When one envisions what a typical PR person looks like, they usually think of a popular, shmoozy, wow-she-knows-everybody type of person. When I tell people that I do PR, some have said, "Ooooh, like Samantha from 'Sex and the City'!" Umm, not quite.
I can be very awkward around people. I'm friendly, yes, but most of the time I start to ramble on about nonsense in order to fill the gaps of silence. And here's another caveat - I hate networking events where you have to talk to strangers. I know it's all part of the career world, but all I really ever want to do is either spend time with close friends or be alone with no interruptions. Not entirely conducive to a successful PR career.
Nevertheless, I still attend work-related events and force myself to meet new people. Like last night, I went to a fancy event downtown (free wine! free food!) and talked to several people that I know I will never see again. It's like an upscale version of going out to bars in college and meeting a bunch of guys whose names you'll never remember the next day. I actually was a little duped into going to the event. My boss had 2 tickets and when he asked if I wanted to attend, I thought he was offering me both tickets! So I immediately said yes before I realized that no, I'd be attending by myself since he had to go separately. Not my idea of a fun Thursday evening, particularly when I had about 5 "Chelsea Lately" and 3 "Daily Show" episodes waiting impatiently on my DVR.
But I sucked it up and went, but not before almost being accosted by 2 homeless people on my walk to the restaurant. Seriously, when did Sacramento become the Tenderloin District of San Francisco? I walked into the overly crowded event and mingled, and it wasn't so bad (I mainly stood close to the dessert table for easy access).
Overall, I felt young, which is fine because I am, but sometimes I'm tired of being around "real" adults (i.e. people with kids and established 401(k) plans). The ironic thing is around people my age, I generally feel old because many of my cohorts enjoy getting wasted off their asses while I fantasize about going to bed at a decent hour with my cat cuddled up next to me. I just can't win!
Hopefully I will grow out of this awkward stage. I'd like to think I've improved over the years, but I still have those moments where I meet new people and completely act a fool.
Tonight will be a test for this again because I have yet another work-related event to attend. Thankfully, my co-worker will be there with me, but sometimes another night of forced conversation and talking blandly about work doesn't sound too appealing. Thank God there will be free food!