Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Why would an introvert who's also shy go out of her way to travel for seven days with a group of strangers guaranteed to make her feel even more out of place than usual?

As TFN approaches, I can hear the familiar whoosh of the excitement being overtaken by fear. What will I talk about? What if nobody wants to talk to me? Should I go up and talk to them? How? What if I look foolish? (God, what if I am foolish?) What if I get forgotten at a rest stop and they have to come back for me? Oh the horror of that.

It hasn't even begun yet, and I'm already comforting myself with the thought that it has to end sometime, it will pass.

On the other hand, some important person said something to the effect that if you're not a little bit scared all the time you're not really living. Actually, I may have read it on the back of a beer can. But still. It's something.

I seek stuff like this out all the time and then go through intense anticipatory suffering. Standing on the edge, paralysed by the fear of falling, all those questions used to end very often in "What if I just don't go?"

But cowardice is not an option anymore, having grown up and all that. At least I can separate imaginary dangers from real ones now (most of the time). And anyway, my best shell is a highly sociable one - it prevents any beautiful friendships from forming because it works by converting people into an audience, but it certainly keeps me from turning around and making straight for the burrow. The problem is I have no way of controlling which shell will be used when.

I just had a truly happy thought - after two days, they won't be strangers, though of course they may still be scary. That should pass too in another day or two. That's an interesting, mature view - I may really have grown.

Or maybe not. Also as usual, I may be scared but I'm not sorry.


'Oodooyootink? said...

Being of the same complex bent (or bent by the same complexes) I can identify... and I actually think this is the ideal outing.
It's long enough, and there are enough hours spent together that shells can be dispensed with.
People are all doing something else primarily... as in, it's cycling or stretching or resting or eating first and then socialising, so it's always relaxed and not the goal.
And, it's in the hills, so there's plenty of reason to shut down, sit on a wall and stare out over the valley.

Krishnan Menon said...

I heard a line on your favourite TV series last night that "as long as you are afraid, it means that you still have something to loose". Contrary to popular belief I have these very same fears all the time but cope in a different way, conference rooms with know-it-all suits is easily handled, a wedding reception is really scary (i recently found out). That you know yourself is the thing that puts you both in a different league in the self confidence scale.

Gargoyle said...

Oh yeah, that's probably where I got that fear line too (the one in the post), ha ha ha. I didn't understand that last line of your comment. Why was the wedding reception particularly scary?

Parvati said...

Cheer up,its like a visit to a dentist.Its over sooner than you thought.Over all these years I have learnt that the others are also feeling the same.The fear of rejection, ridicule or the brushoff.So put away your shell and have a good time.

Krishnan Menon said...

Wow, the mother is leaving comments on blogs and all that I say! well done!

Thom said...

Careful Kichu, before you know it, there'll be a blog called Baby Krishnan, with stories of all your infant exploits.

Actually, I'd pay a hefty sum to subscribe!

Gargoyle said...

So would I!

The father is very upset because a) he helped the mother but was not put into the acknowledgements, and b) he was commenting too but it got lost in a BSNL glitch and now he doesn't remember what he wrote.

molarbear's posts said...

Hi G....what "everyone" fears you voice! In a day's time, not only will the group not be strangers, you are going to be one of the key members, I guarantee that, after reading your blog!

I too was initially hesitant to join the Blr Bikers' Club, because of my advanced fossilization...but these guys and gals take people as they are...and I am so comfortable with them now. I do never more than 5km to their 919, too, and have an LRT (Little Rattle Trap) with an actual basket in front..SO uncool..but it's never mattered!

So go, gal, and you are going to have the time of your life. It will be hectic, it will be tiring, but you will be glowing at the end...and your blog is going to be great, because you write...VERY well indeed. Your honesty shines through your words, and I have been enjoying your posts very much.

-Deepa Mohan.

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