So tonight, I managed to freak out my children by whooping and hollering in the car while we were sitting outside the drive-up window of a local restaurant chain. I had just gotten an email stating that my paper proposal had been accepted for a literary conference this summer.
Now, several hours later, the giddiness has worn off, and in it’s place, a profound sense of “holy shit, what the hell did I just get myself into” has managed to settle itself (rather uncomfortably, I might add) on my chest, much like the incubi of old were said to sit upon a sleeping man’s chest and steal his life away.
“But why?” You may be asking, “Why must you feel this way? Are you not versed in the literary arts?” Well, yes, for the most part, I am, but this is an entirely new situation. And as such, throws my entire sense of self into turmoil. Once again I feel as if I am trapped within the confines of High School, doubting my abilities to communicate, to fit in, to be accepted as one who belongs. I’m wracked with doubts. I fear my ability to write, much less engage in coherent behavior. Questions burble to the surface “what if my presentation falls flat?, what if I set fire to the stage?, what if I accidentally insult Scott McCloud?, what if I can’t afford to go?” And then, after working myself into a frenzied panic of hyperventilation and bad “what if…” scenarios that would put Marvel to shame, I take a few deep breaths, slap myself a few times, and realize the most important thing.
There’s no point in giving up now. I’ve always prided myself on doing things on a large scale. Either I succeed soundly, or I fail – spectacularly. So, gentle reader, I will attend this conference this summer. I will present my paper, and the cosmic forces who pull the strings will flip a coin and decide how everything will turn out.
And in the aftermath, I will sit there, in the flaming wreckage that resulted from either my success or my failure, probably drinking from an ice-cold Blue Moon, and I’ll realize that the true force in the universe is actually a DC Villain by the name of Harvey ‘Two-Face’ Dent.
I apologize for the theater references in the title… been reading Hamlet again.