So in two days I'm leaving for a road trip to the Midwest. One of the things I'm looking forward to most is attending nErDcamp, MI. Having followed the Nerdy Book Club blog and blogs from several members and making connections on Twitter for the past few years, I'm excited about meeting and learning from these people in person. However, that excitement is also accompanied by anxiety. In the past, I would have kept this to myself, but in the spirit of bravery found in The Nerdy Teacher's post about depression, I decided to share.
I recently read Butter by Erin Jade Lange. This book was recommended to me by a Nerdy Book Club post. Butter is a morbidly obese high school student who plans to eat himself to death in front of a live audience over the Internet. His social coping mechanism is try to fade into the background. Except for an online relationship, where he pretends to be another person, and a friend from Fat Camp, Butter has no friends. Once his peers find out about his last meal plans, he is jolted to a place of popularity, sitting with the cool kids at lunch and getting invited to parties.
Butter's experience struck a nerve. I'm not suicidal, but I am a morbidly obese person. I know why I am here. I loathe vegetables and love sweets. I am too sedentary; I need to put my books down and participate in more physical activities. I know I need to make changes. Even though I have tried time after time to do so, and I often feel like I am a failure, I will keep trying to make those changes. Not because of wanting to be popular or fit into a bikini, but because I want to see my children and my grandchildren (should I be blessed with them) grow up.
I have a bit of anxiety about walking into a nErDcamp, MI where I do not know anyone. What will they think when they see someone of my size. Will the high school have those desks attached to the chairs that I might not fit in?
What helps me cope with this anxiety is the belief I have in this wonderful community of readers. How could a group that champions the "Choose Kind" message of Wonder show me anything but kindness?