Everyones always talking about how much fun they had playing Minecraft with their friends, or how their Minecraft friends haven't been online in years. Growing up, I never had any friends. I was bullied in school everyday and often came home in tears. For a long time, I didn't have any sort of escapism, until I downloaded this game, that is. Everyday when I got home, the first thing I'd do is wipe my tears, bandage my bruises and hop on the computer to play Minecraft. It was the only place I could let my creativity run wild without being judged. I didn't have anyone to play with besides my imagination, and the numerous dogs I had tamed. Sometimes I'd spend hours on end in front of the computer, the room barely lit by the lamp on my desk, my cat curled up on my lap and a half eaten granola bar I got too distracted to finish. I remember falling asleep at my desk and dreaming about Minecraft, dreaming about being friends with all the Minecraft youtubers who had introduced me to this game, or gaming in general. I'd dream that I'd play with youtubers like Dan, or ihascupquake. I'd wake up from my Minecraft dreams to build Minecraft cities, then to go to school and make Minecraft drawings.
I booted up my old computer just a week ago, with all my old worlds. My dogs, my creations, they were all where I left them. My outlet for all those years, it was all the same, like time had stopped moving. I hadn't cried so much in a while, in that moment, all those memories of just being all alone, but being so happy to be alone, it got to me. Despite how hard things were then, I was so happy all the time. I didn't care that everyone at school hated me, I didn't care that I spent my time alone, I was just happy to have that little thing that kept me going. It's weird to see how far I've come as a person. I mean, I have friends now. Real friends, not just ones I'd make up in my sleep. Real people I'm around everyday, I'm not lonely anymore. This game kept me company when no one else would, it kept me safe until I would finally find people who would treat me well.
I've grown up, I've moved past everything. The issues I have to deal with from the bullying as a child are still relevant, but they don't sting that much anymore. Even though it took a while, I found something, some people who make me feel at home. I feel comfort for the first time in a while. Even though it's hard, even though some people are lonely, you'll be okay. Take enjoyment of the little things, like finding a dog and having enough bones to tame it, or finding your first diamonds, or even finding your hundredth diamond. Everything will be okay once you push through, just find comfort in the things you love doing. Explore different things, find new things that you might find will change your life forever. Someday, when you have people there for you, and you feel so much better, you'll look back and think "wow... I was so strong back then."
You were strong then, you are strong now and you will continue to be strong. You can achieve anything as long as you find that something that makes you feel safe. For me, it was Minecraft that got me through. For you, the sky is the limit. You can take enjoyment in anything if you find the right thing. You can make it.
Thank you, Minecraft. Thank you DanTDM, ihascupquake, Stampy, and everyone else who would make me smile after a bad day. And thank you, me, for staying strong back then so I can be here now. Thank you so much for being there.