The reception for the Fremont Art Association Quarterly Show and for my showcase was this past Saturday. This was the first time I got to hang a collection of my work together in one place. My paintings will only be up for two weeks so I hope you have a chance to see them before it's over.
It's fun to celebrate the small successes with old and new friends. I felt warm and fuzzy with the support I recieved from people from all parts of my life - family, old friends, past and present students, new friends and fellow painters.
It's not easy to make a connection with people these days. We are all so busy and as we get older, most of us become more reserved, less open. By nature I'm a pretty solitary person, completely happy to be by myself for long periods of time. However, I know it's not healthy to be isolated and I'm always encouraging my students to get out there and talk to each other so, I better practice what I preach.
Even though I never quite get over worrying about awkward first meetings or small talk or uncomfortable silences, I force myself to get out there and do it. Socialize. I'm always grateful afterwards because of the really interesting people I meet and the warmth of the community. Even though at the next social event, I go through all my worries again, I know that the connections I make will be positive.
So, speaking from experience, even if you think you don't like being around people or feel socially awkward, it's important to get out there and make a connection. It does get easier each time.