Returning to Europeia
By Possibly this
If any of you don't know me which I imagine many more recent members don't, I am Possibly this. I joined NationStates in November 2015 and got involved on the forumside of Europeia in the new year of 2016. I would have the joined the forums earlier, I even made an account and everything but I was a little bit dim. I didn't understand how the citizenship process worked and whilst the system was slightly different to what it is now, it's pretty much the same so you can tell that me in 2015 was a tiny bit slow on the uptake at times. Very intelligent most of the time but every now and then just incredibly, extremely thick. I thought it was some majorly convoluted process but it wasn't.
But about 6 weeks later on January 3rd 2016 I finally managed to apply for citizenship. At the time there was a senate election going on. I had no experience, little understanding of what the job entailed and debatable ability but if I could have done, I still would have applied anyway. From the moment I walked through the revolving doors of the Europeian forums, I instantly fell in love. A large group of people, all completely unique, united for the common cause of upholding the place they love is a beautiful notion. And that's what Europeia is to me. And I loved those elections. Like I really loved elections. I ran for senate. 10 times. Yes, 10. I didn't get in the first 9 times and each rejection hurt, I can understand why but it was still deeply frustrating because what people don't tell you about running for elections is that winning elections is great but losing is so important, ok maybe not 9 times but you learn nothing in a life where you always win which basically means you don't develop, you don't better yourself, you simply stagnate.
I absolutely loved election campaigns, which you probably already guessed, from writing platforms to answering questions, seeing what people truly wanted of the people they voted for always interested me. But my favourite time of every election season was the agonising and suspenseful wait of the voting period and watching them gradually pile up and the winners unveiled. I don't want you to think that I was running blind, without any chance of winning, not for all of them anyway. There were some genuinely close calls. In March, I went to a run-off in which I lost by 26-14. Then in August, I was part of a group which kept falling into and out of the last senate seats and I lost out by just a couple of votes. But finally, in December 2016, on my 10th attempt, my persistent efforts finally gained me a senate seat but it certainly wasn't how I expected.
Once again, I was in contention for a senate seat yet I just couldn't break away and give myself the space to breathe. For a majority of the voting period, Me and the infamous Skizzy Grey, who had returned after an extended break to run in this election. With Calvin Coolidge not far behind. In the end, he levelled with us leaving all 3 of us tied, fighting for just a solitary seat in a run-off election.
I was amazed to even be up against such class. Skizzy Grey and Calvin Coolidge have both been defining figures in Europeian history, simply running against them was a great privilege. But when, to my further amazement, I was leading over them both, I was simply astounded. Skizzy Grey and Calvin Coolidge, whilst not miles away, still had significant ground to cover to catch me and it felt simply glorious to know that the efforts of an entire year were finally coming to fruition, to see that people finally believed I was good enough to be elected to high office, that I was actually worth something in the community at a time when my doubts were harshest. Unfortunately this Euphoric state was rather short-lived. As after a few hours, this became more than a simple run-off election and instead to some it became an indicator of changing times in Europeia, in such a way they were concerned about the region's trajectory. Believing that I was not in the lead before of my ability, not because of my extensive platform but because they thought social connections on discord were heavily influencing votes, with some going as far to say those who voted for me, voted incorrectly. And let me tell you, that hurts. I loved Europeia so much yet I always felt like I was an irritant to many. I wanted so badly to do whatever I could to better the region and for a large number of beloved and experienced members to say that I was only getting votes because voters were stupid and that people are wrong to vote for me was a severe blow. Now to be fair to Skizzy, who this vocal minority believed should be the winner, he never really chimed in amidst this bickering, separating himself from the situation, I stayed largely uninvolved also, only making a single comment. I don't really think either of us approved of the quarreling going on and he was very professional about the whole affair as I believe myself to have also been. But after all the battles, after all the hate, the 24 hours of voting had concluded. I remained in the lead and managed to claim the last seat, completing what I dubbed the Christmas senate, due to the initial vote finishing on Christmas eve, the run-off then extending into Christmas day. So as you can imagine it was a somewhat strange Christmas.
Then if that whole debacle wasn't enough, something happened which I don't really want to get into more than I have to, but it made me distrust people in this community on a level which transcended politics and Europeia. So I left the community soon after this had occurred, making my entire year's work to get into the senate a waste. I came back briefly for the 10th anniversary of Europeia in March 2017 and on a couple other occasions later in the year but I always found it difficult to come back properly.
So how do I come back? How do I come back and stay here? I'd love some advice because I genuinely don't know. I was always an outsider in Europeia. I just never quite fit in with the crowd, maybe that's because of my age, maybe because of who I am but it was never like this before. I used to only feel like I was in Europeia during elections, the rest of the time I was just watching, I was still contributing to the community but it never felt like I was fully included in it. However I at least always felt like I knew what was happening and what's going on to some degree. Coming back to Europeia after all the scandals of late 2016 and those which I didn't see in early 2017, then how it seemed like so many people were leaving when I tried to join again later in the year. It just didn't feel the same. Now I'm here again, there's new forums, which if I might add are pretty poor in comparison to Zetaboards, better than tapatalk I'm sure but this is just not as good as I'm sure you're aware. Then there's all the inactivity, the reforms going through and Europeia at one of its lowest points in many years. There is just so much to catch up on. I at least felt like I understood what was going on, but re-entering Europeia it's hard not to be largely removed from the region and the current affairs. I think that's why you always see so many people return and fade away again. Europeia is not a very easy place to come back to once you're out of the loop.
I don't know. There's a certain strange nature about something declining that is very difficult to deal with especially when you've seen it at some of its best times. But I think when it feels like whilst it's still not the place you left but the worst appears to be over or at least coming to the end, that's a thought that is at least more palatable. I do believe Europeia can rise once again, stronger than ever but we have to be incredibly cautious about where we go from here because what we do now will bind the fabric of Europeia's tomorrow, there are still tough times ahead and if that fabric is too thin and can't stay strong then it will break, as will Europeia.
Sorry about making this a little bit morbid, this was supposed to be a light-hearted piece but these are my true feelings and the current situation appears to be far from sunshine and rainbows. Really now I think I can understand how Skizzy felt when he returned back. Even people of his calibre struggle to return to Europeia, starting out in Europeia is difficult enough, getting yourself established can be a hellish affair but returning is something more than that. Because you have an idea of what Europeia is like before, you know some of the people as they were. But not as they are. This is November 2018 but I think in many ways I'm still stuck in the new year of 2017. And in the past 20 months, so much has happened, so much has changed. You may or may not recognise it but not a single one of you is the same as the person I remember when I was here before. I hope I can modernise and get with the times but it is going to be difficult, Europeia is a completely different society and I'm going to have to adapt to that, that's simply the way it is.
Finally, I would like to say to all of you, well done. You have all done absolutely brilliantly to drag Europeia out of the darkness and into a slow but important rise back up. To get Europeia back onto a positive trajectory is something that you should all be proud of. I hope to do whatever I can to help you all push for a better Europeia. Starting with this, we'll see what next. But I'm here and I'm here to stay. Deal with it!