I am socially awkward. Always have been, always will be. A good conversationalist, especially with strangers, I am not. I've never liked being in big groups, especially groups full of people I don't know. I tend to be a wallflower, sticking with people I know (even if I don't know them well) or hanging out by myself, waiting for someone to approach me, and usually having an awkward and uneasy conversation if and when that happens.
Last night I went to shabbat in the city with a huge group of Jews from all walks of life. A fair number of my classmates were there, though no one I am especially close to. They kept talking about their Brooklyn lives (I live in Queens) their teaching jobs (I only have a monthly pulpit as of now) and the fabulous things they wanted to do after services and dinner. And many of them knew others from outside the HUC clique. I felt awkward, unwelcome, and slightly agitated that I'd bothered to come at all, though I know that was never the intention of the group or the wonderful person who did the inviting. I spent more time making friends with the sweet potato chips than I did with any of the seemingly nice people who were there.
I wish I was a social butterfly. I don't quite know why I'm not, actually. I am more than capable of making good conversation, and often do when I'm just one-on-one. I feel uncomfortable and anxious around big groups, like I don't fit in. Most of the time, I really DON'T fit in. It's exactly the reason I don't go to bars or clubs for fun--sitting in a big group of people, surrounded by an even bigger group of people, is not my idea of fun. In fact, it makes me anxious just thinking about it.
How am I supposed to meet people and make friends if I can't put myself out there? If I spend so much time feeling awkward at social gatherings, sending out negative and ugly energies that cause people to avoid me?
And how do I turn to anything but food to fill in the holes caused by my inability to let people in?
My friend Gal recently wrote about feeling alone even while surrounded by amazing community. I can relate to that so well, though for a very different reason. It's nice to know we're alone together, at least.
I'm craving California...I have friends in LA, Huntington Beach, San Francisco--anyone up for a trip?
I'm never going to move forwards with my weight loss until I can stop eating and start living.
How do I do that?