I was dropping The Birdy and The Bun off at daycamp the other day when we passed through a construction zone. All the usual road signs were out, indicating trucks turning and one-lane closed and so on, but then there was another sign. It was just like all the others, only in the middle of this one was simply the word EXCEL.
When I see things like that, I always assume it's some kind of personalized message. After all, I was on my way to the coffee shop to work on the book. And someone (a construction worker? FATE?), obviously was speaking directly to me through the sign: Excel. I should EXCEL! Yes! What a great message!
How positive! HOW MOTIVATING! What a terrific sign! I was full of glee. And my iPhone battery was dead so I couldn't take a picture.
When I got to the coffee shop, I began thinking about excelling. Could I excel? Was I really excelling with this book? Or was it ... terrible?
WAS IT THE WORST BOOK EVER WRITTEN?
And then I began to worry.
I had a bran muffin.
And some Greek yogurt.
And then I panicked and fell off the cliff of the tiny Island of Sanity that I try to stay on most of the time. After I floundered desperately around in the Lake of Self-Doubt for a while, I surfaced long enough to tweet and then bought a pair of jeans on the JCrew final sale which may or may not be a size too small.
Then I worried about that.
Then I dove right to the bottom of Lake of S.D. and sat there for as long as I could and WORRIED and waited for the mermaids to save me. (I could have drowned! The sign was killing me!)
No one came.
Finally, I forced my crazy brain to SHHHH and got a latte and finally got back to work but every word felt like dragging myself through a muddy swamp, nowhere near the Island of Sanity. It wasn't even in sight.
Probably that wasn't the intent of the sign, after all. I guess it's a good thing it didn't say FAIL.