One thing I was surprised by was that people on my Friends list I rarely talked to were coming back with wishes for me to stay. I thought there'd be more of a "Okay, good luck out there." than a, "Why? Stay!" thing going on with people I don't speak to.
One that I paid more attention to was a response after I told them I'd achieved all of my dreams, "Just make new ones!"
That's mistaking a goal and a dream. Most of it is up to interpretation, but here's my gist:
Goals take up your time and effort. Making that last million to the stupidly overpriced Amulet of Fury. Making the last 12 million to the stupidly overpriced Amulet of Fury. 99 Cooking. 99 Runecrafing. Get it done, cheer, enjoy your reward and move onto the next. That's what goals are all about. If I want a new whip. Or a minigame reward because I need to make myself better, or look cooler. It's a goal. We set them every day. I remember when there was a Goals system in RuneScape just for that. Set a goal to complete a quest, or attain a level and it counted up progress in a percentage. We still have Set Exp Target and Set Level Target for that.
That's a goal. There's nothing wrong with goals. They keep us active.
Now, despite all of that jabber about working hard for your dreams and your dreams taking endless toil, I don't think it's true. I think dreams are a polar opposite of goals.
That's the word. They piss you off about not getting something done. Dreams are always down the line and you inch closer every single day of your life. When you push it front and centre and turn it into your Next Big Thing, it becomes a goal.
Dreams are the things that sit there and slowly crawl toward an end. These happen most often in the beginning. I'd dreamed of a Godsword at one point. I dreamed of 10 million coins. I dreamed of a Third-age armour piece. My goal at the time was money and I fished for it. Then I turned 99 Fishing into a goal and made money on the side, but whenever someone passed me wielding my dreams, I'd do a mental tally of how much longer it would take to get me there and I'd realised it'd be a while and put it aside.
I achieved them all eventually and I was damned happy about it, too. Dreams have more sentimental value that way. Thinking of getting a nice house is not a dream. Sitting down and realising you have a nice house one day and remembering the moments leading up to it is achieving the dream. You'll see your achieved dreams in reflection when it's over. If you cheer in the moments leading up to it and the moment without looking back.
"Shit, that was a lot of work." is a goal.
"Wasn't I thinking of doing that thing 2 years ago? I finally got it down yesterday." is a dream fulfilled.
What I'm trying to say is, all of this is a load of sentimental, subjective bullshit. Goals can become dreams. When I was working my ass off for a whip, it was a goal. When I got that whip and looked back on how envious I was of people with whips back when I when I was a freeplayer, it became dream. The last couple of days have been extra dreamy!
Sure, I sold a lot of them, just to fulfill more. I got my Opulent table, Marble burners and altar in the chapel, full portal room, 7 or so pets. Owned Godswords, God Wars armour, whips, have fought with melee, range and mage at some point. Got ancients. At some point, I was always envious of people who had those things and I've passed them. I'm at Third-age (it's once piece, sure, but how many are there?), Armadyl armour. I strut around in 85 million gear and at one point, I was worth 110.
I earned it all.
That's why I'm retiring. I'm not quitting. When people quit, they do it because they're pissed. Tired of losing, tired of difficulties, challenges, gameplay. That's quitting. I'm retiring. I'm gonna leave this game happy and fulfilled.
The differences between goals and dreams are very, very few and those that exist are clear as South Africa's rivers.
The difference between quitting and retiring is much, much simpler.