It has encouraged, confounded, enlightened, stupified, bored, entertained, pissed off, flabberghasted, riled up, embarassed, convicted, given confidence, taken it back and set me a little freer to be what I am.
I was new to forums myself and my first posts here got you all scrambling and I don't think made a real good first impression. (remember the little "violent" picture of Bush flipping the bird, which I defended by chop and glueing all your 'more violent' statements as examples of what I considered violent? Made me super popular right off the bat...) That both toughened me up and toned me down a bit. And gave me a new understanding toward the concept of a "community" that forms in such forums, how they interact and come to eachothers defense. I have since taken those lessons elsewhere as well and spared you all some of my more contraversial thoughts... It is interesting to have an anonymous yet personal outlet and support system such as this.
Numerous times I have been surprised to have some of the principles of SF rise up and soften my rough edges in just day to day living. Other times specific things someone has said returns suddenly and moves me in a better way... It has both stirred up an activist drive in me, but failed to point it in a productive direction. I have learned to expose a few more buttons for Zerbie to push, and coralled my tendency to push the buttons of others. My beliefs have been strengthened, adjusted a bit and broadened to accomodate a little more than they used to.
I also have often bitten my tongue a tad too much, silenced myself to frequently, let too many posts slip by that angered me a little and underestimated many of your abilities to defend yourselves, take some well meaning criticism and fire right back at me with no serious damage done. I feel I have also done the opposite, expressed myself poorly, caused some hurt feelings and been more fearful than I need of your judgment, keeping my private life too guarded.... But most assuredly and with out question, I have talked about myself and blackened the 'I' key enough for one post...
All said and done, you guys are a wonderful, inteligent group I am glad to be a small part of...