I went to a talkshow organized by Creative Mornings Jakarta on Saturday. We had Kemasacil as the guest speaker, to talk about how he became an illustrator and how ‘fantasy’ helps him pour his imagination into something real.
Also, last Sunday was my best friend’s wedding reception. It was beautiful! And the bride was also pretty beyond words; man, I still have a hard time believing my best friend is now someone’s wife hahaha! Our parents are friends and colleagues at work, while we went to the same high school in Grade 12. That’s why, we have a lot of mutual connection.
One thing I realized, having attended 2 social events in a row: I’m awkward as hell.
I attended the talkshow because I had nothing to do on a Saturday morning, plus my family were in different places doing their own stuff. Plus, it’s been a really long time since I last went to such event and I thought to myself “hey, this is a networking opp!”.
Turns out that no. I came lightheaded because I only had tea as my breakfast. I came with a lot of things on my hands, wearing high heels, because I just came straight from Bandung, which is a 2.5-hour trip from Jakarta (I didn’t drive but I took a shuttle; heck, I still felt tired). They served breakfast before talkshow and I managed to have coffee and eat brownies, before sitting down and listening.
I won’t talk about what Kemasacil said because it has no relevance to this post’s topic. Maybe in another post
So, after the talk, it was free event. I panicked here, because the MC said that “you can have breakfast, you can come to us (Creative Morning staff) to ask us about Creative Mornings.. You can also meet up close with Kemasacil to discuss some things. Or, you can do your own networking and get to know the people here”.
I was like, “damn, what am I supposed to do?!”.
I decided to take out my phone and download this transportation app (kind of like Uber) to order a bike to take me home. All the while, I tried to get the girl sitting 3 seats beside me to talk and we had small talk but then she went to the bathroom and I was left there alone. So I returned to my phone, not knowing what to do, because I don’t know what to ask about Creative Mornings (I’ve read of them) or Kemasacil (he had a lot of people around him), until someone said hi to me and we had a brief small talk before parting ways.
It’s different with the wedding on Sunday. There were a lot of acquiantances, too many of them, that I had to shift from group to group. But when I saw these groups form on their own, already in a conversation without me, I was gripped with this “will I interrupt?” “will they accept me?” type of fear. So, at the wedding, I bounced from one group to another, eating the food served. I would occassionally join my family or a few friends, but most of the time I was either clinging to one person who was also alone, or shifting from one table to another to eat, before initiating conversations with these old friends.
It’s funny when I think about it because I saw the side of me I haven’t seen in such a long time: social awkwardness.
I thought I had overcome it because I had been shifting from one new social situation to another, all with the fear of “will they accept me?” “will they see me as weird?” “will I act weird?” lurking around. However, I somehow managed to overcome those fears, which is why I was sure that I would be okay and smoother (?) when initiating a conversation with new people.
Turned out that no, I still struggle when trying to socially interact with people. Maybe the problem is that all the people (around 70 in the talkshow’s case) are people I don’t know and I felt alone in this strange new world. So my defense was, of course, be glued to my chair and search for a way back home. But in the wedding, I knew a lot of them. They all already had their own groups, which made me reluctant to join. So my response was either search a friend who was equally alone, or bounce from table to table to try out the food.
I think I should up my social interaction game. It might come in handy in the future. But being socially awkward isn’t a sin either. It’s ok to be socially awkward 🙂
PS: Today is my dad’s 54th birthday 😀