A week ago, I picked the Peanut up from school for a dr. appt. While I was in the office checking her out, I was asked if I'd be a parent volunteer for Challenge Day. Peanut participated last year and enjoyed(?) it. All the kids knew they would cry at Challenge Day. It almost seemed that they hoped they would cry, and if you didn't, well what does that say about you?
Now, I've taken all the online personality tests... not that I needed them to tell me ... I am an introvert. To the enth degree. I'm energized alone. That's kind of a weird feeling. Crowds make me nervous, and claustrophobic and make me want to cry. It's not in my comfort zone...and I guess it never will be. I'm not a leader, I am not a facilitator, I'm not a public speaker, I'm not an actress. I am most comfortable in a quiet setting. (digress much?)
SO - would I like to volunteer? Meh.... are you strapped for volunteers? Oh, you are? Well, I guess so.... shit! Panic... oh, which day? The day furthest from today - next Thursday. Hopefully I won't have problems taking off work, etc.
Yesterday was Challenge Day for me. When the parents arrived, we were directed to the gym. Sign in, coffee, juice & donuts if you want and then it was high school all over again. Who to stand by? Who do I talk to? If I cross my arms, am I unapproachable? I have nothing to add to this conversation... Then we get our instructions for the day. Every time they say "let's play a game," we're expected to run into the circle to dance, laugh, jump and be silly. Every. Time. It's 8am and I'm ready to leave. I've already looked at the exits to see which is closer and could I get away without being noticed...Sincerely. I was ready to cry, bolt or pass out from not breathing.
They bring in the kids (approximately 100 7th graders) and we're supposed to be silly all day. It helps them be more comfortable. At one point I flashed back to parties where I DID dance, and I thought - maybe if I had a drink, I could do this? I'm not sure if that's good or bad.....
I will say that for the students, Challenge Day is amazing. There is so much good in it, I hope they retain the good and remember the good lessons they learned. Be the change. YES. But I feel like I let them down. I let down 100 7th graders because I can't be silly on command, and I don't like it.
I stuck it out all day, "for the kids" and because I had committed. At the end of the day, I had to stop into the office to drop off forms for Peanut and I was asked how I enjoyed Challenge Day. My filter was obviously broken because I responded something along the lines of:
"I didn't. It's not for me. I don't like crowds. I am totally introverted. I hated being there, and participating in a large group. That's why I'm content in the back corner of the office at work, by myself. I'm worn slick, mentally exhausted and I'm glad Peanut will be a 9th grader next year so I never have to ever be asked again.....
I mean, what I should have said is Challenge Day is awesome for the kids. I'm just not cut out to be a facilitator. I'm definitely an introvert."
She had no idea. She said I seemed really outgoing and she never would have thought that about me. I went home and laid down on the couch. I ordered pizza for dinner, and hung out with the BF. I was in bed before 9, and I even blew off homework. I have never been so mentally exhausted.
Anyhow, that's that. I don't know the point of this post anymore, except to ramble or get that out on "paper" .... If you want more info on what Challenge Day is, click the link - http://challengeday.org/
If you want more insight or ideas as to how it felt for me yesterday, this blog kind of described it perfectly: http://www.chicagonow.com/i-want-a-dumpster-baby/2013/10/social-anxiety-can-bite-me/
Thanks for reading!