(I don't write daylogs much, so please forgive me a need for self-indulgence on this occasion...)

It's been about a month since I've returned from my latest extended E2 absence, and I've been decently active here, more active than I've been in a couple years. I was wondering why I stayed away from here for so long, and I think I'm realizing what it was.

I first signed on to Everything - no, not Everything 2, as it wasn't in existence yet - over five years ago. I've seen a lot in my time, from the appearance of E2, the introduction of the chatterbox, voting and the XP system, numerous changes in editorial policy, the creation of usergroups, the first quest, and so on. I've watched noders come and go, and suffered when special people have had bad things happen. I've also done some stupid things that have taught me lessons.

When it comes down to it, what has made this place so special to me, kept me enthralled, and yet pushed me away, is the people.

The nodes are just a sideshow. E2 is about people.

It's said best at Everything is a Community, and it needs to be remembered, always. I've had great conversations on numerous occasions, both in the catbox and privately. I've received mix CDs, cards, postcards, and other items - all of which I have kept, all of which still have meaning to me. I've considered many different noders friends.

The thing is, I've let way too many of those friendships disappear. Partly due to absences from the site, partly just due to my own laziness in keeping in touch with people. There are too many people that I would /msg daily, chat with on and off throughout the day, talk to in #everything, and even received items in the mail from, that I failed on my end. I put in the effort when it was convienent, and never made the effort at anything that took a little more effort.

There are just so many people here that tried to be friends with me, people that I let down, that sometimes the hurt is greater than the happiness. Some are fled noders, and when I stumble across something of theirs, I just feel a gentle layer of sadness float over me, and wonder what they're up to now. It's the ones that are still here that really hurt. To see them in the other users, to read their new nodes, to look at the gathering pictures, to see them in the chatterbox, knowing that I'm more or less just another user name - I don't know if it's the regret for what I did, the shame for what I did not do, or the yearning for what I could have had that makes being here almost unbearable at times.

It's not all bad - I have found other noders to chat with, to have fun with, to hopefully turn into friends. There are also noders that still talk to me after my absences. I'll use all of those mistakes I've made in the past to learn from, so that none of them feel like just a convienence. I've lost too many as it is, and the only way I'll actually be able to stay around is to avoid adding to the hurt I feel when I see those noders around. The lump in my throat is too big, and I can't handle the gaping hole I feel when I think about all this getting any bigger.

I doubt anyone I'm targetting this to will read this - daylogs just aren't really read that much, and if anything, serve little purpose to other users other than vote dumping. I just needed to put this out there, mainly in hopes that newer noders will read it and understand what makes this place so special, and build and keep the friendships here that so many others have done properly.

And to those of you who have been on the receiving (or more appropriately non-receiving) end of this, I just want to say that I'm Sorry. I don't ask for forgiveness or even acknowledgement. I just want you to know that I am Truly Sorry.

If I ever do leave again (I'm not planning on it), it likely won't be because of differences with the editors or gods, or just becoming bored with the place. It will be the people. The ghosts of what could have been being just too much to handle.