So before I start this entry I realise it has been a good while since I touched base with you all, sorry about that but I have just been living my life, going on amazing adventures and meeting the most beautiful niece ever (like, seriously she is awesome!)
Anyway, I recently made a promise to myself that I would try and be more positive, open to ideas and sociable. I hope that if you are reading this you will be pleased to hear that generally that plan has gone pretty well so far! J I have managed to spend time with colleagues and friends outside of work and because it is close to the beginning of the new academic year I have worked hard to try and get to know new members staff.
Now for those of you that know me well, you will hopefully understand that I sometimes find it hard to meet and introduce myself to new people in a social environment. Honestly it makes me quite anxious because not only do I find it difficult to engage with people sometimes, but you never really know what kind of personalities, opinions and people you are going to come into contact with and for me the not knowing is terrifying. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that I don’t have people that I get along with because I do, and I love them all, it just takes me a long time to open up and trust them.
I told you earlier that I have been spending more time with colleagues and friends, a great example of this is a House Party/get together I went to so that everyone could get know each other a bit better before all the work starts. It was brilliant and I really enjoyed myself BUT I also found it quite a test, I have never been a big fan of large groups of people, not only because there is an expectation that you interact conversationally and confidently (trust me, I can do it, I just find that unless I know you well I can be quite shy!) but also the physical aspects and difficulties. I don’t know who this will make sense to but if I am in a group situation I often find myself navigating my way around a room in my head, looking out for trip hazards and generally trying my best not to bump into/trip over things and other people. I spent a lot of the evening doing just that and I can’t lie it made me quite mentally and physically tired as well as a little panicked. But don’t worry I understand and want you to know that it’s okay if that happens, because at least you are trying.
I have been at my current workplace for a good few years now, I have worked hard; fought for my position and I like to think become very good at what I do. I love looking after and supporting students from a pastoral perspective; I will be starting a new aspect of my role soon and whilst in training I had to get up in front of all the boarding staff and tell them about it (aaaah!) I was very nervous because I suddenly became very aware of all the eyes looking at me, I got a little shaky but I am proud because everyone was very supportive and at least I did it!
As you can probably imagine the events of those couple of days made me pretty exhausted both mentally and physically so I took the decision to hide away in my flat for the day and do nothing; believe me when I tell you that this is not a bad or selfish thing to do, stepping outside of your comfort zone and facing a fear takes a lot of energy and focus so you absolutely have the right to recharge. Do something you enjoy, to calm and centre yourself. (I will often listen to musical soundtracks on full blast or use the Headspace app to relax myself J).
I understand on quite a deep level how much planning and preparation it can take to even will yourself to go to an event or gathering, so all I am saying is if you need a minute to step away from the madness then go ahead and take it. If there is ever a time that you find anything too much, don’t be hard on yourself, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
If you’re still with me and reading I bet it feels like quite a ramble! So I will conclude by saying the following, start small, accept support and be proud. If you spend time doing little things that you are afraid of then I am hopeful they will get easier. Celebrate each little step you take because it is a big achievement. Finally, please don’t forget to look after yourself, self-care is not a luxury but a means of survival.
You are never alone.
All the love,