Braving a meetup

War Stories: Braving a Meetup | Irregular Entrepreneur

This is going to be one of those posts that makes people think I’m a) actually insane or b) making it up. Possibly c) both. Let me assure you, my life really is this stressful.

So as you may have read in previous posts, we’ve just moved from the middle of nowhere into a city where things actually happen. Many of these things are organized through Meetup, so I’ve gone and RSVPed for three things in January alone. THREE things! That’s a lot of socializing as far as I’m concerned.

As someone who dabbles in WordPress plugins and general freelancery, it makes sense for me to attend the local WP meetup. I know plenty about WordPress and probably won’t embarrass myself unless, you know, a stranger talks to me and expects me to react like a normal human in which case I’m screwed.

Anyway. The WP meetup is tonight and I really do want to go. But then the worrying starts.

How will I find the venue? It’s in an area of the city I’m not familiar with and a quick streetview shows me that most of the buildings are unmarked, so how am I supposed to find the right one? Added to this is the fact that they’ve just changed venue to somewhere “around the corner”, though apparently a sign on the door of the usual place should forward me on to the new one.

Then, assuming I get there, what’s next? I can’t just walk into a room full of people and shout “HELLO I’M NEW PLEASE HELP!” but it would be equally weird to sneak in and stand in the back and speak to nobody and then leave.

What if there’s some sort of horrible icebreaker where new people are expected to introduce themselves? What do I say? “Hi I’m Michelle and standing up here is literally the worst thing to happen to me in months”?

What if everyone has business cards and wants to exchange them but I don’t have business cards? (I know, I should have business cards, it’s getting sorted)

What if someone in a suit who seems competent and successful stands next to me? I might just melt into the floor with embarrassment.

If this post seems a bit disjointed and breathless, well, imagine what it must be like inside my brain.

There are just over 3 hours until I’d need to leave the house to attend this thing. 3 hours of fretting and generally being unproductive, planning out potential conversations in my head, and wondering whether I even own any respectable-enough clothes.

It’s terrifying, but I am determined. Wish me luck.

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