Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Zanney's 2010 - The End of a Decade & The Start of Something New

It's December, 2010. The tail-end of a decade that a lot of people never dreamed they'd live to see. My grandmother is one of them, although I think she'll live to be 200, what with how hardcore she is. Someone pushing 97 who teaches Yoga, shoots straight vodka, smokes a pack a day and walks everywhere she goes has got to be something close to immortal, in my opinion.

Longevity runs in my family, it seems. Maybe that's why through the entirety of the crazy roller-coaster that was this past year in my life I still haven't offed myself. Brushed with death a couple times, but nowhere closer than that. Plus, that bus came out of nowhere so fast not even Spiderman couldn't have seen it!

Joking aside, I started dabbling in Numerology a little while ago, simply because there are some weird coincidences in life and sometimes I pick out numbers or other things that can be applied to them. For example, this is my twenty-second year. The number 22, when applied to tarot cards and the major arcana, represents The Fool. From this, I've tied in a fandom I got into just before the end of 2009--Shin Megami Tensei and more specifically, Persona 3.

I find it both ironic and meaningful that I'll begin the new year by unveiling my first female character cosplay in a long time, and that she happens to be the female protagonist of Persona 3 Portable who is represented by The Fool arcana and has the Roman numeral for 22 pinned up in her hair.

Wikipedia's article tells us that the symbolism of The Fool is the search for new experiences and "the childlike ability to tune into the inner workings of the world" and many pictures drawn of The Fool show him preparing for a journey.

This past summer I woke up one morning and decided to buy a passport and by mid-August I was on my way to British Columbia, Canada in search of the answers to countless questions within myself. It was my very first time outside of the United States and I can tell you that I'm definitely gonna go back for Anime Evolution again and again. In Canada, I saw more trees in one square mile than I had ever seen in my entire life! I got to nurture my inner cowboy-nerd at the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame, took a day trip in Barkerville, a historical town on the Yukon Gold Rush Trail, discovered what it truly meant to do something I wanted to do for myself because I felt like it.

And before the summer, I did a lot of other things for the first time. Going backwards from August, I worked at the SoCal Host Club for the first time at Anime Expo. In May, I attended FanimeCon and had my own hotel (to share) for the first time, took Amtrak to con for the first time, cosplayed as a Steampunk variation of a character I liked, made new friends, collapsed from fatigue and had an air tube shoved up my nose by a paramedic on-site, took initiative, told someone off, made someone cry, started a fight, got really really close to punching somebody...

While some of these weren't very positive experiences, that was what the spring and summer of 2010 were like for me. The beginning of the year was equally full of new experiences, what with the Olympics taking place in Vancouver, world records being broken all over the place, making a few new friends here and there, voice acting and writing crack fan fiction simply because I could. Anime Los Angeles was my first time staffing the graveyard shift, my first time being a karaoke jockey, my first time having a panic attack in front of people, my first time being interviewed for television in costume (not that they ever actually posted that video clip...) and my first time realizing that most of my friends still think like middle school students despite being 20-somethings.

So at the tail end of 2010, in which I turned 22 years old and experienced all sorts of new and exciting things, I can honestly say I learned a lot. These are lessons I'll keep with me for a long time, even if I don't cosplay when I'm middle-aged. I think I'll still be very interested in the Blogosphere, since the media continues to lean more and more toward digital. Someday maybe I'll be a professional journalist, but right now I'm perfectly content writing a blog together with my friends here at CaliConBlog.

I'm so grateful to Matt, the website founder, who invited me to join the staff after I did a satisfactory job at the SoCal Host Club panel at Anime Expo 2010. I owe him a lot for rescuing my Fanime group in May, offering us rides and some extra food and being a really nice guy. But before that, I'd been talking to him and Ryan online, long before I was able to remember which cosplayer was HeeroYuy135 or RyuSon777. I was just Cosplay Cyborg to them at the time. Some really enthusiastic girl that Matt just so happened to take a picture of at Anime Los Angeles 2010, I guess.

It was entirely by chance that I stumbled upon the photo from the blog by doing a google search of the character I was cosplaying as. I don't even know how I wound up in a search engine what with how popular Canada-san from Hetalia is nowadays, but that photo led me to this blog and from there I was able to get Matt's contact info.

At times like this, I don't proudly claim that I'm lucky and that my impulsive decisions are what make me who I am and all that other glorified nonsense I tend to spout when I'm excited about something. Instead, I turn to a wise woman from the CLAMP universe:

"There are no coincidences in this world. Only hitsuzen."

Yuuko Ichihara is one of my all-time favorite characters, and I bet you readers can already see why. The concept of hitsuzen is simple--everything is predetermined, and it is so for a meaningful reason. You might not realize it right away, but that reason will someday become more than just a reason. Coming full-circle from Yuuko's favorite saying to Persona 3's favorite theme, the butterfly effect, the choices I made in the last year were all fairly risky, even sometime rash and not very wise at all. But they are what brought me to this moment today--December 28th, 2010--when Matt asked me to write about this past year in conventions.

The Fool is also represented by the number zero. Rather than looking back at what I did last year or the year before or any year previous, I like to start each new year with fresh white sheet of paper, so I will start 2011 not by looking back at what I've done anymore, but by looking toward what I want to do, what I can do and what I will do someday very soon.

Let's begin again~

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