It was my third conference in 7 months.
I ended up going to one this past weekend, too. A one day writer's conference near me.
I think I may have an addiction or something.
Non-Con was an interesting experience. As Leslie from The Bearded Iris mentioned, she wasn't feeling great, but was a trouper and came anyway. She had lost her voice, which made for a weird, unsettling time for her.
I had that panic attack going home, but I also panicked when I got there, which necessitated Leslie stepping up and being a great friend so that I could be comfortable and enjoy the weekend.
I cannot explain to you how much of a difference it made to know that I could be completely honest ["Hey, I'm completely freaking out here, and if you want, we can bail and I can sleep at your house or at the airport. Either way, it's fine."] and it was o.k. I didn't have to be the strong one, or the one in charge, or the one who made all the decisions all the time. I could fall apart and it was fine. I had someone I trusted to watch my back.
And the brilliant thing was, this was someone I met OVER THE INTERNET. A friend who knew me. The real me. We leapt past all that getting to know you stuff, quickly dismissing the "I'm just fine and normal, thanks!" that we all [or at least I] put up for everyone else. How freeing is it to move past that? SO FREEING. I can be me and know that my friend is my friend and isn't going to stab me in the back - literally or metaphorically.
Because Leslie was so great, I was able to spend time with her, eating Doritos and watching Stephen King movies - did you know that they made Pet Sematary 2? They did. I think it may be Anthony Edward's finest role.
And I also met people I wanted to meet, and others I didn't realize I wanted to meet. I talked and listened and learned. I heard one person - I wish I could remember who - say that she's stopped delineating between online friends and real world friends because her online friends are her real friends - just as real as the people she sees in person.
I think that may have been the best part of Non-Con - realizing that this stuff? Is valid. We may be hiding behind our computers - and in my case, anonymity - but we are ourselves and we have built solid relationships with people who cheer us on.
Or maybe this was the best part of Non-Con:
|This is going to be the girl's senior picture.|