I was at a semi-local convention recently and was going to sing the above mentioned song…but I didn’t have to because someone else did…ok, I was singing too, from the crowd.
I had to sing to ease the urge to cry…not tears of a negative emotion mind you, tears of being completely seen and loved, exactly as I am.
Now, you may be thinking to yourselves, “doesn’t that happen all the time in life?” but I challenge you to really think about the people in your life that do see you and love you for exactly who you are…If that is everyone around you then I rejoice with you…but for me, that’s come on a little more the long way around, and if I am honest, completely honest, it still isn’t there in all areas…and maybe I’m just paranoid but it doesn’t “feel” like it anyways…
This is a post about a group of people I KNOW, without a doubt, see me, love me and inspire me, exactly as I am.
Four years ago, my friend Giovanna and I, fresh off a year and some change of starting a geek related blog, set our sites on something a little closer to home and attended our first ConCarolinas
We met SO many people that year that I will never forget it! In addition to Gio, I have people continuously in my life because of that event.
It wasn’t even something I noticed at first. Sure, you have the new Facebook friendships and occasional meet ups (I say occasional because I can be absolute shit at showing up sometimes)…but, a little over a month ago, it came in like the biggest, most beautiful Care Bear stare imaginable.
Contrary to every other year I’ve attended ConCarolinas, this year, I attended as a fan only…in truth, I didn’t even know if I was going to show up, much less as press and/or a guest. I didn’t even know that I knew what imposter syndrome was until I realized that my entire creative life was riddled with it. I was spent, creatively…an absolute disaster…but then I thought of all the people I would miss seeing if I didn’t go. So I went.
I don’t know if you know what it feels like to feel “home” at a place that isn’t where you lay your head at night but that’s what this convention has become to me. I don’t wander around, aimlessly looking for the place I fit…I float toward every single person that lights me up…and thankfully, it’s a good many people now…starting with Gio…
WeGeekGirls has been the single best thing for this side of my life in a decade. The friendship that started it has been founded, grown, stretched and strengthened through years of continuing to try and create an authentic and supportive life for ourselves. That has not been easy BUT has born MUCH fruit.
I didn’t have a goal at ConCarolinas this year…I just knew I wanted to see the people who have become like home to me…and that may seem like a small thing but let me tell you that it isn’t. Within this group of people are the ones who see in me what I can’t (or just won’t) see in myself, the people who push me because they KNOW there is greatness in there somewhere and people who don’t except my wallflower behavior because they know that I am more.
For the past 4 years, even in this group, I considered myself an outsider, praying for the day that the door opened for me and I sat at the table with the cool kids…this past weekend, at a entirely different convention, I found out loud and clear that there has always been a seat for me there, I just needed to sit in it.
Con Fam, you have NO idea how much you all mean to me and how much it means to be a part of your (our) family…to know that no matter how I show up, the place is already set and I am welcome.
It SETS ME FREE and I love you for it.
This isn’t everyone but this is what I have from ConCarolinas 2019
To: Gio, A.W, Jessica, Joey, Matt, Wanda, Gail, Larry, Theresa, Darin, John Hartness, the Boris sisters, Traci, Nicole, Ben, Nicole, Jim, Nancy, Sherman, Darryl, Matthew, Jim, Erin, Carol, Tiffany, Jason, Melissa, Drija, Levon, Misty, Todd, Patrick, Carrie, Christine, Bill, John Hairston Jr., Herc, Bernie, Marshall…to anyone I may have missed, I believe you already know who you are ❤
Thank YOU for seeing me, accepting me, loving me, inspiring me and reminding me who I am when I forget. I value each and every one of you and know that whatever success my creative endeavors have, you are a part of it.
I love you all!