This journal entry has been on my mind quite a bit lately, and I've been putting it off. It's time to close the book.
This is actually the second account I made on this site. I got really into Red vs Blue around season 5 and I wanted to watch the episodes sooner, so I created an account just for that purpose. It had some dorky username with a bunch of excessive letters and numbers, and I didn't use it for anything other than watching videos and leaving the occasional comment to talk about story predictions. Eventually, I got into the forums of Red vs Blue, and I started building some rapport with the residents. It was at this point that I discovered the social part of the site.
2011 was a strange year in my life. I was raised in Utah Valley, a place where nearly 80% of the population is extremely religious, my own family included. The area is so heavily saturated with member of the LDS church, that much of the doctorine and expectiations bleed into everyday society. One of those expectations being mission service. When a young man leaves high school and turns 19 years old (18 as of 2014), he is to leave behind his family, his home, his career and education goals, and honorably serve the Church in lands near and abroad. After leaving high school, however, whilst all my friends were leaving to fulfil their duty and serve their Church, I was having a massive crisis of faith.
I'm sure a few of you out there have experienced a loss of religion as I had, and if you did you'll probably agree: It fucking sucks. Years of *good intentioned* indoctorination had spun a thick and tangled web in my brain, and with every small lesson or flaw of which I came to disillusion myself, another massive brick was removed from a foundation I had built my entire life, my personal philosophy, my beliefs on. I became spiritually unstable.
While love is the cornerstone of most religions, apostasy will always taint your reputation with failure, selfishness, or just being broken goods. It's hard to love something broken. Most of the people that I relied on and leaned to in hard times were member of the church, so in the midst of one of my greatest struggles, I was alone. This, following being fired for the first time from a really really terrible job, drove me into some serious depression. For over 8 months LITERALLY all I did was stay the unfinished basement of my parents rental home, play Halo: Reach or Assassins Creed or Minecraft, and occasionally sleep. I left the house maybe once every other day just because I felt I was obliged to go outside. I usually spent this time just driving around my city.
5 months into my pity party, in February of 2012, I created a new account here on RoosterTeeth.com with the distant hope of maybe connecting with some new people. The folks I talked to in the forums were nice enough, so it couldn't hurt, right? I ditched my old account with the lame username, and made a new account with a name as open and honest as it could get. My own name, NickGibson.
The following 3 years will always have a special place in my heart. I made dozens of new, unique friends from all over the world. I created and guest starred in community podcasts, voice acted in and helped create dumb web series, I became an active member of many groups on the site, and eventually found myself a member of an RT Skype Group filled with people practically overflowing with creativity, charisma, friendliness, and ambition. I attended RTX 2014 and I started a Let's Play YouTube channel with friends from the site. Everywhere I looked my life was becoming fuller. In my real life, I had overcompensated for my 8 month pity party by getting 4 part time jobs doing things that I enjoyed, I had learned to compartmentalize my concerns with religion and purpose, and my friends from high school started coming back from their 2 year missions away.
Things grow. Things change. The RT site eventually changed and loss a good chunk it's social usability, and consquently, it's userbase. I moved out of my parents unfinished basement into an apartment with RoosterTeeth friends, we eventually upgraded to a house. My many part time jobs considated into 1 or 2 good jobs that continue to challenge and teach me everyday. I learned to express myself by creating music and art and writing.
I'm definitely not a 100% well adjusted man, but I can safely and proudly say that I am in an infinitely better place than I was at this time 6 years ago. The Rooster Teeth videos may be funny, the cast and crew may be good entertainers, the shows may have good story, but in the end it wasn't any of that which helped me in some of my hardest times, it was YOU. YOU, who wanted to hang out and play GTA Online, or wanted to share art you made and give thoughts on my own. YOU, who asked me to help you create content just for the fun of it. YOU, who trusted me with your secret dreams and ambitions. YOU, who wrote and read great journal entries about thoughts and feelings about whatever.
YOU are the heart and soul of this website and this community. I would like to extend the warmest possible THANK YOU I can muster to anyone and everyone on this site that made it and continues to make it haven it was for me.