While it is a common condition of humankind to be concerned with what others think, I try to not let such get to me. We all make judgments, we all get judged – such is life. I think it’s realistic to accept this and use it as a tool to improve yourself and your relationships with others, but carried too far gets into bending over backwards and losing yourself trying to please others. Obviously, we must consider our actions and behaviors as they relate to others, because we cannot live in a void!
Alas, I have been in a physical void for some time. Oh sure, I see ‘local’ friends here and again, but local in this case means living the same country rather than down the street. While that is convenient for say… meeting up every couple of months at best, it isn’t ideal for more frequent socialization. So, of course, I have been looking for a way to make local friends since I landed here nearly five years ago. I’m picky, as I’ve mentioned – there are ways available to me that I could meet local people, but I do not find them suitable. Going down the pub has the high likelihood of drunks (I get nasty contact buzzes off of them and it makes me feel horrible), while joining a parenting group just seems to have a near-certainty of some sort of pissing contest rearing its head. My old staples of the indie coffee shop or all-night diner do not feature in the British landscape, so I’ve been looking for a crafting group. Crafting, I feel, is a great starting ground – there is usually a high degree of friendliness and a desire to help each other out, which is a good ground floor. Oh sure, you’re still going to get all sorts, but I also suspect that you’re more likely to find fellow folks who are happy to just oh… sit quietly together doing your own thing… but together.
With that in mind, I finally found a likely craft group last week, and attended their meeting last night. It was pretty much exactly what I hoped it would be – a laid-back atmosphere of people happily doing their own thing together, with occasional chatter (and free cake; bless the lady who made it!). It helped assure me that I was right in waiting for the right thing to come around, and I look forward to the next meeting two weeks hence. It might end up being a dead end, but for now, it’s a fantastic lead with some pretty nifty-seeming people.
And what of the proving it, you might ask? Well, I always suspect that if anyone is judging me on anything, I would presume they have long decided that I don’t have any actual interest in making local friends, and have just been flapping my lips. It would amuse me that my decisiveness in such a matter changed these invisible opinions, but then? I don’t know who would actually be thinking along those lines, nor do I specifically care. The main thing is that I proved to myself that I am totally able of hopping up and doing something new with new people in a new place once I find something that interests me. And that little mental boost – that’s probably the best short-term outcome of all.