a ramble, mostly on awards

Investiture was this past weekend.  A lot of stuff happened, but for me, the important thing is that I was added to the Order of the Goutte de Sang (An Tir’s GoA level service award, for out of kingdom folks – they don’t have an AoA level service award).  It was tres cool, I have to say.  Something about having a GoA level award makes me feel like I’ve moved beyond the ‘just participating’ level in the SCA [in others’ eyes] – a nice feeling to have, after playing for nearly 14 years.  And having that moment in court, holding his Majesty’s hands in mine, hearing the cheers of the populace – for me! – was really, really cool.

I have a fair number of awards.  Most of them are baronial level (don’t carry any precedence) and the rest are AoA level.  A lot of this is the result of moving around – you tend to ‘start over’ on the awards ladder each time you hit a new kingdom.  Plus I have often seemed to fly under the radar (held two offices, helped in numerous kitchens, ran gate a bunch of times in the Midrealm, but I don’t have an APF; did three years of artsy stuff in Atlantia, but no ACB).  And it shouldn’t matter, and I wish I didn’t care, but it does (did?) bug me.  I try very hard to let go, especially because this is my home now, not those other kingdoms – but yeah, there was always some bitterness there, and I know I let that be seen more than I should have.

The end result, now I feel slightly embarrassed and like I guilt-tripped my way into the Goutte.    Especially because service awards are generally for service to a specific kingdom – an arts award is for level of skill, so if you show up from a new kingdom and you are already rocktastic in an art, then yeah, if you practice in your new kingdom you’re displaying your ability at whatever level it is at and it’s logical to get recognized for that level.  But service – even if you have a certain ‘level’ of service, or experience in service, I’m not sure service in another kingdom should ‘count’ for an award in a new one.  Basically I’m not sure I really earned/deserve the Goutte de Sang.  I am trying to listen to the people who have congratulated me so wholeheartedly and told me it’s well deserved, and maybe I will get there.

But it always seems to me like so many SCA awards can cause more angst than they do joy; over getting something you don’t think you should have, NOT getting something you think you should have, WHEN you got something, who ELSE got something – etc.  If we’re having fun anyway, why do we get so hung up on the stinkin’ awards?

Oh well.  One way or the other – it’s not like I’m planning to quit serving where my abilities are needed.  So moot point, yes?

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15 responses to “a ramble, mostly on awards

  1. You DO deserve your Goutte! You are always helpful to everybody! You serve in everything you do! No guilty feelings allowed!

  2. Even from the little you’ve mentioned of what you’re doing out there, it sounds like it’s very well deserved *for your AnTirian service*, regardless of what did/ didn’t happen before you moved. I mean, look how soon you became a Principality officer..

    • on principality officer: yeah, b/c i am a sucker. 😉 but thank you for the encouragement. i think atlantia has me sort of jaded on all this; i remember discussion that flowed over to the MR at one point regarding # of years ‘required’ before someone could get an OGD, so having had my 1st antirian event less than 12 mos ago, well….

      • I love my kingdom but we have our collective head up our collective…. in very many ways. ::shrug:: it goes with the stick that’s already up there, I suppose (and you know *exactly* whereof I speak). It can be good, in that my whole “nothing by halves” thing fits with the Kingdom zeitgeist pretty well… but it can be awful at times too.

  3. Morrghan O'Siodhachain

    You have shown a high level of commitment to your new home in the year that you have been here. Never doubt your worth, because it is clear to the rest of us.

  4. Your service to the heraldic community of An TIr, and the especially to that of the Summits, has been invaluable. Your enthusiasm for your job does you great credit and your Goutte was certainly well deserved.

  5. Elizabeth Turner de Carlisle

    Those of us who recommended you feel you deserve it, because you *do*. You care deeply about doing the right things, you want to make things happen and involve other people – you teach, you encourage, and you are quick to serve when you know that you can. Not only are you a Principality officer, but you are a Kingdom Deputy… that is certainly above and beyond anything anyone would expect you to do in a single year in a new Kingdom. An Tir loves and supports you and it isn’t the number of years you’ve given – it’s the quality of the one.

    • thank you! as i said to guenievre, it’s possible atlantian perspective is messing w/my head a bit here… i’ll try to get over it 🙂

    • more comments – i realized last night that half the stuff you describe here is stuff i don’t think of as ‘service’ per se. so that’s a very helpful perspective shift, and makes me feel much less guilty.

  6. You have a voice of enthusiasm and knowledge that is fresh and encouraging. IMO it was something needed here in the Summits heraldic community.

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