You would think that I think it’s easy to meet new people. Every day I place myself at the front of classes for people to see me while I work. In the past I have been on stages performing for large groups of people. I even talk to strangers randomly all the time. So why does heading to a HIRL (Hangout In Real Life) give me anxiety?
I think all those other situations I am not in jeopardy of being judged. Sure..the stranger that I chat up might leave the scene and say “Wow, that chick is whacked”, but the chances that I’ll run into them again are slim. Work and performing, I know my work is being judged, but not my character. …or at least that’s my perception. So there is no fear of stepping in front of a class to interpret, or even the whole school for assemblies.
So why am I rambling on about all of this? Last night, we headed to a HIRL. I wasn’t sure that I really wanted to go because of anxiety. I can’t stand the idea of someone not liking me. I know it’s silly and juvenile but it’s who I have always been. I’m sure I have enemies but either they are good about hiding it or they aren’t an important part of my life and I have no idea. Ignorance is bliss, right? I even argued on the way to the HIRL because I was expressing my fears and didn’t like the reaction I got from Jerry. Sometimes, him being right really irks me 🙂
So we arrive and we can’t find them. We walk around the restaurant a few times. The staff is trying to help us but I’m not being open to their help. Finally after texts, and failed phone calls the staff kiddingly asks if we are at the right location. UGH!!! FAIL…we aren’t. So we get back into the car, a little tension between Jerry and I as we try to get to the restaurant that is 20 minutes away and in an area that neither of us have been. I hear my phone notifications going off and because I’m driving I can’t answer which is causing my stress level to go up so I have to ask my navigator, at this point I think we weren’t really talking to each other, to answer my phone and respond. Thankfully, I’m married to someone who puts up with me and he obliges my requests.
We arrive. Okay, now…where are these people. Heck, we never met. Sure, I’ve seen pictures but … OH…look..I know that face. We headed over to the table, introduced ourselves and sat down. Polite chit chat, tech talk, get to know you… Four hours later we are heading home. I don’t think we’ve spent four hours at a restaurant recently with anyone. Wow.
It was a fun night. I really do love getting to know people. I might not be the first to join, in fact I think I put down a wishy-washy maybe in my RSVP to the event. I’m glad I had a push from Jerry to go.