Tuesday, 25 February 2014

How I did a scary thing and survived

A list of things I really, really dislike would include - in no particular order - the following:

1. People, but especially...

2. Meeting new people

3. Socialising, or indeed...

4. Leaving the house

In a nutshell, my motto could be John Paul Sartre's, "Hell is other people".  So why, I pondered recently, had I foolishly agreed to meet up with some new people?  And not just any people: other bloggers.  Scary, intimidating, I've-admired-your-writing-from-afar bloggers.

Now, I know a lot of people love blogging precisely because you can get involved in a real life community and have meet-ups and go to exciting events and stuff.  The fact is, though, that I really like screens.  I enjoy making friends via Twitter and blog comment threads but I think the wonder of modern technology is that pathologically shy, misanthropic miseries like myself can have human contact without, y'know, coming into actual contact with humans.  So I was slightly baffled to find myself walking into town a few weekends ago to meet The Girl, blogger behind Just Me/Random Day Dreaming (I'm never sure which is it's official title!).  I was, I have to admit, very scared at this prospect.

But you know something?  It wasn't terrible.  In fact, it was rather nice.

We bonded over the book she was reading (one of the Game Of Thrones series), and talked gerbils (hers, not mine), and I enjoyed introducing her to the delights of Leicester (yes, we do have some) and spending some time hanging out and getting to know her.  It was most odd.  Was I actually enjoying meeting a new person?  Yes, yes I was.

And then I only went and did it again.

B from Make, Do & Spend had seen me mention my book group on here and got in touch about coming along.  Fortuitously, the rest of the group were all late to the meeting, so we had a bit of a chance to chat before the arrival of everyone else.  And that was cool too.  It was fun and B was super easy to talk to and again, the whole experience was not terrible.

Maybe I'm getting too over-confident about this whole socialising lark, because then I only went and organised a meet-up with Sarah and Elise in Glasgow.  We've got a while to wait for that one (until April) but as Sarah and I have been talking about meeting for what feels like years, I'm sure we can wait for seven more weeks.

And now Laura from Make Do & Mend is thinking about coming to Leicester for a visit, and you know what?  I'm actually excited!  Most strange.

I'm still most comfortable when I'm sitting behind a screen, conversing via the internet, but I'm starting to realise that perhaps forcing myself out of my comfort zone once in a while and meeting new people - especially people with whom I undeniably have tons in common - may not be a bad thing.  Maybe I'm finally becoming less of a misanthrope....?


  1. Ahh, good for you! I often wish I could met up with bloggers in real life. I need to find a Kent Bloggers meet up thingy and face my fears of awkward small talk (on my part)! Have fun in Scotland with Sarah and Elise x

    1. That's my issue, awkward small talk is the worst! But sometimes (ok, often) my mind just. goes. blank.

    2. I am also bad at small talk, but I don't mind a bit of silence in a conversation :-) I used to be the shyest person at school but I now feel like I'm getting better as the years go by! Looking forward to wandering round Leicester, I can tell you the tale of what I did there on my only other day trip to the city!

  2. I went to a London bloggers meet-up in January and was petrified before arriving. The experience was actually pretty nice though. I guess meeting new people can never be too bad if you have something in common to bond over :)
    Claire xx | somewhere... beyond the sea

    1. You're very brave. The thought of going to a bigger event still terrifies me - I think one or two new people is the most I can handle at the mo!

  3. I'm ok on a one to one but meeting lots of people fills me with dread. Fear of the unknown I expect.


  4. I was so nervous before meeting Elise for the first time in case there were loads of awkward silences (for the record: you do NOT need to worry about awkward silences when you meet Elise) or we really didn't like each other. I've met one other blogger since then and felt just as anxious. Both of them I now consider real life friends and it's lovely to think that waffling into the internet caused that to happen. I'm really excited for April now.

    P.S. I'm jealous you're meeting Laura!

    1. Haha, good to know about Elise! I'm really looking forward to finally meeting up :)

    2. Haha yeah I talk a lot ;) probably more so when I'm meeting someone new...be warned! (that sounded scary, I'm totally not scary) I forgot it was so far away, hurry up and get here! :)

  5. I'm so glad you are doing this. As I have just moved I am doing this a lot as a way to meet in real life people and it seems to be going okay as people are lovely for the most part. Who would have thought it?