This one's long.
I am pretty sure I have been gone for two years. Roughly. That's... substantial.
I didn't die. I didn't lose access to the internet. I didn't even become all that busy. I don't entirely know how to explain, except that a lot has changed over the past couple of years.
I'm going to just be straightforward here. What kept me away was, more than anything, a sense that I had outgrown this account. So much of what I have posted here is very old; it smacks very much of the past, of things I clung to in lieu of true self-knowledge and confidence. I found, after only a short time at college, that I did not want to go back because I suppose I was embarrassed. So much of what I've left here seems so childish in hindsight. I cringe at my old journal entries, not to mention the absurd purple banners everywhere. And I PAID for that. Incredible.
I felt that this account was linked too strongly to a lot of delusions and nonsense that I'd sooner leave behind.I don't mean you wonderful people. Not at all. But I am just not the same person I was back then, and I think that is for the best.
This was not very fair to many of you- vanishing without a word, and all. Again. I recall doing that by mistake a few times. I mean, I suppose it kind of happens. People vanish from the internet. They get busy with their lives and so forth. But I see the comments you've left on my wall, and they break my heart. I missed you too. It's staggering, how long it has been. And I feel rather keenly that I have abandoned you.
Now I have some decisions to make. I have been meaning to "deal" with this account for a while now. What I mean is that my username- MysteriousBob777 -is used in other places on the internet. People can link it to me. People can find the stuff I did in the past. Which is fine, but I don't want to be represented by this account anymore as it no longer reflects my identity as a person, or far more importantly, as a writer. (For one thing, I no longer write to fill a void or to enable my own escapism; now I write with purpose, because I love the stories I tell.) But this means that something has to change here.
I was originally planning to leave a goodbye journal and deactivate this account a week later. But I am not sure I'm prepared to do that, especially not upon returning and finding that people have even been waiting for me. Especially when I still have things I could be posting here, even if they are very different from my old work. It seems to me that I should come back.
So what I am going to do is slightly different.
I have made a new account, with the username ~BenTigers. It seems easiest to me to start over, especially since I'd classify my return as "vaguely tentative," as in "I really do mean to do this and post things and be active, but god knows I've said that before and it tends not to happen." And this would allow me to completely get away from everything that bothers me about my "old" deviantart stuff- the rambly little hyperactive journals, the crappy little photoshop images, the journal-quizzes I answered with delusional responses, everything. I really need to shed that. Maybe it doesn't make sense, but it's true.
And then, a few days hence, I would post the first chapters of the story I have just begun.
The new account might serve a more mature end, as something that I would feel comfortable showing my newer college friends and other such "adults," if we are indeed adults now. It would be something to be proud of rather than ashamed of. Not a dumping ground for my uncertainties or false self-images, or even a glorified social network (which I believe is how I saw it back then), but a place that really does just exist to contain my writing and to immerse me once more in the wonderful works of people such as yourselves.
As for this account, I think I will just leave it be. I don't really ever want to look at it again if I can help it, but I can leave it. Eventually I'll take it down, someday, if I need to suddenly fool the internet into thinking I'm sane and professional. But not until then.
So again, I'm sorry to just sort of leave you all like that. I don't even know if I can provide a satisfactory explanation, or if it matters. But hell, if you read this far into this long-winded thing, then it probably does.
If you want to follow me again- in spite of the possibility that this, too, will fall through, or even that I may just be too different from how you remember me -then that's fine. You will find me here: bentigers.deviantart.com/
There isn't anything to see there yet, mainly because it is four in the morning and I need to get on a plane tomorrow. (Revelations and changes always happen during travel. It is the nature of transition.) But I will fix that soon.
However, if you do not care to deal with this- if it has just been too long and it doesn't matter, or you just don't even care to clog your watched deviants list with a name that might just go inactive again, or this whole new account thing just seems downright silly to you, or whatever else -then that's fine too. I wouldn't blame you, not for an instant.
Otherwise, watch me, and I'll watch you back. I may not see everything you post or comment on everything you do, especially as I readjust to the site after my long absence, but I will try at least to be present, and help where I can. And I promise, I won't be this serious all the time. Just when it really matters.
I'm sorry again. You are such wonderful people; you don't deserve all this nonsense. But if nothing else, I hope you'll just leave a comment to let me know how you've been doing during all this time. I do wonder.