Oh my WORD! You came back. Glutton for punishment, huh? Well, fraidy cats usually are, but that story is suitable for another day! So, where were we? I was telling you about the improbable road that led me to rehab. I mean the writer's conference.
When I got there, I felt like an imposter. Here were hundreds of dynamic dynamo's (redundancy for emphasis in case you are wondering)...and...well....me. Little ole me adrift in a sea of ______________. Here, you may, dear reader, insert ANY negative descriptor you can find in a thesaurus. To get you in the spirit, I'll give you a few starter words: insecurity, incompetence, confusion, etc. Oh yea, I knew there were a multitude of other newbies, but I was the one hopeless case among them. To prove it, I promptly locked my keys in my car as soon as I set foot on the conference center grounds. LOSER.
I think I will one day look back on that horrific moment of realization as the car door slammed shut, laugh, and write a HI-larious story about the Flannery O'Conner inspired, local business trio that came to my rescue. I didn't laugh last week, and I still AIN'T laughing today. That moment was pivotal for me because it was a nutshell representation of my life. I can't even get out of a car right!
Have you ever seen a Tsunami? Who hasn't since the one hit Japan several weeks ago? Well, let me tell you, Tsunami's don't just originate at the seaside. Because in the moment that car door slammed, I looked up into the mountains around me and saw a Tsunami of icy fear bearing down on me from the tippy tops of those peaks. And I knew I was T-O-A-S-T! I had been exposed before I'd even gotten to the opening session. LOSER!!!!
I was afraid of meeting new people. I was afraid of rejection. I was afraid of sounding 'too southern'. I was afraid to say, “hello”. I was afraid my clothes looked funny. I was afraid I was too fat. I was afraid my hair was an embarrassment. I was afraid I couldn't find my way around. Most importantly, I was afraid to go to bed w/o my daily fix of home made hot chocolate. (And that too is another story suitable for another day and another rehab blog!) I was afraid that professionals and peers alike would get a tiny peek at my writing, laugh at my loving friends - and all their high minded opinions of me - and send me packing, tail between my legs, knowing what I already knew. And can the people say together: “”She's a loser!”
I stood there in the heat and humidity, matched only by my humiliation, while my O'Connor characters drove off praising Jesus for their success with my stingy lock. I sure didn't feel like praising Jesus. I just wanted to get in my car and cry all the way home. Loser.
And then, the fraidy cat in me did something fairly unfamiliar these days. She took a deep breathe, stopped slouching, squared her shoulders, and marched determinedly into the future. Minute by minute. Hour by hour. Class by class. Meal by meal. New friend by new friend. And, as the week went on, that fraidy cat decided to take some chances. To live a little larger than I have ever tried to live before. To believe that I can be a fraidy cat who boldly goes where no fraidy cat has gone before. And...you don't even have to feed me catnip to get me to try! Not today at least. We'll see about tomorrow when it gets here.
I hope you've come here for a reason and that you'll keep coming. My head is full of people I want to tell you about. If you stay around long enough, you might just get to be the 1st to read the HI-larious story I write about my locksmiths x3. (Insert ominous organ music that hints of foreshadowing.) Share me on your facebook. Link me to your blog. This friady cat has no shame. You may even see me on the corner w/ a sandwich board asking people to follow my blog. I would...but I'm too afraid!