That doesn't mean you weren't my friend, or at least an ally. But I happen to be writing this list under pressure and consequently I am simply tossing out ideas as a blindfolded Azula tossing crying infants off of a cliff and attempting to hit a small collection on the bottom. Ah, sadistic pacifism. Or it could mean that you merely haven't found yourself, as I will not give any names, but each paragraph is a new user; look again. The order means nothing. Let's do this!
Big sister, you were the first person to accept me with open arms, a major reason I stayed on the site initially, the first realization that made me understand I did not have to keep my toxic family. You will always be part of my family, and I miss you terribly. I wish I could know how you were doing, but I trust that you are all right, and I assure you that I will visit you someday. We swore on it, remember? I'll be in Poland. You'll see. You'll see . . . I never neglect a promise, do I? [hugs tightly]
Thank you for showing me the wonders of the Iar Sea and for being my first great "friend" on here, so to speak. I miss the days when we talked often, but those were almost a year ago. Of your many nicknames, I will always love your original one the best, when you referenced a certain trilogy complete with royalty and jewelry in the title. Does that make me a Geewun? Probably. Thank you for reserving me a spot - I needed it more than some - and thank you for having the courage to tell me of your issues. I wish you would return. [wears the hypocrit hat proudly]
I apologize for not speaking to you more, but that's what happens on occasion. I know that you and yours will be happy together, and did you know that I still have your zombie name registered? I don't think I ever actually used it to ghost you, but since you were already "|dead" that would have been ironic.
[trips over self] Argh. Stupid computer cords. Anyway - thanks for being awesome, and I'm sure you'll make an excellent addition to the team. Additionally, thanks for being one of the few to comment on a favorite fanon of mine, one of the bending weather. [hands a cookie] It's on the house.
Though I'm not entirely sure about the second word of your username, which I would replace with "nicest" or "most awe-inspiring" or something of those lines. Write more. Edit more. Be more active, because if you were, you would not believe how swiftly you would rise into the upper reaches of - well - everything. Believe me. Additionally, I must thank you for helping to bring up a friend of mine when he was down, even if I didn't notice it at the time.
Though you left as far as I know, as indeed what feels like the vast majority of the list, I will not forget you, the fluffy one who gave me my profile image. I will not.
I know you no longer are my friend as you once were, Padfoot, but you will always be one of my greatest. I won't forget you, and I know that he will not, either - and one day, we'll see each other again, whether online or in person. You were always my right-hand man, my second-in-command of the Comma Crusade, and without you, it fell to pieces, as Team Avatar without Katara. All the bright colors shattering in the sky, twisting into endless forms most beautiful . . . ah, but peace is fleeting, isn't it? It fleets and flits and flies away from us, and we can never hope to catch it with our clumsy fingers, only able to snag the coarse feathers of the war hawk.
Oh, the Katara half of the Kataang duo. Please don't be depressed. [slaps, then hugs] You need to rise up from the ashes of defeat and shame before you can become the true Phoenix King - yes, I did steal that, so sue me; I've got an excellent lawyer - and you must stand up from your fallen position on the ice before you can continue the fight.
Kung Fu Action Jesus, thank you . . . for everything. You are one of my greatest heroes for a reason, and it's a daang good one, but you already know what it is. Thank you once more, by the by, for that blog. I needed it.
To the one who is always there to listen: Monsieur, I shall not forget you, nor the image of the two Ares I promised to draw you. It's simply been rather crazy recently, and, as always, I miss you so much. Learn your Spanish well. Enjoy life. One day you will win her, I promise, and it will be as the kiss of the princess to the frog prince. [salutes]
My favorite season of the year, please do not worry about me. I am not only your sibling in your season but around the year. If they dare send you away, I myself will storm in as the wild monsoon and slap them. The Internet is a lifeline that must - nay, is required to be - preserved, preserved, and above all else preserved. Hug the cinnamony one for me. Continue to move the lovely dials of the beautiful cube, which will someday bring you joy beyond joy. Never forget that you are part of my family, and I will find a way, just as, someday, you will heal your broken heart, as she-who-must-not-be-capitalized would have wanted.
The purple one: 1:4:9:16. Introductions are essential. You might hide, but do not explode, as you are not green. Say hello to you-know-who for me. I'll already taken care of what you asked me to do a bit ago. [sniffs] Polish up your cube, kid. One day you'll be famous.
I have to apologize for everything, my artist, but rest assured that our race to ping is not yet over. Our races may become more scattered, and their aftermath shorter, but they will continue. You will find her one day. You only have to continue looking and to stop being discouraged. The worst thing one can do, after all, is be discouraged. Never forget who you are. Never . . . ever . . . forget. And one day, I'll sweep in on a tornado, and it will be quite the opposite of what occurred in Oz. Quite the opposite, if you know the famous line of which I speak, and I dearly hope you do.
Thank you to the troll of the Wiki, as I have called him on occasion, for, as much as I hate to admit it, opening my eyes. I owe you one, or three, or eleventy-twelve. I haven't finished counting yet. Thank you, Tie-Dye. Thank you.
To the mysterious dog upon the beach: You have brought joy and happiness to my time here, and I will be grateful for the days we spent tossing gutter jokes back and forth, as I never did force you to pay rent regularly, although on hindsight I should have, nor the times when you advised me. Unfortunately, now I have been forced to occasionally challenge your wisdom due to your new, hrm, ways. [embraces] You were my greatest friend on the Wiki, or at least one of the greatest. Memories of the lost and the forgotten fade away, yet he whom you were cannot, for it is of him I think whenever I must make a decision.
