Tomorrow, I am taking the Northeast Regional train down to Philadelphia, to go to the Wizardworld Con with a dear friend of mine who is flying all the way in from England. It means spending 6-7 hours on a train, finding my hotel, checking in and then having probably 4-5 hours to spend in Center City Philadelphia. And I am calm about it. Actually, I’m looking forward to it. While part of the train ride will certainly be boring, I am looking forward to a significant amount of time where I can do whatever I want-finish up that fanfic piece I promised for last month (oops), re-watch the second movie of HP & the Deathly Hallows or another movie I own on my computer. Read one of the many books I have out from the library. While the time away on the internet. Take a nap. Wander around Center City Philadelphia.
But Sunday, when my friend and I will be attending the convention, I am already nervous. I have to share my time and space with my dear friend and now I’ll be anxious about making sure we get wherever we need to go in time. After all, we have the Chris’s to ogle. When I have to adhere to other people’s schedules, anxiety worms its way into my life.
I know why this is and it still happens. It’s about control. I almost said power there, but that’s definitely not it (although those two are often paired together for good reason). It’s about managing expectations and controlling expectations. It’s worrying that by the actions of someone else I won’t get where we need to. (Or that by my actions it won’t happen). There are twice as many ways to fail when you add two people together.
I know how irrational I’m being and how much of a control freak I can be and yet this knowledge? Does nothing in the face of these behaviors. I have to breathe through and remind myself that I can accept this as it is right now. That no matter what, life will not end (hello, catastrophic thinking, you’re not my friend), I will still have a good time. And, in all honesty, things will probably work out pretty well no matter what. We’re not facing huge stakes here, just us, hundreds or thousands of other people and some famous people. Sight seeing of the crowds, looking at booths and lots of geeky pop culture. I’m looking forward to spending time with my dear friend and I’m looking forward to being in the same room (ish) as the Chris’s. I know that I can manage my travel anxiety and schedule anxiety but it would help a whole lot if I were able to head it off before or as it began rather than struggling through the mud in the middle. But I’m not there yet. So for now, I’ll use the coping mechanisms my therapist has given me for anxiety and keep working on it.