Admittedly, I am no Ren Faire expert. I don't live the lifestyle and I don't go in costume...well, maybe I don the occasional plumage.
I grew up going to the Bristol Renaissance Faire every year, and I looked forward to it as a little girl. I still try to make it out each year, if only for the turkey legs. In reflecting upon my visits, I've arrived at the following conclusions that hold relevancy in the world outside the kingdom walls.
1.) Don’t be intimidated by size. Turkey legs, pickles, steins of beer … Everything seems bigger at the Ren Faire. However, much like in life, you'd be surprised what you can handle when it's placed in front of you. Whether it be a gigantic turkey leg or a seemingly impossible project at work, one bite (or task) leads to another and before you know it you've accomplished the impossible.
And all you have left is a really big bone…and maybe some barbecue sauce on your face.
2.) Be engaged or be prepared to be mocked. Especially when it comes to Ren Faire hecklers -- resistance is futile, avoidance will only get you so far, and at some point you have to acknowledge them. They see you coming. Instead of dodging your problems, or even your biggest critics, try meeting them head on. Have the confidence to stand your ground and don't take yourself too seriously. Never lose the ability to laugh at yourself.
3.) Mystics may be able to tell your future, but only you can make it happen. While $20 will get you a tarot card reading with Meryln's Daughters…it won't change your life. Psychics are fun, having pipe dreams is healthy, leaning on coaches and mentors is helpful, but if you really want to see change you have to be the one to do it. While others can help support us, they cannot in fact make us happy.
4.) Embrace your assets. What works against us in one situation is also what makes us perfectly suited for another. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the Ren Faire.
If you're loud and awkward, packing a few extra pounds, have a sense of humor that no one else gets, or can eat all of your friends under the table, you're a star at the Faire. Throw on a beer wench outfit, a jousting costume, grab a beer stein and a sword...all of the sudden you're the person we all want to be.
What you may look at as flaws on some days can be your biggest assets on others. Find ways to display your unique skills every day. Learn how to present your flaws as assets and surround yourself with people who value you for them.
Side note: I don't condone the wearing of beer wench outfits in the workplace nor do I suggest swordsplay as a viable conflict resolution tool.
In the end, isn't life just a day at the Faire anyway?
The Bristol Renaissance Faire runs July 7th through Labor Day.