Jan. 22nd, 2017

jamesq: (Archery)
Montengarde 12th Night 2017 was a good event. Overall, I enjoyed it. First, a quick GBU:

Good
  • Got a decent last-minute deal on a hotel room, which meant I had a bolt-hole I could use.
  • Hung out with some lovely ladies on Friday night.
  • Saw some nice presentations during afternoon court.
  • Wasn't terribly interested in either the rapier tournament (though I'm happy to hear S and J did well enough to get into the semi-finals, and that T had won) or the Meet-the-geese meeting (I've already met them all). Instead, I left the event for a few hours to go to the Woman's March.
  • Following the march, I hung out with [livejournal.com profile] thebrucie and [livejournal.com profile] conejita_diabla at a late lunch at The Guild.
  • Court was mostly good. Watching Kraig and Una step down, and Peter & Bronwyn, jointly (hereafter referred to as PBJ) step up was the highlight.
  • Cookies and conversation that evening were both well-received.
Bad
  • I've decided I simply cannot watch any part of court involving the OGGS. For my own mental health, I fucked off whenever they were called up. More on this below.
  • Had at least one person try to glad-hand me - which is a pet peeve. For reference, glad-handing is something I view as different in intent from merely shaking my hand. Though I acknowledge that they'll look the same to an outside observer. It's like art - hard to define, but I know it when I see it.
Ugly
  • No ugly! Yay!
Meh
  • Some SCA-exclusivity, but for this event, I was expecting it and it makes perfect sense. Still, the feelings are there, whether they're rational or not.
  • Remarkably low amount of snubbing this time around. Partially this was because I actually had some positive, non-snubbing interaction with some of the folks I expect it from, and partially because I simply didn't interact with other folks I expect it from. I may have to consider that I've over-estimated the issue. Confirmation bias with regards to nobody loves me everyone hates me; going out to the garden to eat worms is strong with anxiety and depression. Not currently depressed, but the mental ruts remain.
That I went to this event at all was mostly because I wanted to see PBJ step up. I'm finding that without an archery focus, it's harder to justify going. Mostly that half my friends are in the SCA is what's keeping me going.

Archery Drama

So why no archery? Well, In the immediate term, I wasn't interested in Friday night's archery social because we were having an event at a local hotel! What's the point of socializing there when we should have been socializing there. I mean, I'm happy they still had some archery for the event, even though it wasn't super official. But since I wasn't shooting, why would I socialize there when I could socialize here?

I'm not shooting for two reasons. First, I've been fighting a persistent repetitive stress injury in my right shoulder for awhile now, I want to give myself time to heal. Second, I burned a bridge, so archery practice has felt hostile. Is it actually hostile? eh, probably not. I can be civil.

Background: For several years, I've been kinda-sorta nursing a hope for becoming a member of the OGGS. And then for years, whenever the Geese would gather at court, I'd get my hopes up. And it was never me. Then, early on when I was kingdom champ, I had an encounter that convinced me I was never getting it. That really soured the whole idea in my mind. Later, when I saw others get it, that underlined the point further. While I'm happy that some of those people got it, it was still heartbreaking.

This all came to a head at the previous event, where I encountered the person who convinced me I wasn't getting it, and I told them, fine, don't give it to me. Some will call that burning-the-bridge. I prefer acknowledging-there-was-never-a-bridge.

So now, when the OGGS gets called up, I'm just going to avoid it. I hope those chosen make Avacal proud. I just can't bear to watch.

In a few months, I'll start shooting again. In the meantime, I need to figure out what to do with my Friday nights. Perhaps some Call of Cthulhu.

On People Leaving the SCA

First, I'm not leaving. Just resting and picking-and-chosing which events to go to.

But I did have a conversation with an acquaintance about this and she had observed that there are stages when people are likely to leave the SCA, and what stage you're at informs why you're likely to be leaving.

one event. You had a taste and it wasn't for you. Nothing wrong with that.

three-to-six events. You probably like the idea of the SCA, but for whatever reason, you didn't make any inroads into joining the community outside of events. Really, events are just the tip of the iceberg - so much more goes on below the surface.

two-to-three years. You feel you're not being acknowledged by the community. My acquaintance opined this was because you need to work for it. I would agree, but add that some people simply might not have the aptitude, or they've pissed the wrong people off. That I got through this stage is largely due to becoming Seneschal ten years ago.

seven-to-ten years. You've maxed out your award path, and recognize that you're never going to get that next step. That's kind of where I am now. At this point you need to either accept it, or possibly change your focus. That said, I know a handful of people who redoubled their efforts and grabbed that brass ring. They're rare though.

She also suggested that there was another age, past this, where you have no more worlds to conquer - you've succeeded in all your goals. However, people who are capable enough to do this, are rarely the same people to be satisfied with this.

As I said, I'm not leaving, but I need to think about what I'm going to do in the future. Will I just be a fringer? Will I redouble my efforts simply for the joy of it? Will I find something new to do in the SCA context?

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