I showed my husband the website. We organized the dates, arranged for time off of work, and made it happen. I was going to attend a fitness conference on the east coast. It seemed so far away when we were planning it months ago. There were 4 locations to choose from. Why not go somewhere I’ve never been?
Then as it came nearer, so did my apprehension.
I don’t know what it is that makes me this way. Being married with kids, I am so accostomed to the hubby “handling stuff”, especially when we travel. It’s been a while since I’ve traveled alone, much less to a place I’ve never been. On the flip side – I’m a military spouse so independence is something that you either have, or you get – one way or another. I’m good at independence. I can do solo stuff. I can sit in a restaruant alone and eat – no biggie. Social solo? Meh.
2 flights, rental car and a drive from Boston into Providence – I survived rush hour traffic on little sleep. I got to see Fenway park. This part of the country is breathtaking and reminds me of the green of the Pacific Northwest. Day one of the Perform Better summit and I’m loving it! All the tools, the expert presenters, the lectures (yes, I’m a nerd at heart and would love to figure out a way to be career student!) Then there are hands-on clinics. Love them, and am learning a ton – but the whole “pair up, get into groups, introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met blah, blah, nightmare, blah.” I do it. I’ve met a couple of people. It’s tolerable, but not my comfort zone at all. And then the lovely evening coctail social. I went. I had a cocktail. I left and took myself to dinner. It was delicious and the company lovely. I don’t know that I will ever be entirely comfortable in networking situations. I hated them even when I worked in banking, and not much has changed.
And that’s okay.
“Introverts dislike small talk, but we are fluent in the language of ideas and dreams.” – Michaela Chung
“Introverts are capable of acting like extroverts for the sake of work they consider important, people they love, or anything they value highly.” – Susan Cain
What about you? Are you a social butterfly or a more of an introvert? What do you do to survive awkwardness?
Side note: The regional accents here are THICK! I feel like I’m having conversations with characters from Saturday Night Live!