Many moons ago, my friend turned to me and asked, “but what do you do when you are bored?” She was referring to the fact that I rarely called her or any of the other girls to chat. I don’t remember ever being bored as a kid, and the thought of picking up the phone for some small talk had never even entered my mind.
As a teen, my room was full of books, art work, and many little creations. I could spend hours upon hours alone cutting up old clothes, painting furniture and redecorating. Later on, most of my creations were online. Rather than learning how to code, I played around with illustrator, wrote pages and pages of (mostly private) blog type entries and figured out this social media thing.
Social networks offered people a way to chat to interesting strangers, all from the safety of your own home. While my friends stuck to chatting with their established social circles over Facebook, I would spend hours on Twitter talking to people in Austria, Seattle, Quebec (I’ve since moved here), Vancouver and others. This means no boring small talk about the weather, and none of the awkwardness of meeting a group of strangers at a physical location.
Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting new friends, one-on-one, over coffee or lunch. Connecting in real life does in fact strengthen the bond, however, group gatherings strike me as intimidating. While networking events offer the opportunity to make many new connections, as well as catch up with current contacts, often the thought paralyses me.
Be it friends or strangers, the irrational fear of group gatherings sometimes takes over my whole day and can be so overwhelming that I don’t even make it out. Unfortunately, a distant location and the added pressure of a well-meaning friend tend to make things worse. Oddly enough, I thrive at event planning. Being behind the scenes, the agent rather than the actor, is where I shine.
We all need to improvise from time to time, and play according to our strengths. Join me as I figure out my way.
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