My Light Returned When I Found Sky

My Light Returned When I Found Sky

My story is a bit long and chaotic as life often is, but the title is actually true and not a play on words.

Since 2016 I’ve run a very large community and cared for many while also promoting gaming and creating art on top of hospital work. In 2022, my world flipped over. During the spike of COVID, I ended up catching it the first time — a severe case. I was on oxygen with double pneumonia and heavy complications. I didn’t know that the one time I coughed into a pillow too hard that it would break a wall in my skull. (I was not aware I had a deformity where those walls are tissue paper thin.)

Fast forward a few months and I’m better, but having lingering thoughts that maybe I had allergies... until May. I got it again. A swab test pressed too far broke yet another wall. Both times these walls broke, a piece would cut into the sac that surrounds the brain. This is where it all went sideways.

By June, every time I stood, looked down, tilted my head, water would pour from my face. Not a little... ounces at a time. A few scans later, and we found I had two cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks. Between then and December of 2022, infections, vision and hearing problems abounded. Headaches from fluid loss and the brain itself falling low made it urgent to fix.

In December I had a full "question mark" style craniotomy to fix one, and a transphenoidal repair to the other. Three surgeries in three days. Afterwards I was told some issues might be permanent, while others could take time to heal. By January 2023, I missed my community so much I was determined to force myself back. I missed gaming, but couldn’t handle graphics and crazy effects, most sounds or too many lights. I was left with problems with word retrieval and text, but my art skills and output of that art went into overdrive. So I drew. It’s all I had to connect with people.

I was followed by a wonderful soul for these drawings. I looked at their bio, and saw they were with TGC. I knew that name! I looked at old pictures on my PS4 to see if any didn’t hurt my eyes, and found old Journey screen shots because I remembered the colors being so linear and calm. I wanted to draw it, but all the colors and light made me feel in my heart that I had to play it instead. I shared it and somewhere down the line they commented something like “I hope to see you in Sky someday!” This was the second time I’d seen that name. I knew of Flower and Flow, but what was Sky?

I looked up Sky on my iPad. On the other game I promote, they have assistant apps. I thought the app i was downloading for Sky must be one of those... It was free and downloaded so fast! But it wasn’t an assistant, it was the whole world. It loaded in and defaulted to my old PSN name that I never used much anymore... But it didn't matter, because it was beautiful.

I told my co-leader, “Oh honey, you don’t know what I see. I can see it! It doesn’t hurt. The colors are so soft, there’s texture but it’s implied and I swear it’s like I’m a child fallen from Journey. I’m…honking!!”

The music was intense at first, but once I turned it low I was in a world that sounded like outside life was right near me, but still completely calm. I meant to only look around. I meant to close the game, but I couldn't, because my soul lit up. I played for an hour and a half that night, completely in love, and couldn’t wait to go back. It didn’t hurt me! Every day I tried to play my other game, but I couldn’t. It caused pain within minutes, and I would almost feel depressed. Then I'd try Sky again, and within four days I had already gone through Eden, seen all the Journey ties, cried tears (only from one eye at the time) and fallen in love with the community. The vibe was pure and full hearted, helpful, silly, kind, protective, loving, curious, tenacious and wonderful.

I started collecting light and had gotten to relive the Admiring Actor before my friend said he was downloading the game. He had to. I was ecstatic! When I found him I tried to show him spirits he couldn’t see. I realized then I was too far past him. So onto another account, my official community tag was brought in (community PSN account) and I relived the whole world again from scratch with my best friend, watching him fall in love. He saw that same connection between our community and Sky too. Time to share with the others!

Now, many months later I have more than one account in Sky. One is the kid who wandered into this world and brought gaming, life, happiness and ability back to me when I needed it most. It’s deemed a "Moth Mom", adopting every kid that needs a hand. Another is my community save, that kid has been my "Everyone let’s go do something!" child. She’s my "Die Hard", my in-game connection in Sky that brings community members together to actually get that hug I sent them in texts for years. Or a cake on their birthday. A place to have fun together, have that tea and chat, dance and be silly.

My third and final account is my "Bad Day" solo save. When I cannot handle much, I load her and play alone or only with my best friend. Many times I’ll just go to Eden and run it solo — no chat, no excess — just focus and tenacity. By the time it’s over I can close the game and feel able to sleep. Sometimes I go to the wind path and Chibi into a space that leaves the screen dark but the sounds alive. I’ll listen to the creatures and children, the breeze and the flutter — and it’s a priceless calm to me.

These days, I can play both games again. My words are still problematic at times. I cannot listen to many content creators speak, but I still subscribe and share those in my community server. I’ve met devs, mods, kids, adults, new players, old vets, content creators and more from the world of Sky. I’ve always loved Aurora, since the Nobel Peace awards show, and she is here too. I got to enjoy her magic even more with the world record event moment. I cried the whole time (tears in both eyes now!) Many members of my community found life here just as amazing.

I play Sky every day now. It has become my sanctuary and connection to life. If ever I had a dream it would be to work with TGC who have, since Journey, always had a hold on my heart. I never thought it would become such a parallel narrative to my own life.

My candle started to dim in 2022. By 2023, it almost died 4 times. My community helped me, my family and friends supported me but I had lost my hope and connection to others and myself. Sky relit my candle. It gave me my light back, and it’s more intense and soulful than ever — I love you guys.

Our community connection translates from one game to the other. It’s the vibe that lives in Sky that brought us home, and we hope to share that warmth with every heart that seeks light. I’m sorry this story was so long, but my journey was too. Thank you for keeping me. Hugs and love meep

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My Light Returned When I Found Sky

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