Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The Party After

The checkered flags had flown, the stands were empty, and the sun began to set in the west. All that was left was for us to pick up all of our stuff around the track which is no easy task. We had made great time and I was seated on a golf cart as my coworker drove. There were many places to work at around the 1.8-mile track and we had a full cart of our stuff and were making our way to the transporter. That's when it happened.

We took the pit lane entrance and as we were driving down pit lane there was a large contingent of security staff who looked like they were celebrating. The group was dancing and singing and as we neared the party ended. My coworker, who appears to have zero social anxiety, stopped next to the group and said, "Don't stop on my account! Keep the party going!" to which it felt like a flash mob of dancers appeared and the party was on once more.

My coworker got out of the cart and joined in. Myself? I sat there like a stone gargoyle having no idea what was taking place. Why was there dancing? Why was there singing? I was utterly confused.

It lasted no more than 20 seconds and the party was over. The dancing ceased, the sound of singing was replaced by the seagulls that had an all you can eat buffet under the stands, and the work at hand once again took priority. However, as we drove away from the party crew, I was left feeling a bit alone.

I've never understood random social events like this. I'm extremely reserved and a sudden case of the dances is something I've never had. Seeing this and being so close to it is a reminder of the autism spectrum in me. Sure, dancing and singing with strangers on a vacant pit lane is something a lot of people wouldn't partake in, but I doubt I could have any other reaction except the feeling of extreme discomfort and a high level of confusion.

Confusion? Yes, I use this word because I don't understand how other people do this. How do others just let go and not worry about their posture and where their body is in the space that they're in. For myself, if feels as if there are chains with rusted locks that can't be broken that holds me back from enjoying that type of shared experience.

There have been many events in my life like that pit road flash mob that I'm left wondering what it must be like to be so free. As I often say, though, that if I were able to do that, I wouldn't be myself and I do enjoy being who I am. While that may be true, I still am often left with a bewilderment of how other people live so freely, and I wonder if, maybe next time, I'll be invited to the party after next time. I'm sure there's an invitation, but it's on me to accept it.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Aaron, it's Lola. I know exactly how this flash mob made you feel. Contrary to popular belief I am very shy. And like you I much rather stand on the sidelines and watch. In my case its because I just didn't have the confidence to be so bold and let go like so many can do. I just got in my head that I would be judged. And a lot of times I still let moments like that get to me. HoweverI have learned, although not completely, that I shouldn't let the opinion of others alter who I am or want to be. Essentially I shouldn't let myself be silenced, for lack of a better word. So on several occasions, I have let go and did something bold or out of character. And when I did, it was empowering. My confidence still lacks, but I will continue to work on it.

    I remember that year you started at Skusa. It was my first year too. To see all that you have accomplished since then is incredible. You truly are an inspiration. Be well.