Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile initially scared me to death.
~ Betty Bender
Strange Life of Ivan Osokin
TONIGHT on TV
IM LEAVING ON A JET PLANE AGAIN
18 August 2004
I will be flying out of here at midnight on Wednesday night. Im flying to New Jersey (well, the Philadelphia airport) to meet the other women who are in the altered book group.
The excitement has been hot and heavy:
reads one e-mail in excited bolds and capital letters.
writes another person I am getting ready to meet.
writes a third, while our hostess, a couple of days ago, wrote:
I don't pack and re-pack (well, unless I'm planning on spending 6 weeks in Australia). I'm looking forward to the trip, but I fear that my excitement level doesn't match those of my fellow book alter-ers.
I'm spending my days frantically trying to finish the last book I should have had done by now, fretting over the fact that Jeri will be coming here for just a couple of days and I will miss her (she'll be spending most of her time with her grandmother), trying to get up enough enthusiasm for going shopping and stocking the fridge with food for Walt for while I'm going, and, most of all, feeding those butterflies that are growing in my stomach.
You see, I'm going to meet a bunch of people I've never met before and that's always so scary for me. When we first planned this, the woman who got me into the group in the first place (whom I have met) was going to be there, but now finances and conflicting engagements have prevented her from coming, so it's all going to be total strangers.
I'm sure it will be fun.
I'm sure we'll get along well.
I'm sure I'll look back on these butterflies as silly.
But as I sit here, I'm worried. I'm worried the plane will crash (my perennial worry). I'm worried that I won't bring enough money. I'm worried that I won't fit in, that my hostess will be upset because I have to stay an extra day, that everybody will be thin and I'll be a blimp...all of those fears that I always have when I get ready to go into a new situation. Usually I go with someone that I already know or someone I know is going to be there. This time I'm on my own.
I need to remember that I did this a year ago. A year ago, I went to a gathering in Houston of people I only knew on line. I was scared then, but decided that I was going to do it. I did. And I had a great time. I didn't feel I fit in completely, but I did enjoy it, and have kept in contact with some of the people I met at that time.
I'm sure that this is going to go well.
But I am going to have to gird my loins, take a deep breath and do it. It will be fine. It's always fine. And I always feel so stupid for feeling like this.
Of course, sooner or later I'd better actually think about packing something. It's easy to figure out what to pack because since I've put back so much weight, there are only a few things that fit me, so I don't have to make a choice--I just bring it all and hope that it will be enough.
There is talk of going to a beach. I don't even know if the bathing suit I bought 3 years ago which I've never even put on fits.
(And by the way, I'll be taking my laptop and updating if I have
time---maybe I'll be having too much fun to write anything!)