I have so much to say right now!! I can go on and on and on and on and on. So in an effort to hopefully gain followers and not bore them to tears I made a choice when I started blogging to try to limit myself with how much I say in each blog post. Today I will not get to say even close to half of what I would like to say. I would like to keep your attention. I have the rest of my life to explain what makes me….me!!
Last weekend was Animeland Wasabi (February 10-12, 2017) and I learned so much getting ready for and at this event. I don’t even think I sold enough to pay for my table but the “lessons learned life-ing” as I like to say, that is worth more than money to me.
I met a lot of really nice people. I hope to get closer with more people I have already met and continue to meet new people every time I do a con or whatever I may be doing at the time. Networking…..to some this comes easy. To me not so much.
I am socially inept
This is not at all an overstatement; though I can think of a handful of people who would argue this fact with me. I am not completely socially incompetent, I used to be much more so than I am now. I am still so far from being socially competent though so let’s not get things twisted .
This is one of my biggest frustrations actually, the fact that I seem much more together than I actually am. Actually, I didn’t even know myself how bad I was at socializing until VERY recently. My whole life I have only had a handful of actual real true, genuine friends. They were never strong enough friendships to withstand the test of time I guess since I don’t really have anyone I would consider a close friend who I know I could count on for anything. I do not have that person in my life and it is very lonely. When my son died in 2011 we didn’t even have a service for him, we didn’t know anyone who would come because most of the people we know are over 500 miles away. I used to say that my own funeral procession would be just the hearse and our family minivan (I still stand by this statement). I didn’t understand why I could not make friends the way I saw so many people do with ease.
I have actually been told quite a few times that I am very charismatic and have a funny personality which (I guess) is how managed to make the friends I have had. Being told you’re funny and charming isn’t very easy to believe when you have no network of friends to talk to or grow with. I used to question what was wrong with me.
Well after much personal growth I have come to realize that there’s NOTHING WRONG WITH ME! I have severe social anxiety, general anxiety, ADHD, OCD and sensory processing disorder true. Also true is that any one of these disorders can cause more than a little social awkwardness. It is no wonder I am kind of a social disaster.
April 2015, this is when I got diagnosed with ADHD, PTSD, Anxiety & OCD. Since that diagnosis and subsequent treatment it has become increasingly clear how deeply rooted my anxiety actually is. After having lived with these disorders, untreated, undiagnosed, out of control for so long I really feel like a lot of people might have given up or would be bitter because they didn’t get to “enjoy their youth”. I do not feel this way at all. I am thankful that I have now been diagnosed and can be treated and learn to live my life again. When you live a certain way for so long and then that way is changed for whatever reason you have to re-learn all NEW coping skills because your old one’s aren’t appropriate. I feel like all my life experiences good, bad & ugly give me a very unique perspective on life and that is why I am here writing this blog today.
The very small amount of time that I have been blogging, I have had so much evolution happening within my brain. The way I think. The way I feel. The way I act. Just everything. It all changes and evolves so quickly. Coming from where I was prior to April 2015 there is no way I would have ever guessed that today I would be where I am right now.
“I was unique before being unique was cool”
So what does this have to do with Animeland Wasabi?
Animeland Wasabi was a very eye-opening weekend. I realized how far I have come socially, emotionally, and just about every other way possible. I also realized and continue to realize just how unique I actually am. It wasn’t always considered that cool to be unique, fortunately for me being unique has become cool
One thing I learned last weekend was that I need to teach my kids to take pictures when they are older. Right now they’re 7 & 4 and can take pictures just not well. Here are the ONLY pictures I ended up with from the whole weekend.
One of the people I met this weekend was a kid who was cosplaying as “L” from Death Note. This girl was so funny. She said she was 20 but I don’t know if she was really 20. For this post I will just call her “L” since I am not even sure what her actual name was. I started talking to her and her friend Friday afternoon shortly after the con started. I met them when they walked by and I commented on their costumes. They talked to me for a while and went on their way. Then they came back and came back. Just to talk and say “hi”. I had gotten to start roaming and exploring the con myself sometime after 3pm. My daughter and I were walking from the artist room to the vendor room to check things out. The vendor room was down this ridiculous hallway with a million turns and I ran into “L” and her friend coming out of the vendor room as we were approaching the end of the hallway. They start to talk to me about the con and how much fun they were having. Then “L” says she wants to hang out with me and bounds over to stand next to me. Then her friend suddenly left and went down the hall. My thinking is that she needed to hurry to catch up to him and so I turned around and said “okay well I am going to the vendor room now” and I walked away with my daughter not thinking anything of this whole encounter. Later in the afternoon “L” & her friend happened to be passing by just as I leaving my table again to check out the rest of the con. “L”decided that she would give me a tour of the con since I hadn’t gotten to see much of it yet.
This is the start of why “L” had a great significance to me at this con. The first thing I noticed is how doting her friend seemed to be. He was trying to make sure she had fun, I guess this was her first anime convention. She seemed to really be enamored by me which was weird. I am not used to having people look at me like I am the coolest person ever.
So on our little adventure, which consisted of walking back and forth between all the rooms in the convention, “L” informed me that I had ditched her earlier when I had run into her the first time. My thoughts… “I did?” So I asked her how. She said when she wanted to hang out before I just walked away.
So I had NO idea that she actually wanted to hang out with me I thought she was just joking. Not that I am not fun to hang out with, it is just I am not used to people going out of their way to do so. I apologized of course. Then I explained to her that I do not actually have any real friends only a bunch of acquaintances so I am not used to people wanting to hang out with me. When I said that “L” replied with “You are kidding right? No way”
I realized in that moment with “L” I CAN be seen as a cool and confident person. Maybe my hopes of reaching people and helping people can actually be a reality!! Maybe I DO have it in me!! I do realize that this was one kid and one kid doesn’t really prove anything LOL. I did have many convos with many people after my encounter with “L” and they all went really well. I feel like I left Animeland with a whole new world opened to me. I CAN do this.
A note to my good friends who aren’t local who read this; you know when I say I do not have a close friendship with anyone. By that I mean a friendship which one can only have in person. The kind where you meet for lunch or shopping or whatever it is adult besties do. I do not have one of those. I kind of miss that kind of human relationship in my life but it is what it is and I will not let that stop me from continuously improving my social skills.
Anyway, to end this blog post since I am very tired and have to get a root canal in 8 hours….we walked around and talked to people, “L” and I. Then I went back to my table and didn’t see her the rest of the day. “L” and her friend DID come say goodbye before they left for their 6 hour drive back home on Sunday though. I thought it was so sweet they came to say bye even though they had no obligation to do so.
My goal is and always will be…….Advocate, Inform, Inspire, Love, and to spread strength and hope to others who are suffering with anything in life. I may not be cut out for a close network of friends but I can still befriend the world.