New Things

I’ve never been overseas. I’ve never been on a plane. I’ve never spoken at a conference. And yet – SURPRISE – I’m doing all of those things in the next fortnight. Life just really thought I wasn’t getting out enough, apparently.So, this is just a little daunting for someone who hates public speaking just an eeny teeny weeny beany little bit. Throw in the fact that I’ve got to fly there in order to do the presentation and suddenly I’m feeling overwhelmed. I don’t think I actually no one other person who had never been on a plane by age 23. Everyone who finds out I’ve never flown and never been overseas is like OHMYGIDDYAUNTAREYOUFORREALSIES?! And I shrug it off like it doesn’t bother me and then we move on and talk about the ridiculous alien-looking coffee machine at work.

And I kept shrugging it off – not just to other people, but to myself as well. So you’ve never been on a plane before, and now you’re going to England to present to a whole bunch of important researchers in your area, so what? That’s nothing. You’ll be fine.

Time ticks on and suddenly it’s one week from my flight. Holy mother of balls! I have to fly?? I have to get on a plane and fly? (One of the longest flights in the world, I might add. I don’t do anything by halves.) I’ve never done that before! I won’t know what to do at the airport or where to go and I’m going to get lost and won’t be able to find my luggageandwhatifIdon’tlike
peanutswhydon’ttheyofferavarietyofnutsmaybetheydoofferavarietyofnutsbutIjustdon’tknowitbecauseI’VENEVERBEENONAPLANE!

You can see how I get worked up.

Usually my brain deals with this by overcompensating and kicking into Super Intense Planning and Organising Mode (SIPOM), where I’ll prepare for whatever it is to within an inch of my life. I’ll do research and read up about the Thing. I’ll imagine various scenarios that could occur with the Thing. I’ll try and predict how the Thing is going to play out. But even I have a threshold for that mode and I’ve apparently reached it in this case. I mean, I’ve packed and got everything sorted in time but I left a fair amount of it till the last minute, which is unlike me. This unsettles me because my paranoid brain keeps thinking that I might have forgotten something. But at the same time, my brain is trying to calm me down and convince me the Thing is not a big deal. Poor brain, stuck between a rock and a hard place. Anyway, it usually resolves itself in a fairly anti-climatic way where I’ll get organised at the last minute and make a long list of things I have to check (or triple check) and all is well and the world is made of sunshine and salted caramel again.

Yeah, I haven’t reached that end stage just yet. I’ve paused it momentarily to type this up because I needed to blurt it all out. So I’m in the throes of this weird, subdued panic state.

I will report back once I find out for myself if the plane seats really are as uncomfortable as everyone says.

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P.S.

I just wanted to add – I don’t want it to seem like I’m ungrateful for the opportunity that has been offered to me because I really am incredibly appreciative and still in awe, to be honest. I’m also just a little bit scared.

P.P.S.

There needs to be a word for when you add something at the end – not a postscript or an amendment – I’m thinking the equivalent of a “preface”…”sufface”? You know, like, prefix and suffix?

P.P.P.S.

Okay. I looked it up. It is, logically, of course, “postface”. I dunno though…that just makes me think of a person with a mailbox slot for a face.

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Jacquie is a 20-something maker and writer from Melbourne. She enjoys eating virtually anything that is labelled salted caramel and, contrary to popular belief, has forgotten how to ride a bike. She feels ambivalent about writing in the third person but thought it might be fun. It was.

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