I am super lazy when it comes to social situations. Always have been. I hate small talk and feeling like you have to keep going on about the weather. I have no problem with sitting quietly. For instance, when I go to a party you can usually find me either in a corner crocheting or sitting near the food and/or drinks.
I guess I could blame it on being burned one too many times during my formative years by those I thought were my friends. I’m finding that to be a common thread through a lot of my girlfriends’ lives. But after this weekend I’m rethinking the fortress wall I’ve built these last 25 years.
This weekend I attended the Arkansas Women Bloggers conference. Wary of the large group of women I was willingly throwing myself into, I had carefully encouraged (strong-armed) some close blogging friends to come and stay in a cabin with me That way I had people and could give the illusion of being social. When in reality I was just ensuring that I wouldn’t have to come out of my comfort zone.
Let’s face it women are a scary lot. I’m sure the other half of our species would love to blame it on hormones and just be done with it. But I really see it as more cerebral. Like a single processor having to maintain multiple programs and events and people. All. The. Time. And I can see how some can get a little crazy after that.
I’m still not comfortable in large groups of people. I think a lot of it stems from the chaotic nature of crowds. People meandering in all directions. Conversations overlapping. Mild claustrophobia from too many people standing too close. Turn that group into an all female cast and my radar is immediately on high alert. Is someone going to make me play a silly icebreaker game? Will there be cheers we have to say? Sing songs? Write-down our secret fears and add them to a hat to be drawn out of later and read aloud? Make me put on makeup?
But if this weekend taught me one thing it’s that I should really learn to stop listening to my old fears. Because none of them even came close to happening. Well there was that brief moment we were asked if we wanted to join in a group facial. But our cabin politely declined. And I did have to get away from the large group events at one time but that was totally me just being a little crowd weary.
I learned more about myself this weekend than I have in possibly my whole life. And it all had very little to do with blogging or writing and had everything to do with opening my heart and making new friends.
To the women of Birch Cabin I raise my glass (and my can of spider spray) and I can’t wait for next year.