Baby steps. That’s what it takes to come back from a low blow. It’s starts with abundant self care. I eat soy ice cream for dinner and watch a writerly movie (Almost Famous). I submit to another writing contest and pat myself on the back. I clear off my desk, sort my mail, fold my clothes. Baby steps.
The next step involves picking up the pieces and sewing the narrative back together. Work here. Play there. Sing here. Eat there. Sleep well.
I have a week and a half before I leave for Oregon. A week and a half to regain the strength and make the movie of Cass picking me up at the airport stop reeling across my mind’s eye. There will not be anyone there because I refuse to call anyone else. Call them to what? Say hello to me? No. The first thing I have to do is get in the car and drive to Corvallis, where I will stay with a friend so that I may wake up the next morning and drive to Eugene for the reading and workshop. It is this moment, or rather, the first 24 hours, that I am the most nervous about.
Baby steps. I cannot stumble. I have to prepare my spirit to believe, as I walk across the stage, that I have something profound to say and that I AM somebody. I must believe, with each shuffle of my heels up to the podium, that I WILL become the published writer I want to be. Every cell, every breath, ever flutter of my heart has to believe this so that I may read my essay with all the assurance I can muster.
A week and a half to regain strength. A week and a half to mature miles with my heart. A week and a half to complete a last minute freelance assignment that’s going to pay for the unexpected costs of the rental car (now necessary in the absence of Cass’ ride). A week and a half.