Part of the Crowd

One thing I really like about myself is that I generally follow my heart.  If something feels right, I do it.  If it doesn’t, I don’t.  The reason I like this about myself is because as a teen and young adult I often felt like I made decisions based on what others would think of me.  I never felt like I was being true to myself.  Now, I am often following paths that many people don’t understand.  The disadvantage of following my heart is that it often leaves me feeling alone, which for an introvert like me, isn’t exactly the worst thing. 

Yesterday I attended an ESL workshop with a group of my peers.  I knew lunch was going to be served so as I always do in these situations, I prepared my own lunch.  For many people, this seems to be a little extreme to reheat food from the previous night and throw it into a thermos so you don’t feel sick to your stomach from eating foods that don’t agree with you.  Many comments were made (as they often are when I pull out my thermos and reject the pizza, lasagna or other foods loaded with foods I don’t eat) at lunch time about me bringing my own food.  Over the years, I have gotten used to being the oddball and it doesn’t really bother me or make me feel like I need to hide in a corner and eat.  Besides that, the group was making me laugh so hard that it didn’t matter what they thought about me bringing my own lunch.  Saying all of that, it is on occasion nice to be part of the group and connect with them 100%. 

After lunch, we had two hours of workshops left.  As I headed out of the restroom, one of my peers had her personal items and was heading out the door.  She reminded me that since there was a screw up, our professional hours would not be available to us immediately after the workshop.  Instead, we would receive them through email.  I was tired, but I still planned to head back in for the remainder of my time.  Then, I ran into another peer with her personal belongings.  She too reminded me that hours were coming through email.  She said, “Go grab your coat and let’s go.”  Suddenly I felt connected.  As a high schooler, I loved “jipping” school and her invitation to leave suddenly left me feeling like I was 16 years old.  I worried they might take attendance at the end and I would lose my credit hours and get in trouble with the two schools I teach for  who are expecting these hours, but I didn’t care.  Suddenly the thought of skipping out and being a part of the group was too tempting.  I ran into the classroom, grabbed my personal belongings and met up with my peer.  We talked a few minutes and then we were both in our own cars going our own directions again.  Now, I am keeping my fingers crossed that those hours come through.  🙂 

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