Several months ago, whilst surfing the internet in an ill-fated attempt to avoid all real responsibility, I ran across a blog post that discussed different types of healers. Not the different World of Warcraft healing classes, mind you, but the actual players behind the toon. What makes some people love healing, while so many others would never even consider it? I wish I could find the original post and link to it from here, and if I ever do find it again, I will come back and add it. The idea is that there are some people who will heal only when they have no real other choice (as in, the raid shall not commence without another healer). I see this type of healer all the time, and indeed I think most healers fall in this category. They run the risk of healer-burnout. Another type is that of the come-to healer. They originally enjoyed the DPS or tanking role, and then healed once or twice to help out, and fell in love with it.
I fall into the third category. Always was a healer, always loved it, always will be. I will occasionally DPS in a raid if there is a need for it, but usually I'm happy to let the other healers who are more at risk of burnout take on the task. My first WoW toon was a paladin - pre 2.4, when paladins were very different than how they are today. I was truly awful, but hey, it was my first character.
Then I started playing a dwarf priest. I actually leveled holy. I raided holy. Until dual spec became available only recently, I never specced shadow, and never bothered with deep disc either.
I have a Holy Paladin friend whom I met when I first started playing WoW, and she explained it to me once over a few ales in a Stormwind bar. She said that she had always loved healing, and it reflected her personality in ways that other roles did not. She is a healer through and through, heart and soul. It is the role she aspires to fulfill in both her real life, and in game. And though I did not really excel at healing until much later with my Dwarven Priest, I completely agree with her. I'm not always the kindest person in real life, and though I may often be selfish, I always try to heal everything I can - friends, family, and complete strangers.
I often think that the roles and classes we choose to play in the gaming world reflect the desires and aspirations of our true personalities. Sometimes it matches perfectly with how we are in real life, and sometimes it reflects a deep seated desire - something we wish we could be, something we would really enjoy, if we were able to truly exist and live in this fantasy world in which we spend so much of our leisure time.
I wanted this to be my first post in my new blog (encouraged by Fulguralis) for that reason exactly. I did not start healing so that I would always be invited to raids and instances. I didn't start doing it because I had to, or because one day I was asked to do so, and realized that I enjoyed it. I heal because I've always healed; Because it's who I am, and it may be the only thing at which I truly excel.