Original date of blog: September 4th, 2015
It’s now been exactly fourteen days since I left clan LOCA, sixteen days since I knew I’d leave it, twenty-two days since I took a step back regarding the clan-work, eighty-six days since I told my ex-clan very clearly for the first time that things didn’t work the way it was going, two-hundred-and-thirty-seven days since it became clan LOCA, two-hundred-and-seventy-three days since we first formed the iMessage group that led to LOCA, nearly a year since I met Juliean95, and just over a year since I met Xenodium. I don’t know the exact date I met them, alas.
It’s been a very hectic year, with lots of ups and downs. Of the people inside the little imessage group we’ve always kept on the side, only two of the six are still in LOCA, and one of them isn’t even in the right in game group (because Mickey is very special ❤ ), so really it’s only Timmy, and Juliean has left that imessage group since about a week, which I suspect has a lot to do with the fact that both me and Turtle left LOCA.
These last two weeks have given me a lot of space and time to think about things, and the ability to relax and think clearly again. In many ways, I was overworked, and overstressed, and both my body and my mind are struggling to recover from that still. It’ll take some time. Earlier this week, Dimi asked me whether or not I regretted my choice, since some things obviously still bother me a great deal and does much more to me than it should.
But it took no hesitation to say ‘no’ in reply to that question, even though I kind of felt like it should be hard to say that. I don’t regret the decision. The level of tension I had in me, the pressure on my shoulders, near the end, I wasn’t even truly aware of that anymore, I just felt completely miserable under it all. So even if we were to look purely at the health-aspect of it, it’s definitely been the right choice for me. But in all other aspects, I don’t regret it either.
One of my ex-clanmates asked me where it all went wrong about a week ago. And in hindsight, that’s all easy to see. The way LOCA was set up, it was a three-way leadership. Bilal did the site, Kjr did the battle-tactics and was the lead unicorn, and I did all the stuff behind the scenes and did the member-management. And that worked. Kjr and I were on the same page for the most part, and agreed on how things should be handled. With Bilal working on the site, we didn’t have to think about the whole technical aspect – that was being taken care of.
But then Kjr went missing in action in the beginning of May, and I had to do his part of the things, few though they were at the time, too. But most of all, Kjr knew all the members of the clan that were inactive in the clan itself, had different channels to get to them. Being the unicorn he is, they all respect him as a player. Since I’m far from being a unicorn, I’ve always lacked that kind of respect. It’s nice when people talk about me along the lines of “she’s a nice girl and we love her”, but that doesn’t actually get me anywhere when it comes to leadership. And in hindsight, I can see that that needed respect was definitely lacking.
And then Bilal decided to leave the clan. So then, aside from having to do my usual clan-stuff and Kjr’s clan-stuff, I suddenly had to figure out how the site worked, how the teamspeak worked, how the heck to switch off that infernal teamspeak bot, etc. I know my way around the admin cp of a forum pretty well – I’ve been foruming for nearly 18 years now, but coding still looks like a lot of gibberish to me and the way websites work is pure magic in my eyes. And in a way, I froze. There was too much to do, too many balls to juggle and too few hands to juggle them with.
The work I had been delegating to other people had been mostly dumped back onto my own plate, either because people left, were on holiday, didn’t care, asked me so many questions about it every time that it would have been easier to do it myself, didn’t care, that basically, I had to do every little thing. Upto the point where I sometimes found myself asking if they required me to wipe their butts too. And I didn’t like being at that point where I said things like that. Right or wrong, it makes me feel horrible to knowingly make someone feel bad.
Kjr resurfaced a few times between May and August, promising to get back into it, but didn’t, until I actually took that step back a week before I left LOCA. And just before then, he got Bilal to rejoin LOCA as well. But by then, it was too late. Mind you, he told me (part of) the reason he was MIA, and it’s a very good reason, but that doesn’t change the outcome of all this.
And, I might want to add that I actually have a real life too, with a full-time job, friends, a grandma I go to at least once every two weeks to care for and clean for in the weekend, have a few autoimmune diseases that severely mess with my energy-levels, and everything else that comes with being a human being and living. I don’t need a full time job running a clan to go with all that.
In hindsight, it’s easy to see where it went wrong and how it went wrong. The (possible) solutions came only by the time that for me, it was already too late, and this was the only possible, the inevitable, outcome. I’m not placing blame – I was there too, and the things I did and didn’t do were my own responsibility. But this is how it came around, as I see it.
