Excitement and Anxiety

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.

8 thoughts on “Excitement and Anxiety

  1. I totally understand every word of this post! I excitedly make plans and then as they draw nearer, I wish I’d never made them. I would trade them in an instant for just a “normal day”. That’s the introvert in us and it’s the part that sucks, because it’s the part that keeps us from actually getting to meet those really great virtual friends and seeing new places, etc. The wonderful thing about GRL – from what I’ve gathered online, it’s pretty much 99.99% introverts, and then…you know…Edmond. I’m excited for you and jealous that you will get to give real hugs to people I adore. You know as well as I do, when it’s over, you will be SO glad you went. You can do this!! Report back to the rest of us who couldn’t or wouldn’t go but wanted to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a great comfort to know how many people the feel the same way. I know by the end I will think I was nuts for ever having doubted myself or wanted to skip out, but man, it sure it difficult in the meantime. Your comment about Edmond made me laugh. I am excited/vaguely terrified to meet him.

      By the way, I think I am going to have to start a list of all of the hugs I am supposed to be getting for people …

      Oh, and I promise a full report when I get back!


  2. We ‘talked’ about this yesterday so you know I exactly get what you’re saying. My trip to the London M/M author meeting was both a wonderful experience and one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. And, to this day, I regret I didn’t have the courage to open up more, approach people and get to know at least a few of them. Before I knew it the day was over and my opportunity to actually talk to people gone. I think it would have been easier if that event had been longer. I could still have hidden in the corner on that first day, but I would have interacted with at least a few of the other people there. By day two that would have given me the confidence to move with the crowd rather than around them. I didn’t have that option but you do.

    My advice therefore is this: Go to GRL and give yourself permission to lose yourself in the workshop on Wednesday while also observing all the dynamics. Because you’re all there for the same reason you’ll end up talking to people, you won’t be able to avoid it. By the time the event proper starts the following day you will be comfortable and happy to interact. Go, enjoy and then give us a full and detailed report of the event.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, and talking yesterday helped immensely. I will do my very best to follow your advice because I think it’s a very good. ❤

    Just a warning, you may get a panicked PM going "Ahhhhhh, I'm freaking out" but I am starting to feel much better about things. It's amazing what venting and a good cry can do.

    And like I promised Jaycee, there will be a full report after I get back!


  4. As you know I’m going to be there too and I’m going to be in the same frame of mind. You have my number, text me if we aren’t hanging out together, and we can find each other if that’s what we need, okay? And if I’m hanging out too much let me know too, I have a tendency to get clingy in these kind of situations but I’ll try not to do that too much. Maybe if we’re freaking out together we’ll have the courage to talk to all the people we want to or at least one or two of them.

    So looking forward to meeting you, hon!


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