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.
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