Retirement, Whatever That Means
It’s been about six weeks since I retired. Here are the quidditch things I’ve done since then:
- Cried at all the lovely things people I actually liked doing things for told me after I rage quit
- Tried to purge my friends list, might have been a little overzealous, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Gave Tyler a crash course in the practical aspects of being an NCQC TD
- Went to an NCQC event and was responsible for nothing
- Drafted another Snow Cup team, with all the self-doubt and pre-draft nausea that comes with it
- Skipped Next Best West and regretted it because all the fun things happened without me
- Bragged to everyone at work that quidditch is real and on the front page of the Washington Post
- Started learning to shoot with a DSLR, in part to (maybe?) photograph tournaments
You could argue that I’m pretty terrible at this retiring thing, and while you’re entitled to an opinion, you’d be wrong. I hated being taken for granted for work I was doing for free. Work that was aimed at making things better for everyone, not just myself. Work I loved, but that I had grown to hate more. That’s what I retired from.
But the things and people I love… why should I give that up?
I’ve kicked around the idea of coming back as a player only and taking no responsibility. I’ve been taken aback by realizing that I’d be missed. (It’s easy to get so caught up in the negative that you forget the good things.) It’s not off the table, but I’m enjoying the whole not practicing thing. Being quidditch-adjecent is one thing, but going back and playing would put me in Brett Favre territory. Or Daniel Shapiro territory. (Sorry, Dan. I say this from a place of love.)
And not to make everything about the election (spoiler alert: everything is about the election), but if I regret anything, it’s that I was a woman with a platform that ultimately abdicated that position due to opposition that was overwhelmingly male. (spoiler alert: everything is about sexism now, too.) Was it a small platform in an even smaller community? Sure, but it’s still sticking in my craw.
For now, though, I’m enjoying being quidditch-adjecent. I’m going to Silicon Valley Showdown tomorrow, purely as a spectator.
— Elizabeth Barcelos (@BarcelosKnows) December 2, 2016
It’s the first tournament I’ve attended in three years that I’ll have no volunteer role in. How do people even do that? By my second tournament, I was already volunteering as an assistant referee. (Look at me at the 3:50ish mark, being a good AR by watching beater play and not being too distracted by the snitch.)
For all the things I miss and I regret, I am more excited for this weekend (and for Snow Cup later this month!) than I’ve been for anything quidditch related for a long time. Walking away was worth it to #makequidditchfunagain.