It has been my habit the previous trips to Iceland to walk through my day in this blog. I did it for the simple enjoyment of writing about my adventures and struggles in a strange land. But, I also did it for accountability.
The accusation that the CSM is a popularity contest so that the winners can take free trips rankles me. It pisses me off. But, I cannot figure out how to counter it. I could sit back and say that I have the money to travel. That makes me look an arrogant braggart. I could point out that I use up huge amounts of my yearly allotted vacation, but that makes me look the whining martyr. And then, those can be countered by telling me to remote in if it is such a burden. The insult and accusation is well done. It is a slippery trap that I firmly step into and as with many such traps, there isn’t an answer that will render it inert. Even my sad little point that, I’d already been to Iceland for Fanfest before i even ran didn’t make much of a dent.
Instead, I decided to fall back on honesty. Maybe if I pulled the curtain back, people would understand what was inside. The trip is very interesting. I do find it pleasurable to meet with CCP directly and discuss the game that I have been so passionate about. I’ve been as much of a fangirl as anyone else. But, the trip wasn’t why I ran and I don’t actually think anyone thinks that is the reason that I ran. It is an easy and piercing insult. In these days of causing as much harm to others as possible, why not use it?
For three summits and one Fanfest trip I religiously documented my time in an effort to bring transparency and open honesty to the process. Some of it was a suprise to me. I’d not expected the long days and short nights. The cold walks and quickly consumed meals. The mental gymnastics to talk, focus, take notes, and attempt to be a voice for as many people as I had the privilage to represent surprised me in its exhaustion. But, I hoped that somewhere there was a hint of humor and passion and a bit of amusement and sharing in my day.
I entered this Summit in the darkest mood since my term started. In January, I was so deeply angry that the idea of picking up the CSM, throwing it away, deleting Eve and all my Eve related social media and walking away from it all had all but consumed me with its allure. I had nothing positive to say. Venom and anger and bitterness consumed most of my thoughts. I stopped writing. I stopped talking. I looked at the situation that had become the sum total of my existance and I dispaired.
I wondered why I had given everything up. I no longer had a corporation. I no longer had much of a game. I had convinced myself that it was okay if I did not play for now because the CSM was not forever. If I were to focus all of my time and energy into the CSM aspect of my Eve existance I’d be able to say that I had done everything that I could. In a way I could not justify my own gameplay. I felt negligant to my duties and the possibilities and potentuals if I were to turn someone down because I wanted to go do something that I could do at another time.
It is very much my own fault that I found myself in the place that I was at. In ignorance, I had stripped myself of much of my support and the solid foundation for my work. It left me screaming into the darkness and my energy spent fighting a battle that was going no where. In fact, it seemed as if I was slipping faster and faster into irrelevence and fettered uselessness.
I debated not going. I debated it strongly. I’d wander around the house and think about it as I went through my day. I read up on boycotts. I pondered the meaning. In the end, I decided that angry or not, disparing or not, unsure as to what the summit would bring or what I was there for, I should still go. I should go because to many would not understand why I didn’t go. I decided that I would betray everyone who didn’t care about problems between some parts of CCP and the CSm. They’d not care about the concerns and struggles about the CSM’s place in CCP. They’d just want me to do what I could and it’d more or less anger them that other, less fathomable things that we had quietly been struggling with for months had taken precidence over the duties that they wanted me to try to preform.
But, anger taints everything. The travel plans for the Summit came extreamly late. For me, an obsessive planner this detail put me on edge. I do not fly be the seat of my pants. I’d never pack up and just go someplace and let things work themselves out. Last minute things leave me taunt and unbalanced and worried for I have no time to make a back up plan.
Also, the logings were not booked as smoothly as I’d like. Due to a lack of room, we were not staying in a hotel. Instead, AirBnB was called upon. I found myself having to sign up for an unfamilar website to contact a young lady whos apartment I would be staying in for the week.
I’m a deeply personal person. I don’t stay at other peoples homes. I don’t invite people to my own. I am comfortable in hotels bcuase they are richly neutral. Like a resteraunt, it is clear that you are not infringing on them. Things are done in neat scheules with rules. Now, I was staying in a stranger's home. I’m writing on that stranger's kitchen table staring in horror at the ring my tea cup has made that I will shortly clean up.
Really, my inner turmoil made the entire thing harder. I’d have found it hard even if I was calm. But, I was not calm. I was on an emotional rollar coaster full of doubt, rightiousness, anger, and wistfulness.
Somewhere in the middle of everything, I just wanted everything to be better.
And that started to happen.
The week before the Summit, as we changed coordinators has been one of very mixed emotions. Suddenly, into my turomoil was thrown hope.
And hope is what I came to the summit with. Hope wrapped in caution but hope still.
The Summit has been productive. There is good and bad. There is a lot of good. The bad is not horrible. It is just the fustrations of having an agenda and having to fit that agenda into that of CCP’s. It doesn’t always work. While, I understand it, it is still fustrating. And I must walk the path of productively channeling that fustration while knowing that I am not going to finish everything that I want.
But, what the Summit gives is face time with CCP. It is easy, when there is only a screen and a blocked path of communication to lose track of the individual humanities that make up CCP. CCP is a company and as a company CCP has much responsibility. But, CCP is also individuals. And those individuals are not all CCP. As I have asked them to see me as a player and not the CSM so I must give to them their individuality and not just see them as CCP.
I consider myself comfortable with communicating over the internet. I met my husband online thirteen years ago. We communicate by chat client when we are not in the house together. But, sometimes I pick up the phone and call him so that I can hear his voice. So that I can hear him say hello to me and his puzzled worry that i am calling instead of sending a message. It isn’t often that I do this. some days i Just need that extra link to him.
It is something that needs to be rembered when it comes to interacting with CCP the company and CCP the people. And its a delicate balance. For, we come to them from the CSM as both company and person. And they come to us as both person and CSM. That awkward linkage can create such amazing things and spawn horrific fustration and anger.
The last four days have been productive. There has been a lot of honesty. I’ve clenched my fists and cried, “We can’t keep going in this circle.” And, we can’t. We can’t keep term after term having these barriers and problems. We can’t struggle with accountability and double standards. We can’t keep behaving in this limbo where we are a real thing but not real enough to earn all of the structures that we need to fufill our potentual, to be productive for the entire term, and to work on this game that we love enough that we’ve all been brought together in that room.
I’m not the person that I was two years ago. I regret that in some ways. I love some of the changes and expierences. It isn’t something I ever imagined. But, I hate many other expierences and I wish that standing in this place did not come with everything that it does. I don’t understand a lot of the whys to things that have happened. There is still so much to think and reflect on.
I do believe that I have tried. I’ve given you everything that I have and I have no left overs. And well do I now understand that even your all sometimes isn't enough. Such seems to be the inevitable nature of the thing.