Six years. To call that a long time may be laughable in the cosmic scale, but my feeble human intelligence struggles to make a concrete notion of the abstract concept described by those two words. Six years, six rotations around the sun, six birthdays, six iterations of yearly rituals, six spans of time on a continuous, unceasing forward movement. Six years are all these things, but how do you turn that evasive concept into something with form? How does one hold six years like an apple, taste it, and digest it?
Six years ago I built for myself a computer for the first time. There's a strange pride in the delicate piecing together of carefully chosen parts, and it compelled me to put my work to the test. I installed World of Warcraft and sat awed at the smoothness with which my computer handled the rendering of that virtual world. It was a small triumph, but an important one for a computer science major standing amongst throngs of peers sporting their own custom built machines.
Six years of World of Warcraft came to an end yesterday, as I logged out for the last time and uninstalled the game. In that time I was a newbie, a veteran, a casual, a hardcore, an explorer, a raider, a layman, a leader, a nobody, and a community figure. I've been everywhere from bottom to top, and the experience has taught me as much about life, people and myself as anything else I've done. Closing that chapter of my life is neither easy nor unnecessary.
Six years from now I wonder who I will see when I reread these words.