To begin, I'm glad I persisted in being here. I'm also extremely grateful for the friends I made, many of whom are still with us but some of whom have left us. Many of these friends helped lift me up and give my skills the sharpening and recognition due to them, and I wouldn't be making the kind of music and art I now do if it weren't for them. And then there are also those friends whose companionship I enjoy.
You all know who you are. You are countless like the stars to me, and I'm so grateful for all of you.
This is going to be a fairly disjointed series of thoughts on how my nine years on NG have been. A lot of it is going to focus on the early days.
- You see, nine years ago the internet was a very different place. I mentioned on a few NG-related Discord servers that the defining phrase of the audio forum nine years ago was there are no girls on the internet. Many people wanted an old boys' club, and anyone who didn't conform didn't fit — I remember being made to not fit, I remember not being made welcome because, in their words, I "pretended" or "claimed" to be a girl. The people who have made these remarks have long since moved on or have been banned — so much the better, because I feel a lot safer sharing my heart and soul with you all through my creations.
- In those days I certainly couldn't have imagined hitting the 1K follower mark — I did, this year, on Easter Monday.
- In the earliest days I made music on a demo version of FL, and because I wanted to retain Fruity Soundfont Player, I couldn't save any project files. Once I bounced something as an MP3, that was it. Permanent loss of the project — but the music would ever remain in my memory. I am eternally grateful to the friend who got me an FL Studio licence.
- In the early days I had mixed feedback, I suppose. Many recognised the musicality shining through the lack of mixing. Some thought I had bitten more than I could chew with what I was trying to achieve. Now, however, I have flagship pieces like Mio/Homura EXTEND ver., STORMFALL/., child of the woods, hallowed silence and At the Ends of the Earth to my name. I refused to be underestimated in those earlier days, and I refused to be talked down to.
- On the note of being underestimated: I started using a DAW at all at the age of 20. I never had the opportunity prior, having fled an abusive home and forbidding circumstances. Many take for granted that there are tutorials on YouTube detailing every littlest detail about production. This wasn't the case when I began. There was an incredible amount of circlejerking and flaming; I was pleasantly surprised and deeply appreciative of any and all help I could get, because it meant that others were really seeing something in me that many weren't at the time.
- I was not a very good person in my earlier days on here. I was deeply intolerant of some people. It took a long road of soul-searching and education and walking a mile in others' shoes for me to finally see the Divine in others different from myself. As for now, I don't *think* I'm good, I can't think it. I can only hope that I'm somewhat better.