Kitacon Part Four: Day Three

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KITACON PART ONE: THE ANTICIPATION
KITACON PART TWO: DAY ONE
KITACON PART THREE: DAY TWO

  1. The Morning

I felt that the morning was quite uneasy. We checked out at 11 O’clock. I felt insecure as this meant that I was hanging around until the closing ceremony. I didn’t have anywhere to go to relax. When I read manga or chill out I like absolute silence with no one around. Unfortunately for me there was no quietness or peace.

 

In the end I decided to try and be brave and read in the lounge. A lady came over and asked if I minded if she sat next to me. I responded that I didn’t mind but in truth I really did mind. I couldn’t fully relax but I was still able to enjoy reading a few pages of Non Non Biyori.

 

  1. More Photo-Taking Cosplayers

I did keep an eye out for more photo opportunities, and I’m glad I did as I got a few more photos of cosplayers. I felt that my confidence had grown the more I talked to different people. There were at times that I said a few quirky quips that thought “oh no, why did I say that?” The things I said weren’t necessarily inappropriate but I sort of wished I had chosen a different way to say things.

Some of you may already know that I do struggle in social situations and sometimes I tend to say things without realising what I just said. Sometimes, if I want to find a meaning but don’t know the word, I would make up a word and say it. Haha… people find it funny but it can get me into trouble even though some of the things I say are not meant to be mean or nasty.

I managed to get the One Piece crew together. I asked a lady, Robin, if I could get a photo. She asked if I wanted the whole gang together, so I said yes… with subdued excitement. I waited for a good while for the whole gang to round up but it was most certainly worth the wait. I was really happy that I managed to get them together. I managed to get someone dressed as Iron Man too. My Mum likes Iron Man so I really went out of my own way to get a picture of him dressed in the Iron Man suit.

I had a lot of pleasant small talks with quite a lot of people really, Vegeta, Super Sonico, Kotori from Love Live, the One Piece crew, Tifa, I could literally go on. There were so many people that I talked to. Because I interacted with different people I found that I was able to form my words more coherently.

 

I also learned something interesting when I got back home. I had posed for a photo in my Batman outfit with Harley Quinn. I then discovered when I got home that she is actually Rayi, an infamous cosplayer. She has her own Facebook page and DeviantArt Page. I did feel daft for not knowing who she was. However, I’m really happy because I can say to my friends and family that I actually spoken to and had a photo with Rayi. =)

 

  1. How to Draw a Manga with Sonia Leong

The event panel that I was looking forward to was the drawing workshop with Sonia Leong.  I came to learn during the workshop that Sonia is actually an infamous manga artist in the UK. Her works spreads throughout the UK and she has been drawing for many years.

 

I really enjoyed her workshop and I felt really relaxed. The atmosphere was really chilled and positive. It reminded me of the yoga class that I attend on a weekly basis. I think it’s because drawing was the only thing that I can relate to and that I am interested in. There were quite a few tips that I already knew but I still learnt a lot by watching her draw first hand. She’s a very good artist. Not only that, she’s a very nice down-to-earth person who is a social butterfly. Her workshop was very detailed, but not complicated. That’s my kind of learning. =)

 

I was determined to speak with her but there were a good number of people who were speaking with her so it was hard to get a word in. In the end, I decided to go off and come back later to see if I could. I managed to speak with her in the end and she really is a nice person. We spoke about the relationship of characters and how we implement real life into a fantasy story. I never planned to say more than a few words but I felt encouraged to say more. I was confident that I could speak without being judged.

 

In the end more people came and kept on finding pauses in our conversation to say their bit. I’m too polite for my own good so it was easy for people to talk over me and interrupt.

 

I wanted to say goodbye to Sonia and shake her hand, but it looked like that I had to wait longer. So, I decided to be bold and found a pause when the lady next to me stopped talking and asked Sonia if I could shake her hand. She obliged and I shook her hand and walked away. I felt that it was rude of me to do that but Sonia is a very popular lady so I had to be a little bold and a little rude otherwise there might not have been another good opportunity.

 

I don’t usually shake people’s hands as it’s not my style but for some reason it felt appropriate, so I did. =)

 

  1. Closing Ceremony

Day 3 was generally chilled as Days 1 and 2 were more active.

I didn’t really fancy going to the closing ceremony as I wanted to go home at that point. I did appreciate the positive atmosphere in the air but in truth I wanted to go home and I didn’t want to get involved in any more big crowded situations.

I found that the journey home was much better than the journey to Birmingham. I went to Kitacon with plenty of anxious thoughts and not really knowing what I was getting myself in to. However, I knew exactly what to expect when I travelled home.

 

  1. My Overall Thoughts

If I were to describe my time at Kitacon I would say that it was a surreal experience. It was like I was dreaming for many days and then one day I woke up and I was back in my own bed. Haha.

I have never experienced anything like it in my life. If you were to tell me that I was going to rave, in a night club, amongst a humongous live crowd with extremely loud music, I wouldn’t believe you. I thought that was actually ok to do as I mostly hung out with Bro and my new friends in the corner, out of the way of the big crowd.

I did think that my confidence in talking to people did grow, bit by bit, especially when I was taking photos. I always told myself that I was going to take photos but when I arrived at the hotel I felt somewhat scared that I was going to do it. I got over the barrier by taking my first photo of Hestia. It became easier after that. Everyone there was approachable and friendly and chatty and I really do appreciate the fact that they took their time to pose for my photos. I also appreciate getting to know my friends more and in the process gaining new friends. Of course, I also appreciate my Bro and Sarah for trying to make my time at Kitacon as comfortable as possible.

My social skills were shaky at times but I think I outdid myself.

I’m always mindful to catch the cosplayers at good moments. I was sure not to ask to take their photos if they were part of a cue or if they were running to a certain destination. I would have liked to be more creative and have more creative shots and backgrounds but in those moments it was wise to do it there and then. My most creative shot was Vegeta because I caught this nice chap at a good moment.

By what I’ve observed I get the sense that everyone generally preferred to stay in their own social circles rather than branch out and talk to new people. However, that didn’t stop them from being friendly towards me and I got the sense that they were generally appreciative of me taking their pictures.

I went through many mixed emotions, but my headaches and dizziness were the most prominent as I literally had a headache since I got there. That’s mostly because of the loud noise of the music and crowd and from the over-whelming experience of being in an unfamiliar environment.

 

5.1.            My Personal Highlights

  • Mario Kart Tournament
  • Dealers room
  • Interacting with Bro, Sarah and all my current and new friends
  • All the friendly cosplayers
  • Drawing Workshop with Sonia Leong
  • Listening and watching Non Non Biyori… Non Non never fails to cheer me up and it may seem strange to say this, but Non Non Biyori always somehow reminds me of home.
  • Eating food
  • My Hotel Room

 

  1. What I learned about myself

I learnt, as I always do, that things are not as bad as I imagined them to be, like that time when I went to London. No matter how irrational or how sick or how dizzy I get I can always cope. I never allow myself to be broken no matter how down I feel about myself. I can always cheer myself up. I never feel sorry for myself. In conclusion, I’m probably much stronger than I realise.

I also learned that I’m much better at talking to people than I realised, all I needed was a bit of a confidence. I also found that by not planning conversations in advance I can actually talk to people better. It’s all about talking in the present moment and that tactic worked very well in my favour.

 

  1. Would I Go Again?

I don’t even want to think about that right now. I just want to spend some time to myself, chill out with my family and get back into my normal routine.

At this moment I don’t know if I would go again. As soon as I got back I thought “I won’t necessarily go again” and in some ways I’m sort of sticking with that rule.

But, after digesting the whole experience after a couple of days it was actually a fun convention. I have a rough idea as to what will happen next year and I have a good idea at what I will do the next time that I go/if I go.

Next time I would probably come down on Friday and leave on a Sunday morning. I would also extend the time for my room so I am able to go up there to get my own space. Chill out more as I feel that I tried too hard to talk to people and participate in the Kitacon experience. I put too much pressure on myself and I was already under-going many anxious feelings, so next time I would plan my time better and not put myself under so much pressure.

I also may buy a VIP badge for next time as I like the sound of being a Very Important Person. Haha.

One thing I would definitely change though… my I.D. name! Honestly, being called “SirRyanFalstaff” was really embarrassing. What identity should I be? If you have a suggestion please do share.

 

THANKS FOR READING

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There were at times where I just wanted to run away and call home but I sort of willed myself to try and look on the bright side. The first time I slept away from home was last year in London but this was the first time that I spent three days away from home. I was also surrounded by many, many people who I have never met before. It’s all a completely new experience to me.

Even though I don’t think rational in new and unfamiliar situations I prove to myself time and time again that I can cope. That in itself is the biggest achievement of my Kitacon Experience.

