Life Update, Musing

Why We Need Conventions

If any of you lovely readers (can I call you readers if you mostly consist of family members who feel obligated to read whatever words I string together?) are somehow still unaware despite my mad twitter activity, this past weekend was Emerald City Comicon–the one weekend a year when Seattle nerds come together to be excessively enthusiastic about things they love entirely too much. And also to fawn over celebrities and wear cool costumes and spend A LOT of money.

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…okay, so it isn’t just one weekend. I mostly just said that for dramatic effect. I’m lucky enough to live in a city where being a complete and total nerd is encouraged, what with four fantastic annual conventions (ECCC, Sakura-con, PAX, and Geek Girl Con), three separate nerd-themed restaurants (Mox Cafe in Ballard, Wayward Coffeehouse in Ravenna, and AFK Tavern a ways up north in Everett), and so many tech/Internet/game companies that it’s actually possible to get hired by one accidentally (that statement may be hyperbole). Seattle is a great place to be a nerd.

That said, even here, sometimes it’s easy to feel like your particular brand of weird is a little too far off the norm. Like maybe you’re too unique, and you don’t really belong. Like maybe you should log off tumblr and go spend some time fishing for lizards on the television, or whatever it is that people without tumblr accounts do for fun.

And that is why we need conventions.

A convention is a magical place, where nothing you do or say is too much. You don’t have to worry about getting too excited about your favorite TV show or talking too much about your favorite book, because guess what? Everyone else is just as dorky about it. In fact, there’s probably a bunch of people there who are more obsessed than you are. There’s probably even someone who spent two years hand-stitching the perfect cosplay outfit for your favorite character, and yes, they would love to take a picture with you. Jackpot.

There is no such thing as weird at a con, and that’s incredibly life-affirming. Weaving your way through a sea of people who also willingly spent $60 just for the privilege of being a wave in that sea makes it impossible to feel alone. It’s not just the vague promise offered by the Internet that there are other people like you out there. Instead, you are among them. They are everywhere. And there are–literally–thousands of them.

And this doesn’t just go for nerds. While I was nerding out at ECCC, my aunt was less than a mile away, running a 15k, surrounded by several hundred other people also running 15ks–a privilege she paid actual money for. Insane? To me, certainly, but to her, and everyone running with her? Amazing.

Whatever your quirky obsession is, find a convention. Go to that convention. Meet your people, and take LOTS of pictures.

You aren’t weird. You’re human. And that’s awesome.

Enthusiastically yours,
M.M. Jordahl

“I’d like to stand here for a while, folks, and allow you to admire my crime fighting physique.” -Adam West, age 85, striking a pose

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