Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Take that, agoraphobia!

A few weeks ago, we received a community education catalogue in the mail. I browsed through it much as I do the Posh Tots catalogue, decorating my imaginary world with experiences I had no intention of actually partaking of.

I said to my husband, "I think I'd like to take this American Sign Language class." "That's a great idea," he said. Of course, what he meant was, "Great, you can do that right after we finish building the Pirate Hideaway Treehouse."

I called my mom and said, "I'm thinking about taking an ASL class this summer." "Oh, I wish you would!" she said. What she meant was, "Oh, I wish you would! But I know you're never going to, my little hermit."

A few days later, I signed up for the class.

"I signed up for that class," I told my husband. "Seriously? You really signed up for the class?" he responded, astonished.

"I signed up for that class," I told my mom. "Seriously? You really signed up for the class?" she responded, astonished.

Three weeks later, I pulled up in front of the college. I whipped out my phone and called my mom, who was at my house watching the baby. "What the heck am I doing here? I don't like people! What possessed me to volunteer to leave my house and talk to people?" I shrieked.

After a brief panic attack in the parking lot over which door to walk in, and 4 or 5 panicked prayers asking that I just not embarrass myself, enter I did. And the class? Was great.

I used the old "just fake it" method of socialization from high school and walked right in and struck up a conversation with the only other woman already in the room (did I mention I showed up 1/2 hour early "just in case"?). I told her how it was my first time leaving my daughter home, and yes, she is 9 months old. We talked about why we each signed up for the class. We greeted the others as they walked in. I joked with the girl who sat next to me, and we shared a high-five over a super-correct answer. I even went up to the front to fingerspell my name when the instructor asked for volunteers.

It was a really fun night. I got to spend some time talking to adults, Margaret acclimated well to having a babysitter, I'm a bit closer to learning a language that really interests me, and, best of all, I conquered a really huge phobia all by myself. And I get to do it all over again for the next six weeks!

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