 

Ryan.^^/

Kitacon Part Two: Day One

Hilton Hotel

KITACON PART ONE: THE ANTICIPATION

KITACON PART THREE: DAY TWO

KITACON PART FOUR: DAY THREE

 

  1. Travelling and Arrival

I didn’t really get much sleep to tell you the truth, I was extremely nervous and the anticipation did get the better of me at times, especially during the car travel. I felt sick. It was a mixture of lack of sleep, the long car drive to Birmingham and not knowing what to expect. I heard the hotel of Hilton was very well established but when I got there I was completely blown away.

 

I walked into the hotel and immediately the place was full of vibrant cosplayers and convention enthusiasts talking amongst themselves happily. I did feel claustrophobic as I didn’t know where to walk or what to do, so I just followed Bro and his partner, Sarah and trusted them. I don’t take lifts unless it’s very necessary so I took the stairs… it took me five minutes to find them so I had to ask someone for directions. It’s not often I talk to random people so that’s good for me. I tend to struggle a lot in social situations, most specifically in big crowds. I tend to feel squashed and get headaches and feel dizzy. Day one was especially quite troubling.

 

I really liked my room. I got the disabled room as I wanted to feel as comfortable as possible as really this was the first time that I was undergoing this kind of experience. The bed and room were exquisite and it did meet my needs and made me feel more relaxed, but it’s nothing compared to my own bed.

 

  1. Photo-Taking

What made me especially nervous was the thought of photo-taking cosplayers. I was incredibly anxious on a big scale. Usually I take pictures of landscapes and objects to distract myself from being scared in an unfamiliar environment. However, I’m always careful as to not take pictures of people as I don’t want to be seen as being inappropriate. However, I came to this convention with the intention of taking pictures of cosplayers. If I was really not up for it then I could at least try and pluck up the courage to take a photo of a person dressing up as Hestia if someone came as Hestia.

 

I was making my way to the lounge area with Bro and Sarah when the site of long black pigtails and blue ribbon caught my attention. Someone was dressing up as Hestia! In that sudden moment of not over-thinking I decided to be brave and ask her for a photo. So I did… my words was mumbled and jumbled up. Haha. She gave her approval and I took a picture of her. I felt scared but very relieved afterwards. I told her that I was uploading my photos on my blog site in case she wanted to look at her pictures online.

 

Once I got over that barrier I felt more confident to ask more cosplayers for their photos. I asked the two ladies who were dressed as the Mizukage and Hinata characters for their photos and I actually ended up having a little conversation with them. They were impeccably nice and I actually regret not keeping the conversation going as I was enjoying talking to them. I never anticipated that I was going to talk to them, it sort of came naturally. It seems like I can hold a conversation better when I let the words flow as oppose to planning a conversation.

 

Everyone was approachable and I actually gained more confidence as I spoke to more people. In some ways I don’t really know why I was worried about starting conversations to begin with. Everyone was friendly to talk to and I didn’t feel intimidated or uncomfortable at all. Well, I did feel uncomfortable but more due to the humongous amount of people and unfamiliar environment rather than the individuals themselves. =)

 

I did change my wording a little bit when I spoke to them. Instead of saying that I was uploading them on my site I told them that I would upload them onto Kitacon Facebook page. Its easy access and they would all be able to find their photos easier on Facebook then to try and remember my name. In hindsight I wonder if I should have made cards but realistically speaking it was probably for the best that I didn’t.

 

I’m not really a pro at photography. I just wanted to take photos for fun and to show off everyone and their amazing cosplay outfits. After all, everyone had worked really hard on their outfits.

 

  1. Mario Kart 8 Tournament

I was intrigued with the tournament but it never entered my mind to enter the competition. In the end I decided to compete. I was in the first round along with Bro, Sarah and another girl who joined later on. The first two would advance to the semi-finals. I like games but I’m not good as I’m not an avid gamer. In my mind, I was going to come last so I just sat back and tried to enjoy the experience.

To my surprise I actually went through to the semi-finals and in the process knocked out my brother! How the heck did that happen? I was really over the moon. Whatever happened after that was a bonus.

In the semi-finals I was actually on par with the elite gamers. In some of the races I was actually first. I was really out-doing myself. I couldn’t believe that I was doing so well. I was casually talking to my competitors in the process. That was fun because we were competing against each other but it was far from fierce.

My lack of experience in gaming did catch up to me as at times I kept on mistiming shell dodges and kept on flying off edges… I would have finished second overall but I did absolutely terrible on Rainbow Road. I think everyone does. Haha. In the end, I came third.

I think I did so well because I was the most chilled. Everyone else was more competitive and they were leaning forward whereas I was casually sitting at the back of my chair.

Sarah got through to the final and came third. The Splatoon man, who was racing as Wario, is very, very good. He’s also a very nice chap and I’m glad I had the opportunity to speak with him and had a photo taken with him. =)

I got a few good responses dressed as Superman. I didn’t get asked for photos but I don’t really mind that as this is an anime convention not a comic book convention. =)

 

  1. Raving

For those who know me well will know that raving, at night, in a crowd of people with extremely loud music is most definitely not my thing. However, I did have a bogey with Bro. Me and Bro took to the dancefloor. I showed off some of my own unique dance moves and at one point we were right bang in the middle of the crowd… strangely enough I felt ok-ish and I enjoyed interacting with a few peeps. They seemed like very nice people and I will look forward to speaking to them more if the opportunity arises. =)

 

If you were to tell me five years ago that I was going to rave at a party and stay in a hotel for three days I wouldn’t believe you. That was a very unique experience and I certainly will not forget that experience any time soon. That was probably the first and last ever time that I will rave. XD

 

  1. Evening

For some reason, I felt rather down as soon as I got to my room. I felt tired, jaded, confused, stressed, and anxious. I also realised at that point that I had a really bad headache. I think that was probably the only time that I had time to myself. I think if I’m honest, deep down, I wanted more time to myself. However, I was conflicted with my own thoughts. In one respect I wanted to make the most of the experience at Kitacon but on the other hand there were at times when I wanted to be completely alone.

 

It really is such a surreal experience. Being in this hotel, at this event, sleeping in my own room, it’s very weird. I had no idea what I was expecting and to be honest I still don’t really know what’s happening. I feel that it’s all too face paced and in some ways I probably exhausted myself and pushed myself too hard to socialise. The whole day was basically just catching up with me…

 

I felt much better when I started to watch Non Non Biyori Repeat on my laptop. I just kept on re-watching the opening song and I gradually felt my spirits lifted. Non Non always make me feel better whenever I am down. It cheered me up on the car journey to Birmingham and it cheered me up at this precise moment. Not only is it a therapeutic and cute story but it actually reminds me of home.

 

It was that moment that I felt comfortable for the first time since arriving at Kitacon. To begin with, Kitacon is what you make it, even if I do choose to spend the entire weekend chilling in my room as long as I have fun, what does it matter?

 

Roll on Day 2. =)

 

Ryan.^^/

Kitacon Part One: The Anticipation

Kitacon Logo

KITACON PART TWO: DAY ONE

KITACON PART THREE: DAY TWO

KITACON PART FOUR: DAY THREE

 

Yipee! This is my first blog since moving over to my site. =) Now, back to the matter at hand.

 

This is the first time that I’m going on this kind of adventure since London. I would say that my anxiety for the trip is the same as it was when I went to London. I went to London last year to watch the Distant Worlds concert and that meant spending the night in the hotel. That was the first ever time that I stayed overnight at a place and not sleeping in my own bed.

 

For Kitacon, not only am I going on early Friday morning but I will spending two nights at the local hotel and travelling back home Sunday evening.

 

Now, today, it’s only starting to hit home that I’m actually going to this event with my brother and his partner. For many months it has been at the back of my mind. There were at times when the anticipation has been creeping up on me. It’s like going into the complete unknown. Instead of watching a Final Fantasy concert I may be potentially socialising with a lot of people. It’s a different kind of anticipation.

 

Some of you may or may not know that I get very nervous and uncomfortable in social situations, especially if it’s somewhere new. There were times when I felt that this was a deadline rather than a fun event. Can I get drawing done in time? Can I get this task done in time? Can I complete this story chapter in time? How many manga can I read and complete before I leave? Will I complete my website?

 

However, even though I have been getting anxious at the prospect of a social event I have been keeping myself busy. For the past few weeks I have been doing up the garden to put up a summer house, doing yoga and I’ve also been to the cinema to watch Ant Man. In hindsight these sudden chores have been a welcome distraction from the anticipation of the Kitacon event.

