Have you ever really wanted to meet someone you admire, and then when you finally do, your left feeling underwhelmed?
I had this experience at my first blog conference 3 years ago. I was dying to finally meet this blogger I had been following for a couple years. I admired everything about her. Her family, her parenting style, even her fashion sense jived with me. From reading her blog, I felt like I already knew her really well, and was positive if we ever met face to face, we would instantly fall madly into BFF status.
So, it was the first day of the conference. I spied her from across the packed ballroom, and started psyching myself up to finally get up the nerve to introduce myself to her. Surely she would know me, I mean, I had only been commenting on her every post for the last year.
I made my move. I weaved through the sea of people, and finally introduced myself to her.
She was nice. We shook hands, and she gave me a shy smile. Our lack luster interaction lasted about 10 seconds. I complimented her on her new baby, told her I loved her cardigan, and I was glad we got to meet.
Then she turned her head and started talking to the friend she was sitting next to.
I was left feeling inadequate and dumb. Why did I think this person would give me the time of day? My perception of her was way off. She was much cooler online than she was in person, for sure.
Fast forward 2 years, to the present day.
That person that I had put on a glass pedestal who ended up being totally put-offish? Today we’re good friends. I now can look back at our initial meeting, and know exactly why she was the way she was to me that day.
She was tired from dealing with a newborn. She had some stuff going on in her life I had no idea about. She’s an introvert, and being in a large groups give her anxiety. She can better express herself with the written word, and that’s why we rarely talk on the phone, but instead email.
The only reason I now know these things about her is because I chose to give her a second chance. I am so glad I didn’t give up on her. If I had, I would have missed out on a really loyal friend.
So if you ever meet me, and are disappointed because I didn’t live up to your expectations? I’m sorry. I am who I am, and I take full blame for my social awkwardness.
Want to know something about me? Large groups of people I don’t know well give me hives. It’s true. Just ask anyone in my family. Also? I have an extensive collection of turtlenecks which I wear when meeting people for the first time.
(Me and one of my favorite turtlenecks, at my first blogging conference, grabbing a quick awkward photo with Jennifer and Heather.)
But if you give me a second chance? I’m pretty good at being a friend. Or at least I’ll try to be.