2016 was a difficult year for me.
A new member of my family was born at the end of 2015 and the growing pains weren’t really felt until early 2016. Later in the spring I moved my family across the country to be closer to family but lost all my friends in the process. To make up for the loss of friends I threw myself into political volunteer work with whatever free time I could scrounge up between full time work and spending time with my kids and partner.
It might not have been a great idea to invest myself in light of my emotional state, but I have no regrets. The frantic pace had taken its toll on me and I found myself in a dark place by the end the month.
I’m not exactly sure how I stumbled across Pokemon again. I played Blue when it first game out, dabbled with Silver, got a few badges with White but otherwise hadn’t thought about the series much. Maybe it was a Clefairy calling to me in my dreams. Either way, I left Gamestop with a copy of Pokemon Sun some times near the end of November.
Pokemon, it turns out, was exactly what I needed at that time in my life. Winter had set in before I’d realized it and I needed to escape to some place sunny. I needed a goofy sidekick to make me smile, I needed to win something, I needed to go somewhere to forget for a little while.
Besides the lovely setting and charming premise of Pokemon, I found that Pokemon Sun had changed a lot of things about the games that driven me away the last time I had played. My team leveled up faster, the game put relevant information front and center, and there were no more HMs to worry about! Every time I popped on my GB I felt like I was hopping into a game that had been made just for me.
My real life didn’t go away. I had to make new friends, I had to adjust to a a new job, I had to figure out how to integrate my littlest family member into my life. Pokemon Sun didn’t create a space that made me want to ignore those issues forever. It created a space where I could escape, recharge, and return to confront them head on.
PS: Popplio rules and all other starters drool. The end.