Post-Gen Con

friendship only one

This is going to be way shorter than I intended, as I may be coming down with con crud, despite all my best efforts.  Out host during the convention came down with a nasty cold/flu on Thursday, my husband started feeling under the weather yesterday, and despite hand-washing and vitamin-loading, I’m starting to feel icky today.  Eff this.

Gen Con was amazing in so many ways! The games were great, the weather was surprisingly nice for August in Indy, the crowds were no worse that usual (despite the #GenCon50 hype)…but most of all, the PEOPLE! I met so may wonderful, amazing, fantastic people, I am still struggling to get it all in to words!

I met old friends (well, old in that I met them last year) as well as new.  Reconnected with folks I met last year, finally put faces to several names I knew only online, and didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with any of them.

One of my faces-to-names meetings was the fabulous Joules Watts, of The Hidden Grid and Seize the GM podcasts, as well as her own (and my personal favorite) Five Degrees Off Normal.  Joules is one of those rare people with whom I connected on a weirdly deep level, even before meeting her. Now, before you assume I’m a creepy stalker (which I may be, but this is not that kind of weird) what I mean is, listening to Five Degrees Off Normal made me feel like I was listening to a friend or a sister, rather than a stranger on the other end of the radio/smartphone.

Being chronically ill, it can be hard to find others who *really* understand your head-space. Sure, I’ve met and chatted with lots of folks online who are also chronically ill, some even with identical medical histories. I’ve found similar experiences, but much more rare are similar headspaces. Who knows, I may have met folks who share that headspace, but I’ve not heard it voiced the same way before.

I wanted to write something today about the value of shared experience, as it’s something that has come up several times lately, but I can’t quite get the thoughts to solidify amid the brain-fog.  Basically, finding someone who gets something about you (like chronic illness) which is such a big, and hard-to-explain part of your life is a damn powerful thing. I struggle to explain my brain and body even to my super-understanding husband (who is seriously amazing, by the way).  There’s a C. S. Lewis quote at the top of this post that explains it quite nicely, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘That? You too? I though I was the only one.?’ ”

In addition, while I loathe that any of us are going through the chronic illness bullshit, I love to find people who share the journey, as well as other interests.  I mentioned to Joules last night that I’m sure there are more chronically ill folks in the gaming community than we realize, but I’ve not found them yet.

On the theme of similar views, hobbies, experiences, and headspaces, Joules and I are brewing up a little project we hope folks will enjoy.  Stay tuned here at Shadow Ramblings, as well as to Five Degrees Off Normal, we plan to make a joint announcement on Friday!

I’ve rambled more than I’d planned already, and I can see my thoughts and words getting more garbled as I go, so I will close for now. Have a great day, chummers! Watch your backs out there!

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