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CSM9 to 10: First Pensive Reflections

Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted. One moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?

This moment between the voting ending and the election results is a lovely one. I’ve watched with a soul aching sadness as things said and expressed are written off as the wiles of a politician seeking office and saying what needs to be said. It is painfully hard sometimes to be myself when that self is dismissed as a ploy for reelection.

People run for the CSM for different reasons. It is something that I have said many times over the term and it is something that I have said to myself. It comes up when I look at the motivation of others and also when I look at my personal motivations. I ran for the CSM for dozens of reasons large and small but mostly so that those who were least heard would have a voice. At the time in my understanding it was low sec but as the year has gone on its become less about one thing and more about the concept in general.

I didn’t know what I was doing. I hoped that I could get things done. I was told that the position would make me bold and confident and an extrovert. I looked around for the bold, confident me. The one who would step out with assurance, oozing charisma, totally at home with having a title and position. I've waited a year for that person and I don't think they are ever going to come. After all this time I find that I'm still me. It isn’t a terrible thing. I’m quite used to it. It isn’t what everyone wants. I’ve learned that the CSM and its members are often seen through the individual's personal, political filter. That is not a filter that I fit into very well and I cannot apologize for that. I’ve only had myself to give to people.

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime 

The CSM is about opportunity. It is about potential. It is not something that anyone gives you. It is something that you reach out and take to do with as your motivation leads you. That is how I saw it and once I was elected, and once I had started to learn how the CSM worked, I consciously gave up other things to devote my time to something that I’d only have one opportunity at doing.

The credit goes to my voters. I’ve sat here and pondered the meaning of these things. The meaning of having almost two thousand people place their trust in me. I’ve sat here and wondered if I was repaying them properly. If I was doing enough for them and what I could do to show how much I appreciated the chance given to me.

I'm not afraid 
To take a stand 
Come take my hand
We'll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you're not alone

Eminem’s not afraid was my personal theme song for my CSM9 election. I was often nervous and worried  but I tried to push past that. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn’t know what I was getting into. I just knew that I had to do things. I had to try to do things. I had to take my time and energy and figure out if I could effect the game and if my vision of bringing the player closer to CCP would work. It’s been a mixture of successes, failures, and stalemates. I’m glad that I am familiar with the burden of knowledge for the weight of it drags. I know that I have not been able to accomplish everything everyone wants. I have tried and sometimes there has been success and other times there has not been. Working in a situation where there is no control involves creativity and energy to get things done. And the outcomes are not always seen. That again is the weight of knowledge. I have to be happy with what I have done even if people are not because I cannot share with them.

I’m okay with that.

I understand why CSM members burnout. There is more ugliness then I’d like to think about. I am often startled at how angry people become. It is the one side of the CSM process that I have not been sharing. Some of that is just concern that it would be seen as whining. After all, I did this to myself. Then there is the fact that it would be easy to sink into it. More than once I’ve had to step back and stop myself from stepping over that line. And almost every time I have come near that edge of drowning in the darkness laid before me I’ve received a kind word. A message. A note of thanks. I have tried to thank each one of you who has taken that time but I thank you again. Every time I’ve wanted to be angry or sad you have reminded me of all the good things.

I have not accomplished as much as some people feel that I should have. They’ve told me so. I can only say that what I have done is not yet finished, reelection or not. I have not been dumping your words, your hopes, your dreams, or your desires into the void. My methods may not appeal to some but I do what feels right to me. I try simply because I am in the position to do so. One piece of advice I was given when I ran last year was to ignore individuals and only go to large leadership so that I could get the most votes.

I ignored that advice.

I often worried over the course of the term if I was doing okay. Getting feedback about my activity levels, my communication efforts, and the things I came up with to try to live up to my vision was not easy to find. I felt a bit the beggar when it came to looking for feedback and eventually just stopped trying and hoped for the best. That made the steady flow of positive reviews a relief. If a bit of an overwhelming one. I then started to wonder if I could live up to a reputation I didn't even know that I had when I decided to run for CSMX.

I stopped worrying about it and made plans instead.

Next week we will know if I get to move forward with doing CSM things. I have a growing list already as well as things that are currently in the process. If not, I have things in game that I want to do and try. I’ve not made 100 billion liquid yet. That is still a deeply, driving goal.

I think I may work on a ‘things I accomplished’ list or something at a later date. For now, thank you for coming on this ride with me. I've appreciated the company. You've made it worth the time and well worth the work. We’ll see if we do it again next week.

Quoted Lyrics from Eminem "Lose Yourself" and Eminem "Not Afraid" 


  1. Like a mightily river no matter what effort humans expend fate will run its course.

  2. Didn't know you before the CSM, but I think we've all benefited, in ways big and small, based on your participation. Regardless of the election outcome, you made a positive contribution and should feel proud of having done so.

  3. Sugar, the fact that people like you, Mike or corbexx run for CSM and reach to be there is one of the last hopes I have for EVE. That's no little feat provided how bitter I've become over this game and its future, and the meaning it haves for me to have invested so much in a endeavour which has flopped so horribly.

    Your approach is the right one IMO. Talk to the players one by one, and just let the cartels sort their own business as they've always done, and they'll always do. They are just a part of the player base, the visible tip of the pyramid. But there's no pyramid without all the thousands who play the game for their reasons, often overlooked and ignored. CCP won't engage those silent masses and so they will not speak in other way than moving out of game.

    The few individuals who take on the job of enquiring and listening to those silent masses are one of the most precious assets CCP haves to keep EVE healthy and stay in business.

    So, good luck and hope CSMX wil not burnout you... much.

  4. Sugar, you are the hardest working member of the CSM - that's why I endorsed you and encouraged others to vote for you. I'll be shocked and disappointed if you aren't re-elected - but you will be, I am sure of it. Thanks for all you do for us in the EVE Online player community. Much appreciated.

  5. I think you meant lonely here: This moment between the voting ending and the election results is a lovely one

    I see that it's been tough but let me add my voice to the others who are enormously grateful for what you've put in.

    You had office during a difficult year - the transition from 2 expansions a year to 10 did not help communications and some of your colleagues seem, quite frankly, to be drama queens. (Or should that be kings as they're men?)

    Good luck on the election and please see it as the thanks and appreciation it really is when you get re-elected.

    1. I mean lovely. Its ipen. And free. Voting is done. I can't ask for more. Results atr not announced. Its as close as I can get to having a moment when there are no political motivations.

      Even when I am done people will accuse me of wanting to run again and manipulating opinion to be favorable. That is the lonely part.

  6. Your honesty is beyond refreshing. Some people might see it as some sort of a weakness. Those people are the ones who don't understand what politics should be about. Don't change a thing.

  7. Thanks for al you've done for low-sec and for the game in CSM 9, and I look forward to what you'll do with CSM X (I'll be shocked if you don't make it).


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