Let Your Dreams Be Your Guide #NiGHTS20th

20 years...

For both me, and him. I don't know what exactly made me fall in love with this game series, so quickly. Unlike most people, I discovered it through Journey of Dreams, on Wii. It was back in 2008, right around the time where my life started falling apart, and to this day, hasn't stopped falling. When every single waking moment is a nightmare to you, the feeling of sleep and shut down becomes the most desirable thing to you. But when I slept, when I dreamed, when I met NiGHTS in his Dream World, he didn't make me feel nothing. He made me feel alive.

Never before, have I been so immediately drawn into a world. Never before, have I cared so deeply about a group of characters, from another world. I saw their stories. Their ambitions. Their struggles. I wanted to be there for them. Just like NiGHTS did. He was there, for all of us. Even now. Even if you haven't played the games, or even know who he is, NiGHTS isn't just some purple jester character, inside of one of my favorite video games. He's a spirit. A guardian. An idea. A light. Whatever you dream of, whatever brings you your courage and strength, whatever gets you through each and every night, THAT is NiGHTS.

The way it works, is that you can visit Nightopia, as long as you have at least one of your ideya, remaining. Courage, Purity, Intelligence, Growth, Hope. As long as you have one of those, you can meet NiGHTS. And he'll help you regain the 4 that you've lost. Think of that, for a moment. In order for NiGHTS to even help you, in the first place, you need to help yourself, first. You need to hold onto one of those 5 things, and have the desire to reclaim them all. He supports you, every step of the way. But he makes sure you know the importance of caring for yourself, before seeking help and care, from others. I've always been my absolute least favorite person in the entire world. And during those times where I'm REALLY down on myself, where I feel I have nothing, I don't see NiGHTS. But as soon as I'm ready to get back up and work towards bettering myself, again, he appears. He's always the second person there, for you. Second, after yourself. And he always makes sure of that.

While I still aspire to be more like him, me and NiGHTS already have a lot in common. We both love purple. We both have our genders confused and questioned, by people on the Internet. We both wish to help others. And we both come from bad families, that makes it difficult to do so, at times. There are some curses that can't ever be ridden. There is history that won't ever be erased or forgotten. And sometimes it will reappear, and try to grab you, and drag you back down, into the darkness that you know far too well, and have already spent so much time, drowning in. But you don't need to suffer there, anymore. There are people you've met, along the way, who have no involvement in that dark history. Even if they discover it, it doesn't change or eradicate all the things you've been through, together. They'll help you get out of there. The darkness won't ever leave you, but you don't have to look at it. Not when you have so much light on your side, now.

NiGHTS and I have been through a lot, together. All the horror and torment he's seen me go through. All the sleepless nights. The celebration of his 15th birthday. Gathering dreamers from all over the world to celebrate his impact on the world. Making noise and showing love for him, in hopes of having his story be remade and re-released, for a new generation to experience. And SUCCEEDING. I'm very grateful to have witnessed so much of his history and legacy. Even though we were born, alongside each other, and we grew up together, and din't meet eye to eye, until 2007. It was fate, that brought us together. And it was love, that kept us together, to this day.

He raised me. He taught me. He saved me. I'll always be grateful for everything NiGHTS has given me, as well as countless dreamers, all over the world. For allowing me to rediscover myself. For helping me believe in myself, again. For introducing me to people like TRiPPY, DiGi Valentine, and Dex La Cabra, who have supported and inspired me, more than I'll ever be able to fully express. I'll never forget all that you've taught me. How to protect my dreams and to never give up. How to not fear hatred or laughter, and to not become anyone's puppet. And most importantly, how to be there for others, and to spread your message, until one day, the entire world will be in harmony, with everyone's dreams, coming true.

"Don't be afraid to explore the world and show everyone your full potential. You won't know until you try. If you ever get lost along the way, let your dreams be your guide."

Happy Birthday, NiGHTS...

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