Monday, April 7, 2014

The return to "real life?"

I suppose on could say that the good part about not getting to go to an event like 221B Con is the fact that I didn't have to leave 221B Con.

I've discussed the post-event crash with friends from other hobbies, and we all have it. You leave your job, your household chores, your other local duties behind to enter a world of like-minded folk at the top of their game. All the Sherlockian energies saved up, all the planning, all the focus, all brought from every direction to that one magical location. You get high on ideas, short on sleep, maybe do a little self-poisoning on alcohol and bad food, generally mess up your internal balance with all those happiness ingredients of blood chemistry, and then you remove all of that. Maybe not all at once, but not long after.

And then there's that cursed expression, "back to the real world."

That world where cosplay is replaced by corporate dress codes. That world where you're working for somebody besides Sherlock Holmes. That world where most people just don't know what the hell you're talking about when it comes to your favorite subject.

But here's the thing. 221B Con happened in Atlanta, Georgia, not Oz. Atlanta was in the real world, the last time I checked. And the you that existed there was a real person. You might have even pinched yourself while there, just to make sure. I think I did last year, once or twice.

There are those lovely, inspiring denizens of social media who seem to lead a spirited fandom-ish life 24-7, something we'd all like to pull off. They seem to have mastered that trick that I'm still working on myself, bringing the passion we have for fandom activities to things that have nothing to do with Sherlock Holmes. Cooking supper. Putting together an Excel spreadsheet. Getting yourself interested enough in whatever the business at hand is just to move the day along.

And while the post-event drop can be a jarring step-off-the-curb, the thing to always hold on to is the capacity for passion that we find in the world of Sherlock. The daily grind doesn't inspire passion the way the great detective and his doctor friend do, sure. But with as many angles as Sherlockians can go at the enjoyment of Holmes with, there must be at least one angle that can give the average current moment a little more joy.

Over the years, I've found a remarkable number of skills that I picked up in Sherlockian circles have been transferable to other areas of life. Even just approaching a total stranger with the certain knowledge that you have something in common, as is the best feature of something like 221B Con.

So, for those of you hitting the after-weekend doldrums as well as everybody who had their big Sherlockian weekend elsewhere, elsewhen, or still to come, just remember, you're still you. The trick is just figuring out how to keep that inner party going. However that works.

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