Some people say that you never really get over your fist love. Meaning that no matter how much time has past and how much you've grown, there's always just a tiny space left in your heart for that old flame to burn. This is true for many things, not just people.
I was introduced to the game of Magic: The Gathering when I went over to an old friend's house for the first time in Junior High. He had a small set of what I believe was fifth edition. His collection was so small that he didn't even have enough cards for each of us to have our own 60 card decks. We played a few games, and as I slowly learned the basics and wrapped my brain around all the complex moves and steps, I found myself becoming hooked and spent the next five years begging and pleading, mowing lawns and such to buy Magic cards. Then I graduated from high school and slowly grew apart from all my old Magic buddies. After a few years of my collection gathering dust in the corner, I sold what I had and bid a fond farewell to my once great passion.
Now it's a little over eight years later and I have found myself thrown back into the arms of my former mistress. I am older, but my passion for the game it seems remained the same as it once did. I came back to it mainly out of shear boredom (and the game Duels of the Planeswalkers). I know that's not a very flattering way to rekindle such a great romance, but that was the circumstance. I had lost my job in the early part of last year, and hence became a house husband. I was cooped up all the time, taking care of the house and my young son. I needed a way to get some alone time so I could relieve some stress, and to fill a void that I had tried to fill by writing a graphic novel (which, unfortunately, has not been published yet), so I started researching the game a little bit. I discovered that I had missed out on a great deal, and felt a need to dive in again. I found a local shop, whipped together a deck based on the card Relentless Rats, and started playing again.
There were a lot of changes that took a bit to get used to. The environment had become faster than I remember, and decks seemed a lot more balanced and fair than they used to be. I was around when Urza's block was still fairly new, and everyone that was serious about the game I played against had incredible decks. Even the cards were different, having received a face lift just a couple years after I had quit. But the game at it's heart remained the same, and my heart has been been taken hold once again.
There are some things that have changed for me since my heyday way back in high school. It is a lot easier for me to build the decks that I want to build. I remember trying to trade with people, buying collections from people that had quit, and scraping together all the money I could just to build a deck that was almost there. Now I simply jump online and can find any card that I have any interest in. My decks are almost always there. The camaraderie that I felt with all my old friends is about the same I feel with my new playing group. It has taken some time for me to warm up some of the splendid players that I face, but some friendships take time. I mainly play Friday Night Magic now, which actually was a rare treat for me way back when. My skills as a player I feel have actually improved since then, having matured and become more patient with myself, but I don't feel like I am one of the best anymore. In high school I was probably one of the better players, if not THE best player in my school, and always dominated just about every person I played against. Also, my tastes in decks and magic cards are different now. I used to be all about red. I loved playing red, as well as the other colors, but red was my top. Now I find myself gravitating towards white, blue, and black. I still have a red deck, but I just don't gravitate towards it as much as I once did.
Now I would like to finish by offering some advice to people that have found themselves in a similar situation as mine: have a blast! Don't feel ashamed or embarrassed or even nervous about returning to a game that you once felt passionate about. Relish in it, savor it, and enjoy every minute of it. I say this because you never really know when life will force you apart from something that you love.