Tonite I am in Miami Beach, Florida. It’s our yearly user’s conference and tonite was the final night with the big party blowout. Lots of people drinking, dancing, and having a good time. I found myself yet again, sitting at a table, watching people, and doing very little. In fact, I was kind of bored.
It got me thinking. At one time, I used to go parties, have fun, laugh, and enjoy myself a lot more than I seemed to tonite. The party started actually with a “mixer” of folks standing outside the main ballroom, drinking and talking. You know where people introduce themselves to new people and mix and mingle and “network” to make new connections. All something I am horribly bad at.
I can’t seem to strike up a conversation with someone I don’t know, or even get up and dance with someone when I’m invited to. Why is it that I sit at a table, staring at my phone, or a glass, or simply watching everyone else have a good time while I’m counting the minutes before I think it’s ok for me to leave.
I want to be that guy who has a good time and gets out and dances and acts silly and enjoys himself. Didn’t I do that years ago? How many times did I get dragged to a club and ended up dancing on stage. Spushing at countless parties, or making an ass of myself doing just the dumbest or funniest things around. Where’s that Matt?
Sadly enough, part of me thinks that if I was drinking alcohol, maybe it would be better. Maybe somehow those things that hold me back would be let free and I’d be able to enjoy myself a bit better. But yet I sort of have stuck to this no alcohol thing and at this point in my life I’m not even sure why.
The funny thing is, for my job, I have to be a bit more outgoing than I am in social situations. Everytime I have to deliver a new class, I have to meet new people, introduce myself, start conversations and be friendly. But as soon as it turns social, I become this very awkward and shy person. I mean even tonite, I’m still thinking about how a co-worker was inviting me to go out and dance and I just shook my head and said no, and then sat in my chair wishing I had gone out. But instead of doing anything, I sat there and did nothing.
In reading up on Introversion, it would seem that indeed this is what I am. I think perhaps I have always been this way but when I was younger I just went to the excess to try and cover that up.
I don’t like it. Tonite I’m sitting in a hotel room when I could be downstairs partying with people and enjoying myself but I have no idea how to do that. The psychological analyst part of me starts thinking that perhaps all of that bullying and teasing as a kid made me feel like an outsider and hence it’s stuck with me my whole life. When you spend almost 30 years acting and behaving a certain way, is it even possible to change that?
Do I need to go out and get hammered?
After tonite, I’ll go to sleep, get on a plane and come home tomorrow, and return to my normal life. A life I love, but I do wish I could find a way to change the things about myself that I’m not too fond of. I just don’t know where to start.