Note: this is mostly addressed to my friends in the SCA, but I decided to write about it here, because I can think of other organizations where it could apply.
A friend is sitting vigil today for her elevation to Lauryl, A recognition of the excellence of work in an art form in the Society for Creative Anachronism. I'm not able to go. In the nearly 12 years I have been in the group, I have never been able to attend a vigil, for one reason or another. But, based on my experience after these 12 years, this is what I would say - please stay.
I won't say I don't know any peers who are still active on the local level, but most of the ones I have seen move up are not. Friends I used to see at even the small local events and demos just aren't around anymore. People who used to teach classes at collegiums or wars, very rarely do anymore. I get that you are busy with your order, with Kingdom level duties, with life; but I miss you.
Also, we have newcomers who do not know who you are. I have always hated when I'm trying to learn something and someone says "You should talk to Mistress such and so." and I do not have a face for that name or anyway to meet them. If part of the reason for your reward is to help and encourage other's, it is really sad that you just are no longer around to do that.
And the people I have come to love and care about, well, I really hate to even say how it really feels sometimes. It feels like you have reached what you were working towards and now you are done and moving on. If you are still involved but only at the higher levels, it feels like we aren't worthy, and maybe we never were.
Stay available to teach what you have learned. Come hang out sometimes, just to hang out. Remember that there are people who like you, even though we don't play to your level. Remember where you came from. Don't forget us, don't ignore us. Please come over to play.