Lolita Brunch at the Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Last year Rachel, Yissel and I officially launched Geek Girl Brunch. It’s meetup group of geeky gals who usually meet over brunch. But GGB isn’t just about meeting up, talking about our favorite fandoms and eating bacon. We hope to create a safe environment where identifying geek girls can be themselves to give voice, network, create friendships, inspire each other and hang out. Each brunch got bigger and better and we even threw a kickass New York Comic Con after party called Fan Girls Night Out with our homies the Geek Girl Pen Pals and a sexy space event called Brunch 9 from Outer Space with our friends Wasabassco Burlesque.
I still can’t believe this happened. I was on a panel at New York Comic Con about women of color in comics. Like what?! I was so so nervous! I literally thought I was going to throw up on stage. The room was filled with over 700 people, and somehow I managed to not embarrass myself and say some pretty important things about women of color in comics. When I started my blog in 2010 I would have never imagined I’d be on a panel at NYCC. I started Girl Gone Geek with the hope that some people would read it and enjoy it and yet somehow all of these amazing opportunities keep happening. Here’s to hoping that doesn’t ever stop.
New York Comic Con was a big highlight for me this year. Slowly but surely my cosplay game is getting a bit better at every con. This year I did a (lazy) Space Dandy cosplay and Sailor Goon (a gangster version of Sailor Moon) and my old genderbent Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop. What I love about cosplay is there are no rules. You can create an exact copy of the character’s costume or remix it and come up with your own version. Since I’m not exactly crafty, remixing costumes helps. I’m really happy with how my cosplay came out and it gave me the courage to continue creating fun costumes in the future.
I Couldn’t See the Stars
I lived in NYC for 9 years. I went to college upstate and went to grad school in the city. Being a military brat, I had to move every few years. Thankfully, both my parents are from the Bronx so that’s what I considered my “hometown” despite not growing up in it. I thought I’d live in NYC forever. I thought it was the coolest city ever, and I still do. More importantly, I was tired of moving all the time and was happy that I didn’t have to anymore. I had (and still do) an amazing group of friends that I can’t imagine life without and I didn’t want to leave them. I grew up always moving away from my friends or vise versa because of the military. I was happy I didn’t have to do that anymore.
But (because you know there’s going to be a “but”) living in New York City started to have a negative effect on me. I realized, or rather finally accepted that I wasn’t happy in NYC. I developed anxiety for various reasons. I dreaded walking down the street because of street harassment. New York City is like the Street Harassment capital of the US. It happened to me almost every day. The rent is too damn high and gets higher every year. Cops keep unjustly killing black people with no consequences (but that’s just not exclusive to NYC). Gentrification continues to kill the culture of the city. I was unemployed for half of the year and still am. I saw a dead body being taken out of the subway and wasn’t phased. Which scared me more than the body. I was officially a jaded New Yorker.
I missed nature and the outdoors, like the real outdoors not Central Park, which is a lovely oasis surrounded by concrete. A park you don’t dare go into at night for fear of being raped or bit by a rabid raccoon. I spent 8 years in Hawaii, 4 years in the Mojave Dessert and another 3 living next to the Black Forest in Germany. After years of being engulfed by tall buildings, I realized how necessary nature was for me.
Another thing that NYC doesn’t have that I needed was the stars. You can’t see the stars in NYC because of the light pollution. I quite literally forgot they existed because I never saw them. I stopped looking up. That’s bad. I think it fucks with the psyche of New Yorkers somehow. You forget that you’re part of this infinite, amazing and beautiful universe. Instead, skyscrapers replaced the stars and the 5 boroughs became my universe.
I was also going through some personal stuff for years that I tried to ignore and compartmentalize it but last year it refused to be ignored. I fell into depression. It felt like I created this dam in my head that was holding back the depression for years but it broke and it was overwhelming. They say if you put a lobster into a pot of water and slowly turn up the heat it doesn’t realize it’s boiling to death. I was that lobster.
Despite all of what I’ve said and experienced, I still think NYC is the best city in the world and there are so many great reasons to live in it… if you can afford it. But it’s not the city for me, and I’m cool with that. So, in December I moved. I came back to Germany where I’ll be for at least three months, maybe longer. Then after that, who knows? But I know I’ll be happier and that’s all that really matters.
Geek Girl Brunch: Marvel Brunch
Last year we launched Geek Girl Brunch in NYC. This year we’re launching chapters all over the world starting with Washington D.C. this month. Geek Girl Brunch is going to do big things in 2015 and I’m proud to be apart of it. You can be apart of it too by joining here.
I’ve always wanted to write fiction but never started because I thought (and still kinda think) I’d be terrible at it. But that’s really stupid because I haven’t given it a real shot. I even blogged about Overcoming Self-Doubt. So this year I’m going to practice what I preach. I’m going to start writing fiction and comics even if I don’t share it publicly for a while. I hope it’s not absolutely dreadful.
See The Stars
Art by Moebius
This year is starting off with a lot of things up in the air. I don’t know where I’ll be living in a few months. I could end up having to go back in NYC, but I hope not. I do want to end up in California. But then again, I’d love to live in Japan or another country. It’s kind of scary and exciting at the same time. I don’t know and I don’t really care where I end up, I just want to be able to see the stars.