The Meetup on Saturday, June 29th at MVM Co-op was a big challenge for me. I really don’t like throwing parties because I assume that if people don’t show up, it’s because of me and not because they have lives or are out of town or are generally preoccupied with other important things. In my mind, they either want to hang out with me or they don’t. It’s basically a mode of thinking that dooms me to distress and unhappiness every single time. This was a big lesson in reframing and managing my expectations. What I wanted was a get together that was packed with people. What I got was 5 folks hanging out, laughing, and having a good time. Y’know what? It was pretty great. It’s not what I went into it wanting but I really had a good time and I very honestly don’t wish it had been different. It was absolutely wonderful the way it was and we all had a great time.
I still feel twinges of shame when people ask how it went because I assume they’ll pity me if I say that there were only 5 of us there but I have to remember that what they think about it isn’t my business. It was a really special two hours and I got to connect with people in a different way. The whole experience was positive and while initially I was going “Oh god, I’ve failed at throwing a party!” I had a good time and I think I’m going to throw another one. I never in my craziest dreams thought that I would feel that way. I imagined that I would get done throwing the gathering and feel relieved that I never had to do something like that again but it was genuinely good fun and makes me want to throw more gatherings. I also think that my stress about it was totally out of proportion to the actual stress of the event itself.
For me personally, Scare Yourself Summer has an element of proving to myself that I don’t need to spend as much energy on fear as I do. I didn’t need to be so stressed out and afraid of the Meetup. It went well and we all laughed, snacked, and shared. I’m very much hoping that I can build a pattern of fear soothing up so the next time I react with fear I can remind myself “Remember how afraid you were of doing that? It wasn’t actually that scary in the end, was it? Maybe relax a little. It’ll be completely fine.” It takes work to change patterns you’ve put into place but I spend so much energy on fear and anxiety that the work of changing those patterns is a huge investment in my own happiness. I’m so glad that I threw this Meetup and that we had the good time we did. I’m ready to throw another one!