Hello all. Here’s the thing. I give you fair warning, and you cannot say you haven’t had it. I am going to be talking about this trip to Charleston a lot. Like, A LOT. I’ve spent the morning perusing the recaps of attendees from last year, adding them to my blogroll in hopes of getting more familiar with some of them before the event, looking at photos, trying to imagine myself in that setting. At one point I literally almost cried because it looks like so much fun, but already my tendency to fret, worry, obsess, and overplan has kicked in. I reserved my room in the official hotel, and then I was searching for maps of the city, trying to imagine what I’m going to want to do, what tours I’ll want to take, (trying not to panic when my mother reminded me how bad I am at directions), wondering how much time people at this thing spend together versus doing their own thing, thinking about how everyone else seems to have at least one other person there whom they already know in real life, wondering if I’ll go, shell out all this money, and spend the entire weekend sitting alone at a table in a dark corner, watching everyone else laughing, and feeling nerdy and left out, but being grateful that at least I wouldn’t show up in anybody’s pictures, knowing that since I have already committed to going, I’ll just have to suck it up and be brave and fake the outgoing personality I wish I really had, in order for the previous scenario to NOT be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Whew. Deep breath.
Still, I feel the need to do research. Like what will the temperatures be like, and what kind of clothes do I need to bring? The depressing truth is, everybody in those pictures looked so young and trendy and cute. Y’all, I own nothing cute. Really. I bought myself a new pair of jeans from WalMart yesterday, which I desperately needed, but because I was feeling very, um…, large and likely to become larger… I also bought two MENS shirts in size 3X. Why would I do that, why?! Do I not have any hope or faith in my ability to keep a handle on my weight loss and stop backsliding? And furthermore, if I were buying those really big shirts in a futile attempt to camouflage and hide the fluffy, then somebody please explain to me WHY I bought them in Hunter-Safety-Orange and Glow-In-the-Dark neon yellow?! Aside from the fact that I love bright stuff, clearly, this is some sort of confused paradoxical wish to hide and yet be noticed. From miles away, no less. I was also thinking about this paradox in terms of the differences among the various bloggers when it came to how much of their real lives they put into their work- pictures of their kiddos, things they create from projects, pictures of their homes, etc., and how I’m not like that. I write with the hope that people will just happen across what I have written, find it entertaining, and keep reading and enjoying it, but I still try to keep a certain amount of anonymity, too. I’m not as brave and open as they are. I have walls. I guess all of them probably do have walls of their own, it’s just that all our walls stand in different places, and from different proximities to our hearts, yes?
Oh well. For the next eight months, I will try to remember to breathe and I will try to remember that I am strong and beautiful and sometimes inspiring and often darn funny, and that I will enjoy this event without making an Olympic trial of it, and I will come away from it having gained a new experience and hopefully maybe some new acquaintances who will grow into friends. Sounds like a plan!
Until next time,