 

I have even been practising my Photography skills and trying out different cameras to see which one would be best to take with me. I do intend to take photos of people in their outfit as I have no doubt that there will be plenty of amazing cosplayers out there. I myself intend to dress up as Superman and Batman. =)

 

I do believe my brother when he says that I will enjoy myself, however, I can’t help but get anxious. I am coping much better than I thought I would. I can think more logically than usual. Even if I don’t get my writing done or my drawing done before Kitacon, having a few days off won’t do me any harm. They’re not going anywhere, and I can do my stories and art when I get back. I could even do them at my hotel if I wanted to.

 

I can’t help but to feel nervous as I always get nervous and anxious at the prospect of leaving my home as well as socialising with new people. However, no matter how nervous I get or how much of a head mush I get I prove to myself time and time again that I can cope and adapt, even if I don’t think logically.

 

Today has not been a very relaxing day but I’m confident that I will enjoy myself when I get there. It’s about taking each moment as it comes. In the past I haven’t coped so well, but nowadays, I’m much calmer and cooler than ever before.

 

Stay tuned for Part Two as I will continue to share with you my thoughts on the Kitacon experience.

 

Kitacon here I come.^^/

 

Ryan.

My First Year Blog Anniversary

Party Popper

Blog Tidings.^^/

It seems rather strange that I have been blogging for one full year now and this was met by many adventures that I did during that period. =) I’m not sure how it started really. I believe I was just rambling on with my family when it came up in passing that I should blog about my experiences with Autism. I learned over the years that writing things down can release my unwanted tension and it’s another form of me expressing myself. =)

After careful consideration, I registered on WordPress and my blogging journey started…

I could talk about my year as a whole, but instead, I’ll just summarise and link to the blogs that I think are significant.^^/

  1. Introduction

This is my introduction which I wrote one year ago. =)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/introduction/)

  1. WWE Raw 2013

I went to WWE Raw with my circle friends. I used to be a big fan of WWE but this was the first time that I attended an actual wrestling show. It was daunting but it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be. Plus, my favourite wrestlers were in attendance.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/wwe-raw-experience/)

  1. Segway

This was good experience and an instant highlight of the year. I arranged a birthday treat for my brother. This was the first time that I had actually arranged anything. I was also venturing into the unknown here. It was a little distance away but we both had a really good time and I would do Segway again without hesitation.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/segway/)

  1. Pub-Quizzing

On some occasions I would go to the Pub Quiz either as a night out or to celebrate a special occasion. I would often have to have a long think about whether I want to go out or not. Last month though, I went to the pub quiz for Cheese’s (the friend, not the dairy product) birthday celebration. Instead of needing to think I just decided to deal with my emotions when the time arrived.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/pub-quizzing/)

  1. WWE Royal Rumble

In early 2014 I stayed at my brother’s until the early hours watching WWE Royal Rumble. For some televised wrestling events I would often stay over. Usually after the event I spend the rest of my night sitting in a chair reading as I don’t feel comfortable sleeping in someone else’s house.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/wwe-royal-rumble-2014/)

  1. Completing a Writing Course

This was certainly a joyous occasion and I celebrated it with a pint of J2O. 😉 I learned a lot about writing and how to approach a publisher. Nothing has been happening for me and my books just yet but I believe I’m steering myself in the right direction. =)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/passing-an-online-course/)

  1. Positivity and Autism

Naturally, coping with Autism can be tough. I tend to over-think and read into situations that are not there.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/negativity-to-positivity/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/negativity-to-positivity-over-thinking/)

  1. Visiting College

Visiting my college again was quite a challenge. I was invited back to college a few times to watch performances and to catch up with people but I declined those offers. I was out of routine and had become unfamiliar with everything.

However, this year, I decided to pluck up my own courage and visited. I thought long and hard about this invitation but in the last minute I decided to say “yes.”

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/visiting-college/)

  1. The Wedding Blogs

I didn’t have much to blog about in July except for one…my sister’s wedding. That was a very significant moment and I achieved a lot personally on that day.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/the-wedding-part-one/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/the-wedding-part-two/)

  1. Yoga

My outlook on myself and confidence is highly due to my regular practice in Yoga.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/my-yoga-journey/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/my-yoga-journey-continues/)

  1. Film with a Friend

I went to watch the Transformers film with a friend… this was definitely a significant moment as this was the first time that I’ve been out with someone without a family member being present. The following day I went to the cinema with my Dad, and I took the initiative as he is less familiar with the procedure then I am.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/transformers-age-of-extinction-film-review/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/inbetweeners-2-film-review/)

  1. Impromptu Outing

Going to an impromptu trip to a train station was an interesting challenge.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/journey-to-tumbleweed-station/)

  1. November Happenings

November was very busy month and was perhaps the most challenging.

I designed a Halloween costume dressed as the Shockmaster for my Brother’s Halloween party. The day after that I went to London to watch Distant Worlds: music from Final Fantasy orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. As I travelled to London it was necessary for me to stay in a hotel, the first time that I ever slept in a bed that wasn’t my own… If that wasn’t challenging enough, I then travelled to Liverpool to watch WWE Raw.

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/halloween-as-the-shockmaster/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/london-trip-part-one-the-preparation/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/london-trip-part-two-the-london-experience/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/london-trip-part-three-the-final-fantasy-concert/)

(http://ryanlikestospeak.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/wwe-raw-and-liverpool-experience/)

BLOGGING

I believe I still have a lot to learn where blogging is concerned. What I have learnt though is that at times I probably forced myself to blog about stuff if I felt that I should blog about it. I like to think that in one year I developed my own style of writing and blogging. I consider myself always upbeat and looking on the happy side of life.

What I learnt is that I need to enjoy what I’m writing and I would often remind myself that all these blogs are from my own point of view. I tend to get the best out of myself if I enjoy writing, especially when reviewing film and manga. It can be hard at times since I find it difficult to summarise but thankfully I have my editor (aka Mum) to help me out. 😉

I find as well that if you don’t force yourself to blog you will have more things to talk about.

I feel a lot better when I’m blogging as it’s a good way to express myself. However, it came to light at times that viewers from all over the world are actually reading what I have to say. I’m also aware that some of my blogs have put smiles on the faces of my friends.

Making people happy is what motivates me to continue writing and blogging. Being happy is important, and if I’m making someone happy then I intend to keep up with that flow! =)

THANKS FOR READING

Two Thumbs-Up

I summarised my whole year to the best of my abilities. How did I do? Did I waffle too much? Haha. Well, I had to figure out how I was going to write this blog. In all honesty, it wasn’t a tough as I anticipated. All I had to do was sum up what I did and share my adventures from last November to now. =)

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I can’t wait to see what my future adventures will involve next.

See you next time.^^/

Namaste,^^/

Ryan.

London Trip Part Three: The Final Fantasy Concert

Distant Worlds logo

  1. Fun Fact

Believe it or not I actually had the opportunity to perform at the Royal Albert Hall many years ago. There is this talented group called WatchThisSpace, ages 14-21, and they do a lot experiment with dance movements. They were going to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010 and they held auditions to be part of that group.

A friend at Uni suggested that I should audition since I’m quite dandy with my Ballroom. I declined, for many reasons. Why? That’s for another blog. 😉

  1. Distant Worlds music from Final Fantasy Mini Ramble

This was such a surreal experience.

I had a rough idea of what the Royal Albert Hall would be like, but I never appreciated how big it truly is until I went inside… it’s seriously massive. I actually think it’s bigger than my local arena. I was sitting on the top tier, right near the fire exit. It’s no secret that I get apprehensive in massive crowds, but I felt reassured that I was near the fire exit. If it got too much for me I would just dart off.

Before the start of the performance a kind looking gentleman took to the stage and bowed. The crowd literally erupted in a chorus of cheers. I thought to myself, “He must be important.” But then Mr Conductor, Arnie Roth, announced that that man was actually Nobuo Uematsu. He has composed 90% of the songs from the Final Fantasy games. And, apparently, it’s rare for him to make an appearance but being in the Royal Albert Hall was a must for him. Can’t say that I blame him, it is a beautiful building. =)

  1. Distant Worlds music from Final Fantasy Mini-Review

What I liked especially about this concert was how Mr Conductor rambled briefly about each song and shared with us the facts about his orchestra. This was their 98th tour and 3rd in the Royal Albert Hall. He was a friendly man. He was the sort of dude that commanded respect without even trying. I’d love to have a drink of J2O with him one day. =) I believe the 99th tour will be somewhere in Europe.

I liked the fact as well that the Royal Albert Hall has the second largest organ in Europe… I can see why. The building was tall, but the organ pipes were massive. They were even taller than the top tier seats. The building was big but the organ pipes literally vibrated the entire arena.

They premiered quite a few songs that night. Two of them were based on the Final Fantasy 9 game. I liked all the instrumental music that was played that evening but I think the most significant instrument was the organ. Mr French came on (I didn’t catch his name) and played the guitar. He was good. Then Mrs Kelly came on (I didn’t catch her name) and sang a beautiful ballad for the Final Fantasy 14 online music.

