dejana: (Pixelated Me)
[personal profile] dejana
2010: The Summer of Awesome, or Why I'm Not Here Anymore

Reports of my death have been exaggerated, although perhaps not greatly. This is a disgustingly belated post, but the fact of the matter is I'm just that damn busy (when I'm not just that damn lazy). Life these days is both extremely stressful and the most unbelievably amazing thing ever. I still don't really know exactly how I got here. What it boils down to is that I've done that most dreaded and reviled thing in all of internet fandom, that which I swore I'd never do: I've gotten a Real Life.

Granted, it's a Real Life of the "offline fandom" variety and not the "career and marriage" variety, but it's a Real Life nonetheless, at least in the sense that it consumes all the time that used to be devoted to internet fandom. That part sucks. It really does. I still have goals in online fandom that I am determined to accomplish. I want to reboot .moon. I want to write some more fics and make some more vids. I'm still plugging away at these things bit by bit, but on the whole, Facebook is pretty much all the online interaction I have time for these days.

I'm still around, off and on. When there's product, it'll go here. But I don't have the time or dedication to regularly write up LJ posts anymore, or to read my flist like I used to. (From the look of things, though, a lot of people have faded out over the past year.)

That's the short of it. Read on if you want the details on how my life got flipped, turned upside down... erhm, yeah.

You might remember that from 2007 to 2009 I was on staff at my local anime convention, Anime Detour, and that after the 2009 convention I decided to quit. At the time, I was absolutely certain it was going to be forever. I didn't fit, I was sick to death of not fitting and I couldn't foresee a time when I would fit, ever, so I pulled the plug. I had to keep running the fanfiction contests if I didn't want to see them canceled, so I couldn't separate myself from Detour completely, but I dropped everything else.

That was definitely the best decision. I needed some time and some space, and some room to breathe and do other things. It was almost like a vacation back to the way things used to be, back to being a normal fan (or at least as close as anyone who's ever staffed a con can get to being normal again). By the time the 2010 convention rolled around, I was in a much better place in a lot of ways. I'd started a new job, moved to a new home, organized a writing group, made another trip to Anime Boston and had a few days at Disneyland. Being off staff gave me the chance to cosplay at Anime Detour and host the room party I'd always wanted, in addition to running the fanfic contests and helping with setup and teardown. On top of all of that, the chairman had included me in his tabletop RP group, which gave me that most precious of all things: an excuse to see people outside of meetings. By the end of the 2010 convention I had decided to join staff again for 2011. For better or worse, I enjoyed working with the events and people of local fandom. I wanted to do that again, even if I didn't fit into the family.

Thus began the Summer of Awesome. From May through August of 2010 I was happier than I'd ever been in my life, bar none. I was back on staff at Detour. I was going to staff meetings and picnics again. I was gaming every other Sunday and writing on the other weekends. I was making new costumes, meeting new people from entirely new sources, and going to CONvergence. I was getting involved in new organizations. I was hosting anime nights that people were actually showing up for. There was Valleyfair, and social outings with coworkers, and the Fringe Festival. I was almost ridiculously happy. I cannot even express how incredibly off the charts this was, nor can I now remember clearly what it was like to feel that way. I had no idea how I'd gotten so lucky, but I loved every minute of it.

I didn't really know how exactly to return to Anime Detour. I was starting again from square one, so it was pretty casual at first. From experience I was sure I'd never be busy enough at Detour alone, so I decided to take on a bunch of small roles in multiple organizations. I told the head of Programming at AD that I'd be available to help out more in her department, which is where the fanfiction contests fall, and I volunteered to help the Logistics department with move-in/move-out. I signed on with the Geek Partnership Society and a new startup convention. I also planned to join the social events department at Anime Detour, in the hopes of helping other people who felt like they didn't fit in. To my surprise, when I mentioned it to the chairman he told me the head of that department was leaving staff and asked me if I wanted to take over! I wasn't sure if I was ready to run a department, but I did have a lot of ideas, and since the social department has a very minor role in the organization (and none at all in the convention itself) I felt I could handle it. I approached the end of August very excited about each and every role I was taking on.

And then I was completely blindsided by something so far out of left field it was interfering with the soccer game next door. The vice-chairman of Anime Detour asked me to head an entire division. I don't think I've ever been as shocked by anything else in my life. It took almost an entire week of asking for an opinion from just about everyone I could find before I decided to accept. I still don't fully understand why I did that, or why I was even asked in the first place, but over time I've come to recognize the skills I have that make me a good fit. Even so, every day I doubt my ability to be the kind of person these people deserve.

So then autumn happened. Accepting the division head post pretty effectively killed the happy I'd had going on all summer, since I'd added on a really vital role I wasn't confident I was suited for, but I find keeping busy prevents me from dwelling on unpleasant thoughts. And I was certainly busy enough. I had to make a list of all the roles I'd agreed to fill so I wouldn't forget about any of them. I had to buy a planner with larger squares to make room for more meetings. If it wasn't for my job taking up a lot of evenings, I'd be doing even more things.

