12.15.18

I was aware of the deep irony when I republished this post I originally wrote in 2015 a few minutes ago. That’s because, in spite of reading it over a couple of times recently, I completely disregarded the advice I myself was offering.

Tonight is my company Christmas party and I am at home instead of being downtown socializing, celebrating and making merry with my coworkers. I just couldn’t do it this year.

I felt very justified when, a few months ago, when my friend Lesley (who is at the party) commented that I am “in introvert in a extrovert’s job.” It’s true. It took a while (think years) for me to really pinpoint it and it was nice to see someone else make the same observation. There is a very high social contingent to my job and I am almost always surrounded by people, all day long, Monday through Friday.My nature is to be quiet and to be alone so people are equally my deepest professional challenge, but they are also my greatest professional reward.

Sometimes, however, I need to retreat – to my house, to my quiet space, to be by myself or to limit my socializing to really small groups – like Kevin. Or maybe another couple.

Last night, we went out with some friends and we checked out the Holiday Edition of Fridays on Front. I barely made it out the office door in time for the 5pm meet-up that I thought was really reasonable when I’d made it. I was pretty convinced that I was heading back to work after we were done, but thankfully I was able to avoid it. (Though I’m a little apprehensive about what I may be walking into on Monday.)

Fridays on Front was fun. We’d gone a few times throughout the summer, but the space for the winter event was undercover. I actually liked it better than the summer location, but I’m not sure it’d be suitable in the warmer weather. The forecast had indicated rain and strong winds and we avoided all of that. The wind did start picking up before we left, but it wasn’t too disruptive while we were there.

I’ll tell you what, though, it was REALLY nice to connect with these friends and to chat and to laugh for a while. I was pretty distracted when I go there, but the charm and the warmth of the group snapped me out of it.

As for the event, it felt like there were more food and drink opportunities than other Fridays on Front and fewer shopping/display booths. We took a few spins around and mostly settled on totally different meals. I was reminded how much I enjoy Crab Park Chowdery when I opted in on one of their bread bowls full of Smokey Tomato soup. Barb went for a cassava pancake wrap kind of thing from Brazilian Roots Truck and the boys both ended up with the Cajun Chicken Sandwich from Mo-Bacon. We were all pretty happy with our decisions. We finished the meal off with Slavic Rolls (us) and Cannoli King (them). The only other purchases were a couple of rounds of hometown favourite Steel & Oak beers.

It was a nice night out.

I’m good in situations that are intimate and socially quiet. I like to connect with the people I spend my time with. I don’t get much satisfaction out of being in large groups where I only have the opportunity to relate on a superficial level. This is the toughest time of year in my job, I’m staring down a crunch week of twelve-hour days and I just don’t have enough solace to spare any right now.

It’s good to have a friend who just gets you. Thanks for sharing, Cara!

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