Much Obliged 

Dear Minerva,

I recently agreed to be part of a special event and was initially quite honored. I felt like I had worked up to it. Now that we are near the event, though, I have feelings of anxiety and regret for agreeing to be a part of it due partly to the way some of the people who are involved have treated me. I want out but I don't know how to do it. How do you handle those situations?

Sincerely,

—Obligated

Dear Obligated,

This is a difficult position to be in and, trust me, I have been there plenty of times. Sometimes our expectations of an event and the process leading up to it fall short. It is very rare that I will cancel my obligation to something once I have committed, even if it is a painful experience. I know that I will regret canceling and leaving them high and dry far more than I will regret the pain or frustration I am going through to remain a part of the event. I think that these are growing experiences that teach us to set expectations early on as well as train us to be particular about the events we choose to do. No matter how much I have fretted during the creating process leading up to the event, it all melts away when I take the stage and get to interact with the crowds. Stick with it and you'll be happy you made it through.

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