Posted by Susan
I do this because I believe it is an important issue to address. There are tons of people out there who are shy and nervous, and feel like outcasts because of it. Some of these people suffer from debilitating panic attacks and don’t even know why. I just want to give a head’s up that yeah, it happens, but it can be perfectly okay.
I have come a long way from my diagnosis nearly ten years ago. I’ve learned to challenge myself socially waaaay more than I ever thought possible. But that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes still struggle with some these challenges.
Case and point: The Foodbuzz Festival.
I met and talked to a gajillion amazing bloggers over my weekend in San Francisco. But going into it, I was scared shitless.
So many people-filled events were on the schedule. Day after day I found myself lost in crowds, talking to new faces, and trying to figure out where I was supposed to be.
I arrived Thursday excited and ready to take on the city.
That enthusiasm spilled into Friday, where I also met up with my fabulous roommates.
And settled into our presidential suite.
Most certainly nicer than any apartment I’ll ever live in.
Friday night, I was pumped to mingle and meet all the bloggers I’ve been reading for so long. Fuelled by perhaps a little liquid courage ;)
Saturday, I was so excited to try out the long line of tables at the Tasting Pavillion, I hardly noticed the crowds I had to fight through!
But by Saturday evening, I lost steam. I’d have enough of the crowds. I started to feel nervous. My eyes began to dart around the room and my hands trembled. I didn’t want to be there.
I know many people described this as their favourite event of the Foodbuzz Festival, but I just wasn’t into it. For beginners, they only served wine with dinner. I hate wine (like, legitimately, all kinds). So I stayed sober with water.
I will say, the food made up for the lack of drinks.
Golden beet tart. I’ve never thought of pureeing beets as a filling for something. I love beets, and really enjoyed this dish.
Seared scallops with fennel.
These were hands down the best scallops I’ve ever had. Not chewy and overcooked like all my other scallop experiences. Perfectly mild and flaky with a creamy fennel sauce that I loved.
The “meat” of the meal was just meh.
Rosemary infused rack of lamb. I like lamb kebabs or chops. But I do not like giant hunks of lamb. Plus, it was overcooked. In case you haven’t noticed, I prefer my meat on the rare side ;) Bonus points for the sides though – the wild mushrooms and butternut squash puree in this dish were fab.
The most lacklustre part of this meal was… dessert!! I know.
Cake? With fruit? Really? Tarta de Alemandras with oranges. Essentially a tiny round of dry cake with fruit I can get in Canada. Thumbs down. Where’s my Ghirardelli chocolate?
I will say, my anxiety did slightly subside once we were seated. I was sharing a table with fabulous food bloggers after all.
But it took three hours to serve all four dishes, and by the end I just wanted out. No more noise, faces, people to talk to. Just some peace and quiet, and maybe a beer.
I heard many people talk about what they thought of other bloggers while at the festival. Some were a perfect reflection of who they are on their blogs, while others seemed more reserved, or even “stuck up.”
As someone who is at times painfully socially awkward, I often get labelled as being a snob because I can be cold and quiet. It takes a while for me to warm up to people, and even then, I don’t always have something to say. I rather hear what you have to say. That’s why I went into journalism, duh :P
I will give props to Foodbuzz for making the festival as welcoming as possible. Perhaps it’s the foodie nature, but I found the atmosphere to be a lot more relaxed and jovial than my time spent at the Healthy Living Summit in Chicago. Perhaps it’s because it was bigger, or maybe because they served more liquor ;)
My point is, Foodbuzz was an amazing experience that I wouldn’t change. But it taught me that I can’t just throw myself into these social situations and expect to completely own them. And I especially can’t beat myself up about it when I don’t. I am who I am and can only try to be the best version of myself I can be. I’m incredibly lucky to have such beautiful people and experiences in my life at all :)
To see some of the festival in live! action! watch Lynn’s stellar video on the weekend below:
My other Foodbuzz Festival/San Francisco recaps:
The Bakery That Changed My Life
All Good Things Come To An End
A Food Lover’s Paradise
A West Coast Story
Grateful for Cafe Gratitude