Monday, March 23, 2015

The Exciting Path of the Introvert

You can almost taste the excitement of Fanfest if you hang around any of the social media of the members. Packing, flights, landings, arrivals, dinner, drinks, and city roaming are saturated with excitement and glee. The sights, the smells, the sounds, and the interactions of a small city on a small island, nestled in the cold depths of the Atlantic hum with excitement. It is vibrant enough to feel. Textured enough to touch. It is enough to call to the most introverted soul.

It is a sweet, fantasy. Fanfest is a lot of fun but that fun has to be taken by the individual. I've never been shy about my struggles with socialization. They dominate my life in very real, complex ways and times like Fanfest I can almost imagine that I will step off the plane in Iceland and become another person for a week. My own pocket sized video based fantasy will begin.

And then it comes crashing down. Only it will not. Lacking a romantic soul, I know that the energy that I am watching from afar will swamp me when I get there and make me head for the door. I've spoken with other, introverted souls who worry about going to Eve events. I've even offered to be their anchor. Having an neutral anchor is important. For me, it is my schedule. I've carefully laid out where I will be when and I will mostly stick to that. It gives me a stable point in what will be a maelstrom of activity that sings to the outgoing, social person.

Being social is an enticing, glittery thing in the distance. It is pretty to watch but reality is heavier than dreams. I listen with a bit of pleasure and a bit of envy. I will, hopefully meet people this week and enjoy their company. I will hear new things and have questions answered. It shall, I hope, be a fun and interesting experience. I suspect it will be.  

While I will not experience Fanfest in the same way as others, I will still have fun. I have often seen concerns about drinking and the intensely social atmosphere. It all depends on why you go. I go to enjoy Eve. I enjoy watching the presentations. I love documenting the round table discussions. There is plenty to do for the introverted soul that has nothing to do with large scale socialization or the consumption of alcohol.

....

This, I wrote on Tuesday before I flew out. I never posted it. Mostly because I forgot to and I was a flurry with forgetting small, random things that don't matter but bother you when you forget them anyway. I had a few of those this time which is unusual for me.

Fanfest itself was interesting. It was a bit calmer then some expected but that is because CCP did not build everyone up to a great reveal. Instead,they showed it and then we discussed it. In that, it felt more like Eve Vegas. Excited and bright and shiny but not hysterical. That didn't stop dramatic hings from going down both in Harpa and out of Harpa due to peoples behavior and choices.

Iceland is a very nice country. I am always fascinated by the way the city changes from busy, but not crazy so, city to a nightclub wonderland when the weekend hits. It makes me go hole up in my hotel room and feel at peace with myself for being out of the hustle and bustle.

I'm also surprised by the amount of smoking that I see. It is all outside but there is still a lot of it. And that, oddly enough, reminds me of the chewing gum on the ground. I don't understand people at times and on the black volcanic rock that they use for the sidewalks and streets the bright white chewing gum stands out.

It is something worth doing once. One time is magical. As you keep coming back it becomes familiar and comfortable. I do like it. The only thing that I wind up truly longing for at the end of each week is a large american style garden salad. Something with lots of romaine lettuce and mounds of vegetables and a good salad dressing.

I am very tired. I wound up out late most nights and up in time to grab breakfast. A full breakfast kept me out of the over priced food court at Harpa so I stuffed myself and probably looked like a pig in the mornings. I had many discussions with people I have known online, people who I have never met, and people who know of me and I don't know.

I have stacks of notes that I am trying to get out in good speed. I have thoughts that I will try to express. I have the information that happened to work my way through. There are some recordings of sessions floating around as well and I need to watch all of the ones that I missed and fill in the gaps. Sometimes people are down right noisy in these things and I missed questions or had to sharply cut the chatter into a line or two.

I'm not sure I will ever have the fan fest that others have. I spend my time in the round table rooms taking notes because that is what makes me happy. I have no desire to present things. I just like to experience it. And that experience, I find, is worth having at least once if you are so inclined.

But I look forward to going home. My social meter is filled to over flowing and I need some quiet time. Spring has hit back at home and I'm going to get my seedlings started so that I can transplant them early next month. My husband purchased me a lovely raised and covered garden for my deck and I should plant early enough to have my watermelon and butternut squash ripen.

But first, for lunch on Wednesday if not dinner on the way from the airport on Tuesday, I am going to have a salad. A big one.

9 comments:

  1. "If it was a regular salad, I wouldn't have said anything. But you had to have the biiiiiiiig salad!"

    http://liztheresa.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/bigsalad.gif

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  2. Not a single picture yet of you in your minmatar outfit with beads and purple lipstick? Surely someone must have collected some evidence of your third place?

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    1. Sure. My back was on the screen at the ending ceremony. Beyond that I avoid pictures and video recordings like the plague.

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  3. Sugar! My hero! I've wanted to attend fanfest since I started playing EVE six(?) years ago. But, when it comes down to it, I'm intimidated by the social atmosphere as well. I applaud you for overcoming the anxiety. I hope to have the same courage one day as well.

    The jacket turned out nice! Congratulations!

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  4. I have thought about going to EVE events... EVE Vegas is just a short flight away... but being the introvert who is okay at writing words but much less so at actually saying them aloud I have always veered off and stayed home rather than risk being stuck in a corner alone until I slink back to my room. So I stay home and watch recordings of the presentations and read what others write about such events. Some day I will make it to something like EVE Vegas.

    But hurrah for you and overcoming the introvert bent and having a good time! I am jealous!

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  5. I share the feeling being awkward when meeting new people out of business, fortunately I got to know a real socializer short before the departure to Iceland. He managed to bring me into the New Eden society, although it was his first and my second fanfest. ^^

    In the end I'll try to be more like him next year, not to have such annoying anxiety what people might think, and try to be more open. Everybody we met actually turned out to be happy meeting us, what I didn't really expect. A lot of new fellows I met will make the start next year much easier I guess.

    In the end I suppose a big part of the playerbase feels uncomfortable being together with so many unknown faces, and a lot of us learn (some by accident ^^) that the inner hurdle is much higher than the outer.

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    1. It is, but that inner hurdle is oh so high. I had to convince myself for a week to braid my hair and then I wore my knit cap most of the time because it was just to radical for me to be comfortable with even with the compliments.

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  6. I just wanted to let you know I'm extremely happy that I finally got the chance to meet you and smile and say hello. I totally respect your feelings and I also wanted you to know that because of them, and because of having your words in my heart ahead of time, I approached every encounter with players differently than I would have otherwise. And not in a negative way, but I tried to be much more aware of my approach. I can be a rather intimidating physical presence and I tried to allow every encounter to happen naturally and not force myself, even in a nice way, into someone's space. I wrote about this ahead of time and encouraged people to feel free to approach me at anytime, but even still I know that some held back. I respect that. I even understand it, my own social demons tend to be deeply buried, but they can rear their heads from time to time.

    Empathy is such an important thing, both in and out of game.

    <3

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    1. Aye. Thank you for caring. I always feel oddly silly talking about it because these are often internal fears and they don't make a lot of sense. Even when explaining them I can say that it sounds silly to the logical side of me but that is not the only side of me that is there.

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