Enjoying Dapper Day with Social Anxiety
If you were to describe the person you see me as off of Youtube, how would you describe me?
Silly? Ridiculous? Happy? Exuberant?
Truth is I have high social anxiety. After social interactions, regardless if we're friends or if we just met, the need to sleep is overwhelming and/or crying ensues. In group of 2 or more I probably won't speak. I have a hard time making eye contact. Phone calls, e-mails, messages of any kind are hard to open and read which makes responding difficult.
If you ask any of the guys I went to Culinary School with if this is what they thought I would be doing, it would be a unanimous no.
That being said, my dreams are stronger.
I will do what needs to be done and will continue challenging myself.
Last year, I wrote a blog post about Dapper Day 2015, but I don't think I mentioned how horrible it had been for me. How I didn't want to go back the next year.
You see last year my goal was to compliment as many people as I could & take pictures with them and just admire them. Going up to strangers is hard enough in itself for me, but to then be looked down upon by certain girls who I had idolized on Instagram hit me like a train.
I suppose maybe they just don't like compliments.
I had e-mailed Justin (Dapper Day Founder) probably 2 weeks before Dapper Day asking about the early bird tickets thinking maybe this would give me a chance to browse things without feeling like the walls were going to cave in around me. Ultimately, I decided to go in right at 12:00pm Saturday right after the public was allowed entry feeling it would be less busy and I could still enjoy everything. I decided against going to the Folly Friday night and opted for a dinner at the Carthay, which eased my nerves.
All and all I felt more prepared.
Then I got to Burbank.
Oh, it's so lovely there. Imagine a street lined with antique shops and your favorite vintage stores right in front of you. Pure magic I tell you.
Crash went my self confidence, for no reason other than the thoughts in my head.
I can be really silly, but sometimes when I'm around other pin ups I feel this judgement and this need to tone down myself and to either A.) run away - most used option or B.) hold my nose up to sky and project this coolness about myself.
Option A is the option I took.
Walk into a store, run out was what I did during my time in Burbank. Now, it's to note though that I don't feel this way in all stores I go into. Once the wheels start going though, there's no way to stop it...UNLESS....there is an adoption place along the street. Guess what there was!
Petting the puppies at The Animal Protectorates - Operation Adopt made me feel a little more at ease.
There's one notion that always circulates in my brain.
The pin up culture in today's society is not the norm. We are different, we are the "weird" ones, it's what makes us unique and it's what makes us special.
Yet within this society it feels as though there's another set of rules on how to act and how to dress.
On this trip I realized that I am going to be me. I have always, always worn what I want to wear. I have always acted in a silly goofy manor that either they find strange or they giggle along with.
I don't want to be a recreation of someone else. I have idols and there are things that I'd love to have like them, but first and foremost I am going to be true to me.
So that mind switch, really helped me step into Dapper Day with a whole new view.
I complimented outfits I thought were fabulous, I asked to be instagram friends with others. I ignored the strange questioning faces and just kept on keeping on.
Note the picture below.
Yes, I decided to be me, but I was still highly anxious.
Interactions don't leave me brain, unfortunately.
The day before I had ran in and out of Audrey K Boutique in Burbank, my body was on shut down mode and needed to find a safe place to hide. Then at Dapper Day she had one of the largest areas with @NicCoCoCreations, who I have conversed with and bought flowers from over the interwebs, and I was embarrassed. So imagine me skirting around her set up wanting to introduce myself, but physically and mentally not being able too. She may not have even recognized me or remembered me, but I still decided to hide.
I think one of my biggest fears is that people will mistake my quietness, my avoiding of eye contact, my overall appearance when dealing with the panic that is going on inside me with something negative or rude.
(It's funny because I also give the people who were rude to me the same perspective, maybe they're dealing with something.)
I think overall (other than certain mild moments of panic for me during the dapper day festivities) the positive moments outweighed the negative.
Finally meeting @MissJenJenG and @MissChrisG was an absolute highlight! Fortunately, for me they were as kind as they seemed to be on Instagram! I can't wait to spend more time with both these lovely ladies!
Meeting the ever so fabulous @alisalaz with her incredible record play hair piece and her kindness at the @HeartOfHaute booth was also a delight!
If you are like me and deal with social anxiety or anxiety of any form, don't let it hold you back from going to Disneyland or enjoying Dapper Day.
1 . Take a break in the middle of the day. Go back to the hotel and rest, it will help you for the rest of your trip.
2. Bring someone. They'll take the pressure off you talking to others and if they can they'll center you.
3. Find hiding spots. These help for me.
- Animation Building
- New Orleans Square
- Cars land area walking towards the pier.
4. Bring sunglasses. Helps me feel like I'm hiding while maneuvering around crowds.
5. In terms of Dapper Day in general. Wear what you want, be who you are! You may encounter a lot of people with a "cool" demeanor, but as Elsa would say, "Let It Go!" Be your unique, special self during this unique, special event.
If you have any other questions on Dapper Day itself or Disneyland in general! I'm here to help, though I may not have ALL the questions!
Thank you to those who made this weekend wonderful!
Thank you @MeganEwbank for you amazing shots (she works in Disneyland, and you should find her & hire her for your photo needs!)
Miss Semi Sweet