Oh anxiety, my old foe.
Today I am thinking about my friend Sahar’s husband, Rob. For the new reader, they live in Kentucky currently, which I abhor. They are simply too far away from me and that is unacceptable. So last year when Sahar told me that Rob had a chance of a new job in Cleveland, I was almost as excited as they were. That’s an easy weekend trip. I had my fingers crossed, hoping they would hear something soon.
Again, this was last year.
This summer, he finally got the job. Sahar is busy scouting out houses in Ohio. They are very excited. I am very excited.
Yet, right now all I can think of is how Rob waited A YEAR for this opportunity.
I have two things I’m waiting for right now, and if I had to wait a year, I honestly don’t know if I’d even bother. I’m not that patient-it’s one of my faults. I have enough anxiety waiting a couple of weeks. I can’t imagine an entire year of that.
I’m going to go ahead and risk jinxing myself and tell you about these opportunities that I am waiting on pins and needles about. First, the nearest opportunity…I entered a poetry contest. I used to attend a group called Fourth Friday at my local bookstore…usually it was a featured reader followed by some open mics. It took a lot, I mean A LOT of courage for me to go in the first place, then to keep going, then to read my work there. Sadly, due to Covid, this is no more. However, the groups organizer, Rachel, moved it online. Now it has morphed into her own Facebook live poetry broadcast-a featured reader gets interviewed, they discuss current topics, and the reader shares their work. The contest remains, judged by the feature, and she usually wraps up by sharing the winner.
So, I wrote a little something the other day and sent it off on a whim. As usual, I think it’s crap, but I thought the one I sent in March was crap too…but I won, and I ended up turning it into a micro-chap. So who knows. Anyway, this month, the winner will be given a seven-minute slot on her show to share their poem. Since I am currently trying to hype my poetry book, this would be a truly perfect opportunity for me. But the anxiety…half “I don’t know if I want all those people to see me” and half “everything I write is crap.”
The second thing that is weighing on me is that I recently sent some poems to the Buffalo News. I grew up reading the poetry page, and always dreamt of being on it. For some reason, though, it seemed a far-off hope. Until the other day when I mustered the courage to send some pieces to the poetry editor. I emailed him first with a couple questions and he was kind enough to respond, and then I sent off the poems. Now, I have no idea how long his deliberation process takes, or how lucky I will be to be included, though he does favor folks from the Western New York area. I also mentioned that I have a book out. It is my hope that he publishes something, and I get a little local press.
Which is kind of the same thing with Rachel’s show. I have some people giving me great feedback on my book who are Twitter followers, but it’s not really out there in my community. It’s harder to market locally due to Covid right now, so anything that can help would be great.
Alas, anxiety. Mostly, the anxiety of the wait.
I am no longer nervous to share my work like I was back in October when I went to my first Fourth Friday. These days, I will scream it from the rooftop, if you’re willing to listen. However, I hate the waiting, and the uncertainty that comes with that. Usually I log my submissions and forget about them until I hear back, but I am obsessively checking my email for any word from the News. Not to mention anxiously awaiting 830pm Saturday night when Rachel’s show airs. (BTW-if you would like to check it out, it can be found on Facebook HERE. This month’s featured is poet Oli Wiggins.)
So here I am, thinking of Rob, and wondering how he didn’t just lose his damn mind waiting. I mean, I can barely stand a couple of weeks…a WHOLE YEAR? Unacceptable.
The only way I can combat it right now is to just try to keep my mind busy. When it wanders, it wonders. Can’t have that at the moment.
Anyhoo…wish me luck. Both opportunities would be huge for me in regards to marketing to my local community. And I’ll tell you what, that is HARD. I’m sure there’s a future blog post about it somewhere in my brain, but for now, I will just wait.