New Territory: Graduating and Dating

{Feeling clever because the title rhymes}

I graduated from Lancaster in July.

I moved back in with my parents.

Up till now I’ve been missing Lancaster so much.

I spent two months so far (although technically longer) obsessing about a chance I may have had and definitely missed at uni because of my “shyness” (mostly) and deciding not to get over it so that at least it wouldn’t happen again (that’s a bit deep, sorry!). I also spent that time looking for jobs and things.

I got a part time job! Something pretty basic just to earn money.

I also got a voluntary job in a warehouse just 15 minutes walk from my house, copy-writing for an online shop, which started last week. So now I don’t have an excess of free time thankfully!

On my first day there, I was introduced to someone (it was the first day, so introductions all around).

On my second day there (exactly a week ago), I talked to this person at lunch time and had a great conversation and maybe half an hour later quite by surprise this person came up to me while I was by myself painting one of the warehouse’s photo booth rooms white and asked me out.

The other night we did.

And I thought I would write all these life updates on separate lines just to be annoying.

And I’m trying to figure it all out right now. This guy has gone straight from A-Z and got incredibly emotionally invested really fast, so in a way that’s slightly terrifying for me because it gives me a massive sense of responsibility not to put a foot wrong and hurt this person’s feelings. And it has not happened before; this is absolutely foreign territory. And I need a lot more time myself just to find A.

And I have always expected that my social anxiety to be a massive problem if I ever went on a date with someone but it actually wasn’t, and we talked about everything under the sun for over 3 hours, past closing time (I think the people running the pub must have felt bad about chucking us out and kept it open longer instead or something). I wasn’t even that nervous beforehand (but maybe that’s because I didn’t build up to it feeling that emotionally invested), and it’s funny because I barely even got nervous for the interview for the job I just started, and was completely calm throughout, so maybe I’m just going through a good patch anxiety-wise. And we could relate to each other in so many ways: we have similar highly introverted personalities, are both only children in our families, both love writing (although about different things), are both very emotional people, both believe in God, have both been bullied in school, both have anxiety… in fact the conversation got surprisingly deep as we talked about the latter few things for maybe the last hour and to be honest I don’t know how I opened up so easily when I have trouble discussing some of the these things so easily with any of my friends.

But I’m very conflicted about it inside and overthinking a lot now; but that’s a different story. I just felt like updating this because it must have been a couple of centuries since I last did that.

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Reluctantly Leading a Radio Show

I’ve been helping out on this community radio show in my home town for donkey’s years, since I was about 13 or 14. And although that sounds nifty on my CV, I’ve always figured it’s fairly simple. I just turn up and talk on the show with the co-presenters, people I already know and I do a few extra things like News and Weather… When I was younger I was even more awkward than I can be (on bad days) now, but the others could spin anything like that into humour, so it wasn’t a big deal.

Not having the responsibilities of being in charge of the show helps.

The only problem is that the main guy goes on holiday every August, and every summer since I turned 18 likes to try and talk me into standing in as the main presenter. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to be on holiday at the same time and be unable to do it. Other times I just find an excuse. I led a show last year with two of the others. It worked out well; I’d maybe rate it 6/10. Having to lead it makes me quite anxious because this means that it’s my responsibility to come up with conversation starters and sound charismatic about it on air (and it’s one thing to start conversations, quite another to simultaneously be charismatic, in my case!)

In short, I had to lead last night, but it we Continue reading “Reluctantly Leading a Radio Show”

Stares and General Eye Contact in Beijing

Sometimes I have an issue with feeling like I was always being stared at and finding eye contact excruciating. It used to be constant, but isn’t often much more than a niggle nowadays. Most of it tends to be imagined. In Beijing it was real, because I actually Continue reading “Stares and General Eye Contact in Beijing”

China, Fairly Definite

In about 3 weeks I’m off to China to do an internship for one month.

I was going to do this last summer but the timing of my exams complicated things and I decided to postpone it till this year. I was never fully sure if it was actually going to happen, but now I find myself having successfully acquired a visa, plane tickets, and a bunch of other things (except, so far, somewhere to stay, whoops) so it looks like this is pretty definite!

I can’t wait! Cultures, languages etc… are what I love.

But anxiety-wise, this could be a bit of a ride.

I don’t really  know what to expect and I hope I’m not doing/going to do anything naive, having never done anything like this before and being woefully untravelled. I’m doing tonnes of research at the moment and trying to pick up a few bits of Chinese.

Yeah, so I’ll try and post stuff on here when I’m there.

Thoughts about this Culture and Shyness

So I was just doing some research on Western and Eastern ideas on “shyness”. Although the terms “Western” and “Eastern” might be a bit reductive, as no doubt individual countries and even regions have slightly different ideas about things, the impression I’m getting is that in Western cultures we usually see shyness as anti-social or rude, whereas Eastern cultures tend to see it as thoughtf Continue reading “Thoughts about this Culture and Shyness”

Why I hate ice-breakers

Confession: I have been known to skip social events if I anticipate “ice-breakers” there.

So this one time two and a bit years ago (actually can I just round that up to three years to distance myself from the event please?) it was the start of second year of college, and it was the first Christian Union meeting of the new academic year. For the sake of the newly starting AS students we had ice-breakers. It was the “Tell people two truths and a lie about yourself and they guess what the lie is” game. I could not think of stuff on the spot just like that, especially not when I ended up having to play it in a group with a guy I had had the worst crush of my life on for like a year so far (and been too awk to talk to). I had written poems and diary entries galore about this guy, drawn his name in bubble writing, got into cheesy songs I previously had hated, the whole cringey lot, so now I was embarrassed before it even got to my turn to try and spin some witty little truths and lies.

I let the two other guys say theirs first obvs. I knew both of them already because we had been in the same English Language in the previous academic year. They were good mates with each other by now but I didn’t sit so near Continue reading “Why I hate ice-breakers”

First Group CBT Thing was Today

…Technically yesterday, because I just looked at the time and it’s 1:30am.

So yeah, I didn’t really feel nervous in the build up to it. Frankly I was looking forward to the openness of being around other students at my uni with anxiety. Although I may have freaked out slightly about 10 minutes before when I wanted to just triple check the lecture theatre it was in on the uni emails and the system was glitching and not giving me access. But after going to The Base and uncomfortably asking the receptionist to double check, I got to the right place and was on time.

I put on a very collected demeanor and walked into the lecture theatre. I noticed a lot of students sitting there looking absolutely on edge. I didn’t see anyone I recognised, which was a bit disapointing. I wrote a name badge and took a questionnaire and sat down on one of the front rows. There was a girl sitting on her own there and I internally debated whether to go by the usual unspoken rule of l Continue reading “First Group CBT Thing was Today”