Have you ever noticed that when something AMAZING happens, you royally screw it up?
No? Just me? Bueller?
I know; I have a flare for the drama. But I’m sure you’ve felt this way before.
You spend all your time aligning yourself with the Universe, working tirelessly toward a goal. And just when you start to wonder why you’re spending all this time working on your passion, there is suddenly a small reward for your efforts. A nod, from the Universe if you will…
Someone dangles a carrot in front of you and you get ALL EXCITED because the opportunity you’ve been WAITING FOR has FINALLY arrived! Bon Voyage, silly mundane world! You’ve got your Golden Ticket and you’re off to explore the world and follow those big dreams that have fueled your life for so long…
Or you know, you could do what I did and somehow manage to bore the carrot, make a fool of yourself, and then find yourself going back to the drawing board with nothing more than a sense of failure and missed opportunity.
Have I lost you? One too many analogies, huh? Okay, let me break it down…
Upon returning from Fiji, I was invited to a party by a very special and important family friend. While it was nice enough just to be thought of, he’d heard about my blog and my time living with The Firewalkers. He had someone he wanted me to meet. She herself was also Very Important, and someone who could help me achieve my goal of getting the Fijian school children their much needed school supplies.
This woman knew people who could invest, bring the media attention and necessary equipment to Dakuibeqa. And my family friend wanted me to meet her and tell her my story.
So you know, no pressure.
I wore the only new dress I’d bought for myself in the past year, brought my last two business cards, and practiced what I wanted to say to this Very Important Person in the hours leading up to the party. As I had only been invited the previous day, I didn’t have time to do a full run-through like I wanted, so I just had to settle for being more ‘off the cuff’.
You’d think that I’d be cool with being ‘off the cuff’. Not so much.
I arrived, thanking my very special family friend for inviting me. He draped his arm around my shoulder and steered me into the other room. He introduced me to his Very Important friend as she sipped on her glass of wine.
She was absolutely stunning. I don’t know why this threw me.
“This young lady has an incredible story and she is an amazing writer. I think you would love her tale.” This Very Important woman and her friend sat on the edge of their bar stools and leaned in, intrigued. Our friend left to attend business elsewhere. And suddenly I was alone with them.
So I took a breath and began talking.
In the few hours I’d had to imagine how this would go down, I’d managed to tell a tale SO riveting and SO sensational, I’d end up with my goal completed in six months.
I’d pictured myself meeting this lady’s Very Important Friends, receiving a giant check (which I then presented to the Fijians), and the computers and cell tower being delivered to the island by the end of the year.
Of course, this amazing feat would get me invited on Ellen where I’d tell her all about my story. This would lead to my inevitable book deal and my being named a New York Time’s Best Selling author. Of course, it was only logical that Universal Studios would then start calling. begging for me to sell the rights. The Fijians would have their needed supplies, my story would reach the masses, and everyone would be happy. (Obviously, I’m super realistic).
In my head I gave a flawless and emotionally laden version of my life, bringing this Very Important woman and her friend to tears. She’d be so moved, she’d hug me and we’d forever be bound over my great story-telling abilities.
So naturally, this was NOT what happened.
I bombed. And I bombed hard.
I screwed this up so bad, I didn’t even want to listen to me talk by the end. It was so embarrassing. And awkward. And I felt awful for this poor woman.
Of course I only had myself to blame. I mean, I was the one who chose to tell the LONG version of the story. Who tells the long version of ANY story while at a party?
This girl, apparently.
She clearly had friends she wanted to connect with and I trapped her in my web of stumbling words. I confused her because I’d I started at the beginning beginning of my nomadic life and not the Fijian story beginning. And though I knew it was wrong, I continued rambling on like a drunken idiot (even though I’d had barely a sip of wine out of fear of doing THE EXACT THING I WAS DOING).
I made dramatic pauses (or so I thought) with no reaction. I tried to explain my love of Elizabeth Gilbert, the school children, and the villagers but I got them all wrong. I put the wrong emphasis on the wrong parts and made my life totally unappealing.
Did I mention we were at a party?
I had this poor woman cornered for over half an hour. I just wanted to walk away but I HAD to get to the end, and by the time I got to the end I just wanted to die die die.
You would never know I had a closet full of public speaking trophies from this night. You would never know I was a college graduate from this night. Hell, you probably wouldn’t know if I was sane.
This Very Important woman was polite and sweet. She listened even after her friends bailed. But I just wanted her to hit me over the head with her wine glass.
Before I had time to turn the tables, get to know her, and continue on with all the bonding I’d dreamt about all day, she was leaving. I hadn’t had time to mend my demolished opportunity. I barely even had time to say goodbye. And bless her heart, she even asked for my blog information.
I handed out my last two business cards, absolutely mortified. All I could do was hope my cheeks didn’t match the shade of my dress.
At least I looked good in my dress. Not that that’s much of a consolation as you watch your giant imaginary check and ‘Best Screenplay’ Oscar nomination dreams go up in flames…
But yeah. I guess sometimes that’s how life goes. So I’ll keep moving forward.
(Let me insert a dramatic photo of me walking through the desert to illustrate my point of how I’ll keep moving forward).
But in all seriousness… Didn’t Julie Powell have a moment like this before her big break when The Times called about her blog? She thought she’d lost a golden opportunity only to find that hers was waiting just months down the road?
Is it too much to hope that something like that could happen twice in a lifetime?
Well, is it? Bueller?