Hey Guys, What’s new, How you doing?
So, I’m going to tell you about how I finally went to an event alone and genuinely enjoyed myself.
Last week, my lovely friend Nancy hooked me up with a ticket to go to TEDxPeckham. All the tickets were sold out, but she was volunteering at the talk and didn’t need hers anymore. I was absolutely roaring to go. It was their first ever event and the speaker line up looked sick!
But if all the tickets were sold out – I was most definitely going to be alone. I mean Nancy would be there and I knew a few others going, but nothing was for certain.
So while I was texting back acting all calm, I was freaking out in my head.
I never go to events alone.
Like, I just never do that. I always have somebody that I chill with, my crutch for when things get weird. But me by myself? Nuh uh…
Don’t you know:
Like legit, I’m the weird one. The kind of person to fumble up her words when she speaks. Like saying bye instead of hello. Even stare intently at someone to feign interest only to be considered well, stare-y. Once, I started to speak to strike up conversation and some spit flew out of my mouth. Fearing that someone noticed I proceeded to mention the spittle non-stop.
“Did you see that? I just spat…Oh dear…It was a mistake though…I don’t spit normally.”
It got to a point where I was sick of hearing my own voice and felt like doing this:
And this is common. So many of us don’t go out alone because we feel socially awkward. The whole talking to someone new (alone) becomes so challenging we just rather not be in that position. But according to an article in Time, social awkwardness is quite normal.
Psychologist and self-confessed awkward person Ty Tashiro says: “unless someone has lived an absolutely perfect social life, they will make gaffes or get caught in the wrong situation so will probably get awkward. One of the things that I love about the topic of awkwardness is that everyone can relate because even if someone is not an awkward person, they know what it’s like to have an awkward moment.”
And he’s right, we can all understand how stress-y it can get in a social situation. You literally want to crawl in a hole. I know I do…
But that was then. On Sunday I waltzed into TEDxPeckham, head held high, weave flowing in the wind and I spoke to someone.
But this wasn’t of just my own accord. The atmosphere was lovely. Everyone seemed really friendly and welcoming. So, after a while it became quite easy. I remember going up to someone and asking her how she found the last talk. Turns out we had the same sentiments and the conversation just flowed (shout out to this nice person!)
With the ice broken, many of us found ourselves laughing, crying and overwhelmed by the greatness at TEDxPeckham.
From Leomie Anderson’s inspiring story from #RoachesToRiches in the modelling industry. She, remembering that you’ve got only yourself to depend on, was able to navigate through the hardships of being a fresh model. Can I also say she does a mean Russian accent? That had me in stitches!
Or how about Kayode Ewumi‘s talk on passion. I mean that guy is just naturally funny. But not just like haha, but yeah I vibe with you funny. The type of humour that makes something as resonating as believing in yourself completely digestible and relatable. Kayode dropped some killer gems that evening like:
And so many of the other speakers were amazing: Carl Konadu‘s dramatisation of losing a loved one touched my heart. Salma El-Wardany and Adaobi Adibie‘s dissection of identity was thought-provoking. Caleb Femi‘s use of psychology to explain trauma in deprived places was fascinating.
How about Tiwa King‘s inspiring song that melted my heart and Kelle Bryan‘s story on the importance of time had me thinking. Lest we not forget Yinka Bokinni‘s talk on investing in your area and Maleek Berry‘s relentless pursuit of purpose.
And finally, Mr Richard Taylor‘s talk, reminding us that struggles for justice require patience, perseverance and maybe a little bit of weed (uncle’s words, not mine o!)
You see TEDxPeckham in it’s entirety was revolutionary and the perfect event for me to finally learn to go to events alone. It’s diversity of speakers and their stories, to the highly organised team and support of sponsors – helped me to see that uniqueness is an asset.
And that being awkward doesn’t make you any less valuable than others. It’s all part of the charm that is you. Don’t hide behind it, embrace and enjoy yourself.
It’s also clear Peckham has nurtured many-a star and founder Linda Ayoola has clearly started something special here.
So for anyone out there, scared their social awkwardness will start flaring up when they’re out alone – likelihood is that it will. But if there’s anything TEDxPeckham has taught me (and what this blog should teach you) is that taking a leap of faith is crucial.
Scary but revolutionary all at the same time.
And if you don’t believe me, take a look for yourself:
It was also sponsored by:
P.S I would love to hear how any of you guys deal with social awkwardness or the first time you did anything you found scary, alone!
Comment below and bring us ‘awks’ peeps, in 🙂