November nearly broke me. With everything else I was doing, I was barely getting any writing time in, so I was determined not to skip NaNoWriMo. Being that I was already running at 95% capacity, that was a pretty dumb move. Plus the weather started to go to hell, and I was doing a piece of my sister's paper route every morning, and my company sent me to a training class the last week of the month. I barely squeaked through without completely coming apart. Happily, a couple of weeks into December the paper route ended and my sister and I had a week's vacation in Florida, the first real vacation I'd ever had. It was awesome. For the first time in months, I didn't have to think about anything beyond what activity I was going to do next. It got my brain back on track, and since then my schedule has eased up a bit to the point where I do have a bit of free time now and then.

So, that's my life now. I work, I run errands and visit people, I go to the gym, I work on con stuff, I go to events and meetings, and when there's time I sleep. Every once in a while, I work on fic or vids or the websites or something else, but I don't have much time to play around online anymore. I miss the buckets of time I used to have for internet fandom, but this was what I wanted for so long. I realize that in some ways I've put myself in the very position I quit Detour staff to avoid, but when I'm honest with myself, I did want this.

Four years ago I was sitting in a meeting room at the Ramada MOA, and the vice-chairman of the time made a little speech that's always stuck with me. He said that not long ago he was new, and now there he was, up at the front of the room as the treasurer and vice-chair. He said if he could do it, anyone could. I was inspired, but I remember chuckling inwardly at the assertion that everyone had a shot at the upper levels. I looked at him sitting behind the head table and thought, "Not that. I could never be there." Now once a month I stand at the front of a crowded room and discuss the status reports of six departments. It's unreal. I still don't quite know how this happened, but there are a lot of people believing in me and my primary concern now is to not let them down.

I'm still here. I still want to be here. But I'm at a stage of my life where it's prioritize or die, and for this year at least, offline fandom wins. I hope everyone is doing well. I miss you. ♥

On a side note, for anyone concerned who doesn't already know, I'll be at Anime North again this year. It may be my last trip, since it keeps landing at a bad point in my work schedule, but I'll make it there at least one more time.

Date: Feb. 11th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am so glad you're back on Detour staff and doing great things. Seeing people like you step up from being volunteers to staff and then into leadership roles makes me think we did a really Good Thing when we decided to treat the volunteers as our "farm system" for staff...most volunteers just do their time and get their prizes and move on, but once in a while you find somebody with star potential. Hi. Take care of yourself and don't burn out, 'k?

Date: Feb. 12th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was never a volunteer. ^^; In fact, I've never managed to volunteer at any con, I'm always too focused on the programming. I was an attendee in 2006, but I walked into my first staff meeting a complete stranger off the street, not knowing anyone or anything about staffing a con. That ended up being a big piece of the problem, in fact. It's much easier to fit in when you already know someone. I suspect that's what's making the difference for me now, on my second go-around.

Date: Feb. 12th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, I'm sorry! This is what I get for making assumptions. I remember you helping with programming and just assumed that you'd been a volunteer in '06. #^_^#

Still, I'm glad you got to know people and gave the convention staff another chance. You're going to do good things, maybe even great things!

Date: Feb. 11th, 2011 04:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Will be very, very happy to have you back at AN, even if it is for the last time.

Date: Feb. 12th, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm really looking forward to it, I miss you guys!

Date: Feb. 11th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am loving all of this positivity and happiness from you! I am so, so happy you feel like you've found your place and you're doing so well! I think that's really awesome.

Good luck with everything! <3

Date: Feb. 12th, 2011 03:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's not all positive, but it's progress. It gives me goals and a reason to improve myself, so it's worth it.

I hope things are going well for you too! <3

Date: Feb. 14th, 2011 05:18 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Now this is great news! I glad to hear that you had a great summer! Glad to hear you are still having your anime nights, even if I was only ever at one years ago in Duluth. You have always been better at organization then you thought. I hope the good news continues!


Date: Feb. 15th, 2011 12:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
!! Is this who I think it is?? How long have you been reading my journal? >_>

How have you been?? Can we get back in touch somehow? Do you have Facebook or something? I still have the old dejanatalis @ aol address, if you want to send a message. :)

Date: Feb. 15th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Sent you something.. :)

(deleted comment)

Date: Feb. 16th, 2011 08:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[ profile] dejana likes this. :P

Date: Sep. 17th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
sea_thoughts: (SMHome - shiokaze_senshi)
From: [personal profile] sea_thoughts
I'm glad that real life is going so well for you, even if we don't see you online that much.


dejana: (Default)
Dejana Talis

About Me

I'm a techie, a geek, a fangirl, and an aspiring writer. I've been in internet fandom since 1996. I welcome new LJ friends, but please allow me some time to get to know you before I friend you back.

I have a tendency to attempt a little of everything, whether or not I have time for it. See my userinfo for more about me and what I do.

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