bedlamsbard: star wars: young Obi-Wan fighting Darth Maul (duel of the fates (forestgraphics))
[personal profile] bedlamsbard
1. I've been in a godawful mood for the past couple weeks, ever since Celebration -- well, ever since before Celebration, really, and if I want to be honest about it I'd have to say since last year's Celebration, since that's when things began to spiral from "pretty okay" to "outright awful all the time." (Even if they weren't awful all the time, that's how most of the last year feels.) I'm slowly trying to get to the point where I can think about or look at anything relating to Celebration without feeling either really angry or really sad, which have been my two default emotions for a few years now, and I'm not there yet but I may eventually be. I did stumble across this recap by Eleven Thirty-Eight, and it's surprisingly gratifying and validating to find out that I'm not the only one whose primary emotion associated with SWCO is anger, because I've been struggling a lot with the fact that I didn't have the same fantastic experience a lot of people I know did.

2. Bring on Star Wars Celebration Mystery Location 2019, because I would like one Celebration where my memories are primarily positive rather than negative -- SWCE last year was really good, but everything that happened afterwards was a complete disaster, and my memory of the con itself is completely tied up with my ex.

3. One of the issues I had with SWCO this year was that I ended up feeling like I hadn't networked enough beforehand, which was completely baffling to me because normally ~networking isn't something I really associate with fandom. But I guess part of that was also that I've been relatively closed off for the past year because emotionally I've been such a mess, and I wasn't really open in public about the fact that I was going to SWCO at all because it was such a late decision. And, what's a major factor, is that my closest friends in the fandom weren't there. Star Wars is such an odd fandom, though, compared to a lot of my other fandom experiences -- you have your artists and your podcasters and cosplayers and your style bloggers and your regular bloggers, and your fan clubs, and the collectors and the 501st and the Mercs and the Rebel Legion, and as a fic writer a lot of the time I feel like I'm standing off to the side of the fandom. And I think that feeling of being a complete outsider right now is part of the reason that I'm starting to poke seriously at parts of the fandom that otherwise I'd be content to admire from outside.

4. I can't deny the fact that every time I think I'm all right with looking at someone else's write-up of Celebration there is, with completely no warning because they're always on blogs she used to tell me she hated, at least one picture of my ex. (Okay, not every time, but it's happened on several occasions.)

5. There was a really transcendent moment last year at SWCE that I never got this year at SWCO, which was actually the day before the con rather than at any point during it. I'd gone up from [personal profile] aella_irene's place to make sure I knew the trains I'd have to get on in order to reach the ExCel, and also to pick up my badges and scout out the general area. And I'd got all the way up there -- this was maybe half an hour to forty minutes in transit -- before I realized I didn't have the confirmation pages I'd printed out, but they would be in my e-mail. Fortunately there's a Starbucks right next to the ExCel, so I went in there and got a muffin and a chai and got on the wifi so I could get at my e-mail. So I was sitting in Starbucks for a while, and all the time there were people arriving -- a lot of people who came for the con were staying in hotels near the ExCel, while others were there for the same reason as me.

Star Wars is the kind of fandom you can wear on your sleeve -- literally, I mean, there's an amazing variety of Star Wars t-shirts out there -- and people came in with their Star Wars shirts and their Star Wars bags and their Star Wars suitcases and their Star Wars tattoos and their Rebel Legion and 501st patches and it was just...look, coming out of online fandom, and especially coming out of online fandom in a small town -- all that can be a very lonely thing. I never went to any cons in New Orleans; SWCO was my first ever. And being surrounded by that much love for Star Wars was...a lot. In a way that I hadn't expected and wasn't prepared for, and nearly brought me to tears.

I never got that moment at SWCO -- in fact, at SWCO I ended up feeling like I didn't love Star Wars enough to be there, and I felt like that every day. Just a completely different emotional experience. (For many reasons, no doubt, and I feel bad comparing SWCE and SWCO, but. Well.)

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