I’m one of those people who gets overly excited when I’m invited out somewhere with friends or new people, soon to be followed by an instant rush of dread and panic when it all sinks in. To be honest, the thought of socialising and doing something with friends does genuinely make me happy, until I realise I’d much rather be spending the evening in; in front of a television and scrolling through social media. I wouldn’t consider myself as an anti-social person, maybe because I don’t want to be seen that way, but I genuinely prefer staying inside and doing something I enjoy over going out and drinking with people I don’t particularly care about.
I suppose I could probably fall under the category of a stereotypical blogger. I can be as introverted as they come, I prefer my own company and my ideal evening is a night in on my own, with my parents or with my boyfriend or best friend. I began a new job last week, and on the evening of my first shift I was invited out to a staff night out, bowling and clubbing. To begin with, I was actually pretty excited at the idea, but within an hour I was thinking – shit, shit, shit. Clubbing? With new people? – I hate clubbing and I don’t actually enjoy drinking that much. I then spent hours battling with my introverted brain, quickly talking myself into not going and why I shouldn’t go.
But then there’s the fear of FOMO (fear of missing out). Imagine this, it’s a Saturday evening, you’re snuggled up on your couch, your favourite snacks are beside you, your dog is cuddling up next to you. You could be watching a new series on Netflix, watching a brand new movie or scrolling through social media and reading the latest blog posts from your favourite bloggers. These are my perfect evenings and the way I love to spend my weekends after working all week. There is literally nowhere else I would rather be during that moment – until I click on Snapchat and see all of my friends out together, an evening I turned down to stay at home and do what I’d rather be doing. My instant thoughts are – what are they doing? Am I weird to have stayed in? Should I have taken up their offer? What am I missing out on? What if I’ve missed out on something great? I think this a large percentage of the time when I turn down an offer, even though I know I’d much rather be at home chilling out with my dog.
One of the biggest misconceptions of the person I am is I’d rather stay in than go outside, that isn’t true whatsoever. I find it difficult being inside all day, in fact it drives me to the point of feeling fed up and lonely. I love getting out and doing something at least every other day, and I’ll never understand people who happily spend most days sat inside. But so many people my age don’t understand why I don’t enjoy clubbing and partying. At the age of 18, I started university. I’d go out at least twice a week, drinking myself to sickness with Vodka, attending house parties and I’d often be the friend encouraging other people to go out. At the age of 22, I feel like I’ve done it all, it’s out of my system. And the older I get, the easier it is to turn around and say no.
Whilst in Australia, we’ve been bombarded with the best places to drink, the best clubs, the best bars, with one of the more frequently asked questions being “have you been out clubbing yet” – we haven’t, of course. I haven’t come to Australia to spend all of my money on getting pissed, and I am surprised that drinking related questions have been favoured over general travel questions. The biggest worry I had is the fear of people thinking I’m strange. My closest friends and family have learned to accept that this is just the person I am. When I went into my new job the other day and told them I wasn’t going out with them, I dreaded their reaction as I didn’t want to be perceived to be a boring person or a let down.
But hey, maybe that’s just me, and changing the way I am isn’t going happen – ever. Before I had the balls to say no more, I did things to please other people and to not be perceived in a negative light. I saw it all as a waste of money because I didn’t want to be out doing that particular thing at that moment. I think so many people feel obliged to put other people before themselves, when in some cases it’s important to understand that your own happiness and comfort is as equally important.
Here’s to all of you twenty-something Grandmas!