Last night, I had to attend a reunion/gathering of sorts for a Youth group thing I was a part of for the last two years. And needless to say, I dreaded going, because I never really clicked and got close to any of them, even though we all spent two nights together at some place (it was sort of like a hotel, but not. Mostly Christians would go to the place in groups for retreats…so…mhm) for each of the last two years I’ve been part of it. I just tend to stand back and watch everyone else bond, while I sit back and observe. I even pack a book just for these loner occasions. But I know I’m not the only who feels like this anyhow.
So last night, I went to the small reunion — small, since not all 50 or so of us could attend — for both Batch 1 and Batch 2 (I belonged in Batch 1), despite my reservations. It was more like my mom and my conscience told me to go, just so that I’d put an effort to bond with other fellow Filipino youths, even if I found it ultra uncomfortable.
When I got there, I was pretty late already due to the horrid traffic of Macau. And being late to these sorts of things is always the worst, since everyone is already there, groups have been established, and most corners have been taken. But I wasn’t so late that all corners were taken though. People were still arriving when I got there, so that was a bonus for me. And it was quite serendipitous that there were a few chairs right next to the food and in the corner, which I slowly walked to, just to make it seem like that wasn’t really where I was heading. It’s pretty embarrassing to go to a gathering and just end up in a corner on your own. But then, I’m pretty comfortable on my own.
Anyhow, the first few minutes found me anxiously playing 2048, a game that’s gotten me so addicted that it’s sad, hoping I wouldn’t be put in any uncomfortable situation. People arrived and I knew all of them. But I remained in my corner. I chatted with a few of them, but I sat back to watch. I wasn’t the only one uncomfortable though. A kid all dressed up in swag (who isn’t really a kid now since he’s grown taller than me since last year) sat at another corner on his phone, despite the fact that I thought he was quite outgoing.
But as the night grew, with me haunting the food table (I wasn’t really hovering over it. I was just there a few times for food and I was mostly at my awesomely placed seat),the kid in the corner slowly integrated with the others and I found an old friendly acquaintance and made a new friend out of her.
We found a lot of things in common between us and it was comfortable talking to her. She came with her brother and she was his complete opposite, as he was out there loudly playing UNO with the rest of the people. We sat at our quiet corner and chatted the whole night away (not really the whole night, as it ended at around 10:30) and it was great. We talked of her life in the USA and how hard it was to get close to anyone, and we talked about university life. She was close to my age, if not older, and it was great since we could relate with a lot of the experiences we’ve both been through, especially in a room where everyone else was younger than us and still in high school — with the exception of her, her brother, and me. Metaphors of fish tanks and life were even discussed briefly.
That whole experience strengthened my theory that I am indeed an introvert, since I opted out of the group games in preference of a one-on-one chat about — well — everything. As fulfilling as it was for the large number of extroverts in that group (a very boisterous game of UNO was played that night), it equally became fulfilling for the few introverts in the group since we found one another. And for that I truly am quite thankful I went and had a great time.
In every dreaded situation, there will always be a sliver of a silver lining. One just needs to find it and grab hold of it for the duration.