That Time I Said YES and Didn’t Change My Mind

cottage weekend

Every time I say yes to doing something socially, I freak out a little bit before said social event.

Last weekend was no different. Angela invited a few friends to her cottage and I wanted to go so badly, but also, there’s a part of me that always feels dread the closer that a social event gets. I used to be embarrassed or feel bad or worse: cancel because of these feelings, now I know that it’s just a part of me and it doesn’t mean I won’t have a good time.

But I’d be lying if I said I was purely thrilled about leaving my family, missing my boy’s hockey game, and getting together with women I met online. Killers anyone?  Really, killers were the least of my worries. Here are my irrational fears laid out for you to laugh at and judge. Really, it’s okay, I won’t get my feelings hurt.

cottage weekend 007_Newshannon’s photo

1. Edie. My dearest longest, most kindred online friend was going too and although we’ve skpyped, texted, emailed, blogged to and about each other for years, we’ve only met in real life a few times and ever-so-briefly. What if Edie and I didn’t hit it off in person the way we have in my mind? Does she know she’s one of my bloggy BFFs?

cottageweekenddarlene, angela, shannon, sheila, me, edie

2. Shannon. I’ve seen her stunning work online for years. She’s one of the most talented designers around. When the magazine came to my house in January they left my house and went straight to Shannon’s. I was really intimidated to meet her. Have I mentioned meeting new people is stressful to me?

3. Darlene. Darlene is the one in the group I’ve spent the most time with in person, after hanging out with her at Allume for a few years, phew, I wasn’t even worried about her. Sorry Darlene, I already knew you were amazing.


4. Angela. I’ve known her online forever. Years ago I had a Nesting Place board of smart people to help me make decisions and she was a board member. She’s been a friend for quite some time and when someone asks me my favorite artist or designer, I say her name. I’ve met her in real life on multiple occasions and was pretty sure I didn’t need to hyperventilate about hanging out with her but I was still nervous because we’ve never hung out for an entire weekend. What if she thinks (realizes) I’m annoying?

5. Darlene’s friend. Oh this one was the worst. An unknown, non-blogging person that was coming who I couldn’t stalk online and learn about before hand. I was a wreck. Why, WHY did Darlene have to bring a friend, how could she do this to me?!

Clearly I am insane.

So here’s how it played out.

1. Edie. Yep. We are just like I thought we’d be. Maybe better. Now I know why online dating sites work. I have a devoted, undying love for Edie.

2. Shannon. It always ALWAYS happens this way. The person I’m most afraid of, most intimidated to get to know, turns out to be the most endearing. I love this woman. Also, she brought us all gifts–handmade!

3. Darlene. Yep. She never disappoints, I was so smart not to worry about her.

4. Angela. No hyperventilating required–I was right! Full of grace and wisdom and the best taste of anyone on the planet.


5. Sheila. Turns out Darlene’s friend has a name and is absolutely lovely. She reads Nesting Place! I was so happy that she didn’t think we were a bunch of weirdos (when I say “we” I really mean “I”.) Also, I was so, so very glad she came, it wouldn’t have been as fun and meaningful without Sheila.

We all met at Angela’s cottage, my favorite place on earth. Which is the one thing I wasn’t worried about. Because the cottage holds nothing but relaxing memories for me, it was the main part about the weekend that put me at ease. I’m so glad I didn’t let fear keep me from going. It would have been so easy to back out and stay home. But I needed this. I needed to laugh really hard, to drive in the car by myself for a few hours, to meet new people, to get to know long time friends better, to be in a quiet, beautiful place, to be inspired by words and thoughts and beautiful things.

I’m so glad I said yes and didn’t back out.

the cottage

wondering more about the cottage? not to worry, I wrote a series about my muse:

The Painted Cottage


A Case Study on Case Goods

did you know you can go to the cottage too it’s west of Asheville NC and has been featured in Cottages and Bungalows!

  Caroline and I are bringing our husbands and are going again in late July and I cannot wait.


How to get along with an introvert via Don Miller

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  1. Ok – LOVE this post. I thought I was the only one like this!..and maybe my Dad…who I get this weird introvert thing from. Thank you so much for validating everything that goes through my mind before social outings! And I loved your link to the “Introvert” post by the way. If I ever get the nerve to brave a first date again…and then a second and fifth…I can show him that article to explain my need to “recharge”. You da bomb Nester :).

  2. Oh, I’m sooooo happy you said “yes,” says one introvert to the other! I’m so sad the weekend went by so quickly. Thank you so much for your sweet words here. xoxo

  3. missing you already!!! I hope your inner introvert left recharged and inspired. And maybe your outer introvert too! SO THANKFUL you said yes, and pressed on! I loved connecting with you again. Can’t wait to see you in October.

  4. I am so much like you…you know from what I read. I’m such an introvert. I’m so glad you had such a wonderful time. Just like you all the women seem very lovely. The cottage looks so beaultful and peaceful.

  5. i am always the one hoping that people were more social! the past couple events i’ve attended have been quite boooring because i think people are losing their abilities to interact face-to-face. we need MORE blogger interaction because if we are friends online then it should be easy to be friends in person!

  6. So glad you went and had fun, but I totally understand your apprehensions. I always panic when I’m in a room of people I don’t know. I feel like I might say something stupid or have a senior moment and they’ll look at me like who invited her. Yep know how you feel but as you say it usually turns out just fine.

  7. Christina says:

    You’re doing great! You’ve got 5 whole friends that aren’t your husband, mother, sister, or children! I’m working on my brevity for the month of May. You are a dose of inspiration and encouragement to sweaty, hyperventilating introverts out there everywhere!

  8. Johanna says:

    Spot on! So glad I found your blog!

  9. Hello! This is my first visit to your blog and I am an introvert too. I experience the same feelings as you do when meeting new people or doing something social. I just got through reading this book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain.” This book has really helped me to understand myself and that it is okay to be this way. I have always thought something was wrong with me and it is freeing to discover that there is nothing wrong!! I highly recommend this book.

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