Goodbye 2013! Hello 2014!

I know it's a few days late, but I'm going to say it anyway: Happy New Year! 2013 ended on a pretty rough note for me, but I'm happy to say that even though my position hasn't really changed from the beginning of December, I am mentally in a better place, and finally trying to move forward with my life. I have high hopes that 2014 will be better than 2013, and that December wasn't foreshadowing of the year ahead. Before I barrel on into 2014 though (something I'll likely do in a separate entry, sometime later this week), I wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2013. In 2013, I attended six conventions: KatsuCon - National Harbor, MD (February) Anime Matsuri - Houston, TX (March) FanimeCon - San Jose, CA (May) San Japan - San Antonio, TX (August) Nan Desu Kan - Denver, CO (September) Ikkicon - Austin, TX (December) Every single one of them included flying, which means I spent roughly 12 days this year on planes, or in airports. I attended Anime Matsuri as a judge for World Cosplay Summit 2013 preliminary finals, and helped to select Team USA 2013. My trips to San Japan and Nan Desu Kan were as a representative/organizer for the World Cosplay Summit, and I judged both of the corresponding qualifier rounds. I attended Ikkicon as a Cosplay Guest, a first since my trip to Anime Matsuri in 2011. Over the course of the year, I helped host about 5 panels, and outside of that,I hosted two panels solo; this was the first time I had ever done that, and was surprised to get a good turn out to both of them. Of all the conventions I attended as a Judge/Staffer/Guest, Ikkicon treated me the best that I have ever been treated in that situation. I roomed with completely new sets of roomies at a little over half of these conventions, and with people I had never previous met at two of them. I entered two Masquerades -- one as a group skit, and one as a last-minute solo walk-on -- and my group walked away with Best in Show at Fanime (something I am still exceptionally proud of). I had a wide variety of convention experiences this year, for which I'm very grateful; it's given me a chance to see what I like and don't like, and what else I would like to try in the future. All things considered, even though it was one of my busiest years convention-wise, it was pretty light in terms of Cosplay. I made only 5 COMPLETELY new costumes, adjusted 2 costumes into new forms (Torahime downgraded to her princess form, and Utena upgraded to Duelist), re-wore 2 of my costumes from 2012, and borrowed a costume from my friend Lizzie. Overall, I spent less time in cosplay at conventions compared to previous years, averaging about 3-4 hours per costume wear, and only about 3 costumes per convention. I didn't cosplay at all while I was working at San Japan, a first since I began attending conventions in 2002.

In the end, taking into account that I spent a solid 4 months of the year on complete cosplay hiatus, this was an extremely busy year, and one that really helped me to break out of my cycle of going from convention to convention, riding constantly on deadlines. I think I had less photos taken of me this year than any other year, and overall I've become disenchanted with getting photos at conventions. But, that's a whole other topic that I can (and will) write a whole entry on at some point. Here's to 2014! Oh, and 2013, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. :)

#LifeofaCosplayer #YearinReview

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