I am gearing up for my first real retreat. The yarn, the knitting, the people. I'm so excited...and also a little worried. Despite co-hosting a podcast and owning a business, I'm not naturally an outgoing person. Don't get me wrong, around people I know and trust I can be very outgoing around, but new people I feel like I have to slowly introduce them to my brand of crazy.
I get nervous around new people and my adrenaline rushes. My mouth talks faster than my brain can process and before I know it I've said something weird and stupid in a loud and high-strung voice and the group turns to look at me with their questioning stares, squinting at me with their eyebrows pushed together in confusion. "Who is this girl?" I put on my most charming smile and back away slowly, maybe giving a little curtsy as the perfect ending to my social humiliation.
Maybe it's just the anticipation of meeting new people. If another knitter sits down in the waiting room of the doctor's office, I'm happy to ask her what she's knitting. This is just a more concentrated room of knitters. And why should I be scared? It's not like I've been put in a room full of people with nothing in common, we knit. That's really all I need to start a lifelong friendship these days.
Working from home I am lonely a lot, so this is my chance to talk to adults, even better, adults who like to knit. What group could be more friendly and inviting than that?
It's just knitting right? If anyone can talk about yarn for hours, I certainly fall into that category. I can easily pass the day away talking patterns and discussing options for the completion of WIPs. I love to watch other knitters and how they move the needles. Some pick, some throw, some do a combination or a different style completely. I love to see the rhythms of knitters.
Maybe I'll just focus on the knitting. There's no need to feel overwhelmed. I can sit and knit quietly while I become acclimated to the people around me. Knitting is our collective happy place, so there is no better place to meet people. No pressure to fill the silence. No wondering if you are making too much eye contact or not enough eye contact to give the correct social cues that you are listening attentively. And if all else fails, act like you're counting your stitches. ;)