John Green is gonna ask the President about pennies!
Also, in this video, John talks about anxiety about meeting people you admire. He points out that it will never be normal, that you're always going to be hyper-conscious of everything that could go wrong.
Obviously meeting the President is a little bit bigger than meeting, for example, John Green. But this discussion reminded me of the multiple layers on which I have this anxiety.
Layer 1: I don't want to say anything embarrassing, because I don't want to make that moment, in that moment, awkward or uncomfortable. I care about preserving the integrity of what will be the memory of that moment, and I also want to be able to enjoy it as far as is possible while it's happening.
Layer 2: I don't want to stick out, because I don't want someone I admire to remember me for being in some way deeply and memorably creepy or unpleasant. I know that's vanishingly unlikely, but still.
Layer 3: I want to be a successful writer. Relatedly, nearly all the people I really admire are successful writers. I want to eventually be in a place professionally where the people who right now make me nervous -- so nervous that at least one literally thought I might have been sixteen because I was trying so hard to shrink into the floor -- are my peer group. So I'm not just afraid that they're going to think I'm weird and creepy and unpleasant, but I'm afraid that I'll never get to a place where I can deal with being around them and not being so giddy I can't talk.
I mean, it's not like I want to stop admiring them, or stop being a fan. But one of my many weird fears about success is that becoming a successful writer will put me in an incredibly alienated position where I can't be around any of the other professionals in my trade, especially the ones I most want to.