Image Courtesy of Mr. XPK
Over the years, we’ve probably all heard the saying “Never say never”, along with “Be careful what you wish for, you might get it”. Of course it was usually the adults, with all their “experience’, telling us as kids who clearly knew more and better.
Of course we did, LOL.
Now that I’m old enough to know better, or at least know enough to be stupid, or dangerous, or something, I have somewhat happily and begrudgingly accepted that both of those sayings are true. Sometimes the Universe gives us exactly what we asked for, and sometimes it protects us from ourselves.
Let’s focus on “Never Say Never” today. In grade school and high school, I bemoaned sitting through those School Board Approved history classes – “I’ll NEVER use this!” Spelling contests – “Oh darn, I’ll NEVER spell that word right!” Or math class – “I’ll …” Oh wait, I actually use that every day.
Thankfully, there’s documentaries and the Internet to make history far more interesting and substantive, and spell check, to fix all my typos. Well, most of them. Some of them. A few of them. What? You do it too!
Anyway, the relation of “Never Say Never” to steampunk is that being involved in the community creates all kinds of possibilities and opportunities – connections – which may not have happened otherwise. We just need to recognize it and make the most of the gift we are presented with.
A few centuries Some time ago, I read some cartoons/strips by an artist in our community, and at that time thought “Wow, so cool! But I’ll never meet this person”. BAM! My first steampunk convention, I met him and his wife. Turns out we both lived in Chicago, nearly the same neighborhood, missing each other by a year or so, and now we live about 30 minutes apart.
Youtube has some pretty amazing, and awful, and soul/time sucking videos. Taking a break from kid-fail, and cat antic videos, I searched for a good rendition of The Charleston music, to finally, maybe, learn how to dance to it. There was a pianist who played a very engaging, energetic version of it, and I thought “This is great! Hope there are more videos because I’ll probably never meet him, or attend a live performance.” BAM! Social media angels descended and a Like and a Comment later, we’re emailing back and forth like lifelong friends.
Attended a steampunk panel on a topic I really liked, and wanted to talk with the panelist later about that topic and other related steampunk things, but thought “They’re busy, or not interested, or whatever, I’ll never …” Now, we talk all the time.
Admire someone’s outfit? Wish somehow they could make something amazing for you? “Oh, it’s so fancy-expensive-<whatever>, I’ll never…” It’s incredible where a simple “Hi, I like your work” will lead.
It happens the other way, too. I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most wonderful people just because they came up to say ‘hello’. Each and every one of you are so creative in so many ways. Don’t doubt yourself or what you do. It’s pretty amazing! One request, though, please don’t just say your name and run off. Stay and chat a few minutes – I’d like to hear more about you.
Event organizer? Musician? Artist? Colleague? Fellow fan? New experiences? New skills? It is so very important that none of us ever says “I’ll never …” again. Why invoke that phrase and limit our own potential and the possibilities around us?
We have to do our part in making connections, too. We need to do what we do – write a blog, participate in social media discussions, participate in group events, wear your favorite outfit – any of these things are a step towards another amazing connection with someone.
Wouldn’t it be better to be engaged, get involved, reach out to others, and make the most of who and what comes our way? Maybe we learn something new, maybe we make new friends, maybe totally unexpected adventures begin.
Every day is a new day. Make it a good one!