Stepping into a new dimension

This weekend I will embark with my husband on a first. We will dive into the surreal and wacky world of science fiction/fantasy/superhero fandom. On Friday, we drive from our cookie-cutter suburban white-picket-fence dimension to the one that houses our inner geekness (of which we are rather proud of, even though we rarely fly our nerd flag). We will be attending the 2010 Chicago ComicCon.

It’s actually rather surprising that neither one of us has ever attended one of these science fiction/superhero genre conventions before. Mark grew up immersed in the Star Wars world, computers, and video games and now makes his living as a computer programmer. I have always been a mix of stereotypes, never fitting into any one label or box, but growing up a tomboy led to my own sci-fi exploration. I did, after all, live with a twin brother who spent the night in line for Star Wars Episode One tickets to the opening 12:01am screening and who writes his own science fiction stories. I devoured fantasy novels alongside my Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf and World War II history obsessions. My high school circle included light-saber-wielding journalism buddies and aircraft-obsessed war games friends. Some of my most vivid memories of growing up include huddling around my friend Miranda’s TV soaking in the latest “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” episode.

So, yes, this athletic and bookish walking contradiction also has a geek side. See, I warned you I don’t fit any one box.

This is the first time in a long while that I’m going on a quick weekend trip and I admit I’m nervous. Excited for the convention, to meet one of my favorite musicians James Marsters (better known to all as Spike on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and go to the panel of the Final Five from “Battlestar Galactica”. Yearning to be strolling the streets of Chicago again, a city that has a special place in my heart after I spent a semester there for my undergraduate off-campus study. I love wandering among the brownstones, taking in the lake vistas, click-clacking along the Red Line to cheer on my beloved Cubs, and sipping my espresso from Intelligentsia. I will have a difficult time concentrating on work this week as I anticipate the weekend.

But the excitement cannot wash away this creeping nervousness. It’s such a quick trip, sandwiched between two work weeks. No time to recover from the long drives or transition from work to play to work. Will my fibromyalgia rear its unwelcome and nasty head?

I have a plan to anticipate any potential problems and hopefully tame this demon. A strict bedtime this week, no exceptions. Even if my current bedtime read is intoxicating! Yoga and deep breathing every day along with my physical therapy. I have deep-cleaned the house and taken care of every chore and errand I can think of this weekend so all I have to concentrate on this week is work, rest, and packing. I also have not planned anything for Friday night – after the long drive down to Chicago, I will need to rest. So the hotel jacuzzi is the Friday night entertainment of choice.

After all, I need to be well-rested and ready to dive into the world of larger-than-life superheroes!

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About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
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