Well, yesterday was interesting. My partner needed some help getting home from her event, yesterday. Her colleague, (who originally planned to travel back with her so they could hang out for a day or so after that), connected with another participant who had a business opportunity to discuss. So, business took precedent over pleasure. And that was fine, since my partner was totally wiped out by the event.
It was a good one, but it took a lot out of her.
And I can so relate.
So, I drove the 90 minutes to help my partner get safely home. It was actually pretty good for me, because I got to see a lot of people I hadn’t seen in some time. I used to be involved in my partner’s business (before I started to overload and melt down, and I realized I needed to back off and take good care of myself). I miss the folks I got to see, yesterday. I’ve missed hanging out with them.
At the same time, I notice more and more, every day, just how one-sided my interactions with people tend to be. They don’t seem to expend much energy at all, when they interact. In fact, they seem relaxed and at ease. I, on the other hand, am all twisted up inside. And the repeat hugs, the constant reaching out to make contact… Oh my God… it got to be a little much, after a while.
On top of it, there were so many people there, milling around — something like 30 people, some I knew, some I didn’t, some I knew but didn’t recognize, some I didn’t know but thought I recognized. How confusing! It was like stepping into a hall of funhouse mirrors… very “trippy”… very “swirly” and totally overwhelming… I become partly blind, when I’m in those situations. I literally can’t see what’s not right in front of me, as everything spins around me, making me a little sick to my stomach. I have the vague sense that everyone and everything else is there, but I can’t distinguish anything specific in the wild flow of energies and colors and movement… like one big blur, and there I am in the middle of it, just focusing on staying calm in my center. (Thank you Stoics, for giving me a solid frame of reference to help ground me.)
So, I’m spinning and spinning and just barely able to focus on one “Hi! How are you?! Oh, my gosh! I haven’t seen you in so long!!!” at a time, and here I am, just trying to get my partner packed up and brought home in one piece… Augh! (but in a fun-chaotic kind of way). To keep myself grounded, I focused on one person at a time, one conversation at a time. Just ignore the nausea. It’ll pass. I also focused on helping my partner gather all her belongings (she took a lot with her), and get them in the car without forgetting something important. I had some help from some of the other attendees, but again, sometimes it’s more difficult for me to communicate with others and tell them what should be done. I’m highly visual-spatial, so when it comes to getting stuff done (especially packing), I think in pictures and feelings and flow, rather than words. Being pressed for words just makes things harder.
But no biggie. I figured was only going to be there for a short time. Maybe an hour, tops. But there were so many people, and there was so much going on… and 1 hour dragged into 3 hours… and before I knew it, we were being invited out for dinner with a bunch of folks afterwards.
Cue the panic. Smiles. Laughter. Nodding. “Sounds great!” I heard myself saying. “We’d love to!” And the whole time, behind the scenes, I’m starting to lose my sh*t. Freaking out — ever so demurely, of course… wondering how the hell I was going to get out of that. I mean, I really liked each one of the people we were going to go out with, but all together… in a noisy restaurant… Someone explain to me the attraction. To this day, I don’t get it.
Anyway, long story short, my partner saved me… because she was exhausted, and she didn’t even realize it till we were headed down the road to join the others. We had to pull over twice, so she could rest and get her bearings. She was so apologetic and felt terrible about “making” us miss the get-together. But in all honesty, it was an enormous relief for me.
The ride home took 3x as long as expected, between both of us being tired, the bad weather with poor visibility, as well as stops along the way. Plus, we both got turned around and ended up on an unintentional detour that involved a close encounter with a federal prison guard. Don’t ask. It was all very exciting.
But at least we made it home in time.
Plus, I got to look like I was being ultra-social… and still got off the proverbial hook, anyway. I survived. And that’s the important thing, right?