Oh man. I've spent the last few (okay several, who are we kidding!) years of my life fairly sequestered int the land of child raising and keeping the home fires burning. And all through that time, I quite literally craved more social engagement and contact with the big world outside of my very small one.
And now that I've begun to spend a bit more time in that outside world, old but very familiar feelings of anxiety start to crop up. People, they are scary fucking creatures. And though I love meeting and spending time with new people, the social anxiety rears its ugly head.
Communication is a tricky beast at the best of times. Words get interpreted, understood, misunderstood. Language is incredibly powerful. Maybe it's my love of language, and my recognition of its importance that makes me so nervous about using it. Somehow, I always feel like the language the falls from my lips is wrong. Too awkward or too eager or too something or another. And often too easily twisted into meanings not intended.
Oddly, writing here in the safety of my home, alone - the words fall from my hands and I don't feel encumbered or nervous about how they will be received by others. But in the context of in person gatherings, I always leave with a torrent of replaying conversations in my head. Sometimes it feels more agonizing than others.
I love meeting new people, connecting with people, getting out into the world. It feels so luxurious in so many ways.
However - I gotta say... social anxiety blows.