I got out of the car at Barn's training this week. It looked like it might rain, so I didn’t think I’d walk down to the beach but I also thought I’d try to be a little bit more social.
We were early so we said hi to the team coach and he immediately ran off to talk to someone else. Normally I’d think it was me, or something I’d done. Instead I tried to let it go. A few minutes later he came back and started chatting to us and it was clear there wasn’t a problem. Maybe he had something important to say to the others. I’m reminding myself that not everything is my fault.
More people arrived and I joined them in leaning on the bonnets of our cars, watching, socially distancing, all involved, but a step back from normal. I didn’t manage to say anything more than a passing hi to the other parents but I did chat with a couple of teenagers - they’re far less scary! I caught the eye of another parent, clearly as amused as I, watching the boys jumping between fence posts before training started, and we shared a smile, but that was it.
I’m much more at ease with myself now. I do things that I wouldn’t have dreamed of a few years ago. To many they’re only small things, things like having a picnic in our local parkland, but they’re things I find lovely and I honestly couldn’t have done a while back. Even having a cup of tea in a cafe by myself would have been a big no, no a few years back. Taking Barn to training has helped with that, and before lockdown I was regularly going into the cafe by myself on a weekly basis and watching the team train while drinking my pot of tea and either reading my book or doing a little writing. I even speak to other people! Of course, that didn’t happen the first week. I watched from the car and then after that I popped out to say hi and then went back again. A few weeks later I made my first venture to the cafe and found it was a friendly place to be, filled with other people, none of whom cared what I was up to, or if they did, they didn’t show it.
It takes time to change a lifetime of habits. It doesn’t happen overnight and sometimes there are set backs but, the more you persevere the easier things get. I for one am going to keep trying.