^^ Farewell Fall, you were wonderful company while you lasted. ^^
Truth time. Since I was a kid, before every big or small event, I have had to ask my mum two questions: What if no one likes me and I don’t make any friends? What if this thing is awful?
And I don’t just mean giant, intimidating events like the Queen of England’s 116th birthday party or an invitation to the SoHo club, I’m talking all events ever. Work happy hours, friend dinners unless I know the entire group super well, birthday parties, book clubs, my first GenSex workshop, lunch with friends’ families, dates, first days of work. For me, every situation that isn’t within my scope of a routine often leaves me sucking down mints and reciting the SNL sketch-turned Lanning family motto, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and damn it people like me!”
So this weekend, as I’m about to go down my list of anxious questions before a dinner party, my mum turns to me, hands still washing the last bits of our avocado-laden sandwiches off our lunch plates, and says, “Hey! Be confident and don’t let other people make you doubt yourself. We’re not doing this question routine again.”
She’s a smart woman.
It doesn’t seem like a lot, but for me, I could feel my cycle of thoughts being broken. For too long I’d let self-doubt cloud every new experience and my mum was 100 percent right. Somewhere along the way I’d placed all my thought into how people would perceive me and forgotten to form any opinions of my own. Some groups I might instantly love, some might not be for me, but their perceptions should never change how I feel about myself.
That’s been one of the best things about NYC, everything is new and outside of my comfort zone which yes, makes me sweat a lot in public but is always worthwhile. In the end, it’s up to me to pursue the things that give me hobby butterflies even if it means taking an extra deep breath and forging into something alone. I figure living with adventure regret is much worse than 15 minutes of stilted small talk. So starting now, I’m making more of an effort to turn my nerves into positive energy that generates excitement rather than a wave of anxiety.
But should I fail, it’s reassuring to know my mum is always just a phone call away to remind me to put on some pants, brush my hair, and just do it.