On Joining A Meetup Group. And Climbing A Mountain.

Posted on August 1, 2012

Since last writing, I’ve been *trying* to write, amongst other things suddenly available to me but requiring quite a bit of motivation. The one thing of note which I’ve done recently is climb Goat Fell, the highest peak in the isle of Arran.

My fiance had already done it once, and recommended my doing it too. I was somewhat apprehensive; not just of the actual bit involving mountain climbing but that our last expedition (the camping) ended up being a disastrous anecdote that we *may* be able to laugh about some day.

But if there’s something an able-bodied person with time to spare should do at least once in their life, it’s climb a mountain.

So we did, and it was quite an experience. Excruciatingly hard work throughout, lots of scrabbling, and literal *climbing*, up a mostly rock-strewn mountainside. But somehow we made it to the top, and have the photos to prove it, though I’m rather reluctant to show them as it shows me looking quite terrible. Maybe another time

The view from the top could have been better too. It clouded over just before and just after reaching the summit, and duly cleared back up on the way back down. I’m sure the view would have been awesome. But that we did it is the main thing…

Furthermore, I’m trying to expand my social circle, and the best way I can see, at the moment, is joining one of those online meetup groups which seem to be popping up everywhere. In typical style, amongst others, I joined one for writing.

I nearly didn’t go along to the first meeting. It seems that an all too frequent recurrence in my life is approaching the herd/pack/clan when they appear to have the perfect number already without me, thanks very much, and in fact my sudden intrusion would risk disrupting this perfect social balance.

Ignoring these urges to back away, I introduced myself, sat down, and just… joined in. As if I had been a member as long as everyone else.

It could have been a lot worse. I felt that merely treating it like a university seminar class, where everyone is there to discuss the specific topic in question, significantly helped my feeling like I might in fact belong there.

I won’t go into tedious detail of writers’ group stuff, as not everyone, I’m sure, is into that kind of thing. Feedback was duly passed around everyone’s work – including mine – which it is crucial to try not to take too personally. I braced myself for the worst, and took it all in the spirit it was intended in.

I couldn’t bring myself to participate in the feedback fully, but that will be my aim for next time. I would genuinely want to help others out where I can.

If I can pass on what I learned at uni onto others (apart from winging and fluffing my way through public speaking) then that would be nice.

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