When I was little and lonely, I longed to be part of something.
I remember trying to start a "secret club" a few times in grade school. I remember sending out invites to several parties and having no one from my class show up. One Halloween party I so looked forward to, but no one I invited came. All of my brother's friends did. I remember the awkward, sad feeling that went with it. The shame of being the kid that no one liked.
And I wondered what was wrong with me that no one liked me.
The last two years have been filled with disappointments. Last year, for the first time since I was little, I was told "you don't fit in." And it was in relation to a place I thought I belonged. It hurt a ton more than expected. It has followed me around ever since.
Since then I've held onto one thing. I've made a lot of friends playing HackMaster. For a hobby that conjures images of a lonely kid sitting in her parents' basement, nothing could be further from the truth. I reminded myself that no matter what, I still fit in at Origins. I'm still going to my first Gary Con. I'm not going to be turned away for being ugly, skinny, wearing glasses, liking the "wrong" things, all the things that made me "wrong" when I was a little kid. I'm part of something and I'm so grateful for that.