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 Three: Day Two

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KITACON PART ONE: THE ANTICIPATION

KITACON PART TWO: DAY ONE

KITACON PART FOUR: DAY THREE

 

  1. Building a Mecha

I didn’t really get much sleep. I set my alarm for the breakfast time as I was aware that I was taking part in the Build a Mecha Challenge. However, I thought that I was going to participate in that straight away and that the “breakfast time” was a guideline rather than the act of having breakfast. Haha.

 

From that point on I was over-whelmed. I was extremely confused and everything that my brother told me completely went over my head. I wasn’t being rude I just could not digest what he was saying. I think I’m honest when I say that I didn’t really fancy building a mecha but it was an opportunity to socialise and get in with the action more so I decided to continue to be brave in socialising.

 

I thought we were going to build a Mecha with a certain group of friends, but I learnt, that we were building a Mecha with another group of friends. That isn’t really a problem but when something unexpected happens or something changes from my point of view, it really catches me off guard and throws me off. Just before we started to build a Mecha three of four other people joined and started to crack on with the crafting.

 

I honestly had no idea what was happening. Do I hold the sellotape so that anyone can cut at any time? How do I help out? Just stand back out of the way? Strangely enough I felt uncomfortable when those pro photographers were taking snaps of us building a mecha. I found it distracting. I was also surrounded by people who I never met before. Being crafty was not my thing and I felt inclined to let everyone else get on with it.

 

In the end I decided to rely on my own strengths, drawing. I drew a bell for the collar, I drew a banana wearing a British flag and I drew a gigantic face of a bull. One of my newest chums, Mat, provided the orange eyes to place on the bull face. =) In the process I managed to take a few good photos and managed to have a little talk with a few of my fellow team mates. The theme was the letter B so we had to attach parts to the mecha that began with b.

 

I do tend to be biased towards my own team but my personal favourite mecha was the orange neko mecha. It was cool and cute.

 

  1. Embarrassing Incidents

Unfortunate there were two. The first one involved room service.

I was in my room when I decided to chill out for a bit. Then, I heard footsteps and someone opening a door. I thought, “That sounded like my door. Perhaps it’s a lady coming into my room?” I laughed to myself. Then, I heard “Room service.” And then I thought. “Hmm, that sounded very loud actually.”

Then, I turned around and there was an actual lady walking into my room and as soon as she saw me she literally shrieked in surprise. I think she felt very awkward after that. It was a good job that I wasn’t getting changed!

Second incident… this one is especially embarrassing.

I needed to draw out some money from the cash machine so I asked my bro for directions. He pointed to where the cash machine was, which was on the wall on the other side of the room. We were sat in the lounge at the time.

Now, this is the perfect example of me not thinking rationally… I was looking in the direction that he was pointing but all I saw in front of me was a lady in front of a till. In my head, I just needed to go up to her and ask her to draw the money out. “Odd,” I thought, “I have never known to draw money out like that before.” …so I went up and asked.

The lady gave me such a frowning when I asked. When she understood what I was trying to ask she then directed to the actual cash machine on the wall. I apologised many, many times. I held my face in my hands after I walked away. I could not believe what had transpired.

I did manage to recover from that embarrassment afterwards.

 

  1. Name that Anime Tune

I had a headache already but I had high hopes for this competition. I was really confident in my knowledge of the anime genre… me, bro and Chris were not very… we didn’t do well. Overall we must have gotten something like 10 out of 120. Haha. That will teach us for not getting into bigger groups.

 

We were mostly silly with our answers but I personally did get a few answers right. It was really fun but at times mind-baffling. I recognised the tunes but couldn’t match them up with the anime shows. Haha.

 

  1. Cheering Up

There were other things that cheered me up apart from listening to and watching Non Non Biyori.

My confidence in photo-taking and socialising did grow, bit by bit. There were a few times when I posed with someone for a photo. I managed to pose for a photo with someone dressed as the Green Arrow. That was appropriate as I was dressed as Superman at that time.

At some point I got dressed as the Dark Knight and I had a photo with Harley Quinn. She was really cool and I enjoyed talking to her. I did get nervous when she slightly touched my arm to get into a pose. I used to dislike hugs or physical contact but now I’m not so bad. I can handle hugs and physical touches much better now as I bear in mind that a lot of people are tactile.

It was a really good photo in the end.

I enjoyed having small talks with a lot of people really. I didn’t realise that I was capable of having small talks, usually I talk in depth as I struggle to generalise conversations. I especially enjoyed talking to the lady dressed as Yuna. We were talking about the overall experience of Kitacon and I think she said that this was her first convention as well.

I bought a few DVDs and manga from the dealer’s room and I was definitely happy with my purchases, especially the No Game No Life novels and the Super Sonico figure. I spent about 20 minutes talking to this really nice chap about his costume and about helmets and gauntlets. I never planned to have a conversation with him, it just happened and I felt much better after that. I did feel a bit uneasy because it was the first time that I met him but the flow of the conversation felt natural because I didn’t plan what I was going to say, I just responded to what he was saying. =)

 

  1. Hentai Panel

Aha, the Hentai Panel… I wasn’t planning to attend this but I was somehow persuaded to go. Haha. I was sceptical. Was this going to be as rude as I imagined it to be? However, I was reassured that this was going to be more humorous and daft than showing erotic films.

I wore a jumper. Big mistake. I was really, really hot. Plus, the cue was humongous and we had to wait a good while in the corridor. When we got in I was guided to seat right bang in the middle of the right row of chairs. I sat between Sarah and a new person I’ve never met before. I usually like to sit on the ends so when I needed to go out to clear my head I could do that. However, I was stuck right in the middle and couldn’t move if it got too much.

There were quite a few moments that I found funny, like that girl who shot the rockets from her boobs and knees. It was rather cringing to watch but it was still humorous.

I did clench my teeth when the option of showing a rude Thomas picture did show. I was like “Oh no! They’re going to de-face Thomas!” Luckily, Thomas was never shown just other pictures of trains… I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. Haha.

If I’m honest I must say that this was probably my least favourite part of my Kitacon experience. I was uncomfortable to begin with, I had a slight headache and I didn’t really understand what was going on. I felt that the atmosphere was very rowdy and very loud and it got to the point when I felt dizzy and sick and I couldn’t really think straight. I had to leave in the end as according to eyewitnesses (my bro and friends) the colour drained from my face. Haha. I decided that that was the opportune time to get an early night, and so I did.

I was already over-whelmed by the whole Kitacon Experience and the Hentai Panel took it to another level. Haha. Of course I appreciate those who enjoyed the Hentai Panel but it wasn’t for me.

 

Hopefully I would get a good night’s sleep and sleep it all off. =)

 

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.

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