Dear Brony Community
Dear Brony Community,
I've been sitting on this song for months now, unsure quite what to do with it. Obviously, my channel is gone, I haven't been active in the community for well over a year now, and for all intents and purposes, Crystal Slave doesn't exist anymore – except for a few songs that some of you have reuploaded. I've been completely disconnected from the community and MLP as a whole for quite a while – so much so that I didn't even realize that the series was actually coming to an end.
When I heard that MLP G4 was coming to a close, the news struck me a lot harder than I would have expected. After all, I haven't watched the show in around two years, and any modicum of success I had as CS has been totally erased after the deletion of my channel (again). Initially, I couldn't understand why I was so sad to hear about it.
It took me a while to realize that there's been no proper closure to my endeavors as Crystal Slave, or to any of the wonderful people in the community who supported me. On multiple occasions now, I've left without any warning, abruptly, and left you all in the dark without so much as a brief explanation. Each time I found a way to convince myself that I was doing the right thing, but whether that was true or not, I've never done it in the right way.
It's no secret to anyone who's followed me over the years that I've had my share of difficulties in life, particularly with depression, anxiety, and similar issues. Beyond that, I have a nasty habit of sabotaging good things in my life – whether they may be activities, possessions, relationships, jobs, or whatever else you can think of. So when speaking in the context of my channel – please don't think that that's the only thing I've ever ruined for myself. At the peak of my CS career I had over 1,400 subscribers, but in total I've thrown away closer to 2,800 subscribers on six different youtube channels – some of them not even pony or music-related. Why would anyone do that?
In short, the answer is that I'm an impulsive, emotional person prone to bad decisions and I tend to see things black and white. If something in my life is good, I absolutely obsess over it – until the point where I convince myself it's not good, I'm too obsessed, and that I need to give it up – and then I destroy it completely. That's happened more times with MLP than I can count. I loved the show, the characters, the community, especially the music – and I absolutely obsessed over it. Then, at arbitrary points, I became convinced that my obsession wasn't healthy, and instead of doing the reasonable thing and taking a step back to re-evaluate and perhaps re-order some priorities, I decided to turn on myself and kill my success (and therefore my obsession, or so I thought) in an irreversible way.
I rarely stopped to think about all the consequences that this would have on my followers, or to anyone who enjoyed my work as a musician. When you have a very deflated sense of self-worth, it's pretty easy to convince yourself that you don't mean anything to anyone – even if that's clearly not the case.
It's ironic, really. I remember the sadness and confusion I went through when some of my favorite pony musicians left the scene, even when they offered a detailed explanation on why they were doing so. I remember keenly wishing they would just see things like I did and continue on and persist in sharing their talents with the community. I suppose I never considered myself important enough to affect other people in this same way – that, or I considered it a necessary evil to make things balanced in my life again, even when in retrospect that's clearly not reasonable.
It would be one thing if I absolutely knew for sure that I had to give up MLP and never come back – but if I'm being honest with myself, that wasn't really the case. When I deleted my most successful channel that had over 1,400 subs, it wasn't because I had reached some personal epiphany and knew that I had to do it – it was because I thought someone insulted one of my songs, and it made me feel worthless. In an ironic turn of events, it turned out that they weren't even referring to my work, but I still deleted my channel on the basis that it was too much of a priority and emotional investment in my life – something that admittedly looks a bit disproportionate in retrospect.
I regret the way things have turned out on a regular basis, and to a degree, it still haunts me. What if I had just followed through despite the challenges? What if I saw it through to the end instead of giving up multiple times along the way? But I know such questions are pointless, because I did what I did, and I need to move forward in life regardless.
I think many of us realize that at some day there comes a point where MLP either decreases in importance or sort of falls by the wayside altogether – but that never meant that I had to erase my existence completely and leave you all in the dark. Still, some things you can only learn from your mistakes, and sometimes you have to make the same mistake a bunch of times before the lesson clicks.
There's so much more I could say on this topic, and I'm totally willing to talk it over with anyone who still has questions. Please understand – I'm not uploading this video with intentions to rebuild my Crystal Slave alias or gain back any success that I used to have. That stage of my life has come and gone and I've accepted that, as difficult as it is. I'm uploading this video because I want you all to know that I appreciate each and every one of you deeply, and that I'm truly, terribly sorry for leaving you in the dark – multiple times.
If there's anything I'm trying to accomplish with this video, it's closure. I earnestly hope that some of the people who were confused or upset by the deletion of my channel will end up reading this so I can tell them that they're amazing.
Really, Brony Community, you're amazing. I just listened to most of the latest P@D album and I'm honestly blown away by the level of the talent this community has to this day, after so many years. I can't describe how much the memories mean to me – from the time my IRL friend introduced me to the show back in Season 2 – to my initial induction to the fandom – to having a Brony playlist of hundreds of songs – to all the conversations, youtube comments, and collaborations that have meant so much to me over the years. Releasing songs alongside my friends and idols in the community. Those memories will never go away.
Like I mentioned earlier, I'm not trying to revive CS or return to the way things were. I just want to let you guys know that I still care about you and I think what you're doing is awesome. I'm unsure where my musical career is headed from here, but for those of you who are interested, I can keep you posted. I'm not ruling out submitting content to future albums like P@D – especially if non-pony work is allowed, since that's basically all I do these days. The only thing I'm sure of is that I'm not done with music, and I want to make it an even bigger part of my life going forward – whatever that may mean. As I've mentioned, this isn't the return of Crystal Slave or anything – it's just me checking in and saying “hey, how are you?”
Anyway, I've rambled too long. If you want to get in touch with me for any reason – even just to chat, add me on Discord: Swinkly#1110 I hope you're all doing well and that this message sheds a bit of light on everything that's happened.
Alright guys, that's it for now. Thanks so much if you took the time to read this.
Andrew Clocksin (Reuel Brony) (Crystal Slave)