I can’t really say I had any particular standout favourites since they were all as equally as good, but, I did appreciate certain songs that I’m more familiar with. Like the theme songs from Final Fantasy 7 and 9, especially the Rose of May. The Chocobo song at the end was a nice touch. =)

It was good as well that they had a screen. Whilst listening to the music we could watch the video that was being played that went with it. FF6 looks like it’s a humorous game, judging by what I saw. However, I did get confused when that joker clown like character fought against the pretty brunette lady and won. It looked as though the villain beat the hero… I think? I think it’s on that PSP Vita. I still enjoyed watching the screen though. I think it’s good that the orchestra made that available for us, the audience. =)

The most significant moment, without a shadow of a doubt, is Nobuo. I read in the programme that the man himself hoped to perform live on stage at some point. And… he did just that. Apparently, Arnie suggested that idea to Nobuo and he said that he will play the keyboard if Arnie plays the violin. And Mr Conductor played the violin. Hoho.

That was the first ever time that Nobuo Uematsu has performed on stage, and I was there to see it. It truly was a memorable moment. 🙂

*

It was good experience. I did cringe and clench my teeth a lot when the audience clapped, cheered, stood up and erupted. I was able to enjoy the orchestra just about enough since some of the instruments were soothing and they were playing the songs that I liked.

But, I didn’t like the huge noise from the crowd. It made my head swirl and chest feel unpleasant. On two occasions I had to go out to get away from the crowd, and when I thought rationally enough I went back in. I actually missed the start of the second half of the performance. I did feel worse after that. The duration of the performance was nearing three hours and near the end I actually wanted it to finish so I could go back to the hotel.

I did enjoy the orchestra. For some reason there seems to be a difference to listening to the music rather than listening to someone sing. In a way, this was the best way for me to debut a concert. Haha. It was good experience. In truth I would say that my brother appreciated the overall experience a lot more than me. He is a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series. =)

If I were to rate this, I would say…

Two Thumb’s-Up. (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

  1. Overnight

I went back to the hotel asap with my brother, had a nice long shower and watched Match of the Day in my room. I put on BBC1 before I left for the concert. With assistance from my Brother I managed to work the TV. That way, when I came back I could watch the TV from the get go to be organised. I think that was quite wise on my part, if I do say so myself. =)

*

I cut down on my football time since I tried to get some sleep…

I was tired but my body didn’t really want me to sleep. My body became aware that this wasn’t my room and I wasn’t sleeping on my bed. The cushions were comfy though. Since I couldn’t really sleep I decided to read some manga. I read Monster Musume, D-Frag and See Me After Class. I even listened to the Non Non Biyori soundtrack on my ipod.

I felt very relaxed. This was the only time I could relax on this trip. Being organised in London was certainly exhausting and then I had to try and force myself to sleep. After relaxing, I gradually fell asleep. I didn’t get much sleep though.

I woke up very early. We set contingency plans to ensure that me and my brother get up at 8. I woke up at 7 O’clock. Before getting ready I decided to have a bru. I put on the kettle… I suddenly remembered that the plug didn’t work so I went to press the button to stop when I actually burned my finger. XD It was morning and I had long forgotten that the kettle was not working properly. Haha. Wait, that’s not funny… anyway, I spent five minutes running my burned finger under the cold tap…

*

We got the train, first class, and went home. I thought a couple kept on looking at me and they would often turn away if they caught my eye. I kept on building myself up to smile every single time we catch eye contact, alas… it never happened. Not to worry though.

I came home, and spent literally the entire day just chilling on the couch without saying a word. I didn’t want to talk. I was just extremely pleased that things were back to normal. It took a while for me to sink in the information though…

  1. Overall Experience

It was good. It was most definitely one of my most significant moments. Going and sleeping London felt so far way, yet, it was here and gone. It really is amazing how time flies, especially when you’re having fun. =)

Pre-anxiety always dominates my mind whenever I’m going into the unknown. Sometimes I will deal with my state of mind just fine, other times, it becomes hard to endure. I just have to go with my gut instinct.

London wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was quite the opposite, in fact. I felt constantly safe, a little iffy around the roads, but I was able to retire to my room for peace and quiet from time to time. And because I was constantly busy, I wasn’t as anxious. I distracted myself and times. It felt like I got used to my room quickly, and for a brief moment I thought I was playing the role of Alan Partridge. XD

A friend summed it up perfectly. “Focus on the parts you enjoyed about London, instead of remembering how you felt.” I knew this philosophy but he’s absolutely bob on with his words. =) And it’s the thing of, just because I feel sick, apprehensive, dizzy and so on, it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t take away the positives from this journey. Or anything really that is outside my comfort zone. I went to London to enjoy myself, not to pay attention to my nerves. =) It was a struggle at times but I coped and I was never in danger of losing my mind. Haha.

With that in mind, it actually made me appreciate my own life even more.

I have the luxury of a house, my own room, a space to play games, hang out with people, watch movies, write stories, watch anime, watch Thomas, read manga, and all sorts. I didn’t have that much freedom when I was away but I have the freedom at home. I already knew this, of course, but it still makes me appreciate my life even more, and I will continue to cherish it. =)

*

The biggest question remains… will I do this again?

Well… I’m split. Before this trip I might have said “I will never 100% do this again.” But now I have experienced it… I can safely say that I will not rule out this kind of outing again. On the other hand though, I’m not in a rush to do this again. I mean, I’m in no rush to go to London any time soon. If the concert was to be played in the nearest area then I think there’s a strong possibility that I would go again. It all depends how I feel at that time though. =)

It’s just as I mentioned in the wedding blog many months ago. Just because I did something once, doesn’t mean I would find it easy to do it again. It just means that I’m more capable then I thought myself to be. It’s all about endurance and concentrating on the positives. So far, I’m doing myself proud.^^/

THANKS FOR READING

That’s it for my London blogs. I wonder what’s in store for me next.

Nearly one year ago, 16th November, I opened up a WordPress blog account. I plan to post a blog on that very day to summarise my year of blogging. I hope you will drop by and have a read. =)

See you all for now.

Namaste,^^/

Ryan.

London Trip Part Two: The London Experience

Royal Albert Hall

  1. Arriving at London Euston

At this point we have arrived in the heart of London, more specifically, London Euston Train Station. Strangely, I keep on pronouncing it as Houston, but that’s irrelevant!

Ahem-

I took a quick glance around. I didn’t feel strange at first, it felt like any other ordinary train station. I would say that it’s just about the same size as any other major city station. =) We were in a rush too so we had no time to enjoy the sights of the station.

*

Next moment, we got into the black cab! That was the first ever time that I had been inside the black taxi cab. I’m a bit iffy with taxis nowadays due to my experience with taxis from when I attended College and University, that’s another story though! I was more excited than nervous. Perhaps it’s because the Black cabs are quite famous in London, and I was with my brother.

The gentleman driver knew where he was going but there was one moment where my heart skipped a beat. He pulled by the lights and from my point of view it looked as though we were going to crash besides this huge lorry! Turns out, he was just pulling up beside it. Me and my brother exchanged grimaces of relief!

We took another route because there was a vintage car real show in the park. =)

Through all those lovely detours we have finally arrived at the Queen’s Gate Hotel.^^/

  1. The Queen’s Gate Hotel

The first thing I thought, when I looked up is “wow, I gotta take a picture of this!” and so I did, and it was magical. =)

I felt really important when we went into the reception. I especially felt an important guest when we were given swipe cards. I was a little mean to my brother at this point… I made him take the stairs all the way up to the fourth floor. Haha. When we reached there we had a problem… how do we get in? We tried to swipe it horizontally, vertically and tried to place it as if there was a hole there… turns out, all I needed to do was place the card over this fancy switch and the door opened!

We got in. The room was small but cosy. We had problems working the kettle though. Then… well. I decided at that moment, after putting my card in the card holder, that I should take a picture of my door for Nan. So I walked out, closed the door and took a picture. When all was said and done, I put my phone away and tried to open the door… I was locked outside! My brother, Mum, my sister, everyone warned me that whatever I do, I should not leave my room without my card. I did that without even trying. Luckily my brother was in the room so all I had to do was knock on the door and my brother opened it. Haha. It wasn’t even his room. XD

My bed was ok and the shower and bathroom was in mint condition. As long as the shower was super hygienic then I am happy. =) I couldn’t really get all that comfortable on the bed, I wasn’t used to sleeping on someone else’s bed. I had a quick cup of tea before we left to go for a walk at the Kensington Gardens. There wasn’t much time to relax just yet as we wanted to have a quick stroll in the park.

  1. Kensington Gardens

Before we took a stroll in the park we decided to have a dummy run to the Royal Albert Hall.

