The other night, a friend of mine invited me to join her at a meeting of women writers. I asked her if it was ok for me to go even though I wasn’t a writer, and she said that the group was ok with it. This group had met before, but not all members had met before so it wouldn’t be like I walked into an established meeting.
My friend and I were the first ones at the bar we were meeting everyone at (after getting a perfect almost free parking space right in front!) and soon after we arrived more people showed up. We got a table for the group and started ordering food and drinks.
In the beginning, I was just listening to what everyone else was saying. They were updating each other on their lives and jobs and I didn’t want to interrupt. It was really cool to hear what all these awesome writers have been doing and not just listening to what other actors are doing (those conversations can be very repetitive and weird for me at times).
But soon after that, more women showed up for the group and our table got pretty full. There were maybe 8 or 9 of us and the bar was a bit loud. I really wanted to hear what everyone was saying and participate in the conversation, but it just got very difficult to hear. I listened to what the people immediately next to me were saying, but I was still not really a part of the group.
My friend (who was sitting next to me) noticed that I was being really quiet and not adding to the conversation and she interpreted it as me being bored. I explained that it wasn’t that I was bored but it was awkward in the group because I really didn’t know everyone and it was tough to be a part of the conversation. I wanted to be a part of things, but I had to be ok with the circumstances and be ok with being an outsider for the night.
It wasn’t the group’s fault at all. The table we had was pretty big, there were a decent number of people, and it was pretty loud. Even our waitress had trouble hearing us from time to time. So it wasn’t the best place to be when I tried to get to know a bunch of new people.
My friend and I left a bit on the earlier side because we had another place we wanted to stop by before it got too late, so we started to say our goodbyes to everyone. And I talked to everyone more while saying goodbye than I had all night. I was talking to people individually while we were standing next to each other. So the noise and number of people didn’t affect the conversation. And everyone in the group was so awesome and I wished that it had been easier to be a part of the group the entire evening. But it just wasn’t meant to be that night.
I’m sure that I will get to see everyone again in the future. Hopefully I’ll be invited to another group meeting and maybe it will be somewhere that is a bit quieter so I can feel like I’m part of everything. But even though I pretty much sat quietly in my chair during the meeting, it felt awesome getting out and getting to meet new people. I’ve been in my own bubble with my set group of friends for a while and I know I need to expand my friend circles. Meeting people who are awesome is always a good thing in my mind. And I learned from those brief conversations that everyone in that group was pretty awesome.