I haven’t been blogging much at all lately. That has partly been because I’ve been pressed for time. But mostly because the things I wanted to blog about weren’t things I could blog about, because I didn’t want to trash-talk people or air dirty laundry. So the blogging I have done, I have kept to myself or shared with only a very few. Blogging has always been a way for me to clear my head and sort my thoughts, and just because I couldn’t share it with everyone, that hasn’t changed.
But I feel like I have to open up now, at least up to a level, to make people understand the step I took. There have been frustrating things for me in clan LOCA. I’m sure leaders are frustrated with their clans everywhere at one point or another, so that’s nothing strange. But for me, that frustration has build and build until I could no longer look past it.
Leaving LOCA was a very difficult thing for me to do, and it was done with a very heavy heart. As a friend of mine said; it’s like LOCA is a combination lock and I keep entering a code that doesn’t open it. It’s not a wrong code, but it’s not the right code for this particular lock. And when you reach the point that even trying to enter that code just makes you sad and frustrated, and you lie awake at night wondering what else you can try to change the general attitude that’s bugging you so much, and you reach the point where you can’t start the game without feeling nauseous and just can’t enjoy the game anymore, it’s time to do something.
Trying to change things wasn’t an option anymore – that I had been trying to do for some months. Telling people about my frustrations? Nothing I hadn’t tried before either on several occasions. So the choice I was left facing was either leaving the clan, or the game. But the thing is, I still like the game. And on odd mornings, I’d still completely love doing my EMT. I completely love ICE and everything related to it, and I really didn’t want to leave that. I still liked blogging about my tank-adventures. Leaving the game wasn’t the right option. So that left leaving the clan.
Needless to say, that created a giant pit in my stomach. Saturday, August 22nd, the Clan would have a meeting to discuss its future, since I had taken a step back to hopefully be able to get back into later, and Kjr was pushing through some changes now that I had taken that step back. He wanted to talk that over with the Clan. I had promised myself that I’d see what was being said, what would be changed and how, and decide then if I would actually leave or stay.
I had talked about leaving the clan before with a select few people, and I talked it over with Dimi. He didn’t believe I would actually leave the clan. During all this, I had blogged, just in private, and let a few very select people read it, so they’d understand how I was feeling. I let Dimi read it too, then.
He told me I sounded like a needy bitch. It was a slap in the face and exactly the wake-up call I needed. I re-read it, and realised he was absolutely right. It made me rethink other things as well, and omg, I hated that I had been pushed to that point, that I felt like that, that I had become something I utterly hate.
So that’s when I made up my mind. I had to leave the clan. There was no ‘if’ or ‘maybe’ anymore. If I were to stay in clan LOCA, I would continue to feel miserable and unappreciated, I would wallow, I would stay that needy person that I really do not want to be. I’m better than that. Waiting until the meeting to make up my mind would be meaningless, because I already knew what I would be hearing – lot of plans for the future, grand ideas, but probably not what I wanted or needed to hear – ideas on how to solve the problems of now. And even if they did, they would be doing it to keep me, not because it needed changing. So I had to leave.
I first told Dimi, who still didn’t believe I would actually do it, but started putting things in motion so I could join his clan. Over the months he, and his clansfolk, have invited me in a number of times, joking and not joking, and I have been using their forum and ts as a second home. It’s always been fun there, and relaxed, carefree.
They’re the ones that taught me how to enjoy the game rather than my stats. They’ve been my friends for quite a bit, been there for me through the hard times. They always make me laugh and cheer me up, regardless of whether or not they know something is wrong. So moving to Phoenix felt natural, especially after Dimi told me I could continue to host ICE and my blog from there, taking away the last few strings that tied me to LOCA and cleansing me of my worries about that.
