February 2nd is an important day in my life and not because of a small creature who can allegedly predict whether winter has six more weeks or if spring will start early.
February 2nd marks the day in 2011 that I started to recover from my depression. To this day, it makes me laugh to know what it was that helped snap me out of it: the video game Red Dead Redemption.
It almost sounds fake when I tell the story. It wasn’t even an event in the game that prompted my thought. I merely passed by Fort Mercer, in the game, which is where the main events of the story kick off. I pictured Jack Marston, the player character, imagining, “This is where it all began for me and my father.”
Whatever it was, that thought prompted a change in me. I started reliving memories of my early childhood and began feeling all sorts of nostalgia. It was that feeling that helped pull me out of the dark place I had been in for so long (about two-and-a-half years; basically, all of high school up to that point).
If you knew me at the time, you probably saw the shift in my personality. I went from being closed off and withdrawn at most times to being a lot more outgoing and social than I ever was. I made friends with people I never thought I would be friends with.
I also truly discovered my love of writing during that time. That’s when I started doing a lot more writing than I ever had, something that continues to this day. I always write first and foremost for me. Writing helps me think and it allows me an escape from the craziness of life, both good and bad.
As was the case 12 years ago, I’m going to be spending this February doing a lot of writing. I’ve made it my personal goal to finish writing my NaNoWriMo 2022 story, Stranger Wars, a Star Wars/Stranger Things crossover story. I’ve given myself a word count goal of 30,000 between February 1st and March 18th (for those keeping track at home, the end date would be my birthday). As of yesterday evening, I’ve already written 10 percent of that word count goal, and I still have a lot more to write. I’m so excited to finally finish this story and start publishing it on a consistent basis for my readers.
And to this day I remain forever grateful to the events of February 2, 2011. Red Dead Redemption and its prequel both have special places in my heart and in my memory.