*Warning – I’m in ramble mode again. This has nothing to do with crafting. You might want to get a cup of tea before you start reading*
I am a worrier. I always have been. I think it may be a particularly female, Northern Irish trait to be concerned about anything and everything, from the bad cough that the nice lady next door but one can’t seem to shift, to the impending global apocalypse as predicted by Nostradamus. Up to now it’s been something I’ve been able to live with, but in the last 18 months or so it’s definitely got worse. Far from becoming more confident and worldly wise in my 30s (a view I see shouted from just about every women’s glossy magazine every month), worry looms large on the horizon more than ever. Every time I go away I worry about the flat. I am convinced that when I go back it will have been broken into/caught fire/flooded/been revealed as a hellmouth. I worry about not having children, death, cancer, already having cancer and not realising, plane crashes (when I’m flying, not just in general), global meltdown, plague, famine and pestilence. As I type, I have a tingly, pins and needles feeling in my right hand, which of course means it’s about to fall off. The logical part of my brain is still there, telling me not to be so fecking daft, but it’s definitely getting drowned out by my other inner demons.
Worry’s close friend Fear is also getting cosy in my psyche. Things that wouldn’t have bothered me 5 or 6 years ago now terrify me. I don’t mean abseiling or zip wire or other daft outward bound stuff. I’ve done all those recently and it has been scary but fun at the same time. It’s mundane things like meeting new people. That’s the biggest one actually and my problem is rather neatly summed up by my misfired attempt to go to #themeet140 in Aberdeen last week. For the uninitiated this is a gathering of tweeters in a particular area. They chat about social media and just about everything else under the sun by the sounds of it. I know people who’ve been to them and loved them and the people running the Aberdeen one seem lovely. I actually got into the venue where this was taking place and over to the group of people before utter panic kicked in and I scuttled home. Everyone was chatting away, laughter and general bonhomie and I couldn’t bring myself to go over and say hello. In my previous job I had to attend quite a few networking events and I hated it. I am rubbish at networking, I am lacking that skill completely. Then I get annoyed at myself for clamming up and coming across as dull and wonder why anybody would want to talk to me anyway. Those of you reading this who know me, will know me as a fairly sociable being, especially when I have a drink in me and I thank God I have you guys, because I doubt I’m going to make any new friends if I keep this up. I obviously knew how to do it once upon a time – though I’ve always been a little shy around new people – but the skill has completely drifted away. I think it may actually be through lack of use. After I split up from my most recent ex I basically went into hermit mode. I lived on the edge of Aberdeen , rarely socialised and it would be perfectly possible for me not to speak to another person at all over a weekend. I suppose it’s no surprise I’ve got a bit rusty. I am now back in town and trying to get back into the swing of things, but it’s bloody hard. I’m definitely noticing a tendency to retreat back into hermit mode again (though to be fair, the snow and ice we’ve had would make anyone want to hibernate) and I think it’s partly because I know I can’t get hurt that way. If I don’t get to know new people, then they can’t reject me. Again, Logic is shouting itself hoarse telling me not to be so stupid, but Fear has it’s hand clamped over Logic’s mouth.
The only answer is to man –up, get on with it and possibly try and grow a thicker skin. Some people will like me, some won’t. Equally I will like some and dislike others but the only way I’m going to find out is to get out there and start saying hello. It’s a terrifying prospect though. Can’t I just go home and the West Wing for the thousandth time?