I was agonising over this one because I am not the type to socialise. I am the type to hide under a rock or behind the potted plants.
I am awkward for many reason, one of them being that I don’t like people. I have over 40 years experience being around people the the amount of times this went down absolutely horrible – let’s just say it left a mark.
I was very pleasantly surprised there was always a channel for queer and one for neurodiverse people. I chose neurodiverse more often because I think I am surrounded by queers already (sry straights, I keep forgetting you’re straight.)
So, I joined the Discord. I introduced myself. I had no idea what to do next so I wandered off again. That’s pretty much how it stayed for the discord. I am slow interacting. If there isn’t an active community already that allows me to dip in my toe every now and then until I feel safe, I will never warm up.
(Spoiler: I didn’t. I am as yet on the servers because of FOMO. I am playing with the thought of leaving at least on of them.)
My little group also created out own Discord. It is a very small and quiet place. Which is fine because among strangers I am also a very small and quiet presence. (People who get to know me possibly remember those times with nostalgia. 😋 )
I stumbled through the Thursday Midday Social Hour. I totally didn’t anything that was going on. I am horribly bad at making myself heard. Like, by the time a lull in the conversation is long enough for me to consider speaking up, somebody else has long started.
Or worse, we start up at the same time. I will always slink back into silence mortified. I am very sensitive to taking up space and the push-back against that however accidental. If I encounter resistance, I will just stop. And nine times out of ten, nobody notices I am not speaking any longer.
Another me-problem is that on zoom, once in a room I am scared to leave. What will the others think?!? So I stayed longer in some rooms than I wanted maybe because I couldn’t leave.
I didn’t attend any of the attendee-organised things. I was rather overwhelmed by everything being everything despite my best efforts and while I sometimes enjoy just sitting back and watching, it felt like too much stress to commit to even more things.
I wondered if an in-person event would be better for me. I am more experienced in not breaking when among actual people and not holed up in my Safe Space™. By now I have also learnt to just leave and hole up in my room when it gets too much. Yes, I miss a lot and have FOMO, but I do not have a meltdown where people can see it.
I do not like that.
So, maybe in-person is better for me despite everything. Considering the cost of the workshop alone in the real word, I will never be able to attend, though. And that is before I add on the cost for travelling around the globe.
I consider it a win if I come out of such an event with +1 contact that will probably hold up. I hope to have managed that.
Also hoping that agent gives out the personal agent mail-addy at all events and not just paid ones. This is pay to play and though I will certainly make use of it I still think it is grossly unfair. Even if it’s just the fast track to rejection. (For the amount the workshop cost, I feel entitled to my rejection within the week. 😋)