"You don't have to love them, Kristine. Just find people you can talk with and who can help you."
My therapist, much to my dismay, was suddenly sounding reminiscent of my mother circa 1985. A reason, perhaps, why I'm in therapy to begin with. It was then that I realized my world is pretty much on some sort of cyclical, destructive path, and this year seems to be the point where the CD kicks back to track two: my prepubescent destruction of innocence.
So. Lovely. My therapist. She wants me to make friends. Sad and laughable at once, I think.
But, you know, since the hermit-like thing doesn't seem to be working out so great for me, maybe she has a point. MAYBE.
So, for the past few weeks, I've been metaphorically packing my bagged lunch, stuffing my backpack with homework and glittery pens, and trying to not piss myself as I walk towards unknown faces. I mean, Christ, I'm not agoraphobic or anything. It's just that I tend not to like people. For fear they'll tell me to suck a ham. And stuff.
And so far, I haven't once had to come home and cut gum out of my hair. I've gone to the gym, had movie dates, went swimming at a friend's pool, talked to NEIGHBORS, made playdates, and overall worked to free myself of the rigid schedule that I'd previously used to ease my nerves. (Well, and medication. That, too.)
And, you guys? I'm even taking a mini-vacation. Ahem. I think, I mean...it's kind of a working vacation of sorts. If you consider conferences work. Conferences that relate to a sometimes embarrassing, yet fully unshakable hobby.
This is to say, friends, that I'm going to BlogHer.
Sure, I probably don't belong there and might hyperventilate at the first of the eleventy billion social events, but I'm going. I like blogging. I like writing. I'm an English teacher. I did all that ridiculously amazing blog-centered research in my quest for Masterdom. It kind of fits. On paper.
I recounted all these LOVE YOURSELF homework talking points to my therapist a week after her somewhat hollowing suggestion. As if on cue, she paused after this last detail, much like you're probably doing right now. Wait...I'm sorry...did you say BlogHer?
Her: So what kind of conference is it?
Me: Uhm, well, it's ah, it's pretty much, you know, like a writing conference. And I've always like writing, and I kind of happened upon a ticket...and, so...
Her: And what kind of things happen at a conference like that?
Me: Well...I mean, I'm not sure exactly...it's...really what it is...it's just more specifically a writing conference for the kind of writing that is done online...kind of conference. It's, it's kinda like...you know blogs and stuff?...so, I mean, I guess it's mostly a blogging conference. [It was at this point that my verbal dance went off on a solo interlude, creating noises and sounds that could certainly earn it a nomination in the Jammy Awards. We both cringed.]
She paused, allowed me to regain control of my tongue. Then:
Her: And what exactly is a blog?
Call me crazy, but I'm not sure this is going to get therapist seal of approval.