On Connecting with People

I wrote a post a while back about not connecting with the people I had been meeting, and I decided I wanted to write a little update on that! I think the post was quite sad and I was definitely feeling quite lonely and disconnected, but things have changed!

I went to Liverpool pride last week with my brother and we had a great time but headed home quite early, so I was sat at home bored and alone, which is pretty much my main state of being, when I ended up messaging Kiah. Kiah is an absolutely sweetheart and if you click on her name you can go and read her blog, which you should because its brilliant. She’s just the greatest person and an amazing blogger, I only have good things to say about her. Anyway, Kiah was out enjoying pride with friends and invited me to tag along, which I did!

Anyone who has ever read any of my posts about my mental health will know that going out in general isn’t easy and I usually plan things at least 4 days in advance so I can prepare myself. I told her I would meet her in an hour and a half, panicked for an hour and then got on the train. On my own. I don’t even remember the last time I went on a train on my own.

I considered staying on the train until it took me back to my station, and even once I got off to meet her I considered just going home at least a thousand times, but I didn’t. I met up with Kiah and her friends and her boyfriend and I was fucking terrified. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest and my hands getting sweaty and I felt like I might possibly vomit.

We went in a couple of clubs and then up to Kiah’s flat and although I definitely wasn’t comfortable, I had at least realised that no one there was about to say something mean or be horrible, which I know is usually quite obvious but its just kind of what I expect from people.

We all just kind of chatted for a bit and I got more and more comfortable, still anxious for sure, but I was genuinely enjoying myself. The people there were people who were saying things I found genuinely interesting and when I spoke it felt like they were properly listening to me and cared about what I said.

I felt like I belonged in that group of people, and I haven’t felt like that since I was 14 or 15. Its kind of a big deal for me. Every person that was there said something that I related to or agreed with or found funny and for the first time in literally years I actually enjoyed myself around people that are neither my boyfriend nor related to me. Everyone there was just nice and intelligent and didn’t seem to put up any faces, they were just themselves and everyone there liked each other for that fact and for who they are.

I walked back to the train station feeling really good. Usually I leave a social thing (I was going to say social confrontation but thats just a tad dramatic) thinking about all the things I said that I shouldn’t have said and how I should have said them better or not at all and how I’m sure people think I’m annoying or an idiot, but this time I didn’t have that. I just felt really, really good.

I connected with them, to the point where they’re all people that I want to be genuine friends with (although I have no idea how I’m supposed to make that happen haha, perks of being awkward) and I’m still kind of amazed that that happened. When I was in college I became friends with a girl that often had groups of friends over to her flat, and though they were all nice people I didn’t seem to have anything in common with them and spent a lot more time getting drunk to try to feel comfortable than actually feeling comfortable.

I’m sure theres a lesson to be learnt in here but I’m not exactly sure what it is. I guess its probably something along the lines of ‘put effort into meeting people and being friends and it’ll happen’? I don’t know, but at the very least I had a really good night.

-Dana

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