I’m shy at heart. I’m ok at writing down my thoughts, but networking and speaking in groups and putting myself out there are things that take a lot of effort for me. Not that I’m terrible at it, but it exhausts me and I usually dread it.
That means it’s a whole lot easier to stay at home and watch a movie or read or write. “I need some down time,” I say. Or, “I’m just exhausted today.” Sometimes those things are true, but often I’m hiding because it’s hard to go out, it’s hard to talk to strangers, it’s hard to do new things.
But I never regret it. There is always something I learn, some connection I make, some rewarding experience I have.
Last night I had on my calendar to go to the P-Patch Post Meeting. The P-Patch Post is our community garden newsletter. I want to be involved locally, and what better way than to do what I do anyway (ie, write about gardening), meet new people, and have a new writing experience.
But I was running late, and it was raining, and I was tired… I almost, almost, almost went home. But I didn’t. I walked into a pub without knowing who I was looking for (a table of strangers in a pub, how hard could that be?). I walked up to one table who looked studious and involved, but that was a parents meeting. Whoops!
Ah, that other table, deep in conversation – I bet that’s them. There are no free chairs at the table. I could still walk out now.
But I didn’t. I walked up, pulled up a chair, and introduced myself. And by the end of the night, I had agreed to writing a gardening series for every newsletter, and I had offered to use any of the photos I have on this blog. They enjoyed my presence, and were happy to have a writer they could count on. I enjoyed myself, and am on the road to becoming more involved with my community garden system.
All in about an hour. That’s really all it took!