I’m sitting in my hotel room, waiting to go home.  This is infinitely better than sitting in the hotel lobby which is what I’d be doing if I hadn’t arranged to check out late.  Still, I hate waiting and I have a lot of it today.  Waiting now, waiting during my four hour layover in Dulles, waiting while on the plane.  I am tired of being elsewhere, I want to be home.

This trip has been a real challenge for me.  At a time when I have difficulty leaving my apt. to go to the grocery store, I have flown across the country.  I’m an introvert, which makes things difficult when you are supposed to be meeting new people.  I never know what to say.  And I felt particularly awkward because I don’t know where my life is going right now.  When people asked me why I came to the conference, I couldn’t say, “Well, I’m hoping to be inspired so I can figure out what to do with my life because I’ve kinda lost my interest in just about everything.”  Or maybe I could have said the first part.  What I said was something about being interested in science outreach and education and those things are sort of true.  I mean, I’d like to be more interested in them (I’d like to be more interested in just about anything right now).

Another problem I have with the socializing aspect of conferences is that I have difficulty hearing.  If I’m in a crowded room of people talking, I can hear the people right next to me and that’s it.  So, on the one hand, I feel uncomfortable talking one on one with a person but on the other hand, if I’m in a group, I can barely hear what people are saying (or just can’t hear them at all).  And, all the while, I want to run back to my hotel room, climb in bed, and hide under the covers.

And today, that’s what I did.  The talk I was in got out early for the second session and I wanted desperately to go back to the hotel and someone offered me a ride, so I did.  I went back to the hotel, skipping the last session and lunch and went back to bed and boy did it feel good.  It felt so good, I might even be able to face going out and hobnobbing except that the conference is over and there is no more hobnobbing to be had.  Maybe that’s why it felt good, because I knew I wouldn’t be required to socialize anymore.

It’s not that I hate socializing completely.  I enjoy being in small groups of people I know.  It’s not knowing the people I’m trying to socialize with that’s the problem.

So, now it’s all over and I’m sitting here, praying the rain will stop, or at least that it won’t delay my flight because I think I would go crazy if I couldn’t get home.

12 thoughts on “Waiting

  1. I think you did awesome! Conferences are really difficult, especially for us introverts. We need time to recharge and be away from everyone, and that’s totally okay!

    I hope that your travels go by quickly, and soon you’ll be at home 🙂

  2. I’m having similar issues too, but I’m really proud of you for taking this step. I hope the trip will help you get back on the horse 🙂

  3. I think you were so brave to go to the conference and to attend as much of it as you did. It’s really saying something to make such a trip when you are dealing with so much anxiety. Great job! And thanks for sharing all of this. As someone who doesn’t have such intense anxiety issues, it helped me understand what other people might be going through at any given time and I think that will help me be more empathetic.

  4. Yay! Congrats on going to the conference and making it through!! I hope your trip home was good. Hopefully it makes you feel at least a little better to know there are so many people out here in the internets who are rooting for you!

  5. good job getting through so much of the conference! I think conferences should have naptime scheduled in….

  6. It was really great to see you!
    I think things are extra awkward when your brain isn’t working normally. I think between the stress of traveling and lack of sleep, there was no period my brain was totally working right. Even when it’s working right, I am rather excessively self conscious, but when it’s all muddled, it’s very hard to relax at all.

  7. It was good to meet you!!! I hope we can hang out more next time. I also ended up hiding under the covers, but that was due to me being rather ill. I know it’s an overwhelming experience and I’m so proud of you for going!

  8. Hoping travel was uncomplicated and that you are home and decompressing from it all. Conferences are TOUGH.

    I have trouble hearing in crowds too. For what it’s worth, I’ve found it helpful to explain that to people when I start leaning in to catch what they’re saying or when I have to ask them the first time to repeat themselves. It tends to make people more understanding.

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