I have noticed that people find me very approachable. Apparently I give off a warm, friendly vibe that draws people in…that is of course until I speak. When words start to come out I am actually socially awkward, a bit standoffish, very sarcastic, and usually offend people within the first 10 minutes (so I try to extract myself after 5 minutes). I prefer no physical contact, and have anxiety around other humans. When we bought our house 6 years ago I had an infant, a roller coaster of hormonal issues, and years of untreated anxiety/panic attacks that ultimately caused me to become agoraphobic for about 7 months. With the help of a ruthless psychiatrist, and a supportive group of family and friends I was able to slowly become slightly less crazy and I haven’t had a panic attack in over a year.
It’s been a long road to finding my place in our little neighborhood. In the process of meeting new people, I have actually started to learn more about the area I call home. For example, there is a 100+ acre piece of land that once housed a sanitarium for tuberculosis. While I knew that, and was aware that many of the buildings in use today were originally built around 1910, I was not aware that many of the original building and landscaping plans are readily available online.
After just one hour of google stalking, I was able to come up with enough history to lead a tour of the grounds…except of course for the fact that I am totally awkward around others. I found out that what I have always seen as a quiet little pond with strange dried up grottos was actually the original pool for the residents of the sanitarium. I was even able to find the drawings for the original chlorinator…which now makes me think I should start a petition to restore it to its former glory as a pool!
I also learned that back in the 1980’s the old property was subject to commercial development, and thanks to members of the community, the land was given a 90 year easement. This is why today we have an awesome park, gymnastics center, nature preserve, park district, countless summer sports, etc… (and future restored pool once my petition gets going) instead of a Target or Costco.
So with the summer just starting, I am meeting new people, giving myself history lessons, and finding a new love for my little nook of the city. Maybe in the process I will become more comfortable with human contact…but my personal bubble remains firmly in tact…no hugs please…