I went from no resolutions to 24 written up within an hour so it’s safe to say there wasn’t much overthinking involved. Until I decided to start a whole blog about it, of course. Here are my goals for January…
- Resolution 1. Go out and socialise… at least twice
If you tell someone you have social anxiety at a gathering and they narrow their eyes, are they assuming it’s a cop out or do they ALSO have social anxiety and are simply weighing up whether to own up that they’re a kindred spirit, or do they remain totally intimidated by your brazen admission and pretend that they can see a headless pigeon so they have an excuse to leave the room and hang out silently by the crisps?
When I was younger I’d mess about or pick up childlike mannerisms to deal with the uncomfortable nature of All Conversations Ever but as I got older I totally matured – feeling nervous at a party? Hide in the upstairs hallway! Other sophisticated options include just being a bit quiet, latching on to a friend, not going out at all or pretending that you’re absolutely comfortable with the whole socialising thing until someone asks you a question and you a) stare wildly at them or b) try and reply straightaway. Like a Normal Person. Seriously just say anything. Here are some useful responses to truly difficult questions…
Q: What you drinking? A: Blood.
Q: How are you? A: Err, how are you? No, I mean fine. Like, I feel like I’m in treacle, you know? Are you fine? Hm. Spackle. Argh. I’m just going to go look at that headless pigeon…
Q: What do you do for living? A: No.
Q: What do you want to drink? A: Ah, erm, what do you have? Anything but beer. Beer tastes of bread. I don’t know. I never know. God I’m so… (Asks friend.) What are you drinking? Cool. I’ll drink what they’re drinking. Thanks so much. Beer’s fine.
Q: Do you want something to eat? A: (Say nothing. Stare at them blankly until someone else says they want something to eat and then finally respond…) Yes please!
Q: Are you leaving? A: (Say nothing. Wave at the crowd awkwardly to give a super clear indication that you’re honestly grateful for everyone’s kindness. Try to smile. Accidentally grimace.)
Anyone else relate to being a social bundle of fun?
Don’t worry. No one will think you’re rude or weird or a limpet (for sticking so close to your best mate that you practically have them in headlock). Other people will immediately conclude ‘so this person has social anxiety huh? I bet they’re totally different one-on-one.’
Seriously though. If you’ve encountered me and I appeared weird or rude or I told you that my current job title is ‘The Moon’, I’m sorry. I don’t feel great about it, I want to be kind, I’m trying. If you caught me on a good day? Awesome I am that cool ALL THE TIME and none of this post has any relevance to my real life.
My ‘social’ resolutions get harder as the year goes on. Not going to things due to nerves is particularly awful career-wise so I’m hoping if I start small I can reap the benefits later. Until then, I’ll see you in the upstairs hallway.
- Resolution 2. Read at least two books
I know I can read two books a week. I have read two books in a day. But two books in a year can still be a struggle. My brain has been more welcoming to the dust that settles between pages than to the lovely words underneath. When the spine of a book is bent between two anticipating palms – the most spiritual act many an Atheist will experience – my own spine twists, my back aching under the weight of paper and its promises. But I was brought up by books. They were my guardians and my guides, a safer space and a better place than any reality. But reality took imagination on soon enough, and suddenly the act of picking up a book seemed like a greater challenge than the journeys within the covers.
When everyday begins blurring into one, my limbs and eyelids and tiniest thoughts are hard to differentiate from each other or from the streaming colours of the London skyline or from letters which curve and taunt my uncertain fingertips. Guys? This is when it’s time to pick up a great book.
Any book recommendations? Let me know! My favourite reads last year were ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’, ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ and ‘Yes Please!’