Thursday, June 9, 2016

Sometimes It's Tough To Be Me

I am freaking out here because I am having much stress and anxiety about attending the first Red Deer comic expo this weekend. First of all I have no one to go with and that will just be a sad thing to wander around the Westerner by myself. I have never been to a comic convention so I don't know what to expect. I don't like crowds and would be too shy to actually go up and talk to an artist or even another person. It could be a nightmare of anxiety and disappointment for me to just wander around like a loser. Kinda ashamed to feel this way because it's what I hate most about my life these days. I have become a fearful hermit of the past eight years since I was shot. I never realized how much until this weekend. A comic convention should be something I would be exited to attend, not afraid of.

And the worse thing is that I would have loved to cover this on my blog and interview people and take lots of pictures. That was my plan a month ago but as it got closer I realized I just don't have those people skills anymore. I was a teacher for 20 years. Schmoozing people was my mutant power. So how do I advance my blog and my brand without making the first scary steps. I have a chance to move forward and get involved in something cool and local once a year and network with people who buy and sell toys. I might even meet someone who, like me, enjoys the things that I highlight on my blog. That was the plan. I just got into podcasting so I was thinking of even doing some of those live interviews. But I know that none of that will happen. I am just full of shit and all talk.

Then I just sit here and waste another year and another opportunity to actually build a life back from the ashes of the one I thought I was going to have.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Just start with baby steps, Cal. Go to the comic com at a time when perhaps the crowds are lighter (if such a time exists), wander around and just look at things. Don't pressure yourself to do any more than that. Build your comfort zone slowly. Rome wasn't built in a day, as they say. Good luck and have some fun with it!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Thanks for that my friend. I appreciate the advice.

Jordan said...

I used to be shy but I got over it. Now, one of my favorite things to do is to go to a party where I don't know anyone (sometimes, not even the host -- which can happen if someone other guest invites me and I get there first). People say about me, that when they leave me at a bar to go to the bathroom or whatever, when they get back I've invariably struck up a conversation with some stranger sitting near us, or with the bartender.

And, the thing is, I was nothing like that, originally. It's a total change. I'm not sure how I did it, or what the steps were -- which is too bad, because I'd love to give advice (but, on the other hand, I hate those fatuous "advice" columns and self-help books and all that).

I think the main thing is, being disarming -- talking to people like you already know them; like you're already on the same side against the world. With every one of my close friendships (the ones I made as an adult) it started in some office or classroom or something where we rolled our eyes, together, at some situation we were both dealing with. If you can just jettison the fakeness and staginess with which nearly everyone communicates (unfortunately) and talk to people like you're already friends, it makes a world of difference.

The most important thing to do is listen. Ask questions and listen to the answers. It sounds obvious but nobody does it; people are delighted when you talk to them like a normal person and absorb what they say in response.

A friend of mine who does extremely well with women got into a conversation with several of us about "opening lines" -- all those killer lines you're supposed to use to get women interested in you. Everyone wanted to know what his opening lines were, and he said he always uses the same one: "Hi."

People want to talk; they want to be friendly and find some way to communicate (with you, with anyone). Only very rarely does it not go well (in my experience) and that's because there's a false note -- some nervousness or a desire to show off or lecture (which is the worst impulse to follow, but, oftentimes, the one that seems the easiest). I don't know if any of this is remotely helpful; I just know that I used to be frightened and shy and to avoid crowds, and now I love crowds. I can't explain any more than I have; but I urge everyone to try it -- come on in; the water's fine.

Tim Knight said...

You've had so much excellent advice here and on Facebook that I don't think there's much I can add except to say "good luck and have fun". Take a camera, snap pictures, if you feel like talking to someone do, if you don't it's no biggie. If the camera doesn't work or you forget it, not a big deal, this was a test run anyway. As said above: baby steps.

Oldscot said...

All good advice. I hope you go Calvin. Go early to avoid the crowds, cons I know are crowded by noon, packed in the afternoon. The typical artist wants to talk to you. If you see something you like just tell them you like their work (or a particular item).

I'm hoping to read a post (hopefully more than one) on how it went!

DrGoat said...

What they said Cal. But do it now, life is too damn short.
I think you will find that you are the one who knows, not
them. It's easy to see that you are a source of knowledge
as far as the kind of thing you will find at any
comic convention. And I think there are some of us out here
that do understand stress and anxiety.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Thanks for all those kind words everyone. I think I will go on Sunday. I just got my ticket and got a new card for my camera. Now I am really anxious but life IS too short.

mrgoberg said...

You are going to a room chock-a-block with fellow geeks. They are you! They are us! You also won't be alone, you go to Red Deer with all of your many and dedicated followers. I worked in and around comics for years and I know why these folks chose a profession that keeps them locked up in their studios 18 hours a day. They are just like us, they just know how to tell a good story.