In six days I depart New Zealand headed for Europe. I am extremely nervous and excited for this huge adventure. Not only will I have the opportunity to tick off some of the big bucket list destinations and events, I will have the chance to meet a variety of new people.
This is the part of my trip which excites me the most but also makes me anxious. Sometimes I am socially awkward. In our relationship, Aaron often takes the pressure off of me by talking so much it doesn't matter if I'm silent. But Aaron won't be there to talk on my behalf which makes me rather nervous.
I'm sure I'm not the only person who walks into a crowded room and suddenly gets anxious when I don't recognise a single face. No one is paying me any attention, yet I still feel like all eyes are on me. Do they think I'm some weird loner? Are they judging my outfit? Is my hair a mess? Do I have something in my teeth?
To repel the idea I'm a loner I usually take out my phone and open an app just to close it again. Yes, see that people who haven't even noticed I'm by myself... I do have friends. I'm on my phone pretending to text them right now! I might even flick on the front camera to reassure myself that my face looks acceptable.
I know it's silly and I really do hate being anxious around people, but I can't help myself. People scare me, but I love people. It's a pretty complicated mindset.
Hopefully this trip helps me throw away my insecurities and open up to the idea of making new friends.