I’m ready for a break. I mean I am REALLY ready for a break.
When I leave work on Tuesday, I will be starting vacation. It will be my first vacation that is totally about me in about 5 years. I’m not saying I haven’t taken time off work in the past 5 years. I have. But every vacation I took over the previous 5 years included me writing papers for school. This vacation is going to be a special treat for me.
Its a very scary moment for me as well. I wrote the other week how I will be going to an SL Jam and that this trip will be my first time presenting. That’s right…Tiff, plans to finally show the world the real her. While I am very excited about this opportunity…
I am scared to death.
A friend asked me recently why I was so scared about this trip considering I would be with a large group of accepting people from Second Life? I’ve thought long and hard about how to explain this to people. I mean, those I have spoken with who have walked this path understand it. The anxiety over not just first presentations, but the beginning of the required real life experience is incredibly anxiety provoking.
Am I nervous about meeting the other SL’ers at this event? You’re damn right I am. I mean, I know a few of the people there. One of my best friends, RL and SL, will be there and I will be meeting her in RL for the first time. I know others have been accepting of other transitioning individuals at jams. So why am I still scared?
This journey, as I have shared, brings every anxiety we have to the surface. I mean, my mind has been working overtime and keeping me up at night. So many questions…
Will I be able to pass?
The voice I have been practicing and refining for so long…will I be able to maintain it throughout the entire 4 days?
Am I going to look like some freak of nature?
What will I do if I encounter someone questioning me more than I am ready for?
And these relate to just the jam crowd. The questions about what will happen when we leave the safety of our hotel are even more intrusive.
Will I be able to use a women’s room safely?
Will I be threatened?
Even with all of the other SL individuals there, what will I do if someone confronts me?
Will I have a total panic attack out in public?
And there are more…
The closer I get to leaving for the jam, the more nervous I am getting. The closer I get to Thursday, the more I notice my anxiety rising and the more intrusive the thoughts are. I’ve even had a couple of nightmares about the trip over the past week.
One friend tried to encourage me through my anxiety recently by reminding me that others will be there to support me. As I was trying to explain to him what it was like in my position, I referenced the movie Remember The Titans.
If you have seen the movie, think about the scene where several members of the team are out in the streets of Arlington following one of their wins. Sunshine recommends they are all go into a particular establishment to eat. Pettie and a couple of the other African American members of the group say they don’t want to go into the place. At Sunshine’s urging, they all go in and they immediately are confronted by the owner of the place who states that African American’s are unwelcome in the establishment.
If you’ve seen the movie, you know what happens from there.
And that is my big fear for this event. What happens when leaving the safety of the hotel? What’s going to happen if we encounter one of those situations? How will I respond? Will I shut down?
I just don’t know.
I am crossing my fingers and saying prayers that those situations don’t occur.
I know that the anxiety will be there on all of the firsts of showing the world the real me moving forward. I know and accept that. I don’t know…I think knowing that I have constant support will be the big determining factor throughout this trip. It’s hard to get all the thoughts out of my head today.
Know I am not trying to be some kind of Debbie Downer today. I just really need to get all of this out of my head to try and sort it out.
Sometimes I wish my brain would just slow the fuck down, ya know?
See it on Flickr.
Consignment – The Convertible – Racing