Despite my anxiety achieving various levels yesterday, I managed to quell that storm well before it hit. And now, upon the second day of my social abilities being tested every passing minute, I’ve managed to actually find myself in an unexpected state of comfort.
Although I wouldn’t quite go as far as to claim that I now know in depth every member of my group’s personality and their most embarrassing moments, I’ve become acquainted with the majority of them in at least one conversation. And for someone who struggles to make eye contact on a daily basis, the fact that I managed to initiate and continue some conversations was the world’s equivalent of reaching the moon. Or maybe Mars.
Beginning the day with Hoda Kotb, whom I found to be an extremely inspiring as well as energetic individual, I began to feel more relaxed. I also found true justification in being at this Conference in how Hoda praised and encouraged our attendance here.
Moving to the Newseum, which my eighth grade self found vividly… well, boring, to be blunt, I found a new sense of interest and emotion pulled from the displays. And alongside this, I managed to discover myself drifting around with several members of my group, socializing and discussing what we observed. Consequently, we gradually began to bond and interacting became all the easier.
After the thorough experience during lunch, dinner (can you tell that food is a highlight in my life?), and the freedom to explore the monuments, I had managed to further convene with my group and gain a slight sense of confidence in my interactions. And through it all, I realized just how committed I am to stepping out from my comfort zone and meeting new faces.
So despite my tendency to lean towards social introversion and assume the role as the quiet member of a party, I can confidently state that so far my WJMC experience has been rewarding and a grand leap towards expanding my comfort zone.