That is the question.
If we are talking about the act of cheating and swindling a person, the answer is a very loud: NO! Do..not…con. Not good. Bad! Got it? Good, let’s move on.
Now that we have that cleared up, let’s talk about going to a con. Every year when it gets close to the time of the year when Star Wars Celebration is going on, I ask myself this question constantly. A screaming match between yes and no in my brain. So far, no has always won out, which is my usual for most things. But that’s a story for another day.
Now, I do have very legitimate reasons besides my mind freaking out about all the unknowns. A wife, a 1 year old kid, and a small zoo at home are great reasons to not spend a mini-fortune on going. I’m hoping that one day, my daughter will be into Star Wars and I can take her to one of the Celebrations. If she’s not, I’ll still enjoy taking her to whatever sort of thing she’s into. If I really wanted to go, I know my wife would support it as long it made sense financially for us. I just have to convince myself that it’s ok.
Before I had legitimate reasons (besides money), I always had two main reasons for not going. The first is socialization. If I went, I would most likely be going alone which is terrifying. I’m not the type that opens up in a line of people and I go out of my way not to talk to strangers. I actively avoid going to the movies opening night for the simple fact of the idea of standing in line with a whole bunch of people I don’t know, is not my thing. Now, all this can be taken care with a drink or two, but I don’t think they condone drinking while in line.
Thankfully, within the last year, this issue has been slowly eroding for me. Last March, I started donating to the RandomChatter Network, one of the perks to donating was access to their Slack channel. In this channel were the hosts of their many shows and fellow listeners who donated through Patreon. Since, I have joined, it has been a very active community where many friendships have been made. A lot of these fellow Slackers are going to Celebration. For quite a few of them, this will be their first convention of any sort. Erik, Chris and Lou, who host many of the podcasts on the network, along with other Celebration veterans have offered to let people tag along. Including, meetups of the hosts and network listeners.
As I see this talked about in the Slack channel, it makes me want to be there. To experience the fun, look at these people with my own eyes, maybe even get out of my shell a little bit. It even makes me a little jealous and I’m not above letting jealousy drive me into going.
Plus, many of the hosts of the podcasts that I listen to will be there. The majority of these people seem like they would be pretty awesome to hang out with and talk to. Besides the aforementioned RandomChatter hosts, I would have to say that Matt and Jeff from Comics with Kenobi and the entire Full of Sith crew are the people I would want to meet the most.
Just for once…Let me…Look on you with my own eyes
Then there’s still the second reason that’s always kept me from going. This is the one, that even as I’m typing it, my chest starts to tighten and I can feel panic starting to settle in. Traveling into the unknown. Seriously, it’s terrifying. Arriving in an airport that I’m not familiar with, renting the car or finding a way to the hotel, finding my way around a city I am unfamiliar with, finding places to eat, getting to said places. I don’t like even getting around the town I live in. All of this is extremely overwhelming for me and truly brings a sense of panic to my mind.
I do have one advantage to getting over this, my new(ish) job. I started my current job a little over a year ago, one of the requirements for the job is traveling to different trade shows. Since I was learning last year, all my travels were with a coworker. This year, I’m on my own. Needless to say, I try not to think about it too often. I am hoping though, that it will get me used to getting out of my comfort zone and not panicking at the unfamiliar.
It is a process overcoming these fears, but I’m working on it slowly (very slowly usually). I hope to one day to attending a Star Wars Celebration and get to experience the fun and meet a few friends for the first time and maybe even make a few new ones along the way.