Friday, April 27, 2018

Friend's Friday - Escape to Live

Meeting and socializing with people for the first time can be daunting. A minefield of insecurities abound: Do I look presentable, will I make a mistake, will the group be accepting, will I be able to contribute to the conversation? 

At a previous reunion, I had become friends with the now outgoing school's Alumni Director. I mentioned then that I am transgender, and requested my badge reflect the name of choice for events. For me back then, this was a super brave request. She was understanding, kind and accommodating. We struck up a very nice friendship and have communicated over the intervening years. 

I was pleased to learn that for this milestone reunion (50 years) she, although less involved than before, could still provide support. I got into a VIP event and had a private tour arranged at my Engineering School. Also on this trip we both looked forward to catching up.  

For Friday (pre-Saturday main dinner), Diane planned a small evening out for her local friends and ask if I would like to attend? There were six of us: A couple, she being a RPI/VCU graduate; the chairman of the Alumni Council; an administrator in the former university president's office; Diane the retiring Alumni Affairs Director, and myself. Location – the ultra-beautiful Amuse Restaurant at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art (VMFA). This was not an alumni weekend event but friends getting together to share an evening. What a privilege to be included.  

Keeping up with the conversation was enjoyable as the talk bounced from subject to subject as the evening moved along. Somehow my eccentric sense of humor fit. Nearly three hours went so quickly, we all seemed to not want the evening to end. Several of us lingered still laughing in the parking garage, as our evening wound to a close. 

In times past I would have been terrified and missed out on an exciting fun- filled evening. New friends, new experiences, and socialization that was of value. Expanding thresholds and confidence. 

Escape to learn, share and live.   

Stay tuned - Next "Finding a hot one".

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