I did this whilst watching out for the busy roads. I’m especially nervous around roads. Pre-university I’d often go into my own little world and not really pay attention to my surroundings. I used to be very embarrassed to admit this so I never explained why I lacked concentration when walking along the roads. Nowadays, I’m very aware of my sense of self. So, I can control my own thoughts, especially around busy roads. I’m still not as confident though, I will only cross roads when I feel secure over the fact that the roads are absolutely clear. I don’t care even if I have to wait ten minutes, it’s better to be a bit late and stay safe. ^^/

The Royal Albert Hall is literally a five minute walk from where the hotel was, perhaps even shorter. It was simply a majestic sight to behold. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s hard to put it into words. Opposite this building is the Royal College of Music. That was a nice building too. You could literally hear the pianos playing from where we were. On the other side of the Royal Albert Hall was the Royal College of Art, another nice building. =)

*

On the way to the park we got ourselves Ice Cream. Since this was a monumental occasion I chose to get a triple whippy into a double whippy comb… It was extremely delicious, but, I kept on dripping it on the floor. 🙁 I said that it was worth every penny, until my brother reminded me of the fact that it was actually him who treated us both to the ice cream… so, it was worth all the pennies he spent on it. 😉

However, I dropped bits of ice cream onto my shirt. I wouldn’t mind if it was any ordinary shirt, but, I bought this shirt specifically to debut in London. And, I somewhat made a mess of it. Haha!

*

Walking in that park was simply lovely. There were loads of people though, and as more people came near me, I kept on taking shots of the sceneries. I got a few nice shots too, especially of the sky and water. =)

Strangely though, what I liked more about the park were the colourful people that were in it. It made me feel like that it was a waste of time feeling anxious around other people. I saw all sorts of eccentric activities the people were doing, I saw one or two doing yoga. I was happy because everyone was doing all sort of eccentric stuff, but, no one was judging anyone. They were just getting on with their own stuff. It made me feel like I could blend in and be myself with ease, without feeling judged.

My philosophy is ‘eccentric is the new normality’ haha. =D

  1. Realisation

Something occurred to me whilst I was snapping photos. I do genuinely love taking photos, but yet, I always find that I’m taking more then I need to. Why is that? I think I found my answer after I got back to the hotel. I take photos to distract myself from the situation.

To me, this makes a lot of sense. I’m always nervous when I’m out and about, especially when I’m venturing into the unknown. Sometimes to escape my nerves and socialising with new people I would often pick things out that I think would make a nice photo, and take a few pictures of it. It was exactly like that when I went to my sister’s wedding. I told myself to restrain myself from photo taking… that did not happen at all. Partly, it was because I enjoyed taking pictures of the scenery and people, but it was also to distract myself from feeling anxious.

How I felt when taking photos in London was no different from when I was taking photos at my sister’s wedding.

I wouldn’t say that taking photos is necessarily a bad thing but I at least understand why I’m taking more than necessary. Am I going to resolve this? Do I need to resolve this? I’m not sure, but what I am sure is that I’ve learnt a lot about myself in this trip, and this is one of the platforms that I have learnt. =)

  1. Pre-Concert Preparations

I was apprehensive when I got off the station, into the hotel, and walking through the park. But… I felt incredibly ill as soon as I went back to my room.

I don’t know what suddenly came to me. I propose that since I was constantly busy I was somewhat distracted by my anxiety. However, since I was back at the hotel, I had some peace and quiet. That was then when I started to feel ill. I became aware that I was in London, and that everything was out of routine. At that time I opted to listen to the Non Non Biyori soundtrack. Then, it was time to go and grab some tea lunch at the Royal Albert Hall…

*

Whilst feeling nauseous, apprehensive and a little jaded, I went and had a Panini and hot chocolate.

To my surprise, me and my brother saw a lot of people dress in cosplay from characters from the Final Fantasy series! I was led to believe that we had to dress smart casual. Who would have thought? I was happy that everyone was in a good, positive mood but, it was getting a little bit too much for me. It was a small room just inside the Royal Albert Hall, so, I needed to go out into the open space to avoid the huge crowd. Believe me, it was super tight. I felt more ill after that.

I bought the concert programme and took it back to the hotel before the start of the concert…

*

In Part Three I’m going to talk about the concert, my night in the hotel and my journey home.

Thanks for Reading,

Stay tuned.^^/

Ryan.

London Trip Part One: The Preparation

Virgin Train

London baby!

Ahem…This was a very significant moment in my life and I can’t convey all of my thoughts into one blog post. I chose to divide this London Trip into three parts. =) Here’s the first…

  1. The Introduction

About a year ago my brother asked me if I wanted to go to watch the Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds concert. He explained that this is a rare occasion for the tour to come to England. I looked on the site and saw that the orchestra band last came to England in 2012. I thought, ‘two years ago? That’s not so rare if it happened recently.’ Haha.

Tickets went on sale so really I had to make a prompt decision. My mind was very muddled at that point. I felt huge pressure on my shoulders and I kept thinking about the circumstances rather than the concert itself. In the end I more or less said no as my mind went blank and I’m not very talented with prompt decision making.

Afterwards my brother unveiled the fact that he actually bought all three tickets for me, himself and our friend, Cheese. It was a good job that he did as the tickets for the concert sold out in less than two hours! In truth, I did feel more pressure when my brother bought the tickets, but in hindsight, that was actually a smart move. To my understanding, it’s a record sell out. 🙂

I more or less said that I will think about whether I want to come or not, since going to the concert was not going to happen overnight. If I was unhappy with this then all I had to do was sell the ticket and refund my brother…

*

Along the way Cheese dropped out, so that would mean my Brother going by himself. At that point I started to think more about him then myself. He would have been fine on his own by all means but it’s not really the same when there’s no one to share the fun with. Plus, I probably appreciate the Final Fantasy series more than everyone else in our circle of friends. However, my brother appreciates the music a lot more than me.

I decided at that moment that I was going to the concert. Yes, it was a musical orchestra. Yes, it was a concert. Yes, it was at the Royal Albert Hall. Yes, it was in London. Yes, there will be a lot of people there. However, instead of brooding all of that in the present time, I would deal with those issues and worries when the time came.

  1. The Anticipation

I was generally relaxed about the trip at first. I arranged the tickets for Virgin Trains and booked reserved rooms for the Queen’s Gate hotel.

I must be honest when I say that I was very reluctant to stay in a hotel. In an ideal world we would watch the concert and go straight home via trains. That wasn’t really feasible though and so it was more necessary to stay in the hotel overnight. I really didn’t like this but I of course understood that travelling back would be more hassle then its worth. With much reluctance I booked two rooms at the hotel. My brother allowed me to make all the arrangements and I did with assistance from my Mum.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before but I lose a lot of sleep every time I spend a night at my brother’s. I’m very aware in those moments that my bed was not around. Sleeping at someone else’s house has always proved difficult. How am I going to handle the experience in a hotel?

*

In some ways I think I tried to avoid the topic about London as much as I could. I was in the frame of mind that I need to handle situation in the given moment, as oppose to thinking about it and talking about it needlessly.

I think my other folks and sister were more excited about the London trip than I was. When my sister asked if I was looking forward to Saturday, I asked, ‘yoga?’ Deep down, I knew she meant London, but I was really determined to not think about it. If I think about it, I worry. After she clarified what she meant I said, ‘I’m not thinking about it,’ and the topic ended.

Everyone was very encouraging though. My mum was especially encouraging. She was actually born and raised in London, so she knew London like the back of her head. She reassured that I will be fine. I felt reassured that I was going to be safe but it still didn’t change the fact that I was going into the complete unknown.

*

It dawned on me two days before that I was going to go to London… In that time I was busy trying to get my travel kit sorted and fixing my costume for the Halloween party. All the little niggles and quirks that I would laugh off or ignore became important issues. I had a lot on my mind so I ended up getting headaches, pent-up anxiety and I lost a lot of sleep.

Ideally, I would have liked to have an evening all to myself so I could prepare myself mentally. However, the day before we went to London I went to my Brother’s Halloween party. I was aware that there were new people coming so I started to get nervous about that. I found that my anxiety about the London Trip mostly overshadowed my anxiety of meeting new people at the party.

My head was not in a pleasant state because I did not have many opportunities to relax and unwind. I felt rushed and in the need of hurrying up. I don’t like running, rushing or anything at a fast pace. I always prefer to take my time, so bustling about and getting things ready did not help matters.

I did have an hour here and there and I spent that time re-watching particular anime. I also listened to the Non Non Biyori soundtrack since it’s pleasant on my ears. When I was relaxed and happy I was able to think positive. I might have felt ill and had a wave of headaches but that doesn’t mean that it’s all doom and gloom. =)

I left the Halloween party early so I could prepare myself for the next day. I watched anime and settled for bed. I was still a little anxious but I felt happy…

  1. Arriving at the Train Station

I woke up at seven O’clock sharp and straightaway I found myself that I was able to wake up and get up with ease. I opened the window, saw a tree and thought ‘that would make a good picture!’ So I went outside and took a picture of it. It was beautiful. =D

Ahem-

I re-checked my bag, got dressed into my outfit, and re-watched anime before I left my house.

