This year’s challenge is to network. Not only via online social networking, but face to face. In addition, I must not socialize with the person or persons I know. Of course that is not networking that’s cliquing. I’m not good at the networking, probably because I have high expectations. I expect a follow up response to my hello-we-met-at-such-and-such.
So, tonight I attend a fundraiser for the House of Hope at a wine bar all by myself. My friend who invited me is out of town. She reminds me to go and that I will know one person in attendance.
I really don’t want to go all by myself so I invite at least 10 or 12 women friends via email. They politely respond: Tuesday is late night at work, or other commitments. Although two ladies will donate to the cause.
I go anyway; for the ladies who did not respond, and to support the cause in person. I walk in and I’m all by myself. I want to donate and walk out the door. I look around and do not recognize anyone. Everyone is cliquing.
Prior to entering these doors I prayed: God if there is someone I’m to meet show me.
I get a glass of Merlot, and introduce myself. Conversation is stiff. I move to another circle. One woman says she recognizes me. Her face looks familiar to me, as well. We begin talking and sharing common ground: divorce. I take her card when she has to leave. She says call me.
I see the one recognizable face; we hug. Then she returns to her conversation. I’m all by myself, again. I take a breath. Then move across the floor to chat with two ladies.
Another common bond. One lady says she came tonight hoping to meet a writer. We talk about writing more than our divorce. She takes my card, and says, I will call you.
Being all by myself was quite delightful and a pleasant evening out. I made three new contacts for three different projects I’m working on. Maybe the face to face networking is not so difficult, after all.