Commentaries | The Blog You Were Surprised Not To See Right Away

Madsen
4 min readAug 3, 2023

Frankly, you were right to expect it.

I settled on the choice to go on hiatus after Season 8 a few months back, but I wasn’t really sure I’d actually do it until I pressed send on the message informing the staff of this. I wasn’t sure, because I’d settled on the choice at least four separate times in the past two years — funny how that works.

Most of those times, though, there’d be some reason for me to stick around. Oh, I can’t leave now, we’re onboarding new staff in a new structure! Certainly I can’t leave now, Glicko just hit and that needs dealing with. I was gonna leave now, but — wait, why was I gonna leave again?

The truth of the matter is that dipping out for a bit was always on the books. I’d made a very distinct hubbub in the foundational months of Clarity’s creation about being proactive in preventing burnout among staff (look, I was an…ambitious fella), but whether there was an actual reason at a given moment for me to avoid taking my break, or I simply didn’t feel the need to, it never happened.

This time though, things lined up well enough and I felt comfortable with finally pulling the trigger.

And so, naturally, drafts of melodramatic goodbyes ebbed and flowed through the shitty notes app on my phone — yet every time, I’d stop myself in my tracks and delete it.

Then I’d start anew, trying to carefully temper the gravity I’m assigning to this trivial thing, balancing on a tightrope I’m not used to, and over time I became more and more convinced that there was no reason to write it at all — past my general penchant to vomit words onto a blank canvas purely for the sake of doing so.

If anything, the knowledge that some quasi-profound, heartfelt parting message is what’s expected of me was the best reason I could identify to write one at all: if I spew out a couple of paragraphs, people would know everything’s fine — whereas the “hey, so, I’m outtie” that I opted for instead might read to some as cause for concern. And it kinda did! But that’s also kind of beautiful, that I’ve made genuine friends the kind of which I actively seek out opportunities to meet up with, and who might suppose somethings off because of a quirk in what I do or don’t write in our little goofy chatroom.

Rest assured, everything’s in perfect order. I just wanted to spend some time not worrying about Clarity; a couple of months where I don’t have to be available every day because someone has a standin situation, or internal issue, or wants their roles changed because they’re headed for a different Division from what they thought when registering.

I have a love-hate relationship with…all of that. It’s tedious. It’s tedious because I always have to be “on”, and it’s only so long that I can delay dealing with something. I love that I can be the person in charge of providing other people that same experience that has yielded me the joy that it has, and I harbor innate love and appreciation for the game and the community.

On the other hand, finding myself waking up in the middle of the night because I’d dreamt I was late to hosting a player draft or whatever seemed, er, unhealthy, and made for a pretty clear hint that it might be necessary to chill a bit. It’s a labor of love that has you reevaluating why you do it pretty often, but a lot of people appreciate the energy every volunteer commit to it — even if human nature dictates that one single negative comment might override every positive moment.

For what it’s worth, the real reason that there was no teary eyed farewell is because…I’m not really going anywhere. I’m still around, I’ll probably still be playing, I’ll rant and blog and whine and roll my eyes at whatever it is Ligbank just posted — and I’m at the beck and call of our new staff if they should ever need me.

But they won’t. Not really. I’ll let you in on something: I’m not all that. I’m just great at formatting and seeming like I know better than anyone else what I’m doing. And I am pretty good at that!

And, y’know, chances are I’ll eventually be back anyway to do that. But by then it’ll have become apparent that Clarity isn’t missing out from me taking a hiatus — especially if Marci learns how to underline text on Discord. Then I’ll have become truly useless — and I can’t wait for it.

Cya in Season 9.

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