I’m just really frustrated with myself at the moment. It’s the Top Secret Plans, of course, because what else do I ever talk about, beside the Top Secret Plans. The Top Secret Plans may never come to fruition. The Top Secret Plans are taking WAY longer to get started than originally anticipated. The Top Secret Plans are smothering me in my sleep with a pillow. The Top Secret Plans are narrowing their eyes at me from across the bar, daring me to make a move, laughing into their drinks and blowing smoke in my face. The Top Secret Plans ate all the leftover mac and cheese I made even though I labeled it clearly in the fridge and didn’t even care when I confronted them about it. The Top Secret Plans have me right where they want me.
I seem to keep shortchanging myself with these Plans, forgetting small details and going over and checking my work and finding mistakes and wondering if they really matter and deciding they do matter but procrastinating fixing them and then wondering again if they matter and getting out the white-out and sort of staring out into space and wondering if any of its worth it. I want these Plans to happen, very much. But every barrier in my way makes me second-guess myself, which makes me sabotage myself, which makes me freak out often at inappropriate times like when I’m in line at Trader Joe’s:
Dreadlock Checkout Dude: Okay, and would you like some cash back with that?
Chiara: BUT WHAT IF I NEVER REALIZE MY DREAMS? WHAT IF I JUST STAY THE SAME AND NEVER DO ANYTHING OF IMPORT EVER IN MY LIFE? WHAT IF I DIE ALONE AND WITH NOTHING TO BE PROUD OF? Yes, twenty dollars please.
I’m trying to just calm down and tell myself that it may not happen, the Plans just may not work out, but by hokey, they’re not going to not happen because I was too scared to follow through or because I psyched myself out at the last minute. I have a sad history of doing that and I’m just not going to do it this time; I want to fail or succeed based on circumstances or merit or luck or whatever, but not because I was too sucky to give it my best shot. Sigh. I just have to keep telling myself that and keep the freaking out to a minimum.
In other news, people are starting to come in for my birthday party this evening and I’m pretty excited about that. Did I tell you I’m having a karaoke party? I was happy to see an intense karaoke analysis over at pamie.com because it only fuels my desire to find my One True Karaoke Song and own it. I’ve only done karaoke a couple of times, and, frankly, absolutely biffed every time. It’s not my voice, necessarily, although I wouldn’t say I’m a great singer. It’s the impromptu nature of karaoke, the not-rehearsing, the insecurity about whether you’ll be able to sing in a key remotely viable for your particular voice box, the haunting question of if you’ll be able to get into it enough. I almost lay down and died when I ate it at the Rickshaw with “Tainted Love” several months ago, I was so nervous. I hope that just doing it in my living room will work out a little better and that I won’t care too much about sucking. True, an opera singer is going to be there, but whatever, right? It’s my birthday! Cake for everyone!
So, yes, people start arriving tonight and we’re going out for high-end pizza and improv theater and then tomorrow we’re setting up the machine and stringing the lights…we decided, you may not be surprised to hear, against the stage…and then Saturday morning we’re having brunch and going to Costco and then Saturday afternoon we’re hanging out in my neighborhood and discussing what we should wear, and then Saturday at about seven o’clock I’m going into the bathroom and shivering with fear for a while, and then Saturday night people are coming over and eating dip and singing and standing under the DiscoBall Mistletoe. And maybe I will come out of the bathroom at some point, having hyperventilated sufficiently and being hungry for dip. Will I wear my awesome birthday dress, perhaps or will I slum it in jeans and the octopus necklaces? It’s just all so exciting.
Ooh, and a couple of other nice things are going on for me. One is that this entry has been nominated for a Diarist Award, and that’s very happy. I was surprised and pleased when I won last time, especially since I didn’t love the entry in question too much. I like the current one much better and it’s cool that other people seem to like it too. I confess I still don’t totally get what the Diarist Awards mean, but it’s lovely to be nominated and you know, I totally hope I win.
The other awesome thing is that next weekend I’m going to Boone, North Carolina to visit my friend Amy. I seem to have a lot of friends named Amy, all of whom are awesome for some reason. It’s a handy algorithm, I’m finding. Is your name Amy? Yes? You rock? Yes? Okay! Let’s have some goat cheese! Amy lives in Boone and had my first little niece a while ago and just built this awesome passive-solar-design house with her awesome husband. I haven’t seen her for about four years, haven’t seen her husband for about five, and have never seen Lily. I sent her (Amy, not Lily) a Valentine this year and on it I was all like, “Roses are red, violets are blue, we should totally find a way to see each other because it’s been way too long, girl.” So you know what she did? She up and called me and said “We’re flying you out to North Carolina for Easter, see you in a couple of weeks.” Isn’t that cool? I leave a week from today and will spend the weekend being cold (but fortunately she has radiant heat flooring) and playing with a baby and developing a Southern accent and hanging out with someone who just gets more awesome as the years go by. Other than that, I don’t know what you do in Boone, North Carolina, but I’m sure we’ll figure out something. I haven’t been on a plane for three months so it’s about time for me to get started on my spring and summer travel plans, which are also shaping up nicely.
And, you know, I feel better now, about all that Top Secret Plans nonsense, up at the top of the page. I think it’s all going to work out somehow, in the end.