If you have not seen me mention it on this here blog allow me to express it again – the DC area has a lot to see and do. I get notifications about a myriad of events pretty much every day. People say that DC is boring and that is why they travel, but I promise you can find something of interest. The reason I end up missing out is attempting to come to grips with being an ambivert. Don’t know what that is? Keep reading.
An ambivert is defined as someone who has characteristics of both an extrovert (outgoing) and an introvert (shy). I can display either end of the spectrum but identify more as an extroverted introvert. This means that when I am in a social atmosphere I can blend for the most part but it depends on the energy I get from someone. I am more comfortable, however, keeping to myself BUT if I am in an environment that requires me to be “on” then I can turn off the nerves and do what I have to do to get the job done. This is how I have been able to host events, do public speaking and teach classes in front of large crowds. Trust and believe however that I am more than likely sweating profusely as I do it.
Though I tend to be in the know for local events I end up talking myself out of attending because of the anxiety faced when having to maneuver an event on my own. Once I am there I am fine but its the anticipation of it where I begin to second guess my attendance. I actually dealt with this last week. The National Gallery of Art has commenced its Spring schedule of ‘Evenings at the Edge,’ a showcase that combines art in a variety of mediums including live performance, music, dance and other activities. The free program takes place after hours in the gallery space.
I saw the event was coming and signed up. Had my outfit planned and was all set to go…until the actual day of the event. My nerves kicked in, I couldn’t eat all day and I began the process of talking myself out of attending. I even mentioned the event offhandedly to a friend in the hopes that they would find it interesting enough and decide to attend as well but that didn’t happen. I ultimately got up the courage to attend and I am so glad I did.
I made it a point to quell my fears by smiling at everyone and striking up small talk at various intervals – while we waited in line to be let into the building, while waiting in line for drinks, while waiting in line for the performance…ok yes there are a lot of lines but its worth it! Little Bacon Bear was the DJ for the evening and the soundtrack she provided added to the welcoming vibe. The lines moved quickly, the speciality drink of the night was delicious and I got to sit pretty damn close to see the Syncopated Ladies perform…allow me to mention again, this is a free event!
After the performance I was able to indulge my introverted side by taking in some of the art. I like to get as close as I can and steady my breathing, almost in a meditative state, as I study the brushstrokes in the paintings or the tiny rhythmic indents in the sculptures. It calms me and I feel like its just me and the art in those moments. I adore museums for this. I just moved throughout the floors stopping at works that spoke to me that night. This particular program, ‘Wonder Women‘ was a tribute to female artists who have created masterpieces in the last century. The art I was drawn to featured women, or seemed to be influenced by people of color.
During Tea and Intentions, being more serious about my writing was at the top of my list. Because of that I have to get out more and experience new things so that I have something to write about. In turn, it forces me to face my fears and conquer them. My writing has improved and so have I. Am I completely over my anxiety? Of course not, but aren’t we all continuously working to be better? I will keep pushing myself and am grateful for events such as ‘Evenings at the Edge’ for providing me the opportunity to do so.
‘Evenings at the Edge’ occurs on the second Thursday of each month at the National Gallery of Art. The event is free but you do have to pre-register. This is also a great opportunity to show your kids the museum in a different way. In addition to the performances they also have hands on activities and it is the first time that the concourse level will also be open during the programs which means the gelato bar, cafe and Children’s shop are also open.