Once upon a time I was a noob. I'd see pretty gear and say "ooh, pretty gear!" and then I'd attempt to get said pretty gear. Someone once called me a ninja. In retrospect I should have better explained that the dagger from SM lib was a better stabber than what I had at the time, but they didn't seem eager to listen to reason anyway.
I ran whatever place was fun. La di da dee da di dee da. I'd sing that as I played. Sometimes I'd type it as well. Sometimes with the chat box open, sometimes without. I'd turn right, left, right, i, right, left, right, stormstrike, stormstrike, right, left, right, i,right, stormstrike, stormstrike, right, left.
Or maybe e was grounding totem. It's entirely possible that e was nothing at all, since like I said, I was a noob.
I had a lot of fun being a noob.
Then I started playing 'smarter', researching builds and gear locations, trying to do things in a more optimal manner. I'd know what loot could drop before I went, without having seen it before. Still, for a while this was okay. I could wander about as a mostly noob and have fun.
There was a tipping point. A point when I began to optimize more and more. The fun started to fade. When I didn't get loot, my plan fell apart. When I did a quest at the wrong time, my plan fell apart.
It's a stupid state to be in. It is optimizing just enough to get the negative effects, without getting the fun benefit. I did play 'better', but what's the point of that if I'm having less fun?
I should have gone all the way, immersed myself in optimization, doing everything in a planned, perfect manner. Get this and this and that perfectly aligned. Go all the way. At that point I could have enjoyed the optimization itself. But I didn't go far enough.
Instead I got stuck in the middle. I had some idea of better ways, but wasn't quite motivated enough to get to all of them. I had some ideas of better results, but lacking the ways, wasn't quite there.
Smart people can know they are smart. Stupid people, as a blessing to them and curse to the rest of us, often do not know they are stupid. Incidentally, that's a scientific fact, that generally speaking at low ends of the scale, confidence and ability are inversely related. But I had the worst of all worlds. I was a stupid person given the knowledge of what he was.
Ignorance of one's own ignorance is bliss.
It didn't end there. In Starcraft I'm finding myself loving the theorycraft and tactics and just having this new set of rules to play with. But I'm not so great at execution. My mouse speed and accuracy aren't quite where they'd need to be. I get distracted by shinies. Doubtlessly, time will help, but in the meantime I'm stuck in the situation of being fully aware that I'm not particularly good. I really should just pick a side. I could be hardcore and practice and learn and get it all right. Or I could care less (meaning reduce my amount of caring, not to be confused with the often incorrectly stated phrase "couldn't care less") and clap my hands with glee if I make my first marines at ten minutes.
Incidentally, who else associates the song "Stuck in the Middle with You" with a cop getting his ear cut off, all thanks to Quentin Tarantino?