Now, you don’t know this, but I have ridiculous anxiety. Like to the point where just going outside is sometimes hard. Funny story! I worked from home for like the first two years I lived here in Phoenix. When I moved here from Massachusetts I was lucky enough to keep my job. The problem being that I didn’t have any friends here, just family. And my family is not the most… caring? I don’t know if that’s the word. We all just sort of do our own thing. They’re not going to go out of their way to check-in on my life. I didn’t realize how bad they are at that until I lived here near them. That’s a different story. Point being I developed a bit of agoraphobia and had trouble leaving my house. I’ve always had anxiety, but this was bad. I once had a complete freak-out when I realized I had run out of cat food. There I lay in the fetal position, crying hysterically, apologizing to my cat for being a bad mom. My brother happened to call during this meltdown and I tried to convince him he needed to bring me cat food. He said no and that I needed to “get my shit together.” Like it’s that easy! Ok guy. Luckily for my cat I must have some sort of maternal instinct because I felt so bad about not feeding her that I threw on a hoodie and sunglasses and ran to Walgreens.
You get the idea, I’m a little bit crazy. I’m also hyper-aware of all my quirks. I know that freaking out over cat food is not normal. I’ve tried and continue to try to work through my insecurities. I should be seeing a therapist, but I can’t afford it. This is ‘Murica where we let people die of treatable illness because they can’t afford it. No one is crying for my sanity here. Anyway, I try on my own to do better. To fix it.
My first attempt when I moved here was a kickball league. I paid for the season and then chickened out when it came time to actually go meet these people. I tried Meetup. It’s an app where you can find people who share the same interests as you. It’s actually a really cool concept and tool. If you know what your interests are of course. I don’t know what I like. I’m a pretty boring person. Is there a Meetup group for people who like to binge Netflix and eat pizza with minimal human interaction? There’s not in case you were wondering.
The only thing that saved me was when Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy for President. I know you’re thinking I’m one of those neo-liberal nutjobs that look at him like a messiah. I’m not. He was a candidate I really believed in though. I did go to rallies and make phone calls for him. I learned I enjoy politics and it got me out of the house.
My search to discover things I like and get outside has now lead me to taking improv classes. I think I can be slightly entertaining once I’m comfortable with people. It sounded fun and scary at the same time. Of course I didn’t have the $275 bucks for this. I’ve never asked for money before, so I wasn’t sure how to approach it. Thus the following happened:
This is the same brother who called during the cat food meltdown. He’s probably my favorite.
So that’s it, I’m going to take an improv class. I’m hoping this will help with my anxiety and help me to be more social. Maybe I’ll meet some cool people. I’ll try to document this experiment in a short series called Improv For Introverts. This was a very big lead up to that title. I was very excited about that title. Stay tuned for the first installment.