Oh, and the man of the year, or millenia is more like it. I require you to write that novel, because I will absolutely read all of it, and then I will thrust it into the noses of all who have yet to read of its beauty. I find it a great shame that so many have not read your fanon, and they must feel quite alone. And, please, keep in touch; I do so wish to see that new video you told me would be uploaded. Worry not about my dedication to the series, for of course I will continue to read it, but my comments, on the other hand, may fall a tad to the wayside. It will have to occur that way, I'm afraid. In the meantime, I can offer you this hug. [hugs]
Good morning/afternoon/evening/night, lady to whom I shall speak next. You forced me to understand myself and brought me endless pleasure in those first sunny days we spent talking to each other, though understandably you found yourself less and less attached to the good ole Sea of Iar. Thank you for healing him. Thank you for being there so that I can leave without regret, as mayhaps the person I would have regretted leaving is no longer there. I am aware that you will rise to become of the greatest planeswalkers to ever walk the land - yes, that is a cryptic message, but I daresay you've already comprehended its meaning without the "I see what you did there" connection - and consequently the song "I just can't wait to be crat" should begin to be the most-played song in your little fanclubhouse of supporters. I have scientific evidence suggesting that you will be one of the greatest things to ever hit the Wiki, which is the atheist way of saying, "I have faith in you". As a final note of parting, you must remember that you must have the swiftness of the coursing river, force of the great typhoon, strength of the raging fire, and mystery of the dark side of the moon. And, as a postscript, my second favorite location is Wulong Forest.
And how can I say good-bye without doing it like a bos? Hail, current admin. I believe it's time to d-d-d-d-duel for the last time, my friend. I never did finish reading your fanon story, and for that I am sorry, but there is little I can do at this point. My friend, continue to improve - I will as well - and someday we will duel again.
He who bends with mantis style - hullo. Even if we haven't spoken for quite some time, I have to greet you, smiling, as you were the one who introduced me to an alternate shipping that may or may not be correct. We shall see within a month. One month. Is it not amazing what may occur in so short a time . . . so short a time . . . [shakes head] I occasionally miss our low and winding philosophical conversations, but that I wholly comprehend your decision.
To my very own pink cute puffy cloud: You are still a great friend of mine, even if we, as many on this list, do not speak as much as we used to, although I believe that has more to do with schedule dysfunction than anything else. Espeaking of which, I am eating; I'm afraid that one thing I find almost impossible to do is give a monkeyfeather about anything except Korra at the moment, considering that "everything is Korra and nothing hurts". Convince your friend to give out more waffles. I miss them, and yes, "miss" is the key word in this entire apple tarting article, but that's what happening when one is leaving, forever.
¡El Señor! No voy a olvidarte tampoco. You showed me that Spanish has a place in this world over than a 107 on my report. You have become, recently, one of my best friends, and fortunately this dedication can be short because both of us are conscious that we will continue to speak. I urge you, now that I have you, to write that fanon! Cha, it is awe-inspiring and deserves to be lofted up to the heavens as such. And never cease to be the amazingly casual and fun-loving yet at once hardworking and dedicate person you are today.
Lubov - and there goes whatever cryptic aspect of the message I presumed to have - we've already spoken and know that this does not have the potential to overtly impact our relationship negatively, since we will still be able to speak. The one thing about me leaving is that I will no longer have A:TLAR as my home page to check for updates. [smiles gently] Dear, I love you, and I am infinitely overjoyed that the Wiki allowed the two of us to meet. It will always and forever be the greatest thing to come from my absokutely mauvelous time here. I love you, I love you, I love you.
Finally, to my dear sifu, I have to send you these thousand paper cranes I made. You know that old Asian story that if you fold a thousand cranes, you are able to make a wish? Then . . . let's see if it pulls true. [makes the wish quietly] And the cranes - the cranes I will send from the mountain to the air, as scattering the ashes of the deceased to the four winds and its waiting on the air. Sifu, I miss you. I miss you terribly. I can only wish I had realized what I had until I lost it, but those memories of us, together, will never die. I miss coming home and diving into the Iar Sea to see your familiar name on the right with its signifying "+", allowing me to spy you from the top of the list, and I miss your comments on my deceased demotes, and most of all I miss you, my sifu, and I love you in a friendly way. [hugs tightly] Cha, I will never see you again, but I will never forget you.
We need to have a Wiki reunion of some sort.
One last dedication. I thank Avatar Wiki as a whole, for allowing me to reinvent myself, a sort of waypoint between my old life and my new. And . . . I thank Avatar: The Last Airbender. I thank Aang, Katara, Zuko, Toph, Iroh, Kya Sokka, Suki, Yue, Zhao, Ozai, Gyatso, Hakoda, Azula, Long Feng, and everyone else for giving me a handrail in the midst of the wild tempest, and I thank The Legend of Korra for giving me an approaching rescue ship. I thank you all. Avatar made me understand there was something else out there, something better, and the Wiki made me comprehend what that something was: Love.
What if I had never come here to the Wiki or watched Avatar? With my family, I usually wanted to anywhere else. I was depressed - I didn't know where else to turn - and at the end of the day, I cam here. You want to know how I felt before? Welcome to my former life. It felt like it was me against the world. But then I realized that love does exist. By love I don't just mean romantic love. I mean friendship. I mean family. There was no love in my so-called "family". But . . . here . . . on this place . . . I learned whom I am. I am me. I am TAD. I am my own person, not hinging on the approval or disapproval of my family. And, at the end of the day, this Wiki saved my life.
I promise every one of you that one day I will live up to my username. But not today. Today is the day I leave you with a parting gift: Figure Last.
I love you all. ;3