The lack of response to my leaving them from within the clan has just been more confirmation regarding my choice, for me. When I told two guys, the day before I announced it clan-wise and actually left, they went ‘yeah, we know’ <– I’m not kidding. That was literally all they said. And these were two that I worked with a lot closer than most. And that just kind of shows the general attitude. There’s been a few exceptions of course, but overall, the response from within the clan has definitely been lacking in my eyes, and with everything I put into that clan, that hurts more than I can express, even if it confirms my choice and even if it was my choice to leave.
So no, I do not regret my choice to leave LOCA. Do I miss the clan? As a clan, no. That’s already changed so much that I can barely recognize it, and only little of the work I put into it is still there. But I do miss the people. These are people I have interacted with closely for well over half a year, and I consider many of them my friends. So of course I miss them. Between having to leave the clan chat because I left the clan, and my forum-account being deleted without my knowing about it, the clan chat being moved to a different app, and thus everyone along with it, it’s kind of hard to keep in touch through anything but the game itself. So that’s a lot less contact right there.
And then there’s my decision to join Phoenix instead. Leaving one and joining the other are in my eyes two completely separate decisions. The difference between LOCA and Phoenix is night and day. In many ways, Phoenix is what I always envisioned LOCA would be, or would become, had it worked. An active, bustling community, where people are family rather than just friends. Where it’s more about having fun than it is about padding stats. Where people can talk about both personal and game related things, and it’s all good. It’s what I had been working towards, and Phoenix has given me exactly that.
The only difference is that I’m not the one holding the wheel, so to speak. And maybe that’s for the best. In many ways, I’m too big of a softy. I want everyone to get along, to be friendly, to be civil. Noble, but in an online war-game, that’s probably not the most probable thing to happen. And where I can’t get myself to tell people to go F themselves, most of my clan-mates can, and will, say exactly that.
It gives a completely different clan-dynamic for me. I don’t have to hold people’s hands, or sort out arguments between grown men. I don’t need to think about people’s feelings (much) when I post something on the forum. If they have a problem with it, they will tell me to my face, and they expect the same from me in turn. And if someone goes after anyone, the whole clan reacts. Phoenix, in many ways, forms my backbone.
Yesterday, I had a day where I wasn’t feeling well, or happy. And at some point, I left teamspeak to go mope by myself because I dislike dragging other people down with me when I get like that, because I know it won’t be solved that evening no matter what happens. It’s just one of those days. I had about five different people contacting me this or that way, wanting to cheer me up, asking what was up and offering me a listening ear, and still respecting my need to not be social all the same. I love that.
Yes, I had that kind of contact with people in LOCA too, especially Buffalo, but these are people that I haven’t had nearly as much contact with yet. And they’re just as genuine, just as warm, because I’m a part of the family. That’s what makes it so special to me. I’ll never take that kind of thing for granted.
But Phoenix isn’t the only clan I feel I need to high-light. Throughout this move between clans, I’ve had a lot of contact with other clans as well, to tell them of my choice, and briefly explain why I did it. The level of support is astonishing. From the people I’ve interacted with most from other clans, I did expect a reaction, even if not the complete support they gave me.
Valiant, Machetelodicoafare, Fanzone, Empros, Legion, Kraken, have all made this change so much easier for me. It’s heartening to have that kind of support in game. And I know that support is for me, and not for whatever clan I represent. So that means a lot and I am very grateful for it.
But the Clan I want to thank especially for it, is Vanguard. It was, to be honest, the clan I didn’t expect much of, because they’re very good at trolling and not taking anything seriously. I made a topic on their forum like I did on all the forums I’m ambassador on.
And they… They stayed on topic and gave serious and supporting responses. It was actually very humbling. And I know it sounds like I’m trolling them by saying that, but I mean it. To me, that showed they understood very well what this choice meant to me, and that it was very hard to make. And that’s not even mentioning the in-game messages I got from some of them to offer support as well.
The topic only started derailing near the end of the second page, and from that moment on, the reactions just cracked me up so much. It went from bad to worse and it was absolutely perfect. Especially when they started commenting themselves that they were impressed by how long they had stayed on topic to begin with. Just perfect, and absolutely lovely.
So, thanks for the support, you bunch of awesome trolls, and thanks for the laughs. ❤