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Alright. So obviously I've been thinking back on my time on Azurilland with the news that we received on Saturday. I don't really know how this will go, this is basically going to end up being a stream of consciousness that's just raw and wordy rather than a concise post of memories, but hey, I'll roll with it.
So, I first ended up joining what was then called Marriland back in July 11, 2012. It was for Smash Camp points, which man oh man that was a really dumb idea (although lmao I guess it kinda worked years later for me?). I had no intention of staying, nor did a bunch of people who did sign up. It was basically just "go to thread, post to get points, leave". Even then, it would've been weird had I stayed, just because I was going by Foppster at the time (which I explained here). So I wouldn't have really been myself, and it may have made things weird a year later when I did finally shed the Foppster name. But I digress.
So fast forward to February 14, 2017. Just to see if I could, I had ended up trying to log into my old account, and hey, it worked. I was able to switch my name over to Kilza, and I decided that hey, if I have this account, I might as well use it and see how things go. Admittedly, I hadn't really been a part of any forums in a long time, so this was kind of my own last chance to see if I could still be active on a forum. Although admittedly I probably wouldn't have given Azurilland a second look had it not been for how connected it was with Smash Camp, since man I was not that much into the Pokemon series at all at the time.
There were definitely some rough patches. Honestly, 2017 ended up being rough in general. I was posting every so often, but no matter how much I posted, I honestly just felt so...alone. Like the well had been poisoned against me, and people were avoiding me or some ****. Obviously I have history from Smash Camp, a few people within the community would've known me, and I guess my thinking at that time was that they had managed to convince people to avoid me or make me feel unwelcome? idk, this is just in line with my negative mindset at the time. So I was kinda just there on the forums. Just another entity, not really integrated with the community or anything. And, really, the closer it got to 2018, the more I had debated just leaving the forums. Like this whole thing had been a failed experiment, and my time of being on forums was just over. No sense being around if I was just feeling lonely when on the forums and not enjoying myself.
That said, I will say there was one nice bright spot within that period of darkness. When Mafia: Clarion My Wayward Son popped up, I knew I wanted to sign-up and try it. Forum mafia was something I wanted to try for awhile, and it was anonymous, so it allowed me to feel like I wouldn't be judged as harshly as I would've been had it been a non-anon game. And so, I wasn't sure how I'd do, I just came in wanting to have fun. And the first couple of days, I was definitely on my toes, and definitely worried that I'd end up dying early. But then I survived, and Day 3 onward I just took over the game. I helped lead the town to victory and I ended up becoming a co-MVP with Alex. That honestly may be my favorite Azurilland memory, because I just felt so good doing so well and getting praise for my play.
But still, things resumed to being "bleh" after that. Really, the turning point for me with Azurilland was definitely when Discord servers started popping up with Azurilland members. First one for me was the Lonely Hearts Club server in late September 2017, which did help me to actually start talking more with people and be a bit more open, a bit more casual. And then when I did get invited into Nebby's in late January, well, things really took off and I started to actually become integrated with the community. With the servers becoming an extension of the forums, it did help me feel more comfortable with posting more on Azurilland itself.
And so, uh, yeah. It was 2018 and things kinda just kept moving along, y'know? One nice thing that ended up happening was Azurilland Plays. Like, I'm not gonna lie, I haven't really been that much into Pokemon since HGSS came out. I skipped Gen 5 and 7 and I probably would've skipped Gen 6 had I not been able to get Pokemon Y for free (thanks Club Nintendo). So to be able to play some of the Pokemon games again with the forums (even if I played at my own pace, aka fast), including Pokemon Black which I never played before, was really fun! It's definitely helped me to rediscover that enjoyment I had with playing Pokemon.
So, anyways, I just kept active in the servers, kept active on the forums, I was able to have some fun with other members of the community, even if some days things weren't great and I felt bleh. I ended up leaving for a couple of weeks in June for reasons, came back, though I was still feeling negative for the first week or so that I was back. But hey, Smash Camp came, I was able to have fun there even if I didn't participate, and the next month after that was pretty, pretty good. And then things nosedived.
Despite what happened, things have changed for the better. Some people here saw me at my lowest, when what went down ended up causing me to endure 3 weeks of misery. It was definitely one of the lowest points of my life, where it felt like everything was awful and falling apart and I had no confidence in myself. And during that period I took a week hiatus from the forums. I just remember that hurting as well. Like it sucked, I didn't want to have to leave. But I knew I wasn't well, I knew I had to try and get better, and I knew I didn't want to hurt anybody accidentally while I was in that state of mind.
Like, I know this is gonna sound corny and whatnot, but Azurilland is a big reason why things are so good for me right now. I mentioned my negative mindset earlier, and a lot of that was brought on from my past. Because I was a **** back in the day, and people rightfully hated me. Hell, even I hate my past self. But as I grew older, that ended up causing me to develop a mindset that everybody hated me. It was mainly meant to protect myself, but all it caused me was to do was to not trust people and to not open up at all. Even though I had changed so much from the person I was before, I had kept that mindset all this time. But, after the weeks of misery was over, I started thinking. And I finally admitted something to myself, which I hadn't told anybody up to this point.
Not everybody hated me. I was not hated by the Azurilland community.
Like, it's definitely something that's taken me a long time to, well, find. Just some place that accepted me, some place that actually liked me and cared about me, some place where I can be more like myself. And it's done wonders for me. Honestly, I never would have imagined I would've gotten back to the place where I was before the weeks of misery began. Yet, honestly, I feel like I've not only reached that point but have surpassed it.
Like, things are still a work in progress for me. Every day I continue to grow, I continue to believe in myself more and I gain more confidence. I work towards shedding some of the insecurities that I have. I still struggle with my social anxiety, but every day I continue to try and overcome it, little by little. It's a process, but I fully believe that by being here I am on the right track towards where I want to be in the future.
So thank you, everybody. I really didn't expect this to happen 2 years ago, but I'm glad I came here and I stuck around for as long as I did. Azurilland helped me grow, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the community and getting to talk with everybody and having fun with all of you. That said, I want to keep developing those bonds and get closer to y'all. Even though I'm sad this is the end of Azurilland, I'm excited to begin new memories and new experiences on Marriland 2.0.
I believe in the future. The future is bright for me, and you all are a big reason why it’s become so much brighter.