Conventions are HOME.

I have had people ask me what it is about conventions that makes me so happy and fills up my soul so much. I have had a friend tell me, “I wish I had something in my life that made me as happy as conventions make you.” So how to begin to describe something that I could say is the most important part of my life to people who don’t watch the show. It is a difficult thing to describe and how much it means to me and how much it touches my soul.

My first convention type esque experience was when I went to the movie theatre to see the new Doctor in Doctor who. It was really cool to be surrounded by people who were all passionate about the same thing as you. It was like every person there could be your friend. People photo bomb another strangers photo. And all of that.

I want to say a few years later I went to my first ever Supernatural Convention. Now, everyone talks about how Supernatural Conventions are different then any other conventions. They are better and more personal and the photo op rooms are fun better. I didn’t fully understand until I went to Long Beach Comicon. It is a mass of people. Incredibly overwhelming for an introvert and an empath like me. I got a photo with the cast of Firefly with the exception of Nathan Fillion. And it wasn’t worth the money. While waiting in line you feel like (what’s the phrase?) like you are in a can of sardines? You come in with one or two people in front of you and are directed to stand on the X with no interaction with the actors. You can say bye when you are done but the next person is already coming up to them. And as soon as you leave the room, your photo is ready on the table.

Now….the photo op experience at a Supernatural convention is much different. Thanks to how the photographer Chris chooses to set things up. He understands what it means for us as fans to interact with the actors even real quickly. The company Creation is more organized. Takes the fans in by seat numbers so it is less crazy of a line. And then we get to be in the photo op room and see other fans get their photos as well as having music that the actors like in order to help relax them and have them enjoy the experience. You are also allowed to get more creative with your photos. You are able and allowed to talk to the actors and tell them what you want in the photo. You are still rushed by volunteers however you get more interaction. It is always quick. A couple seconds here and there. Then when you are done you can wait hours for your photos because he wants to make sure they look right.

I didn’t mean to start discussing photo ops first. My first time at a Supernatural Convention was wonderful and has evolved from then. I got tickets 3 weeks before the convention which shocked me that any were even still available. So far my experience with these conventions is that they are more intimate. That could be because they are focused on only one show. It is still overwhelming and a lot to take it but it doesn’t seem to matter because of how much you get from there.

The real reason I wanted to write this because I have always talked about the SPN Family. That is even what the fandom is called now. But recently I have really FELT how much that is true. Conventions are the only place in my life I ever feel truly at home. I know this is crazy but I think even if the actors weren’t there I would still go. To be surrounded by like minded people is wonderful. I love how anyone you talk to is nice. You are surrounded by “your” people and who wouldn’t like that. Especially when most of us in the fandom feel misunderstood, lonely and like loners in our every day lives. I don’t have a team or a group of friends that live near me. Never have and don’t know that I ever will. People “see” you, “hear” you, and love you, without judgment. We forget this and find ourselves still apologizing for who we are. We don’t get that kind of attention or love everyday. Even if we are lucky enough to get it every once in a while. It is rare. We long for it. We crave it. It feeds our soul and keeps us coming back every year. Sometimes if we can financially push it twice a year. If I was rich I would go to every convention they have. Every.Single.One. It is that worth it to me. We keep coming back HOME. Trying to find it and create it in our every day life but can’t seem to. It is a calling to us. It pushes us through the hard times in our lives. It helps us to move forward and to always have something to look forward to and plan for. Where we can see our chosen family again that grows a little bigger every year. The more conventions you go to the more friends you have at each one. Supernatural is my HOME and always will be and that is all there is to it. And no one can understand that unless they have experienced these cons and are a fan of the show as well.

That is it for now. Write next time.

Famdom Life and Conventions

I had a short conversation with my mom last night about me and going to conventions. She has been very supportive and even helped me when I needed extra money in order to help me go to the specific convention or con of my choice. However they have raised their prices and that made her ask me a question last night that just proves she has no idea how important these cons are to me.

