A while ago it was Koningsdag (King’s Day). This is a national holiday in the Netherlands where everyone celebrates the king’s birthday. If you know me or have read the About me-part of this blog you know that I consider myself to be both dutch and swedish. This is because I have lived my first 20 years in the Netherlands followed by two decades in Sweden before moving to Spain where I currently live for six months.
Back to King’s Day. I found out that there were several parties in honour of this day down in the village, as there so happens to exist a quite large dutch community where I live. So it would have been really easy for me to walk down to the beach from the mountain where I live and join one of these parties together with the dutch people here. I know a part of me would have been happy to connect with fellow countrymen. But I didn’t. This is why:
Parties like these tend to make me feel really uncomfortable. Often there is loud music or just a lot of noise from all the people attending which makes it difficult to talk. So there I then find myself, drink in my hand, looking at people and sometimes striking up a conversation with someone. And what do we talk (or shout) about? The weather. Where we’re from. What we work with. If we have any common friends. Stuff like that. Usually in these situations I show a lot of interest in the people I meet. I ask them questions and really listen to what they answer. However I have noticed that people seldom seem to be equally interested in me. Somehow it seems to me that many people love to talk about themselves when they meet new people at parties. Is this something you recognize?
I have found that attending parties can drain my energy. It’s not that I don’t want to meet new people; I love meeting new people! But I also really like to create a real connection with someone I meet. This doesn’t mean that I necessarily have to talk about deep and heavy topics, honestly. I just would like to leave a party feeling that I met people who were open and interested for real.
It seems to me that certain people are made for attending parties. They drink and laugh and from the outside it looks like they have a great time. But I wonder: what do they feel when they go home and things quiet down? Was the party great for real or just another way of escaping what’s going on in life instead?
I guess I will hereby have to admit that I will never be a true party person. Now that I write this about me, it strikes me as true but also somehow a bit sad at the same time. Like I don’t know how to have a good time?! I promise you, I really do. Just give me some space to have a conversation with someone without having to shout on the top of my lungs. Or: give me a dance floor. Because dancing at parties (or at any place for that matter) is something that really makes me happy too!
Photo: Nick Fewings – unsplash.com