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[personal profile] jamesq
I find I'm not missing SCA events. I'm certainly not missing council or tavern. Council because I found over the last few years that I kept butting heads with someone who's simply not worth the effort. Tavern because about half the time I'd go there, I'd find I wasn't actually talking to anyone, I was standing against the wall wondering what was wrong with me.

That sort of social isolation had a habit of happening to me at the big events too. Especially if they were "foreign" events, and I didn't know many people. I've never been that good at meeting people. I often joke that extroverts get to know more people in six months of the SCA than I got to know in six years.

One astonishing moment came when an SCA old-timer told me I was an old-timer, pointing out that I had been in the Society for (at the time) over 12 years. I couldn't deny his logic, so why did it still feel like I was new.

Lord knows I've got a ton of accomplishments in the SCA: Seneschal, first kingdom archery champ, only person to have the Brass of the Minotaur. I'm happy with all of those. But I know I'm never getting anything else. I no longer really serve, so I'm never going to be a Pelican. I'm not a combat archer, so I'm not going to be OGGS. I'm OK with that, because I'm not willing to go through that extra effort. And that's OK too.

None of this is really about the SCA really. I suspect any large social group would have the same problem. Lord knows there's people who've bent over backwards to include me - problem is those people are social butterflies.

"Hey, James! Come sit down!"
*brightening* "Sure."
"Oh, I just saw someone I need to talk to. I'll be right back."
*doesn't come right back*
Funny thing is, this weekend is the first event since stepping down as archery champ that I actually decided that doing nothing was better than going to the event. I haven't been to any events since stepping down, but all the others I actually had good reasons - visiting friends whom I never get to see, being on vacation, that sort of thing.

Aside: That it's an event requiring camping was another big factor. Just not up to camping this year. It's a recipe for back problems.

Related to all this is a weird thing I've noticed. Events that I don't go to? Social media suggests that those are all really good events. The sort that everyone raves about how they had an epically good time. The ones I go to never seem to have that kind of reaction. This is probably just confirmation bias on my part, but the impression is still there. I've had epically fun events, but not for a long time. I feel like I'm trying to catch lightning in a bottle, and everyone else has the knack but me.

A friend wrote:

"Sometimes we get engaged in certain activities or situations to satisfy a need, or benefit some aspect of ourselves. They become part of our routine, and may feel like they DO help out with whatever they're supposed to help out with. But then other needs arise or needs shift, or not enough spoons, and we realize that that thing we're doing is actually taking a toll."
Lots of wisdom there. For awhile, the SCA filled a need - or at least appeared to. Now, not so much. It's not that I'm having that need filled somewhere else, and I no longer need it. More that after thirteen years, I've come to the conclusion that that need probably isn't getting filled. My goal now is to attend events I want to attend, and not have it seem like a chore. It's been a chore for a long time now.

I am planning on attending some upcoming events. Baronial polling? Sure, I'll give my two cents. Hell, when it comes to my opinion, I'm happy to raise it from two cents to a whole dollar. Harvest Feast? Maybe - on the basis that I've never had a bad time at a Bitter End event. Samhain? Absolutely, if only to see a friend elevated to Laurel. After that, who knows.

And I'm going to keep shooting and supporting archery (I've agreed to run a Target Archery Marshal class next week). In fact, I may have solved my chronic injury issue tonight. That being the case, I'll be back semi-regularly.


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