We’re heading to Kansas City right now, we’ve been going since about 9 and it’ll be another several hours before we make land. It’s been a really weird experience, but it seems to finally be winding down a little.
I’m not entirely sure what I expected the tour to be like, but I never expected it to be like this. There’s been so much fun, socializing, humor, discomfort, sights, sounds, and experiences, it’s all like an insane rush. I tried to write down how our various days had been going but I am starting to lose distinction between the days.
We still have a lot of time left but its getting me all melancholic to think about the end of the tour. I tried not to think about any aspects of the tour before i got on the tourbus, because I have a tendency to over think and worry and self destruct. But early on I was struck/made really uncomfortable by all the remarks about my dating life. It was really upsetting to hear people talk about how loads of people were into me when it wasn’t the case. Or how forumers thought I should live or act. That only lasted a few days before everyone started laying off that idea, but that combined with the weird/wonderful experience of meeting fans really messed up my brain space.
I’m not entirely sure how. I’m a contrarian. A devils advocate. I like exploring alternate paths and options and not going with the mainstream. I’ve always been like this and it usually works. But when faced by the adoration of tons of harmenians, I feel like all the love and celebration I got was unwarranted, like I didn’t deserve it. Then my contrary/negative side kicked in and painted all the fans as ‘wrong,’ as ‘misunderstanding’ and that made me hate myself for failing to live up to how I thought they wanted me to be and also hate them for appreciating a wretch like me with such fiendish admiration. If I’m shit and you like it then you like shit. Which is shitty.
But then after the shows, despite getting a lot of feedback, I was always a bit jealous that some people who met me were more interested in talking to Erin or Dustin or Dan or Jeff (WHICH IS COMPLETELY UNDERSTANDABLE AND ALSO I EXPECTED IT) and people would depart quickly to Find them. Then we’d usually go to the bar.
I’m not comfortable with bars, as someone who hates drunk people and loud sounds and dark packed locations, and As someone who doesn’t drink much, I’ve not had much experience with it. But whenever I was at the bar, I never really got a chance to talk to any of the tour dudes. Mostly I was waylaid by fans. A lot of you were awesome to talk to. And a lot of you were drunk assholes.
I felt really apart from the group, as whenever I wanted to talk to ‘my friends’ (used loosely out of respect for the harmoncrew), i would be caught up talking to people who love what i do but also not really understand it or me or dnd. I never wanted to explain to people that ‘shut up I’m a shy person who is uncomfortable and wants to talk to people he knows’ so I would talk for a while, then let them keep talking while i was slowly inching away, and then eventually I’d break away from a convo and get about 5 feet before being ambushed by another group. It was disorienting, to say the least.
When I would make it over to the gang, most of them would have moved elsewhere or were deep in a conversation with someone else. My response would be to listen for a while before wandering off, or a fan plops down nearby and engages me. So even when I wanted to interact with my friends I couldn’t.
Everyone forms neat little lines for Dan and Jeff so it helps track what’s going on or who’s gonna be interacting, but i never had that so I was constantly being stopped. I’m not used to conversing with anyone, let alone people I don’t know, let alone drunk people I don’t know in a state I’ve never been in. These factors, when rolled up with the expectations people were setting about ‘getting ladies’ or whatever, created some serious dissonance between expectations and reality. that concept really was bullshit and I didn’t believe it, but on some level I trusted them so it made my disappointment that much greater when they turned out to be wrong, and paired with my award winning self loathing, really threw me for a loop.
Everyone I’m traveling with (pretty much) is in relationships, and it kinda amplified my loneliness. The bars did the same thing. I was trapped in a maze of social interaction with people who appreciated me but didn’t understand me. And when I wanted to connect with my friends, I couldn’t. So I would basically just stick around until I was too sick of it to carry on, at which point i just trudged wearily back to the hotel.
After this would happen, sometimes after-bar fun would occur but I’d be too over it to want to join in. This led to people asking me to come back out and hang, but my feeling low, combined with my contrary streak would turn those requests into apathetic armor that amplified my antisocial nature and made me want to stay in even more. I’m sure this didn’t help, and deepened the rift I felt between me and the others.
This cycle continued for a while, but it didn’t really start to wear on me until I met Dustin’s friend Mary, who was pretty cool and unfortunately looked insanely like my ex-girlfriend. I think that night kinda fucked me up and I got all introspective and pathetic.
At this point I’m getting over all this but the loneliness remains. It’s hilarious and repulsive that i can be surrounded by so much love and appreciation by fans and still feel so fucking alone. And ironically, talking to more people than I’ve ever talked to before in my life only made it worse. But that’s on me, not you guys.
I dunno how to wrap this up but anyone reading this should take away this:
I’m an introvert. I came to this whole harmontown thing because I wanted to play dnd. That’s it. I almost didn’t go because I was being antisocial on that first night I came to nerdmelt. I’m a nice and accommodating guy and want to meet you and love you all and also talk to you but because that’s all I’ve been doing its taking a toll on me. So be aware of that but don’t be shy. Just understand that I don’t feed off of that energy like Dan and Jeff, who can sustain themselves on it. For introverts like me even having a great time talking can be intensely draining.
I don’t know what I’m saying anymore, I’ve just had all these thoughts for a while and needed to open the floodgates a bit.
I love everyone who came out to see harmontown, thank you all so much. Still got hours to go till we hit Kansas City.
And I’m sorry that my social media use has died down. I dunno when more daily feelings will happen, I guess Erin got sick of doing them or something.
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