Next, I told Kiwi and Turtle. Why them? Because I had actively convinced them not to join Phoenix before but to join/stay with me in LOCA. It wouldn’t be fair to them to leave LOCA for Phoenix and not take them with me, since they wanted to be there to begin with. And I told several of my closest friends in the Clan. Overall, the reaction was mostly that they had seen it coming, and weren’t sure they’d stay themselves.
That hurt. Because I didn’t want my leaving to have that big an impact on the Clan itself. It’s something that I have been working for and on for eight months, something I gave my all. I gave it its name, the meaning, everything. I had great hopes and dreams for it. I worked hard to gave it the respect and standing it now has, and it’s difficult to leave all that behind, knowing it will be damaged because of it, despite knowing it’s the right thing to do.
I decided that I should tell Kjr about my intentions too, before the meeting, so it wouldn’t be a total shock to him. He told me he’d seen it coming too, and regretted it of course, but wished me all the best, and understood why I wanted to say it at the Clan meeting. So he told several people I hadn’t told yet myself. Along with the people I had informed myself and Panda apparently posting about it in the new app they were testing (one of the changes), it felt like more people knew than not knew.
So when Friday came about, I figured I might as well be done with it. I wanted the pit in my stomach gone, wanted to just be able to let it go, wanted to go to my new home and have my new clan tag behind my name in the game. I announced it in the chat, and on the forum earlier that evening. Then signed over command in game to Kjr and left that. And finally joined Phoenix, both in game and on their ts.
I got a crapload of messages in the game… From people in other clans, noticing instantly that my clan tag had changed and wondering wtf. LOCA itself was a lot slower to react. In the clan chat, people were responding gradually, but as people don’t read back, some didn’t even notice I was leaving. On the forum, where the overall population exists of tumbleweed, no one had read it yet. Then, about an hour and a half after I had announced my departure in the clan chat, I got told that I had to leave the clan chat. Auch. That felt like a big dagger straight in my back, considering so many people hadn’t yet checked in. And this was never the case with others that left the clan, especially not so soon. So, auch. A lot.
In the mean time, Phoenix and all its people were doing their best to cheer me up, because they understood that this wasn’t easy for me in any way. The welcome there has been not just warm, but hotter than the sun. Aside from being glad I was joining them, the general consensus was that I’ve always been a part of them to begin with but just had the wrong clan tag.
There are still some practical things to take care of, and thus it can’t really be a clean break. Not that it could ever be that, though, to be fair. LOCA was a clan I spend eight months with pretty intensely, and regardless of the frustrations they gave me, I did admire all of the members and could call most of them my friend (the exception being those that were never active within the Clan, since I didn’t much talk with them). I was their mother hen, they were my chicks. That’s not something that just fades away. It’ll take time.
But in a way, they are making it easier for me, unintended though it might be. They had their meeting last Saturday, as planned. They’re changing many things about LOCA, even the meaning of its name, and that’s just a detail. The whole direction has changed. I left it last Friday, but it’s already not the Clan I made anymore, and I’m finding it hard to recognise my work in it anymore. And maybe I shouldn’t try. It’s no longer my clan, and it’s not my home. Several of the people I got along with so well have left it too, so that even the family I left behind partly isn’t there anymore. But I wish the Clan all the best, and everyone in it too. I hope their new direction takes them where they want to be, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll miss me and all I’ve done a little.
Me, I’m currently decorating my new home with lots of blogs, settling in very comfortably. It’s strange to be able to relax, to just have fun, to laugh so much. Last night, my biggest worry was the mosquito in my room (still haven’t found the little bugger, but he did find me!). It’s a very welcome change. I tanked for the first time in over a week. And I enjoyed it again!
And my new clan, my home, it’s all absolutely wonderful. The community is active on the forum, I’m getting feedback, reactions, and so much laughter. I’m being appreciated, even though I’m not even doing anything yet. I’m being appreciated and loved for just being me, for just being there. It’s actually quite humbling, and it’s made me so incredibly happy and grateful. I’m happy I made this difficult choice. I’m truly home now.