I’d originally written this blog post about a week out from the start of GRL and my trip to Chicago. Well, I kept forgetting to post it, and when I finally did go to post it, I couldn’t find it anywhere. *sighs* That tells you exactly where my brain’s been all week.
So here we go. Take two.
When I signed up for the GayRomLit Retreat last winter, I was really excited. Some time off work, a trip to a city I hadn’t been to in a long time, a chance to meet friends I’ve only talked to online, and an opportunity to learn more about writing and the m/m romance world? Awesome!
When I decided to take two weeks off work and turn it into an extended vacation that was even better. I’d get to spend some time with friends outside of the writing world then meet my husband and parents downtown and enjoy the city. Yay, vacation! Even more awesome!
But now, it’s not awesome. Now it’s just terrifying. Now it’s like the first day of a new job and school anxiety combined with vacation logistics all rolled into one giant clusterfuck of panic. I want to curl up in a little ball and cry and have someone pet my hair and tell me it’s going to be okay. The stupid thing is, I know it will. I’ve done way crazier shit than this. At nineteen or so, I hopped on a Greyhound bus with my best friend and we took it from Lansing to Manhattan to meet a couple of guys, one of which I only sort of knew. About a year later I flew to New York by myself (to see one of those guys who I wound up dating for nearly a year). I’ve gone to Paris twice. I’ve lived through an apartment fire.
I can handle shit, I know that. Once I get there I’ll be fine. The anxiety will ebb away and I’m sure I’ll have a blast.
But right now it doesn’t feel that way. Right now it’s the kind of anxiety that twists my stomach. If someone offered me a full refund on the conference I would take it. If I could back out without losing money and disappointing everyone, I’d jump on it. If I could quit without feeling like I’d let myself down, I would. Except, I don’t want to be a person who lets my fears get in the way of awesome things. I want to be brave and do things that scare me.
So for now it’s just one foot in front of the other as I check things off on my To Do list and try to keep the panic to a dull roar.
I leave tomorrow for Chicago. It’s about a four hour drive from here. I’ll head straight for Roger’s Park where my friend lives. I’ll probably hang out at a coffee shop for a bit while she finishes her work day. I’ll have a little time to decompress and then we can spend some time together on Tuesday and go to dinner which I am really looking forward to.
GRL starts with a Writer’s Workshop on Wed. and the rest of the retreat is Thursday through Sunday. Sunday I’ll meet my husband and parents downtown and we’ll stay until the following Friday. We have plans to go to the museums and aquarium and check out the downtown. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
Now if only I could convince my anxious little brain of that.
p.s. Oh, and that cry I needed? I got that. A friend sent me a really lovely, supportive message just as I was finishing this up and it made me cry. Just a quick, hard cry but it helped a lot.
I can do this.