So sometime at the end of last year, I ended up renaming my main character. Now, it's probably not something big for most people, but having played mostly this character with (almost) the same name for the last 15 years or so, there was quite a bit of emotion and memory attached to that name for me. This, of course, begs the question, why did I end up renaming if there was so much attached to the name? Well, quite frankly, that attachment was partially beginning to feel more like baggage and a hindrance than something positive, and the new name is something quite a bit more light and fun which also helped quite a bit.
It's strange sometimes, how much emotion can be associated with something like a name, and how stepping back from all of that can help one gain some perspective both on the path one has been on and where one is going. It's not even that the emotions are necessarily negative, on the contrary, that name and the character and the game have definitely helped me get through some hard times, and for that I am grateful. However, it does also mean that those old feelings and patterns of behaviour are attached to that name, and that can be rather constraining at times when one wants to evolve and grow and better oneself. That does mean that renaming has been oddly freeing, which I think was not the thing I was expecting from that.
The most interesting part of it all however, has probably been the reactions from other people with regards to the new name. It seemed to be a rather common sentiment in the beginning to ask if I had lost a bet or the like, since the name seems to have been so far away from what they knew from me, and the other seems to be joy or pleasure in regards to the new name since it is rather fun. Amusingly, it has also given a few opportunities to have some fun in Details with the custom names there, since it's close enough when spoken out loud to one of the abilities in the game that I can put variations of the calls made during the fight as my name there, which has been an unexpected but very welcome bonus.
It might not be that in the grand scheme of things renaming one's character in a game is all the meaningful of an act, but there is quite a bit of symbolic significance to it all for me, letting go of the past in a sense. There's a lot of that I need to be doing, and I think this was one small step in the right direction, but it's a long journey. Still, even the longest journey happens one step at a time.