*

My Dad picked up my brother and dropped us off at the train station.

It was certainly a massive place. We found that we had a lot of time to spare because we arrived an hour early. We decided to grab a drink to quench our thirst. We went into Starbucks and I grabbed a lovely creamy hot chocolate. =D

Coincidentally, there was a massive chalkboard which said “AUTISM”. Around that word were different words that were generalised symptoms of Autism. Apparently, that was Starbucks’ charity of the month. In some ways, it makes you wonder if this was a sign. I certainly feel that it could have been, even if it is just a coincidence.

*

We found our train! I asked my brother to take a photo of me beside the train. I posed and he took the photo. I walked towards him, turned around to find that the train was just departing… I was posing next to the wrong train. Whoops. We eventually found the right train and scrambled aboard. We were right at the very back. 😉

  1. The Train Journey

I felt slightly under the weather to tell you the truth as I had a headache and felt jaded due to lack of sleep. The pendolino train, being rickety on the lines, sort of amplified my mental state. After that I felt very sick and very nauseous. Haha. For some reason I was expecting it to be smooth like an Aeroplane (I took part in Child Flight back in the 1990’s but that’s another story) and be a lot smoother. How wrong I was. XD

As I was on this train journey I figured I would use this time to write the Halloween blog as well as start my reviews on Non Non Biyori and Locodol. However, writing these reviews amplified my mental state by ten folds! XD

Despite feeling ill I chose to think positive. I had a lot of good banter with my brother. On the odd occasion I would look out of the window and at the beautiful scenery that were flashing by. We even played noughts and crosses for a little while and had a right good laugh about it. Haha.

The train ride, in truth, was enjoyable to some extent. It sort of felt no different than a normal modern train. We were just travelling farther away and a lot faster. I think because me and my brother were passing the time and enjoying ourselves it just seemed that the train journey ended a lot quicker then we’d expect it. Needless to say we both nearly fainted when we left the carriages. Haha.

The train came to a gradual stop and finally we have arrived at London Euston train station. =)

And- but I mustn’t tell you anymore, I’ll save that for part two. 😉

Thanks for Reading,

Stay tuned.^^/

Ryan.

The Wedding (Part Two)

Wedding Bells Imgae

Part Two is here. =D

In Part One I explained emotions before and after the wedding. At times my Autism played mind games with me, but with correct remedies I overcame some issues. The ceremony was much more exciting and chilled then I thought and I carried off my wedding reading with my head held high. Now, to tell you the rest of the day…

 

  1. The Photographs

I was sort of in a pickle at this point. I didn’t really know who to converse with or hang out with. I suppose really I didn’t want to talk to anyone in particular, so, I just mulled around taking more random snaps of people and the general landscape. Every now and again I would elegantly dab my forehead with a tissue, battling the blazes of the hot sun. Haha.

I was extra hot since I had a waistcoat over my shirt. I kept my suit jacket on for as long as I could. Some of the folks often suggested that I should take off my jacket but I chose not to. I wanted to look the part for as long as I could. My attitude was ‘if I could survive 7 hours in a Lord Voldermort costume, then I could manage a good duration in a three layered get-up’. Someone said to me ‘are you mad?’ to which my reply was ‘yes.’ XD

I kept seeking shade many of a time. Trees were my best friend on that day.^^/

Then came the time when we all posed for Mr Photographer’s professional snaps. He took one where we all made the shape of a heart where the Bride and Groom kissed one another in the middle. Genius indeed! I really did like Mr Photographer. He was a very bubbly chap who was very creative in his craft. The sort of ideas he came up with for taking photographs are similar to my ideas and style. I liked him instantly. He gets two thumbs up from me. In fact, I actually took a few snaps of him taking snaps of other people…it was rather funny. XD

I thought it was actually cool that he knew my name. My fame is growing. Hoho. =D

It was time to pose for the immediate family photo. We were all chirpy at that point. Mr Photographer called me Superman for some reason, I didn’t know why but I took it rather humorously. The same when he joked and suggested that I would lie down in front of them. Usually I do take things to heart as sometimes I don’t always get jokes or sarcasm. My sister, the Bride, implied that I would have done, implying that I was some sort of drama-queen… my thespian days are behind me! 😉

All was ok until he told me to relax. I was confused because I thought I was relaxed. Then someone told me to breathe. Everything was said in good humour but I didn’t really understand why they were saying that. It clicked when I noticed that my body was somewhat tensed up. I was probably posing unnaturally. This made me feel really silly. Was I posing too much and being too unnatural in front of the cameras? I thought I was being natural in front of the camera? I felt a little embarrassed at these thoughts so I started to wander off. No one said anything incriminating, I just felt daft.

I got it in my head at that point that no matter what happened I was going to go home after the meal. I didn’t want to feel embarrassed or stick out like a sore thumb any longer…

 

 

I liked the orange juices; I got as many down my neck as existed. I also enjoyed taking some personal snaps of my Dad, who looked super dapper.

Many peeps there complimented me and my suit, all saying I looked dapper. Of course, everyone looked dapper and beautiful. I would have repaid the compliments but I was very much wrapped up in my own mind and worries to think about others at that moment in time.

 

  1. The Meal

I walked in and a cute waitress stood in front of me. I think her name was Kimberly but I called her Isabel since I decided that she looked more like an Isabel. So Isabel asked if I knew where my table was, and pointed to it with a smile and bow. I knew where my table was since I actually helped with the printing of the table plan, but, I still enjoyed her brief company regardless. 😉

All the speeches by the wedding party were fun and touching to listen to. I was somewhat apprehensive as a glass of wine was already placed in front of me, as with everyone else. I do not like any alcohol by any stretch of the imagination and usually I would want to pour it away the next chance I got. Once again though, I started to think outside the box… all the wines are poured into those fine glasses since this was a formal occasion. This wasn’t the ‘let’s annoy Ryan show’ but the ‘Newlyweds show’. So, naturally all wine glasses would be filled with wine. It also didn’t mean that I had to drink it. Only I can make that sort of choice. If I didn’t want to drink it, I shouldn’t have to drink it. In the end, after all the needless worrying, I didn’t. =)

When my Dad finished his Father of the Bride speech, we all toasted the Bride and Groom, including me. I didn’t realise but I actually picked up the wrong glass! I picked up the chunky water glass instead of the wine filled glass and toasted the Bride and Groom with an empty glass. I put the empty glass back down as casually as I could… only to find out later that my brother actually filmed me picking up the wrong glass! …I have been named and shamed, haha.

Then we started the eating and talking amongst ourselves. My Auntie taught me correct table etiquette, especially when it comes to eating food. I never had a starter in my life; I go straight for the meal. It was a unique experience. I was focused when it came to eating. I was too conscious not to spill any tomato soup down my suit.  It then came to my attention that the dinner was chicken with other unique substances… at that point I pictured one of those home cooked Sunday roasts… the one we had in that moment was much lighter than I expected. It was delicious. The dessert was truly exquisite. I had sticky toffee pudding, ice cream and a piece strawberry.

Then, my lovely lady Isabel (who really is Kimberley) came over a couple of times. =D We had a bit of a thing. She placed a cloth over my lap, the first to bring me food, water, and did it all with a smile. Then, when we locked eyes she came over and asked if I would like a coffee. I said no with a smile (what I would give to have teeth as white as Ross Gellar’s) and asked for tea. She apologised and said that she couldn’t help as she was a coffee girl. I almost suggested for her to stop her coffee girl duties and pull up a chair next to me! Alas, I respect her position as a coffee girl.

It’s the kind of forbidden romance that will never happen. Every time I see a coffee brand from now on it will always remind me of Isabel (really Kimberley)… OH WELL. It’s as the old saying goes; there are plenty of coffee girls in the sea, or in this case, coffee shops. XD!

I went out to freshen up for ten minutes or so, just to have a bit of a break away from the loud and joyous room of happy people. The Bride was alone, so, I took this opportunity to go over and say hi and say a few words with some of her posse. I could have spoken to her a few times earlier, and the Groom, but she was being surrounded by her posse so I decided to wait for the right moment to talk with her. I took my moment and approached her when she was alone.

I spoke pleasantly with what I call the dancing gang. They all seem to recognise who I was. One of them guessed that I was one of her brothers. I could tell straight away that one of them was a dancer by his mannerisms and energetic aura. 😉 They were all cool to talk to though. A few of them asked if I drank alcohol. Usually when that happens my sister would jump in and say that I don’t drink, being the supportive big sister. ^^/  Once upon a time if someone asked me if I drank alcohol, I would over react at the mere suggestion, nowadays however, I just say, no, I don’t drink, and leave it at that.

