Facebook has a new feature. It searches for posts you've entered in the past and on the anniversary of that event reminds you what happened one, two, or more years ago. I've posted something on Facebook everyday since early 2011. I know this because I've got a "Pic Of The Day" that I post as well as a link to my daily blog. I guess Facebook could hit me with several of these pictures every day. We'll see what happens. This morning I opened up the program and was greeted with the above picture.
I remember the event well. I had no idea how much my life would change in two years.
Two years...in my culture two years is significant. Male Mormon members are called on two-year missions. Female member are called for eighteen months. Growing up it was something I always figured I would do. I went years ago (even though my calling was for eighteen months...) and my oldest son is on his mission right now. The two years goes by differently depending on if you're the one on the mission or the missionary's family waiting for them at home. I'm experiencing that now.
So, when I saw the picture of an almost empty Salt Palace Convention Hall, taken on September 5, 2013, it made me realize just how my life has changed in the past twenty-four months.
Oh, I remember that morning. I arrived early--I had taken that whole day off from work. I thought the place would be packed, but no, not yet. I remember also that I was nervous. A few months before my friend had asked if I wanted to be a panelist at Salt Lake's first ever Comic Con. Of course I said "YES!" I did, however, not feel qualified to be a panelist. First of all, I had no idea what that really meant. I had only attended a few other conferences before and most were literary symposiums. I was also on panels with what I would consider "successful" authors, some NYT bestsellers. And there I was, a couple of short stories published and a short screenplay made into a movie I remember feeling so out of place.
I made it down to the convention floor and ran into an author friend. He recommended I go a few aisles over and meet one of his author friends. I did. And during the next three days I participated in several panels, met many people and had a fantastic time.
Two years ago today I began a new chapter of my life, a chapter that included participating at several conventions, Comic Con and others, having another short story published and publishing my own book of short stories. And it was at that first comic con conventions that I realized not only did I belong at the Comic Con, but could offer useful information to people wanting to break into writing as more than a casual activity.
Yes, the picture brings back a lot of memories, memories of Blake's generosity, of Michaelbrent's friendship and of Dave's inclusion into a circle of awesomeness. I think humans look back at the time that was and we reflect. We think about how life was for us back then. We're amazed at all the things that have happened in the interim. We look at life as past, present and future, but really, there's no past, nor is there future, only the present. And if Facebook is still around two years from now and they still post events from our past, I might open the computer and see a link to this entry. And I'll think, 'It's really been two years since I wrote that? Wow--so much has changed since then.'