Before I moved to Maine I was for all intents and purposes a hermit. I would go out occasionally, but it had to be for something good with ample notice. It would take me so long to psyche myself up for an evening out that I basically had to force myself to go in spite of really, really, REALLY not wanting to. Afterwards I would feel like it wasn’t the worst way to spend an evening, but it certainly wasn’t the best.
Later I realized that it wasn’t so much about me being a hermit as it was the events I was attending. I hated going to parties of high school friends forced to socialize with people with whom I had no common ground. I hated going to noisy, crowded bars with a large group of people, and never getting to talk to someone without yelling in their ear. Some people like this kind of social atmosphere, but I am not one of them.
I much prefer to talk to people one-on-one or in a small group. I like to actually sit down, speak at a normal volume, and discuss real things. It took me a while to figure out that I am a social person, just a different kind.
As the summer winds down I was looking forward to getting back into my hermit mode under the excuse of the cold, crappy weather coming. And now that I’m in New England? Forget it! Bring on the fleece blankets, fuzzy socks, and hot chocolate! I’m not going anywhere!
However this Maine experience is about so much more than just living in Maine. It’s about putting myself out there, doing the things that scare me, and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. With that in mind I started looking at activities that I would actually like to do—something that is social, but my definition of social.
So I signed up for a few things:
- Volunteering at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland. There’s no better way to go out, do some good, and deal with my favorite kind of living beings—animals!
- Joining the social committee at work. I figured I should probably socialize with humans as well. My company recently put together a Social Committee to organize after-hour social events. It’s not usually my kind of thing, but I couldn’t ignore the timing.
- Joining a book club. Small groups of people who love to read and get together to discuss books? I’m so there!
- Taking an art class. This has been in the back of my mind for a while. There’s a local gallery that offers oil painting classes taught by one of their artists so of course I had to sign up. Yes, it’s the costliest social thing I’ve signed up for, but I believe it will be well worth it.
My hermit mode tendencies are still there. I still prefer an evening in with my dog over a night out any day, but if the event is actually something that interests me it makes it a lot easier to say ‘yes’ to.
Is it difficult for you to resist the hermit mode tendencies? What social events are worth it to you?