Most people reading here already know that I received a writ for elevation to the Order of the Pelican this last weekend at Crown Tourney. It’s been quite an experience! Trying to get my thoughts in some sort of order at this point…
So I knew people were watching me. You take a belt, get in a fealty relationship with a Pelican, you can sort of assume you’ll get some attention. Plus I’ve been in the SCA twenty years, held office at least three-quarters of that time including at some reasonably high levels… I figured people were aware of that. 🙂 Thus I knew or at least reasonably assumed that I was on some level being evaluated for the peerage. I’ve gone back and forth in my feelings about my fitness for that and how much I want it. There have been times when I felt frustrated, feeling like I was working really hard and not being recognized; other times (the best times) when I knew I was doing it for the joy of serving and that was its own reward; and times when felt like I was doing a terrible job at things and didn’t deserve recognition.
Lately, I’ve been towards the latter end of things. I have taken on some projects that were a challenge for me – and I think that’s good, to challenge yourself – but I did it without setting up enough support or asking enough questions ahead of time, and I’ve been annoyed with myself for not completing things faster/better/etc. Long story short, a couple of things I’ve worked on or committed to lately have not gone as well as I would have liked. Good learning experience, certainly, but not a fun way to get there.
Therefore, I was not thinking of myself as particularly ‘ready’ for a Pelican at this point – plus my peer is out of town for work for a while, so I knew she wouldn’t be speaking about me in council. I almost didn’t go to Crown; not feeling a lot of excitement or joy about the process, frustrated at how much work it takes to make it to an event… but I had commitments, so we packed and headed out.
Now, a couple days before the event, I saw another person on the council mention in conversation that she had to be “stunt Nadezhda” (my Pel) which made me… curious. Not expectant, but it raised my interest. And just in case I made sure to post that I probably was leaving before court on Sunday! Day of the event, another herald (also a Pelican) casually asked for a reminder on how to say my name (which turned out to be just coincidence!) and so I… kept wondering. Shortly after the Pel meeting, a third Pelican came up, saying that TRM wanted to talk to me about an award registration but were booked in meetings, and could I stay til after court please?
That last moment kind of clinched it for me, and I had a mini panic attack. Given all I said above about knowing I was being watched, I didn’t expect it to hit me like that – but I freaked out, hyperventilating and tearing up – just overwhelmed with emotion. Went to a friend for a hug… another friend, also a Pelican, saw me and asked what was wrong. I told her “I’m obviously not expecting any answers, but this is what has me worked up!” and she calmly said “huh, I don’t know why TRM want to talk to you!” Very good actress. =D
In the end, I walked around for a bit, took some deep breaths, got myself calm and went to court. I’m glad I had this unofficial warning, because otherwise I suspect I might have passed out when they called me! As it was it was still pretty intense – and funny – and heartwarming – and, well, WOW. Watching Lindis try to say my name will make me laugh for the rest of my life. Looking up to see a friend as court herald smiling at me. Being able to be on the phone with my Peer, Nadezhda, immediately thereafter. All of the cheers and the clapping – for me! – and the hugs and offers of help and support and the incredible feeling of people sharing in my joy – is amazing.
No major reflections right now about about what it will mean to be a Peer, other than that I will strive to continue to be worthy of that rank. But much pondering to come in the days ahead….