I like playing Royal Match.
Like might be a strong choice of words, though. It’s more that Royal Match is mindless, and usually stops anxious thoughts from circling. In fact, I played four rounds right before finally writing this piece.
I do actually like the game, though.
I remember when my daughter was about ten, and she would play with my phone, asking me half asleep to unlock it so that she could take random selfies to leave for me, as well as play the total of two games on there. At that time, Candy Crush was new and all of the rage, and she would curl up under my arm as I dozed from whatever shift I’d just finished working in the restaurant, and play it to her heart’s content, until she, too, dozed off.
Royal Match follows a similar format, but instead of striped and packaged candies, the game is filled with gems, rockets, propellers, and other random tidbits. The premise is the same though — connect three gems, they clear. Connect four in a horizontal or vertical line, they make a rocket. Five, a jeweled ball. Four in a square…you get the drift. When I found the game, it was from a random ad on YouTube while watching Dr. Pimple Popper — another thing I do to bring my anxiety from a boil to a simmer.
You see the trend.
The last year and a half has been a hell of a transition for me. It’s mostly why I’ve been so quiet over here, and I’m sure you’re probably wondering a. How is this spiritual? and b. How did a game app help you fix what was wrong in your life? Let me circle back to the transition first. You probably remember that the last time we talked, I was telling you about Aquarius and that witch (switch the w with b) Mercury and how her hair was in microbraids and we were in for quite the ride. In fact, I specifically said, “…a deeper purge will push us to discard more and more things that we think we value but that we’ve truly outgrown”.
Somewhere in that advice to others, I forgot to include myself in the mix. Let me explain.
The long and short of it is, I’d outgrown my current life, from the clothes I was wearing, to the thoughts I was thinking, to the business I was running. I will never forget, I sought spiritual council with a good friend and fellow diviner, and she told me (via the divine) flat out, “you need to examine your motivation for (insert why you started your business) really closely.” She said some other pretty soul shattering things as well, and she hated saying every single thing, as she noted over and over, but she left me with, “You got this. This is a blip in the road. Trust me”.
So…I closed my business. Maybe in another post I’ll go into more detail about this, why this is so important to the rest of my story, but I know. You wanna hear about Royal Match, right?
So one of the tenements of the game, and it’s a fairly common rule of games like this, is that it’s reward based, aside from just winning the round. The game itself has levels, and as you progress through the levels, they increase in complexity and difficulty. Some levels are worth more coins than others, with the most complex levels being worth the most coins. And no, clearly there’s no real money in this, but also as with many games, they ignite your competitive spirit. As I started playing and progressing through the levels, I realized that playing the game gave me a birds eye view into how I had been living my life over the past two decades — and it was jarring enough to shift my entire perspective, and, consequently, my life.
Early on in the game, I amassed a ton of coins. As as I kept collecting coins, I didn’t hang on to them. I was doing so well in the game, and I had a seemingly endless bank of coins — so if I lost a round and spent some coins to help me get to the next round, what was the big deal? And then at some point, I ran out of coins. Okay, no biggie, buy more coins, right? Problem was, in real life, I needed to hold on to my real life coins. So I had to wait — wait until my lives replenished in the game, so that I could keep progressing. Some times, I would have other things to distract me while I waited. Other times, though? I had nothing but time on my hands and I was stewing. Frustrated.
I just wanna play the damn game! God, how could everything be so damn hard?
The game was mimicking my life to a tee. You see, starting over is just like this, and I’m in the rebuild part of the transition. It’s the scariest time in the world for me, because I quite literally have no control over what is currently happening. I have a set of divine instructions, and I’ve been following them to move through the levels pretty easy, and everything will feel great and I’ll feel accomplished and on top of the world. Then sometimes…a level will hand me my whole ass, and it’ll take me some time to move through this level. Sometimes, it requires me to put it down, walk away for a second, and come back. It also means that I have to change the way I’m looking at it. I haven’t lost.
I just haven’t yet figured out how to win.
At the end of this is always progression. Some days quickly, some days verrrrrry slowly. I’m always provided with what I need. What Royal Match helped me to fix in real time, though, was how to navigate between the levels. So in the game, you can opt to be on a team. You can do team games, wins, etc. And sometimes, you can ask your team for lives to help you keep progressing. I played the game for three months, on a team, never asking them for help, just stewing and waiting until my lives replenished. Why? Not only did I not know these people, but I don’t know how much it costs to ask them for these lives. Everything has a cost — right?
Spoiler alert: it’s free 99.
The lesson here? Take a leap of faith…and ask for help.
Sometimes, growth, learning, and progression walk hand in hand, and are much more powerful than the biggest check you receive. Through playing the game, I began to shift the way I looked at my own life, my own circumstances. And while it’s far from perfect at the moment, as most transitions tend to be, the one thing I am certain of is that I’m going to keep rising through the levels. I’m going to keep collecting coins.
I’m going to keep winning. I just redefine what a win looks like, now.