It happens to almost everyone: Con Drop. The term is widespread enough in fandom circles are a few variations on its definition, but the core remains the same. Con drop is the physical, mental, and emotional you feel when you get home after spending the weekend at the festival, Faire, or convention.
Some of this is quite physical. People can find so many exciting things to do and be so full of adrenaline at a great event that they will put out tremendous exertion. Some of it also has to do with the fact that people will often find the festivities more exciting than munane things like food, hydration, and sleep. And that will catch up with you, no matter what your age or your level of stamina. But…
The core of con drop is going away from a world where you are accepted and loved, a place full of things fill you with passion, into a world that doesn’t value those things. A convention or festival is basically a place where the stories and worlds that matter, the stuff that helps pump blood and meaning into your body, are all concentrated in one place for one glorious time away from work and the distractions of the everyday.
And then it all vanishes and you get home and you have your real life.
That doesn’t happen to me. Do you know why?
It’s not because events are my life. They are; I do run events in order to earn my daily bread. But that’s not it. The thing is, there ain’t no such thing as real life.
Every day I get up in the morning, and the literature, the film, the ideas, the fans themselves, the discussion, the commentary… All those things are with me; maybe some of them are virtual via the Internet, maybe some of them exist as memories in my mind of joy and camaraderie; but those things are absolutely “real”, as much as my morning vat of coffee. They are all are a part of me. I am immersed in them. Conventions don’t need to be the only world that I perceive or understand; they don’t need to exclude me from the rest of life. That only happens to geeks in bad early 90s sitcoms. The truth is, we are absolutely able to be part of what most people think of as a normal reality….and still stay, inside, the same person who was just at that event, expressing a true inner self.
No matter what we are doing or what is going on, we always have the reality of the place we have been. There is always a bridge between where we are now, and the place which holds our hearts. We are never truly far from those homes, those conventions and festivals and fairs where we can truly be who and what we are
So the sadness of losing that thing? I never have that sadness. I never have that drop. I wake up the next after show, getting ready to do amazing things at the next one. This is my motto:
Sharks swim forever and if they stop swimming, they’re no longer alive. Fandom is forever, and it always helps me live. I don’t get con drop, because I never ever get con-stopped. As Tolkien wrote, “The Road goes ever, ever on.” Fandom is immortal and I am grateful to be a part of it.
very truly yours,