I can sit here at great length and talk about all of my local VO’s at great length. But that will make you hate me so I will tie them all to the things they all have helped me with.
They have each taught me how to question the status quo, challenge it a positive manner if necessary, and accept it all at the same time: If there was something I didn’t like, I was always allowed to ask “Why is it that way?” If after explanation I felt that it wasn’t right, I was allowed to challenge it and see if there is a more productive way of doing things. If I did not find what I was sought, or discovered that it was impossible to create, then they gave me the space to accept the status quo, even if I did not like it.
Something specific that Andrea B from Central Valley (Now retired VO) taught me, that I plan to actually utilize more in 2015 is just the option of “being there”. Many days when she was at a convention running uber tables, she always found time to just sit and look around and take in everything. For me that has always been the hardest thing, because I have done the “managing” piece for so long that I don’t stop and get to enjoy the games and the people. This year I firmly have decided that I am just going to “be there”. By being more present in the games and situation, I can better support my fellow leaders and also build relationships with my fellow gamers that I don’t get to do.
Lastly, they have all taught me to think and be deeper than the games. A few of my VO’s have helped me in more personal ways, such as reading my stuff for Wayfinder (that never seems to get picked) and Pathfinder Chronicler (which has been picked!). They have never been afraid to call me out when I was not at my A-game. And then they allowed me to just be myself, consequences be damned. (And boy where there some.)
My VO’s have not only taught me how to be a better player, writer, and overall nerd. They all taught me how to be a better person, through their actions and the words. Through how they treat others, and each other. Mistakes and all, I am a better person because of all of them. So yeah. :)
The List of them, just make sure I mention them are Rich F, Michael T and Scott C (aka Xot) of Sacramento. My neighboring VO's are Will J and Josh M of Fresno, Andi B formerly of the Central Valley, Wendy-Ann and John Francis of South Bay Area, Josh A and Pirate Rob of the Central Bay Area, and Mitchell A of Oakland/East Bay