Random Saturday night thoughts from Windycon 2021

Notes presented mostly in order of them hitting my brain.

I am fucking sick of my fingertips cracking open from the damned eczema. Because it hurts to type and/or I typo things because I am avoiding using one or both thumbs and my dominant index finger. Sorry, but that’s pretty much going to be my first and predominant thought when writing for the foreseeable. They’re getting better, but they are not good.

Cons always leave me feeling like I’m floating around the fringes of a really cool party where All The Cool Kids are planning & doing things, and I am…y’know, just THERE. Not doing those things. This is a great con, and still I feel that way.

It isn’t truth. It isn’t fact. Fact brain knows better. But the feel? Feels brain feels it. And any mistake I make, whether it’s being overenthusiastic at people who are experts about the thing I’m just spitballing ideas about, having a more exceptionally foot-in-mouth day than usual (like trying to talk reasonably with someone who goes on a ranty-whiny “pronouns r harrrrrrd” self-defense and refuses to acknowledge that they’re in the wrong and it’s THEIR responsibility to do better, not the person who’s being mis-pronouned.  (NO AUTOCORRECT I DO NOT MEAN MISPRONOUNCE)

or, saving the best-worst thing I ddid all day for last, ya know, mispronouning my own really good friend multiple times.


…after multiple years of getting his pronouns right fairly reliably, too. 

Nothing like committing repeated hurtful faux pas to make me want to crawl under a rock forever in general. And at a con? I am now at “burn down, fall over and THEN sink into the swamp level” unsettled.

Look. I don’t raise my social capital by sidelining myself & lurking around the edges of things the way I generally do, but that’s the best I can manage.  “Putting myself out there” is not only exhausting, it’s unhealthy. Trying to be more sociable and noticeable, joining or starting conversations? It’s like solving a calculus story problem in a foreign language while someone’s aiming a fire hose at me. (side note: I am not good at calculus in any language.) 

Being out in public around groups at all is so far from my comfort zone it leaves me skirting trauma response. (And yes, that’s despite these being my people, my folk, my nerdy, science fiction/fantasy/ pop culture-loving fan community. If it wasn’t for those factors in common I could not deal with the crowds AT ALL. Exhibit 1: My idea of hell is the Las Vegas Strip.)

But I digress.

My situation complicated by me being unconsciously good at masking that anxiety from the world, to the point where I’m fundamentally incapable of showing it. Fun fact: I was in my thirties before I realized no one else ever realized when I was petrified. I do not, CANNOT do a proper scared look. It’s…not how I process fear. I do super-calm until I short-circuit straight to ballistic best-defense-is-offense anger. (That is also not healthy, and I try to avoid it.)

So anyway, my internal meltdowns very rarely ripple on the surface. The freakout does not show. To the world, I look fine. I act “fine.” So I must be fine. Seeing is believing, right?

What about honesty, right? I could just ‘fess up to being scared and people would be more sympathtic, maybe? 

Maybe. But if I confess how freaked out I am under my got-it-together shell, I immediately feel like a whiny faking, attention-seeking liar for bringing it up. The more I try honesty, the more like lying it feels. There’s only so much of that I can take.

So as you might guess I do not admit to being Terrified By Peopling to many people in person, in the moment, which is the only time it might be useful. (Admitting it here, in my own space? Easy. But not useful.)

It’s quite the dilemma. I don’t have a solution. And so I continue to muddle it through in my own way. Fits and starts of honesty punctuated by gaffes, pained silences, and lots & lots of lurking.

I am really damned goood at being a happy lurker TBH. I enjoy being noticed. It’s being noticeable I loathe. There is a difference. So, that’s my brand, I guess?

Anyway. Despite or because of all my ups & downs, this really has been a great weekend so far. Dealer’s room conversations glaore, a fab reading, and attended a fun panel on a card game. Then two concerts tonight, and now I’m off to watch a nerdy burlesque.

From a back row, of course.

That should cheer me up. No, seriously. Happy lurker. 

And tomorrow is another day, with more panels and more time with friends, and more chances to practice pretending like I can human properly. 

That’s all from the con & navel gazing front. Until later!

Obligatory Pippin pic. 🙂

2 responses to “Random Saturday night thoughts from Windycon 2021”

  1. janiceofmars Avatar

    I bought your book ‘Weaving in the Ends’, at Windycon, because of the knitting needles on the cover. I started reading the book last night. The first few pages made me realize that I need the rest of this collection of books, first. I’ll be going to my local bookstore, “A Room of One’s Own”, this afternoon to put in an order for the whole series. Your table full of books was the best thing about that convention. Thank you.

    1. K. M. Herkes Avatar

      Oh, my, that is the highest of praise, thank you! I am all blushes. I’m glad you enjoyed the con.

      (PS I LOVE that bookstore. Like many things about that area, it made me wish I lived much, much closer to it.)

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