I can tell you exactly when it happened; when the decision was finally made.
When I finally called time.
I was doing my regular freight run from [PHP1]'s heartland in Rilera, my Impel station-keeping next to a silo waiting for its contents of exotic metals to be loaded into the hold. I was passing the time: a cutting-edge playlist on the audio, multiple comms channels open, a seriously ancient Aridian literary classic on quickscan. None of this existing in physical form since I'm jacked-in.
The NEOCOM chimed (in my head again, because I'm jacked-in) with the arrival of a message from the boss. It was a sitrep, a rallying morale-booster for the troops. For me it was the fork in the road.
[PHP1] has multiple POS silos in Rilera so I visited them all in turn, emptying them, ensuring a full hold because unused hold is wasted ISK. Quantum Leap's stately progress between POSes gave plenty of time to think about how it's been for the past year-and-a-bit.
When I first joined [PHP1], I was horrendously inexperienced, even naive. I was recruited in unorthodox fashion, by being ganked in Tegheon by Gettosmurf, who operated on the premise of 'if they can't beat you, invite them to join you'. Later on he gave me a Daredevil frigate and asked for nothing in return.
I still have that Daredevil.
Between then and now, with Outdated Host Productions, I learned how to actually function as a capsuleer instead of how the books tell you to. I now know that I was incredibly lucky in the sense that the first independent capsuleer corporation that I joined after graduating from Hedion University was a fundamentally good one. I hear so many horror-stories of inexperienced capsuleers being robbed, shafted, exploited, ruined by badly-run outfits with criminal agendas.
I have had no bad experiences in [PHP1].
Being a pacifist in a combat-focused corporation and alliance was always going to be problematic in the end though, and I can't justify it anymore. Khanid space has evolved, [PHP1] has evolved, and so have I. Our paths have diverged in what is just the normal cycle of capsuleer evolution and the way of the universe.
Somewhere between Rilera II and III, I made the call.
Time to move on.
I already know where I'm going. I've heard the signal...
So from now on the journal will be less about regional capsuleer politics and more of a return to exploration, discovery, and documenting the weird and wonderful sights of the cluster with Signal Cartel.
Here's the thing: change is constant and nothing ever stays the same. To any newly-qualified capsuleers reading this: a year from now you won't be doing the same thing that you're doing now, and it probably won't be with the same group. You won't be living in the same place because the life of a capsuleer is semi-nomadic. You won't even realise the change is happening.
I didn't know this time last year I'd ever contemplate living in the northern part of Genesis where Signal Cartel has a base. In fact I didn't even know last month.
This is how it is.
Now I've got a big move op to coordinate...