So, I recently had the chance to join the ADF’s European regional group for a meeting. Of course I went, but that doesn’t mean it was easy for me.
Going was one of those things that is easy to commit to when it’s far off, but which begins to seem more and more difficult as the time approached. The organizer of my local protogrove was planning to go and, for shy little old me, it was nice to think that I’d know someone there. Still, so many strange people, and staying together in a house for a weekend… Sure, it meant that we’d be able to stay up in the evening and chat (which we did) long after my son (who came with) went to bed. But it also meant non-stop social contact.
And then, on the day we were supposed to leave, the local protogrove organizer bailed. She’d gotten sick. It was going to be just me, my son, and a bunch of strangers.
I’m proud of myself for going, even if that doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that people should be proud of.
In the end, it was nice. I was shy and didn’t talk much, and my questions all seemed to be super basic.
The others (there were three others, it wasn’t a huge group) seemed all to have enormous founts of knowledge and got into discussions about wich authors they found most reliable on points that, to me, seemed esoteric. It made for good listening, but it still intimidated me.
The upside was that I took part in a group ritual for the first time, that I learned a lot — much of which can’t be put into writing, but instead takes the form of something like ‘how she moved when lighting the fire’ — which gives me a lot to think about.
If you’re thinking of doing something similar, I can recommend it, but I won’t pretend like its easy for the clinically shy.