The Mardi Gras party last night was fantastic! There were anywhere from 25-30 people there at the peak. I couldn't take pics until some had left, but here's one I managed.
So I was up late last night, as is my norm these days, and I had a chance to hang out with some friends. Now if this doesn't sound odd to you, let me explain why this is kind of important to me.
I have lost the ability to just hang out with people.
No, hear me out. You see, a couple of years ago, Cen and I used to hang out ALL the time at the Viper Pit. She and I were together, alone or with others, pretty much every single day. She understood that sometimes we didn't need to talk, or she was happy to drive the conversation forward, or we'd go off and do something fun or silly. After a while, after guys and land owning entered our SLives, things started to change. Then later, I retreated into a shell [most people know that story, I won't get into it again] and she left SL and now...I don't know how to hang out. I see the photos of people running around with friends, doing this or that, and I am envious. I have gotten so used to being alone in SL that I do not know how to just simply BE, unless I'm very close to the person.
For example: Last night after the party, I went to hang out with Ford, Chloe and Sarra over at Ford's new place. I was quiet. I was vaguely uncomfortable. Not because of who they are, not one bit. I think they're great people. But I always get the sense of "Should I be entertaining?" when I am around others. The worst thing for me is when someone says "Oh we should hang out, you are so funny/interesting/awesome in your blog/plurk!"
Oh god. No, honey. No.
I freeze when people say we should hang out. I immediately start thinking "Why do they want to hang out with me? What will we do? Do I need to be funny? Philosophical? Entertaining? Do I need to think of something for us to do? What do I need to talk about? Are they going to think I'm stupid? They are, they're going to think I'm stupidly boring! This cannot end well!"
What it comes down to is that I guess I don't feel like people want to hang out with me for me. They want to hang out because at some point, I made them laugh when I was writing, and that's what they expect.
Truthfully? I'm shy. I'm a little quiet. Unless I'm working a party, I'd almost prefer not to go unless someone goes with me. I can fake it sometimes. I can fake being outgoing. But when it comes down to it...I'm not.
So what do I do? I don't know. I've always thought of myself as a social person, but lately...I just can't do it.
Luckily, there are a few people that I am completely comfortable with, who have kind of pushed to get to know me past the blog or past plurk. I'll admit that I was probably very reserved and quiet with them as well at first, but eventually they managed to slip inside the shell I never quite realized was around me. My friend Marnix is a good example of someone who I feel comfortable hanging out with. He is most definitely good at keeping a conversation going, even if sometimes it looks like he's talking to himself. :-p
I don't know. I guess I'll just keep trying to push past this. I just feel bad that sometimes when someone asks if I want to go do something, I say no because I just don't think I can do it. I have to get over this.