During a conversation a while back, a family member of mine said something to me that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since:
“Sure, you may be introverted, Alex, but you’re a closet extrovert. Look at how you act when you’re onstage, or at one of your anime conventions!”
This statement baffled me. I’ve always considered myself a complete and total introvert; if you were to give me a codified personality test like the Meyers-Briggs, I would score as introverted every time. I love alone time and need a lot of it. I’m rarely excited to be around large numbers of people aside from during special events, and on the rare occasion I am around a lot of people for a long time, I have to withdraw immediately to “recharge my batteries”. How on earth was I capable of being extroverted in any way?
Not only was I not sure how I could even be considered extroverted, but didn’t want to be. Once upon a time (and by that I mean only a few years ago), I gloated in my status as a personality type that I mistakenly saw as being a minority, and saw myself in an elitist “I’m a super special delicate and sensitive snowflake and better than you” light. While I’ve since left that mentality behind, and I’m definitely happier for it, I’m still comfortable with my introversion and see it as a simple reality of what I’m like as a person. For someone to suddenly define me as something I’ve never considered myself before was disconcerting, to say the least. Continue reading →
As a member of the collective community of fandoms and interests most often known as “nerds”, I’ve begun to associate the concept of home with not only where I live and study, but also with the constantly changing places that I’m able to gather with other members of the nerd community, which are most often in the form of conventions. One of the most amazing things about this group of people is that we’re all so varied in our interests, and yet see ourselves as a huge family. Whether we like Japanese animation and manga, American animation and comic books, science fiction, fantasy, or some combination of all of the above, we’re able to interact with each other coming from a place of understanding and comradery. I was fortunate to be able to experience this comradery once again when I attended Yama-Con in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, only about two hours away from LMU.
This particular adventure began when a friend of mine asked me if I would help him run an educational panel he would be presenting at Yama-Con. Realizing that this would be an amazing chance for me to obtain practice with both public speaking and teaching, I told him I would think it over. When my best friend Hayley’s mother asked if I would help her chaperone the students who were a part of the Anime Club she ran at a local high school on a trip to the convention, the deal was sealed for me. I began planning the trip immediately! Continue reading →