Talking Back to the Future

5 Jan 2016 by gebhard, No Comments »

fluxDecember 5th was my 10 year SCA anniversary. In 2005, that was the first practice I attended after learning about the SCA from a guild member in World of Warcraft.

If you could have asked your future self questions, what sort of questions would you ask? Discounting what stocks should I pick or who won the last 10 years of super bowls, what would you want to know?

I’ve thought about that a little bit… here’s how I think that would go if I could call back in time and talk to my newbie self.

<ring> <ring>

“Wow, you answered. I almost never answer a phone.”

“Who is this”?

“I’m you, from the future. Ten years to be exact and this crazy trans time communication wormhole mer-bob will last for a couple minutes but I wanted to reach back and answer any questions you may have.”

“You do sound a surprising amount like me, and this is amusing, so go on future boy.  What’s in store? Do I become an asshole or something? Are three ghosts going to visit me on this night?”

“No no no, you turn out fine.  It’s your kids. Something has got to be done about your kids!”

“Ha!”

“Really. Ask me something.  It’s part of how this works. It’s easier to avoid time paradoxes if you ask the questions rather than letting me ramble.”

“Uh…sure. Why not tell me how work is going”

“You already know there is no promotion path for Software developers,  that doesn’t change. You do cool stuff, you already know that. The kids are who they are. I can’t say much on those lines. Ask about something interesting and harmless. You just started a new hobby, why not ask me about that?”

“I certainly don’t want to rip the space time continuum by knowing something useful……So I’m I still doing SCA stuff in 10 years?”

“Yes, and you shouldn’t be surprised. Tell me what you think of it right now.”

“It’s pretty amazing.  I really like the people here. They are really nice and seem to understand my references. They have read the same books and watch the same movies. It’s really great. It seems like it’s somewhere I might be able to fit in.”

“That will never change.”

“You’re saying in ten years, I’ll still be doing the same thing?”

“I wouldn’t say that.  The SCA is a complex place with a lot of things to do.  There are things I… you… won’t know are even a thing for many years. Heck, every now and then someone still surprises me with the awesome thing they gotten themselves into.”

“They have like Knights and stuff in the SCA. Do I become one?”

“You haven’t yet.”

“Ah, so I HAVE turned into an asshole”

“Well… certainly no more than you already are.”

“So what happened?”

“Nothing happened, peerages are a very complex thing.  There is no sure fire way to get in.  The key is do what you enjoy and the awards work themselves out.”

“What awards are there?”

“Wow, I forgot how long it took me to learn about those.”

“Doing things for the approval of others really isn’t my style.  If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing.”

“Pot, Kettle… Kettle, Pot. Trust me, I’m you. I get it. Sometimes a guy comes around to hand out cookies. Someone on each side of you will get a cookie, but you won’t. It will hurt. I know you don’t think so, but it does.”

“Ok sure, there are other awards?”

Yes, in fact you’re going to make a neat chart so you and others can learn about them. While awards might not matter so much to you, they do matter to others. It will take you a bit to get your head around that.  Here is something I wish someone told me:

To recommend someone for an award, it doesn’t matter if you do not have that award. I know you’re not going to follow this well, but recommend everyone for every award you think they should have. There is no downside to making a recommendation.  It’s not like the King and Queen will refuse to give someone an award because you recommended them.”


“I’m not really following you. The King and Queen give awards?”

Pretty much, but they use recommendations they’ve received in order to help them decide.”

“That’s great and all, but shouldn’t we just be having fun and not really caring about this.”

“Yes, but keep what I said in mind.  I know you’ll forget now, but it will pop back into your mellon down the road when this whole SCA thing makes more sense.”

“Whatever you say.”

“How’s the fighting going?”

“It’s amazing.  I can’t believe I haven’t been doing this before now.  I kinda wish we fought with real weapons, but this is so much fun!”


I know right? That won’t change, and I’m going to risk altering space time here, but you’re going to get a lot of advice.  I mean a ton of advice. After you learn the basic shot mechanics like to throw from the hips and not your arms, which is about 3 years away, but the vast majority of what your told won’t help.”

These guys seem to know what they are talking about.”

Yes, they do. For them, it’s all great advice. The problem is you aren’t them. I tried to do what they did for a very long time, 5ish years. It never worked. I’ll let you in on the big secret about fighting – the truth of all truth.”

“This is going to be good. Hit me.”

Fighting is knowing what you do,. Then knowing how your opponent will react to what you do. Know yourself, Know your enemy and Victory is assured. “

“Zag when they think I should Zig.  Got it General Tso”

“There is no replacement for helm time. The pell helps in understanding how you throw shots when you’re stationary. It will help…. No amount of videos, no push-up challenges or workout programs will bridge the gap between you and people that are fighting several times a week. 

Don’t let this get you down your busy you get it, but any time in the list is worthy. Set small goals, and meet them, and set another… you know this plan. Get out there and have a good time. 

Oh yea…put that heater away. It doesn’t work out very well.”

“They said I need that to authorize.”

“You do.  Then put that thing down, and use the style you want to be using.  It may works others, but not for you. Don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t win a tournament with your own style. You’ll do fine. “

Whatever you say.”

On a different topic, switch to natural fibers like linen and wool. Don’t be afraid of wool, it’s amazing stuff.”

“I heard it’s itchy?”

That is a lie from the pit of hell. I fight in it all the time.  It’s so much better than any of the plastic fabrics like nylon and polyester and the once you get into linen, you’ll wonder why you’ve worn anything else.  After you move to natural fibers you’ll be able to stay on this list so much longer you won’t believe it. Airflow, it’s your friend.”

“Sure… natural fibers.”

“I should probably start wrapping this up.  The battery drains quickly, but you’re going to meet some of the best people you’ve ever known soon.  You’ll have friendships better than those in your past. You’ll meet someone very special… pretty soon. You’ll become squire, join an awesome household. You’ll have the world’s best chocolate milk.  You’ll dance and learn to play an instrument…more than one, oh the learning…. I’ve nearly forgotten. Your knowledge of life and life skills will easily see an improvement factor of ten.”

“Really? Like how?”

Do you know where food comes from?”

“Sure, the store.”

That’s going to change.”

“This thing is almost out of juice.  Fight the guys in the group as much as you can, I mean it, sometimes work or a new MMO will seem like the thing to do, but go to practice. Not everyone will be around as long as you think. You’re going to miss them when you don’t see them.”

“I gotta go, but keep being you. Don’t lose sight of the awesome. You’re going to find it everywhere you look… and in a decade that won’t change, unless you stop looking. Man, I wish I could be you. Maybe I can make pull this thing together again in the future.”

I guess I’ll be seeing you… good luck and all.”

One last thing, drink the strawberry surprise, it’s been 10 years and I’ve never been offered it, or have even seen it….Oh ya, you really should stay away from the <click>.”

 

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