I’ve done the practical things- stocked up on anti mad tablets, booked flights and the hotel, bought travel size shampoo, measured the case to be sure it fits the hand luggage rules.
I’ve done the ‘not so practical but it’ll make me feel better’ things- got my nails done and bought proper foundation, approximating to my skin tone.
I written the talk and prepped slides. I’ve timed myself. In truth I’m not so worried yet about talking- that will start when I get to the huge venue and see other people talking in a slick, relaxed, we do this all the time fashion. They won’t have a panicked ‘just pretend I’m reading at Mass’ face on. They’ll be chatting.
Before I get to then I have other things to worry about. The plane. The tube. Crowds. That there London, without Spurs Fan to steer me. I’m a grown up; I know I can do this. Years ago I’d hardly have given it a thought, but that was before. Before I knew about exhaustion and anxiety and needing a dog to get me out of the house.
And while I’m worrying away about my wee thing, our mate and fellow volunteer Awesome Academic is worrying about hers. Normally unflappable, Awesome Academic will be recording a broadcast for Nature- discussing her work on genetics or kidneys or whatever branch of awesomeness she feels like discussing, and then answering questions. Live. She doesn’t need sparkly nails, but there is definitely some flapping going on. We all have our challenges.
I’m getting over my ‘I don’t want to go. Don’t make me go. Why did I apply to go? Do I have to go?’ phase. This time tomorrow I hope I’ll be bouncy and brave and full of adventure. I’d be kicking myself if I hadn’t applied. I’d be devastated if I hadn’t been accepted. There are so many folk I want to meet and learn from. I want to be inspired and energised. I want to make a difference. So I will go and chat and learn and present and enjoy. And when I come home, I will recover.
And then I’ll do it all again, in another time and another place. With different nail varnish. I think the red is too bright. I have to live up to it.