“But are you done going now because the prices went up and you already have so many photos? What else is there for you there?” I told her more photos, meeting actors that I haven’t met yet. I told her that I keep coming up with more photo op ideas. However I didn’t even think to tell her about the Family that I have there. how it is the one thing in my life at this moment in time that I look forward to and feeds me and my soul. I can’t stop and it is just getting worse. It is the one place I can fully be myself without apologies and where other people “get it.” Even when it isn’t a safe place it is still safer then the world outside of a con.

I would think it would be pretty obvious how much it means to me and how important it is. I mean I meet two people at my first convention that ended up being the worst friend experiences so far in my life. Which is saying something because up until this point I have had pretty shitty friends. And yet I STILL want and NEED to go. With anything else in my life I would think that it wouldn’t be worth it. But it is. And isn’t that the same with blood family? Every one has some stinkers but that doesn’t stop you from coming back every time for all the good. No matter how exhausting, draining, and sometimes sick they make me I NEED to go. I know that the pictures are just pictures and after they are done that’s it. I mean “normal” people don’t understand that, that just fuels everything. It’s interaction but it’s somehow more then that. The men are filling a void I have in my life with men. No men look at me the way they do in photos when I stupidly forget to look at them and instead look at the camera because I think that is what they are doing. No one interacts with me the way I request them to let me in photos. I NEED that. And the more photos I get like that….maybe somehow keeps it alive, possible, and maybe gives me more hope. I actually feel like it gives me less but…whatever. These photos are my only hope.

This last convention I went to was the day after my birthday. So the whole time I called it my birthday weekend. I am not the only person who does that at conventions either. And to top it off I was born on the same day as one of the actors that would be there and that I was meeting for the first time. She and this other woman are my hero’s, my female role models, I look up to them. I feel like they are who I want to become as an adult. Or at least something similar to them without the influence of my family. My family has influenced my view of myself for long enough thank you very much! I spent more money then ever before. I did something called the “PJ Party” that they put on through the convention for only 30 people, I did a meet and greet with them (my first one ever), and I got a crapton of photos with them. By the end that woman knew me, even if it wasn’t by name. And that isn’t what is important anyways.

This woman gave me the biggest gift with the smallest gesture that I could ever ask anyone for. And it still surprises me how much it means to me. Every time I talk or write about it I cry because it is so simple and so sad that I rarely get it. So the PJ party was 3 hours of time with these woman. So anyways we came in and were interacting with the attendees first. Getting to know each other until the main woman showed up. As the evening progressed I noticed that I felt more like myself then I ever do in a room full of people I don’t really know. I wasn’t shy, I felt outgoing and like myself, I didn’t have to apologize for anything. But that wasn’t even the gift. Tiny backstory: I rarely feel like anyone “sees, hears,” or “listens” to me. Which makes me feel like nothing I have to say is important or matters. My mom, she can’t help it, goes into her own little world in her head and can’t hear me too often. She will look for me to sit next to in a group or at church and she can’t “see” me so she gives up and sits behind me instead. This woman…..oh my god this woman. Any small thing I said, she responded to. For the meet and greet I tried not to talk much so I could give the opportunity to people who didn’t get the interaction with them that I had, had the night before. And even so I would say a couple word comment, one time just basically repeating what she had said and she would respond with like a, “yes,” or something. To acknowledge that I had spoken. I am pretty sure she even did it in the dark when we were watching an episode they were in together. Although that is harder to say. That is seriously the smallest thing ever. And I try to do the same thing to everyone in my life since I didn’t feel like I got it myself growing up. I know children are annoying and ask for a lot. But even just looking at them and letting them know that you heard them and will respond when you are done with what you are doing, I feel like that still makes them feel heard. And probably why people tell me i’ll make a good mom and/or Aunt. Because I pay more attention then most people.

I wish I could find a way to let her know how important that was to me. You never know the impact you have in peoples lives. That is something you can never know. And she was just “being” the wonderful and magnificent human being that she is. I didn’t even realize how big a deal this was to me until like the week after the con. She wrote a chapter in a book and if I remember correctly she talked about never feeling like she had a voice or she didn’t know if her voice was okay so she tried to take on other peoples voices instead. She “gets it” in all the most important ways I need her to. She understands pain. And if it means so much to me, is there a chance that I have impacted someones life as much as she did mine just by responding when people talk?

I guess that’s it for now. Write you next time.