March 24, 2014

What DAN CON 2014 Taught Me About Life

To say that 2013 was a pretty low year for me would be....well, understatement. Drama. Grief. Isolation.

In other words, typical day-to-day stuff for the geek/nerd lifestyle.

So this year, I had resolved to be more social - to actually force myself to interact with others. (Thankfully, a pal's New Year's Eve invitation sweetened the deal). So it was in that spirit that I headed into Dan Con 2014, hoping for a reunion with some Comic Related (and other Chicago) pals that I kept at arm's length through 2013.

Admittedly, it was a bit tough - I've been attempting to reconnect with the things that I enjoy doing, to find the time to follow through. (This blog, in particular, suffered through the emotional sturm in drang of 2013).  Perhaps now that I'm seeing increased activity on the work front (both in terms of a current gig and requests for my time for potential future work), and with a nascent writing career budding, my time has been....well, at a premium.

But ironically....well, this is kind of a bit convoluted, but here goes. In many groups that share my interest, there's this belief that yes, we're all inclusive....but that often leads to groupthink. And groupthink leads to being unmutual.

And quite frankly, I think The Prisoner handled those themes extremely well.

OK, let me see if I can articulate it differently....I had a lot of irons in the fire. Some of them threatened to drag me down, and this year...I made a concerted effort to give up those things which weren't bringing me joy. There was some resistance - not on my part, but when you're leaving a group, sometimes the group feels like you're necessary, when you may not be. And sometimes, you need to ask forgiveness rather than permission.

I've been culling through and paring my life down to the most essential...and sometimes, I wondered if the kind of belonging I craved wasn't within my immediate reach. That the price of being part of a particular group meant feeling that ache of not quite fitting in...that somehow, belonging meant hiding what I truly felt.

Thankfully, Dan Con taught me that acceptance is within reach....and that sometimes, I forget that the people who care about me are not always within my line of sight.

And that maybe, if I'm feeling excluded from some groups - when I should feel included - that might be a sign.....

Enough ranting for today. More fun and joy in the future. I promise.

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