 

 

The cake cutting was due originally for 8 O’clock, but I found out the day before that it moved to half 8. My sister informed me that I didn’t have to be there for the cake cutting if I didn’t want to. Up until this point I got it in my head that I was definitely going home as soon as I scoffed down the meal…with grace and dignity of course. 😉

However, after the meal I think I probably came out of my shell little by little. In the morning I didn’t really fancy interacting with anyone. I think once I got the feel of the place and the type of people that were there, I started to familiarise myself with the whole situation. I exchanged pleasantries with Dale’s side of the family and some of Nat friend’s acquaintances/husbands. Something also happened that was rather significant to me- smiling at random people.

I’m no stranger to smiling per se, but usually if I lock eyes or share a glance with someone I usually look away rather quickly, standing out is not my thing. But on this day, I surprised myself. If someone looked at me and I caught them in the act (haha) I smiled, to which they smiled back. Then, to avoid any potential awkward freeze frame, I casually (I hope) turn away pretending to talk to someone else. The most unusual thing is, this didn’t happen just once, it happened at least five times. The confidence in me grew quite large. I always wanted to smile at some random person in the streets as not only will it make me feel better, but it might make them feel better. Yet, I managed to do it not once but numerous times. Good for me. =)

Whilst I started to come out of my bubble little by little I still feel that it was necessary to go home for a little while, in order to rest and freshen up. I went home at the correct moment. It helped me think and rationalise over a few pros and cons of the evening and how I was feeling. It was at that moment that I decided to come back for the cake-cutting ceremony. If anything bad happened or if I felt uncomfortable, I would just call upon the services of Dad and he would take me home.^^/

 

  1. The Evening Reception

After freshening up and having some peaceful time to myself I came back, literally in the nick of time of the evening reception. With quick thinking I was able to video the Bride and Groom cutting the cake.

I hung around my Brother and his partner for a short while before deciding that I was brave enough to take snaps and video people dancing and laughing the night away. I even got some beautiful shots of the Bride and Groom Posse posing with fake cigars against the sunlight. There was a very funny photo of the Groom Force lifting the bride into the air. You could see all the groom gang but you couldn’t see the Groom himself… it was a very funny moment. I felt a bit proud since they asked for me personally to take some photos. =D

 

Ahem-

 

Some of the people really rocked the dance floor, including a lady (related to the chief bridesmaid), who had additional needs. She had loads of energy and was not afraid to show it off. I liked it how everyone accepted her. They danced with her rather than around her. It was a lovely sight.

After taking some snaps I decided that the music was too loud and everyone was too busy having fun and being energetic, so, I ventured outside for some alone time. The Sun went to bed early and the moon came out to party! =D It was very cool and extremely peaceful. If I’m honest, I think I could have spent the rest of the night outside rather than inside. Especially on this certain stone bench that I was attached too.^^ I decided to go back in a couple of times though, I was on a roll when it came to mingling, so, I decided to be courageous and interact with more folks.

Being courageous does not mean being fearless, it means doing something daring. XD

I spoke to Ian about Footy, I bantered with my Bro, who decided to steal my suit jacket. XD I took it off just after the meal since it’s been a good amount of hours without taking it off.  XD I interacted with some of Nat’s former and present co-workers. They’re a fun bunch to talk to. One of them thought that me wearing my name tag was humorous. This was originally tied around the wine glass but I then tied it around the button of my waistcoat. “Now you know who you are!” They chimed. XD They made some mad banter jokes. I didn’t have the foggiest idea what they were on about but I imagine that it was something rude, judging by how Nat was laughing. XD!

The other waiters and waitresses were kind to me to. All thought it was humorous that I had my name attached across my suit jacket. I’ll tell you another miracle that happened… I drank three J2O’s from the Bar and I didn’t pay for any of them. Today was a lucky day to be Ryan. =D

Everyone became slightly rowdy and started to get more caught up in the excitement, so, I decided that once again it was time to visit the pleasant greenery outside.

I discovered that I rejuvenate myself every time I go outside. So, at certain intervals of interacting with various people I sought refuge in the pleasant and cool air outside. It’s a very beautiful garden, both during the day, dusk and in the evening. =)

At this point I decided to come home. I ventured back into the hotel, through the reception and I could see the Bride, calling me over, onto the dance floor with a bunch of people surrounding her. At that point I was like- “oh no dawg! You ain’t gettin’ me on the dance floor to boogy like Grace Kelly! Cause I’ve got Sky broadband SHIELD!” …just kidding, I don’t have sky. D=

It was my misunderstanding as the Bride wanted to say farewell. Exchanged hugs (I don’t do hugs, I get too tense) said bon vouyage (haha) and went home first. I said a quick goodbye to Paula, took a few snaps of the Bride with the Groom and the Bride’s Father a couple of times, then, time for home.

I got home at half past eleven at night; I had to do a double take to look at the time correctly.

Oh, by the way, I kept on receiving praise for my wedding reading from the Bride’s point of view. It was a lovely sentiment and to be honest I completely forgot that I did the wedding reading. I only remembered when people came up to me about it and when the Groom thanked me in his speech.

 

  1. The Aftermath

It’s taken me a couple of days to recover from the wedding. I’m still recovering now. I’m in a messed up sleeping pattern, haha.

For the past few days I dedicated my time to uploading the photos and videos in order to show the Bride and Groom when they are back from their honeymoon, in the United States of America. =D

All the guests and family alike were quite impressed with my photos. I’m glad they were, I’m pleased with how I applied my trade as well. =) I snapped some from very unique angles and vision.

I also decided to keep my name tag and my poem verse by Edward Monkton as special memories of the Wedding.^^/

 

  1. Conclusion

I out did myself when it came to interacting and mingling. I was slow to start but I found my feet as the day went on. I got it in my head throughout the day that I was going to go home after the meal, yet, I stayed until eleven O’clock at night. I mingled much more than I thought I could ever manage. All the guests from the Bride’s side and Groom’s side were simply endearing and approachable. The pair have very good taste in friends.^^/ It certainly made my day easier and I think it’s the positive atmosphere of the people that helped me stay longer then I anticipated. Granted, I still needed my own space from the noise and busy reception. =)

I had a significant role with the wedding reading. I should also point out that it was a lot different than performing. When I’ve had a role in a performance and I’ve stood in front of people, afterwards I would usually remember what I’ve said word for word because I continue to be in character. However, on this day, since the reading was more personal, I felt more relaxed and as I wasn’t in character, the pressure was off and I simply forgot that I had read it. XD!

It’s important to note that whilst I was able to stay the full day, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I will be able to do the same next time. My Autistic quirks always play a part in my life, big and small, and that’s something that I will never escape from. In a nutshell, I’m always battling with myself and my troubles.

These troubles will never go away but I choose to endure these troubles rather than escape. I never run away from a situation and I certainly wasn’t going to start with my one and only sister’s wedding.

Overall, the ceremony was wonderful and definitely one of the most memorable moments in my life. I anticipated many unnecessary scenarios and things were not as bad as I assumed. I did myself proud, very proud. Challenges were never meant to be overcome with ease, and that philosophy suits me to a tea. ^^/

I give the ceremony, Two Thumbs Up!

Two thumbs-up

Thanks for Reading

Me in my suit

 

Usually when I’ve been on an adventure I like to unload all of my thoughts and all the shenanigans that happened that day to my closest family. I decided to do that with the art of writing a blog. You can find a picture of me in the link above. That’s what I wore for my sister’s wedding. =)

 

Thank you for reading.

 

Namaste. ^^/

Ryan

The Wedding (Part One)

Wedding Bells Imgae

25th July marked a special day for my calendar. It was an occasion that was much more significant then Prince William and Kate’s wedding. The marriage took place between my sister, Nat and my newly crowned brother-in-law, Dale. That day was all about the bride and groom, but in this blog, I will make it about me. =)

I have a lot to convey so I have divided the blog into two parts.^^

 

1. The Build-Up

It’s been non stop since Dale popped the question last year and Nat saying “yes.” The pair of them (especially the bride) worked really hard to organise the whole event.

I had some responsibility and jobs to do. I assisted with the writing of the table plan and printing off the images… I’m pretty sure I had other responsibilities but it has slipped my mind as to what they were. I enjoyed helping whenever and however I could. I did get exhausted though. Sometimes I fell asleep halfway through the jobs. Luckily, I managed to get the jobs done with plenty of time to spare.

I was asked to do a reading for the ceremony too. It was a verse called In That Still and Settled Place by Edward Monkton. I was a bit uneasy at first as I’m aware that I get tongue tied quite easily, especially when talking to new people. I read it and I found it to be much simpler than I thought. In fact I subconsciously memorised it after reading it three times. I opted not to practice zealously as I felt that composure in that moment was more important. I could practice one hundred times but I might get tongue tied on the day due to nerves.

