Rather than do a really long post on my weekend at Libertycon I think I am going to do several shorter ones. (Though, shorter may still be longer than normal.) There are just too many feelings and experiences and people to shove into one small post. The people at Libertycon are my non-blood related extended family. They are my tribe and my people. No truer has that ever been than this year.
There were many speed bumps for the Libertycon 32 organizers. There were date changes, venue switches, hotel debacles, and guest adjustments. There was also the loss of the beloved Uncle Timmy.
However, those in charge battled every challenge flung at them and climbed up to plant the flag of victory. I am in awe and inspired by what Brady and the crew accomplished. Though one of the harder years, this Libertycon was also one of the best.
For me personally, life hasn’t been exactly easy recently. I wasn’t even going to go to Libertycon this year. I had everything planned and paid for already but I didn’t feel like fun was something I deserved with my life spinning tail over tea kettle. Several someones, friends nearby and online, encouraged me to go anyway. They made me realize I was suffering from some unnecessary guilt.
Anxiety and depression are diabolical ailments. So often we want to fight them on our own or hide them from others because we are ashamed or afraid. We don’t want to be judged. We don’t want to be seen as weak. I am so thankful that I have people in my life that understand and remind me of my strengths. I see others out there dealing with the same or similar ailments and every single one of them is so strong. I would never call any of these people weak. Yet, sometimes we perceive ourselves as weak because we only have our own narrow point of view to see from and depression whispers lies.
I went to Libertycon this weekend. It was one of the best things I could have done. Sarah drove us down, we got our badges, and very soon after I was running into people who were happy to see me. It gave me a bit of a shock, to be honest. I didn’t expect it.
I didn’t realize I needed to know people cared until the evidence of it was right there giving me a hug. These are people I see in person maybe once a year. I didn’t think they would care too much if I wasn’t around. All weekend I was assured that quite the opposite was true. Everywhere I went friends were happy I actually made it. They talked and hugged and made me feel valued. They knew life wasn’t all peaches and cream for me right now but they were just glad I was there. To have people be happy that you exist and to know that you are cared for by those you only get to see once a year at most, is a wonderful thing.
It was something I didn’t know I needed. You see, I matter. Every hug and smile and chat said so. Every wave in a hallway or laugh at a joke, every book suggestion, every shared meal or drink, they all said the same thing. I matter. Sometimes you just need reminding.