Wednesday, October 30, 2013
My New (Personal) Steampunk Manifesto
I haven't posted anything here in a long while. Truth to tell, I've been very sour on the whole Steampunk experience, ever since getting removed last year from the Steampunk group I started here in Portland, OR, by my co-administrator and supposed friend. So I did what I do best - take my hurt feelings and crawl under a rock, away from anyone or anything that can hurt me. I allowed myself to believe that the Steampunk scene was filled with vicious, narcissistic hypocrites, based on my experience with one ego-driven woman. Basically, I became a hermit and hid out for a year.
Then, encouraged by a friend who has recently discovered Steampunk, I attended Steamcon V. I had a wonderful time! I discovered that the good, friendly, and open-minded people who I had always associated with the Steampunk community were still there. They welcomed me to Steamcon V, as they had welcomed me to Steamcons 1-IV, with open arms. The Steampunk celebrities at the con were lovely, down to earth, friendly, and accessible. The panels were run by enthusiastic and knowledgeable persons from the community. My interest and enthusiasm for the genre were renewed. I felt like I had come home again.
I have been mulling things over since the con last weekend, and have come to some personal realizations based on my previous experiences.
1. I will be a free agent. No more trying to organize a group or club, as this seems to be an open invitation to others to try to "take over" and create an unnecessary power struggle. I will act strictly on my own behalf.
2. I have as much right as anyone else to participate in community events. Others may try to block me from their private "groups" and Facebook pages, which is their prerogative, but public events are just that. Public.
3. I am a valued member of the Portland Steampunk community. This was repeated to me over and over by the people I ran into at the convention. Instead of withdrawing from the community due to the negativity and hatefulness of one or two unpleasant people, I will concentrate on cultivating the friendships of the many good, kind, creative folks in the community.
4. I will do my own thing. I look back with regret at all the times I had an idea for an event or a way to participate in the community and then didn't do it because I listened to the negative advice of the nay-sayers.
5. I will pursue my creative path. A major part of concentrating on and emphasizing the positive in my life will be developing my creative interests in art and self-expression.
6. I will Steampunk Without Fear. I will make friends, attend events, create beauty, and participate in the community to the extent that I wish, without seeking approval or fearing the displeasure of anyone else. I will be the best person that I can be, and will strive always to present that person to the community.
This almost feels like a New Year's Resolution list to me, but I think that's okay. I want this to be a new year, a new beginning, moving forward in the most creative, happy, and healthy way possible. I look to my Steampunk community, both local and national, for inspiration, encouragement, and support, and offer my support, creativity, and energy in return. It's going to be a good year.