I was told that I could let myself loose and take pictures like a photographer-ninja. Haha. Once again I felt uneasy. What if I got yelled at because they didn’t want their photo taken? I often received reassurance that I wouldn’t get yelled at since taking photographs was common at weddings. My mind was clearer after that.

I was looking forward to the Wedding; my one and only sister was getting married.

 

2. The Anticipation

A week or so before, it actually dawned on me that the wedding was happening. All kinds of gratuitous thoughts entered my head. This is my Autistic quirks zone where I worry needlessly and anticipate unnecessarily.

Going to this wedding is going way, way out of my comfort zone. Everything would be formal. I would go to a place that I’ve never been before. I was going to read a reading in front of new people. Meeting familiar faces, old faces and new faces all in one setting. I don’t like my friend zones mixing with each other for some reason. I would be wearing a suit; I prefer trendy clothes then smart clothes. And, it’s going to be very, very hot. I’m not so keen on hot weather. They’d be a huge crowd, everything huddling together and stuff.

Admittedly, many of these thoughts made me think ‘I don’t want to go’. The cons really overshadowed the pros. It got me stress and my anxiety did grow. I felt even more anxious for feeling anxious at my own sister’s wedding. It’s quite daft now thinking about it. It didn’t help that I kept going to bed late and waking up early. So, sleep deprivation did play a part.

I then decided at the last minute that I was going to illustrate my very own card. It would have been much easier to buy one, but, it would feel more personal to create one. So, I did. I was fairly happy with the results of my work. It would have been much better had I put a little more effort into it and if I had more time. I knew they would appreciate my creativity regardless. So, all is good. I created a moon in the sky that reflected onto the water, then, I did white silhouettes of the girl coming out of the rose and the guy coming out of the lily. The top bit of the lily I put over the guy’s head so that it looked like a top hat… it looked nothing like a top hat, but hey, it was still fun to draw nonetheless! XD

Being sentimental and affectionate makes me quite uncomfortable and embarrassed. I tend to show affection through back handed compliments. I have this thing, since I was little when I disliked it when people go “AWW”. It really grates on me. I dislike it when that happens so I tend to hold back on the compliments in case I receive that reaction in any way. I don’t know why that’s a pet peeve of mine, perhaps I find it patronising? Perhaps I find it to embarrassing and cringing? Whatever the case, I know that I don’t like it.^^/

However, some things did get me through the cons. someone put it to me like, think about the wedding rather than your worries. So I did, and things became more chilled. I might have said that to myself but regardless I still went with that thought in mind. I listened to Thomas the Tank Engine’s theme tracks; I watched anime and listened to soundtrack of Non Non Biyori. I also looked at the wedding from the bride and groom’s point of view, rather than mine. Things tend to work if I just relax.

There might be scenarios and thoughts that will be the cause of your anxiety, but there will be plenty of remedies to wash away your anxiety. Fortunately, I have many battle plans in place. 😉

Then, came the day…

 

3. Before the Ceremony

My Dad took my Mum and Auntie to the venue first; then, he came back for me and took me, Bro and his partner to the wedding venue. I was extremely hot. We drove 40 minutes to the place and I wore trousers, waistcoat, shirt and shoes. I took a bag of goodies with me so I could freshen up whenever I needed to. I enjoyed chit-chatting to Bro and his partner; the little conversations sort of took my mind away from my uneasy thoughts.
I got a little nervous getting out of the car. It was blazing hot and to add to the heat factor, I then put my suit jacket on. It was hot in the car, but even hotter outside. I wanted to dive right back into my vehicle. I don’t handle heat particularly well, some of you may know, but I tried to think positively. I put it in my head that the Sun wanted a front row seat to view Nat and Dale’s wedding, so, he popped from behind the clouds and got himself comfortable. Haha…

I didn’t approach anyone; rather, they were approaching me. I posed for a photo or two with some of the crew but I got severely uncomfortable when being touched. It was only around the waist and arms but I do get uncomfortable and nauseous when I get into physical contact with someone. I’m ok if it’s brief, but I quickly tense up if it’s more than ten seconds.

To control my nerves I started to take snaps of random objects and people bustling about. I tried to take quick snaps since my sister informed me to take snaps of people acting natural. I probably took this to heart since I took a good load of people laughing amongst themselves. I tried to take pictures of couples posing but I found it more comfortable to take…what I would describe as sly snaps rather than posed snaps. Haha.

I caught up with a bunch of various people though, enjoyed chit-chatting to them. I caught my hairdresser before she left, nice seeing her. She did the hair of my sister, a cracking job she did too. I caught up with the groom and his groom force. I caught up with Paula, not seen her in ages. Caught up with Damien and Mr Paul. I caught up with… well, a bunch of people really. There’s too many to name but they know who they are. 😉

Taking photos relaxed me, so, I kept on snapping.

I actually promised myself that I was not going to take any artistic photographs at this wedding. I told myself to take normal and refined photo of everyone… as soon as I got snapping away; well… there was no turning back. =D I snapped the lens as much as Ken Shamrock snapped ankles. Haha. Only certain people will understand that reference. XD

I heard a cry from within the realms of the hotel- it was time for the ceremony.

 

4. During the war… ahem, Ceremony

We all bustled into this tiny room which luckily was full of open doors and windows. I was going to seek refuge in that room earlier, to escape the warmness of the sun, but opted not to. But the lady sort of guided us formally through the entrance of the building which led to the ceremony room. It would have saved time just to skip into that room, but, it was probably more appropriate to go into that room the round-a-bout way. XD

The room was much smaller than I anticipated. I went to my Auntie’s wedding 15 years ago where she got married in a fairly big building. The room was rather long and wide too. Yet, this room was just about as big as the two rooms in my house. I would have felt squashed and uncomfortable but luckily there were plenty of windows and doors open which led to outside. So, things were not as bad as I anticipated. Again. 😉

We all took our places. Since I had a role for the ceremony, saying that verse by Edward Monkton, it was necessary for me to sit at the end of one of the rows. I sat far right on the second row. The head lady talked me through what I needed to do. She was very pleasant. Looked slightly stern so I was concerned that she was going to be old school, but she was very pleasant and laid back to talk to. The registrar was down to earth as well.^^

 

 

The ceremony was bliss. Everyone got very emotional, especially the wedding party. =) The Bride and Groom have been together for what seemed like a lifetime so it was a wonderful sight to see them finally tying the knot. It was a formal environment but I felt it wasn’t as formal as I feared it was going to be. The lady was not as stern as I thought. Everything that happened I did not think it would happen. It was all a very strange phenomenon.

Chris then stood up and said his wedding reading on the Groom’s behalf. What he said was most touching, although, I did get a sense that he was severely nervous. He did a good job regardless. And then, the lady proclaimed, looking right at me, “we now have another reading, this time from Ryan.”

I stood up, hopped over Nat’s veil, and stood at an angle. I said the title of the verse but I slightly stumbled on Edward Monkton’s name. I was never concerned about reading the verse itself, I was more concerned about my trousers. I have the right sized trousers by all means but no matter what, I kept on visualising my trousers falling down during my reading. So, for my own peace of mind I bought a belt and wore it. For those who know me, I do not like belts. I find them most uncomfortable, especially when sitting down.

I like to think that I did justice to that little verse. It was very well received by the guests. I received a round of applause but most importantly Dale and Nat looked please.

I tried to read it as poetically as possible, adding my own expression and emotion. I tried to make it more personal. I looked it at it like these were what Nat wanted to say to Dale, so, in a sense I was reading it from Nat’s point of view. Because of how I interpret I wonder if it would have been more appropriate to have a female read it instead. But, really, I think Nat made the right choice picking me since we’re siblings and I’m confident when it comes to reading poems. =)

Nobody probably noticed this but when I was reading I was looking directly at Dale and Nat. Since I felt this was more personal and it was from Nat’s point of view to Dale I tried to direct everything I did towards Dale. I wasn’t ignoring the guests it’s just that I was directing and looking at Dale since it was a verse made to be listened by him.^^/

My brother and Dale’s brother were also the official witnesses for the Bride and Groom’s wedding. It was a nice touch that both my Brother and me were involved of the ceremony.^^/

 

 

As quick as that, the ceremony was over as soon as the groom kissed the Bride.

In this time I managed to snap some quite good photos. Everyone was quite impressed. I managed to get a cheeky one where the Bride and Groom walked past the window. It would have been great but Mr Spider photobombed it. D=

 

 

The ceremony was bliss and beautiful. So far, I was excited and happy. It was a good day to be Ryan.

 

 

That’s it for The Wedding (Part One), stay tuned for part two. 😉
Ryan