Dungeons, Dragons, and First Encounters: Part 1

Do you know what I did last weekend? I played Dungeons and Dragons for the first time ever, and it was so much fun!

Yes! You heard that right! It was fun!!! Just settle down and let me explain….

A few months ago, I stumbled upon a comic book store in a shopping center I often frequent. I really don’t know why I had never noticed it before, but when I saw it, it caused me great distress because I knew I was going to have to go in there.

As things in my life have changed over the past couple of years, I have become friends with nerdy people just like myself, and with that, has come a huge renewal of many things I used to love but hadn’t really expressed in a long time. That may sound a little vague, but it’s the truth. See, I loved Dan dearly, but he wasn’t really a nerdy sci-fi person. So, over the years much of my sci-fi fanaticism had been toned way down. But then, life changed direction, and suddenly I found myself connected with people who like all the same nerdy stuff I do. To be honest, I didn’t even think people like this really existed! But here they are….on Twitter…..the introvert capital of the world. And now I am….surrounded by friends who know even more about science and Star Wars and superheroes than I do! It’s totally awesome!

Into this newfound world of awesomeness steps, Jeff.

(You know….Jeff….? I’ve mentioned him before…..my best friend…..my gaming buddy…..my “chemistry” partner *wink wink*….. *Sigh*…..Jeff…… a complicated story…..that I am not going to get into right now.)

Moving on….

Jeff and I have spent countless hours discussing everything from Star Wars to politics, pets to personal tragedy, and everything in between. Somewhere along the way, he mentioned that he plays Dungeons and Dragons (or other similar role playing games) with a group of friends on a regular basis. This revelation was intriguing exciting. Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) has always been almost mystical to me. I had heard of the game, but I really didn’t know anything about it. I had certainly never been around anyone who actually played it!

Jeff’s D&D experience made him even more alluring, but I think looking back on everything, he probably didn’t realize how interested I really was. I mean, I don’t exactly get “excited.” And I didn’t really know enough about the game to even ask questions, so I’m afraid I just came across as uninterested or bored. (But I wasn’t, Jeff! I really wasn’t!)

As a matter of fact, D&D was part of our first date. Jeff and I met in real life for the first time in Atlanta, and that is a really long drive from where he lives. By the time he got to the hotel where we were meeting, I had already been there for a while, so he didn’t really have time to decompress. Basically, he walk in, we said hello, brought his stuff up to his room, and went to the hotel cafe to eat. I didn’t really think about how flustered he probably was. I mean, I was nervous too. This was our first date, and I was worried that I was going to blank and be tongue tied. But fortunately for me, Jeff’s nervousness translates into talking a mile a minute! And do you know what he talked about? Yep. His D&D group. It was so endearing, and I had so much fun listening to him. It was during that conversation when I knew I was already in love with this man.

Now I’m going to take a moment to talk directly to Jeff for second. So the rest of you just look away for a moment. I’ll be right back.

(Jeff, I’m sorry if any of what I’ve said bothers or embarrasses you. That is certainly not my intention. Nothing I’ve said here should come as a surprise to you, and it does not change the current situation. This is simply my truth, and I can not talk about D&D without talking about you. The two are very intertwined in my mind. I really hope you understand.)

Ok. I’m back. The point I was trying to make before I got sidetracked with blissful reminiscing is that Jeff is the reason I started to think about playing D&D in an actual real way. Before him, I guess I figured people played it, but I didn’t know anyone who did in real life. So, I started asking Jeff about his gaming sessions every chance I could (without being a pest), and one time we even watched Wil Wheaton (you know…that guy who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation) DM (Dungeon Master) his own D&D session on TV (yeah, we are that cool 😂!).

Now fast forward to a couple of months ago. Like I said, I had stumbled across this comic book store, but I didn’t go in. I had never been in a comic book store before, and the thought of going in there was very intimidating. I decided to check them out online, and it turns out that this store offers a lot of different gaming nights, including Magic the Gathering, X-Wing, and Dungeons and Dragons. I joined all the Facebook groups.

It still took me a while to work up the courage go into the store, but when I did, I was pleasantly surprised. It was awkward at first, but eventually, a female employee struck up a conversation with me and put me at ease, graciously answering many of questions. She even said she would tell the administrator of the D&D Facebook group to approve me (it’s a closed group and I hadn’t been accepted yet).

The next hurdle was the D&D group itself. They meet on Wednesday nights, but Wednesdays are not possible for me because of church. I wasn’t sure what to do. I almost went one night when church was cancelled, just to see what it was like, but I couldn’t work up the courage.

I started thinking this probably wasn’t going to happen and maybe I should give it up or try one of the other games when one of the guys posted on the Facebook page that he was willing to get a Saturday game going if there was enough interest. I knew this was my way in, so I responded to his post. He set up the time for everyone, and I took my first step into the world of Dungeons and Dragons!

This has turned into a longer post than I anticipated. I think this will have to be continued…

I really hope you come back to hear the rest of my story.





I know I have said this many times before, but I’m going to say it again.

I have changed.

I have changed on some deep, fundamental level.

I don’t like the same things I used to like. I don’t think the same way I used to think. I am not attracted to the same things I once was attracted to. I don’t have the same passions. I don’t have the same focus. I don’t have the same motivation. I don’t have the same energy level.

I am a different person than I used to be. A sort of metamorphosis is taking place in my life. I am reinventing myself. I am rediscovering myself. I am piecing myself back together.

Part of this process is growth, both emotionally and spiritually, and this growth has often been challenging. Along the way I have done things I never thought I could do. I have endured things I never thought I could endure, and I have become a stronger, more confident person.  (I might even go as far as to say I have become a more attractive person, but I suppose I should let you be the judge of that, huh?)

Spiritually speaking, my faith is stronger now. God used grief to birth a new depth of compassion and empathy in me….a new love for people and interaction…..that could not exist otherwise and is largely dependent on Twitter. (Yep. You read that correctly. I just mentioned God and Twitter in the same sentence! I now live dangerously! It’s just another way I’ve changed! 😉😂)  Through Twitter, I am able to connect with people in a way that is much more natural for me. I can peal back the layers of social anxiety and awkwardness allowing my inner self….the self that usually takes years for others to see….to shine. Through Twitter, I have been exposed to a larger more diverse group of people than I ever thought possible, and I even have a group of a dozen friends I talk to almost everyday, some with whom I have had deep, personal conversations, and one with whom I have fallen in love ❤️.

If God didn’t have a hand in bringing these amazing people into my life, then how can I believe He has a hand in anything?

I hope some of what I have said here makes sense. Talking about God and my faith is a tricky thing. It is deeply personal to me, and I feel vulnerable when I mention Him. Plus, I now straddle two entirely different worlds, each with entirely different rules and expectations (and if you know me at all, you know how much I struggle with living up to everyone’s expectations….it’s very stressful), so the potential for misunderstanding and/or offense is very high, but I walk this tight-rope willingly. The rewards are well worth the risks. My world has become a richer place, and I am a better person for it.

I love you all so much, both my real life friends and my Twitter friends.  I wish I could list all of your names…everyone who cares about me, supports me, and makes my life so full….but I won’t try to name all of you. Some of you don’t want to be named, and I’m positive I would forget someone. So, I will play it safe, today, but don’t be surprised if future posts become a spotlight for my amazing friends.

Finally, l hope you can all bear with me as the pieces of my life start to fall back into place. It’s a huge mess. I’m sure I will make it worse, and most likely many of the pieces won’t fit back in their original spots. I think the picture has changed because…

I have changed.