I did okay for almost a year and a half...
In the spring of 2012 I decided to stop playing. I didn't want to go so far as to drop all of my RA/EX stuff and delete my characters, but I did cancel my service. To discourage myself from wanting to come back, I sold just about everything that I could and distributed almost all of my gil and semi-valuable items to my friends.
When my wife and I first started playing the game, a stranger gave 100k gil to her 'to help a newbie out' (gogo mithra?). I decided that I wanted to do something similar.
I also remember the good ol' days of running around various zones and PLing random people.
I set out in Windy and the Sarutabarutas looking for a noob. I wandered through both zones without finding a single person. Next, I hit up the dunes, thinking of the old days where I'd spend my time just PLing random groups there for funsies. I was able to find a level 30 WAR without a subjob, so I offered to help them get their subjob items and gave them 200k when they got their last item. I didn't feel like going to babysit an alliance in Gusgen, so I kept looking in the dunes. Eventually I found a trio that seemed grateful for my assistance. I spent an hour doing the healing and gave them each 150k with instructions to "pay it forward". Made me feel good. Makes me wish I would have spent more time helping other people instead of waiting in my mog house for friends/LS mates to log on.
I played the game for more than 7 years and spent ~$2500 on it. I was logged in on my main for more than 717 days (quite a bit of overnight/AFK time in there). I felt that it was time to move on.
I never felt that I was rich. I always had reasonable gear for my jobs, usually the best NQ stuff from the AH. By the time that I cleaned out my mules, and sold most of my stuff for 1/2 price in Port Jeuno, I was able to give away almost 30 mil gil!
But now, I just can't seem to shake the urge to return to the game. I tried to get excited about FFXIV: ARR but it just didn't work. For some reason, the two new jobs really seemed to pique my interest. I spent probably 20 hours over the weekend watching videos of people playing FFXI as GEO. One dude had a 12-hour stream of him doing a marathon of GEO from 46-99. I watched almost half of that stream (before technical issues on his website stopped me), even when he was leeching in a FC PT (not even keying) and was just spamming GEO spells in an attempt to skill up.
I know that I don't have many friends who still play the game and I know that I'm very far behind when it comes to new content and gear, but I still want to play again. I'd like to think that I'd take a much more casual approach this time and not get so stressed about things going wrong.
I've got a beta invite to Elder Scrolls Online which I hope to play with for a bit. Maybe that will satisfy my MMO cravings.
I hope it does, anyways. Time will tell!