I know I usually do Wellness Wednesday at this time of the week, but with Blissdom banging down my door I wanted to share some of the anxiety I’m feeling.
I remember my first sleepover. It was two doors down from my house, at the home of the girl I was best frenemies with. She was friends with all the “cool girls” in our class and they were invited, too. I felt so out of place, and I look back through adult eyes and know that even my friend’s aunt who was overseeing the party knew I didn’t fit in. I understand now that she rigged it so I would win a game we were playing, just so I could feel better about myself.
Later on, as everyone else whispered and giggled in the dark, I laid looking up at the ceiling of that living room and wished more than anything to be back home in my own bed. Where I knew who I was. Where I felt safe and loved. Where even if my brother teased me I could get back at him rather than feeling like I had to take it and pretend it didn’t bother me. Surrounded by these other girls, I felt so alone.
But I didn’t go home that night. I stuck it out, as miserable as I was, as unwanted as I knew myself to be.
Twenty years later and I feel like that girl again.
Here I am, almost packed for Blissdom. Fresh, shiny business cards ready to be handed out to any interested people. My netbook, my notebook, my super awesome new pens. My jeans and boots and dresses and pajamas (yes, Julie, I remembered to pack my pajamas – you’re welcome) all crammed into my overworked suitcase.
I’m heading to Nashville, glad to not be traveling alone (thank you, Kim), about to be surrounded by hundreds of women who get why I do what I do on this blog. Who know how it feels to want to be read, interacted with, appreciated for what they bring to the blogsphere and, on a grander scale, the world at large.
Never in my life have I felt like more of a fraud.
Because just like back in those days of my youth, I exist on the fringe, or at least I feel like I do. I’m not a mom, though I know some bloggers have at times assumed that I am, maybe because I interact with so many moms online. I don’t feel that I deserve the title “Food Blogger” because I’m not in the same league as the blogs and bloggers I adore. I don’t focus on my writing consistently enough to be a Writer. I don’t have a fancy camera with different lenses so I’m not a Photographer.
And let’s not even get started on the issues I carry around regarding my appearance.
I’m afraid that I’ll find myself in bed tomorrow night, or Friday or Saturday, wishing more than anything to be back home in my own bed. Where I know who I am, where I feel safe and loved. The thought of staying home is intoxicating, and the thought of meeting my friends (and the money I’ve spent thusfar) is what’s convincing me to go.
One thing I refuse to do is allow the past to color the present. I don’t want to walk into the hotel tomorrow afternoon already feeling like the odd girl out – I’ll be finished before I even get started.
But it doesn’t stop me from being afraid that history will repeat itself.
Thanks, Shell, for letting me Pour My Heart Out over this – I’d better get to see you in Nashville!