I had meant to write this yesterday but I was still just flat out exhausted. Grocery shopping was enough to wipe me out, if you can believe it. So anyway, the anime convention I mentioned in a couple previous posts was this past weekend. I only went on Saturday, February 18th. And guess what? I went to it not only by myself, but in cosplay as well! I went dressed as Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children. Needless to say, this was kind of a scary endeavor for me because not only was I by myself but also in costume as well so I had to be my own handler.
But I did it. I was exhausted and sore as f**k afterwards, but I did it.
So the main reason I wanted to go was because some of my absolute favorite voice actors were going to be there. Two of them ended up canceling because their flights were grounded due to weather. Not a big deal, that was out of their control. But the one I wanted to see most was still there and I was determined not to miss him.
It was a little scary just walking in the building and trying to navigate my way around a place I had never been before, but I basically knew I had to be on the third floor to register and the escalators were right by the entrance so I went up and followed some other cosplayers right to where I needed to be. Easy enough. After I registered, I kind of wandered a little and eventually back to the registration area because it was right next to the vendor hall and I needed to find something for one of the voice actors to sign. The vendor hall was amazing, like this overwhelming labyrinth of anime, gaming, and general nerdy merchandise, and I did several laps. I didn’t buy as much as I could have, and probably would have liked, but I think that was mostly my subconscious telling me, hey, you still have to carry all of this around all day and you don’t have a lot of room in your bag. So I only bought three shirts for myself and a notebook for my bestie, which I was going to use to have one of her favorite voice actors sign.
So after finding some stuff, I started wandering the halls, 1. To try and find my panel rooms and 2. To waste time while taking pictures of cosplayers I really liked. I ended up taking like 70-some pictures and a couple videos, and that wasn’t even everyone I had wanted. There were a couple really excellent cosplays I didn’t get pictures of because I was either waiting in line or too tired to get up and ask them. One of the honorable mentions was a Bob’s Burgers family minus Bob. So it was Linda, Tina, Gene, and Louise, and the great thing was the “kids” were actual kids that fit the general age range of the show’s characters. I’m actually sad I didn’t get their photo because they were awesome. Other honorable mentions included a Super Saiyan God Mode Goku doing the power up Goku challenge, which was awesome; Vegeta in his pink shirt, which read World’s Greatest Dad on it; Noctis from FFXV; a group doing Ignis, Prompto, and Gladio from FFXV; some awesome Edward Elric cosplays; two members of the Elite 4 from Kill la Kill (the girl and the guy who loses his eyes, I can’t remember their names); several furries in their elaborate (and likely hot as hell) animal costumes; and several Steven Universe ones including a really awesome Pearl, Peridot, and a couple that was Pearl and Greg…? Steven’s dad, I think Greg is his name.
Ok, so I decided to head to the first panel I wanted to go to, which didn’t start until 1 and it was only 12:30. I am SO glad I went to wait in line then. The room ended up being packed to the brim with no empty seats. The girl I sat next to, both in line and at the panel, was very friendly and we chatted a bit. (I actually chatted with several people during the course of the day which was huge because I’m not usually very chatty with people I don’t know.) So this Q&A session was about 90 minutes long. It started a little late because of how many people they had to squeeze into the room, but it’s all good. I was in a seat second from the aisle so I had a pretty great view, and the best part was, the actor, Vic Mignogna, wandered the room while he talked. So I got some great close up shots that were not zoomed in because he was literally within arm’s reach of me. I got some great video too.
The reason for the title of this post actually comes from something Vic said when asked what advice he would give his younger self. His answer was to not be afraid, of how things turn out, of what’s going to happen next, etc. Don’t be afraid. And this really resonated with me, especially on this particular day, because for a good month or so I was afraid I was going to be coming to this convention alone, even after finding some new friends who were also supposed to go and couldn’t due to financial struggles. And one day I just decided, I am going to go regardless of who is coming with me. And I did, and I regret nothing. I basically spent the afternoon with Vic because right after his Q&A session was his autograph session and I spent another hour and a half in line there.
So after an hour and 45 minute wait I got to meet, hug, take a photo, and get autographs from Vic freaking Mignogna!!!! If I weren’t so tired I’d have been screaming and crying, but I was exhausted. I ate some candy to try and soothe my starving stomach and charged my phone for Matt Mercer later. Unfortunately I didn’t make it as long as I would have liked. I decided to skip Matt Mercer because I was flat out exhausted with a food headache. And having been up 12 hours by the time I left didn’t help either. In any case, not only did I get some good photos and video of Vic Mignogna; I got his autograph both for me and my bestie, and I went to this convention by myself, had a blast, and got to hug Vic as well. And to my friends who decided not to go, I say suck it. You can never take away from the amazing experiences I had today.
So even though I was exhausted the next day to the point where even grocery shopping was too much, and I’m still sore all over today, especially in my legs, my back, my feet, and my left shoulder, which was carrying my bag all day, I have no regrets about facing this convention alone. I am sad I didn’t have the energy or strength to make it to the autograph session for the actor my bestie wanted, but after seeing the group of people already waiting, some of whom had been waiting since 3:30 and his session wasn’t until 7:30, and being told they had only let in 60 people the previous day, AND after standing in line for an hour 40 minutes for Vic’s autograph, I was wiped out and didn’t think I could handle another long wait on my feet, which I had already been on for 8 hours almost straight, just to be turned away at the door if they capped off his session before I got there. So I told my bestie I would try again another time and hope he came to the area again soonish. She understood.
I also know how jealous she is when I go to cons like this, and I try to rein in my enthusiasm some so as not to make her feel bad. But I also know that she knows I would take her to one in a heartbeat. Because taking her with me means really, truly, genuinely going in a judgment-free environment. That’s what these cons are supposed to be anyway, but certain people, like Gia, I feel would judge me six ways to Sunday for wanting to go to certain panels, or for liking certain things from vendors. At least with Arabella, she would be geeking out as much, if not more, as I am, and she would likely drag me to the panels I was curious about because that’s how awesome she is. She doesn’t care what I like and will join me in it because she wants to. Because she’s interested too.
So I’m going to pass along the message that stuck with me most from Saturday’s adventures. Don’t be afraid. If there’s an event you want to go to, a new relationship you want to work, a promotion you’re working for, a career change, whatever it might be, don’t be afraid of the outcome. Don’t be afraid to make the leap and do whatever makes you happy. Whatever happens will happen, and it might be scary at first, but it will all be worth it in the end.