What If? (Special JournalCon Freakout Entry)

Please excuse me. I just have to get all this out of my system for a minute. I’m sure you understand.


What if I miss the plane? I have to get up at 4:00 and be out the door by 4:30 to get there by 5:00 to catch a 6:00 flight. That is very early.

What if I should get up at 3:30 and out the door by 4:00 and to the airport by 4:30? That’s even earlier. And what if there’s no where open for coffee (or, you know, in my case, hot chocolate) that early?

What if I’m working on my basketweave scarf on the plane and I come to the end of the yarn and I have to bind off? I don’t remember how to bind off!

What if I don’t get my swag done before I leave?

What if, even assuming I do get my swag done, everyone at JournalCon thinks it’s dumb? What if I put it on the table at the hospitality suite and no one gets any and then the committee has to come up to me all “We’re sorry, Chiara, but could you get your horrid swag off our table? No one wants it. It’s dumb. We need to use the table for Monopoly.”

What if Sundry is all popular and famous and I keep trying to cling to her like some sort of terrified marsupial and her new friends are like, “Um, Sundry, we want to take you out for dinner and hilarious conversation. Could you lose your friend?” And then she has to be like, “I’m sorry, they just want to hang out for a while, it’s nothing personal, I’ll see you later. I’m sure you’ll have fun with the other journallers! Buh-bye!”

What if I go up to a cool famous journaller and I’m get that awful babbling thing I get when I’m nervous? What if I go up to someone cool and I’m all “Oh my GAAAAAAAWWWWWW girl I just LOVE your journal I mean seriously, girl, your journal just RIZZOCKS heh heh heh I don’t know why I said that, I never say rizzocks, sorry, sorry about that, I just wanted to tell you I’ve been reading you since 1998 and you are the best and you are like, SO FUNNY” and I’m dorking out and then she or he goes “Um, and you are..?”

What if my new haircut magically turns back into a shag once I hit Austin?

What if everyone already has all these in jokes and I just sit there smiling and feeling awkward and wondering if I’ll ever find anyone to have in-jokes?

What if, someone has heard of my little journal and says something to me about it and I have to be all, “Uh, yeah! Thanks! What journal do you write?” and then there’s a little resentful silence?

What if I still want to go to bed at 10:30?

What if someone has read my journal all too closely and I get one of those stalker people I hear about? I’ve never had one of those. But still.

What if there’s a big party one night and I don’t hear about it but something really cool happens and the next morning everyone is talking about it and I have to ask someone what happened and they go, “Oh, nothing. I mean, if you weren’t there, you wouldn’t understand.” And then they start laughing.

What if, when everyone writes up their JournalCon recaps, someone talks about all the cool people they met and then says something like “There were a couple of people there I could have lived without” and they link to my journal on “people.”

What if I make some new friends and I think they’re wonderful and hilarious and we exchange email and we start referencing each other all the times in our journals and then we talk about meeting up the next time they’re in Seattle and then it never happens?

What if I am the only person at JournalCon who doesn’t drink? What if we’re out to dinner or something and everyone is ordering cool cocktails that I don’t even know about, you know, because I don’t drink and I have to order a root beer or something, which I personally like but which other people might think is really dumb?

What if I just don’t click with anyone there and then I think that journaling is just a big lie, that everyone there is making things up about themselves and they’re not really who they say they are? And what if I start to wonder if I’m who I really say I am on the journal, and that maybe the journal is like this elaborate fantasy construction of who I want to be and I just get exhausted from trying to be this person I so clearly am not?

What if everyone is just so brilliant and genius and funny and wonderful and talented that I just decide that I shouldn’t even be keeping a journal at all because there’s no use in writing my silly little things when there are actual real writers out there writing?

What if, against all odds, I have a wonderful time and never want to come home and then when I do come home I’m all sad because my real life can never be as great as this weekend was?


Well, enough worrying. I’m off to Austin tomorrow to do something I’ve been thinking about and planning for for long enough that it seems completely unreal that I’m actually going. Going verrrrrrry early in the morning. I’m going to meet people I really admire and I’m going to try to learn some stuff and have some fun and do all of that. I’m sure all these jitters will dissipate as soon as I get all packed up and make my swag and clean up the house and do everything I have to do and finally, finally, make it to Texas.

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