Looking back at my last paragraph I mostly feel kind of dumb. I already know that, while I can go to parties by myself, and I can handle myself socially when I don't know anyone around me, and I can perform some sort of gregarious version of myself and project charm and interest and enjoy myself, there are limits to both my enjoyment and my capacity to maintain that state. Even if I had all the spoons, this is not what makes me happy. So why go to a con? I mean, if all I want is to listen to interesting ideas, I can read this stuff. The point of having a con is spending a weekend with like-minded people who also care about these things.
At the time, I was so careful managing my mental reserves, thinking that if I could just try harder, I would enjoy myself. I never really examined the basic assumptions behind that. But now, when I am processing and reflecting, it seems so obviously wrong. I feel so stupid. If I know that the point is spending time with the people there, and I know that the people will be strangers, and I know that I have a very limited capacity for spending time with strangers, then why did I expect any other result?
The weekend was not terrible, nor was it fruitless. I heard some interesting ideas, and have a long list of reading suggestions. I have had some important revelations about myself and the identities I am afraid to claim. I do want to talk about those. It's just that I hadn't realized that I'd wanted more than that this weekend, and I wasn't prepared for the way it felt to not have it.