I’m at a conference this weekend! This time, it’s not a Linux conference. I’m at a church leadership conference, and boy has it been interesting.
The most interesting part, sadly, hasn’t been the content — but rather my inability to handle the huge mobs of people. If you’ve known me for a while, you know that after my car accident it was difficult for me to be in crowds of people. That’s still largely the case, but I don’t seem to have that problem at Linux conferences. I thought, foolishly, that perhaps I was outgrowing my issues with crowded rooms. As it turns out, Linux conferences for me are more like public speaking, even if I’m not actually speaking…
If “how brains work” doesn’t interest you at all, you may want to bail on this blog post now. HERE is a great link that will make you laugh away any guilt you may have for leaving early. Really. I don’t mind. 🙂
It turns out people with difficulties dealing with large crowds (I’m sure there is some long “phobia” for the condition) can often speak to a crowd of people without that anxiety being a problem. It seems strange, but I can attest to the fact that speaking in front of a crowd is very different than being a part of the crowd. While speaking in front of crowds is certainly stressful for many people, for some reason it’s much less difficult for me to speak to 1,000 people than to sit in chairs next to 1,000 people listening to someone else speak.
For a while I was concerned that it was an ego thing. Maybe it ultimately is, but for some reason I just seem uncomfortable in large crowds of people unless I’m the center of attention. See, it sounds horrible doesn’t it?!?!? At Linux conferences, I’m certainly not usually the center of attention, but since I’m there representing something bigger than myself (Linux Journal), it seems a bit more like I’m one of the circus acts people are there to see.
So here I am sitting in the car in the parking lot. I needed a break from the crowd. Feel free to draw your own conclusions on my anxiety issues and how they pertain to my ego. Judge me. Be sickened by me. Call me a jerk. But please, if I’m at your conference, make me dance like a monkey. Apparently it soothes me. 🙂