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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

SDCC 2009 – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the ComicCon – A Tragic Comedy – Part 8 of 8

Part VIII – Oh Happy Day – Or everything works if you let it
Recap – it was a tough week
You’ll hear me say all of the time – Beginnings are always tough. I usually mean the beginning of something new.  While SDCC wasn’t new to me it was a new chapter in my life.
The convention got better. I met my friends from El Paso several times. Together we ate at Pink Berry a lot. The female half of ‘my friends’ wanted to eat there because she LOVED Pink Berry yogurt.  The male half of ‘my friends’ and I enjoyed it mostly for the ladies that walked past us in their bikinis on the way to the Hard Rock Café swimming pool.
Over the previous years I had bumped into a group of people that were very good about collecting autographs at the SDCC.  While I didn’t interact with them other than a friendly nod and few polite words, I knew they were organized and had SDCCC collecting down to a science.
2009 was the year we finally introduced ourselves to one other and became more than nodding acquaintances.  We talked. We exchanged ideas and tips.  I found that information was flowing mostly one way.  I had nothing they didn’t already know.  What I figured out by chance they had made into standard operating procedure years earlier.
For some strange reason I told them my story. This story.  They listened. They adopted me and made me part of their little circle.  I cannot tell you how much they helped me.  They knew the ‘where’ and ‘when’.  They dragged me along.  They found me and made me stand with them in line (always near the front). They went out of their way to help me.  I’m still amazed how much they have helped me just from the goodness of their hearts.
They turned a disastrous first day into a cornucopia of treasure when it was all over. We have hung out each year since.  I count them as friends.  Having these people as part of my circle of friends makes ComicCon even more fun. 
I can’t say they everything after that SDCC was rosy. The layoff was hard. I was sidelined way too long for my fragile ego (males always have fragile egos) to easily accept.  But I fought through it and I started working again.
If there is a ‘point’ to such an Odyssey as this, it’s that John Lennon was right: Life is what happens when you are busy making plans.
My ‘plan’ was to do the ‘same old same old’, just another trip to ComicCon. The ‘excitement’ or the trials and tribulations were transitory and while the events swept me into the undertow it couldn’t keep me there.  I managed to keep my head above water. 
I made a lot of conscious decisions to keep my head high. I was down but I didn’t stay down.  I was thwarted but I adjusted.  I adapted.  I refocused.  Was it easy?  No.  Was it frustrating and stressful?  Yes. Did I dwell on it?  No. Did I ‘oh woes me?’ No. 
In fact, while I recounted my recent adventures, I was even laughing. It was funny, even days after I got laid off.
I rarely ‘lost it’ and when I did, I came back to my senses fairly quickly. While I’m embarrassed to admit I did feel sorry for myself and I ranted against the world at times, it was for minutes and not hours or days or months.  But as I said, that was a conscious decision.
As I go to other conventions, I listen and people watch.  I have to laugh at what I see.  I see a lot and I laugh a lot. People get caught up starring in their own movies.  Too often they allow little pebbles in the road become boulders blocking the day.  Instead of adapting and being flexible they stop and get sucked into the muck and mire. They really have themselves to blame.
They are the center of their universe and forget the world is meant to be shared.  They forget that life is a tragic comedy.  You need to laugh and cry and share with others.  You have no real perspective if it’s only about yourself all of the time.
John Steakley wrote: You are what you do when it counts.  In a lot of ways I’m very happy how I reacted over that week.  I was working through having a sick cat, and betrayal, and being laid off. I was working through a missed flight, being lost, and possible harm. But I did work through it all.
I see the yawns that can’t quite be hidden.  I bored you enough.    Thanks for letting me enter this into the ether of the Internet.


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