The Blank Sign-In Sheet

Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale....inhale.

No wait, oops, I meant, exhale...Ok, just breathe. It'll be fine, right?

I sat in the parking lot of the beautiful Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, anxiously and excitedly waiting for a networking mixer I had been invited to by San Francisco-based event planner, Jane Hammond. As I'd mentioned in yesterday's post, I am extremely shy when it comes to meeting new people and it takes all the willpower I've got to not want to run the opposite direction and out the back door when it comes to these types of meetings.

I arrived 30 minutes early (can anyone say "super cool nerd status?!) and waited in my car for a few minutes before heading inside. I approached the sign-in sheet and tried not to look too nervous when I realized that I was not only the first one there but was also the first to sign in (Blank sign-in sheets are intimidating!), and pretty much had no one to talk to but the organizer, Erica Ota of EO Events and....the servers who were still busy preparing the hors d'oeuvres .  Eh, great. What do I do until everyone arrives? Eat all the appetizers?!? Wait are those brownie bites?

Fortunately for me, Erica was super friendly and welcoming and since I was tad early, I got a chance to explore the gorgeous venue which housed all things space and science. (Do you know how many layers are in an astronaut's space suit?? And they even have displays of vacummed packages of potatoes au gratin meant for dinner in space...who knew?!) Though I was nervous, I realized that if I was determined to just be friendly, smile, and just be my ol' self, the experience might just be worth it.

And. It. Was. Awesome.

I even ran into Ananda Shorey of Bliss Fotography, another talented photographer/industry peer who has helped me in so many ways. When I got the chance to meet Jane Hammond and her events manager, Naomi, their friendly and welcoming demeanor put me at immediate ease, and once again, I am so thankful for opportunities like this that encourage me to step out of my comfort zone, a place I sometimes get too stubborn to leave. Even more so, I am thankful to the industry peers at this event who extended a welcoming handshake and warm smile the newbie in the house.

Happy Thursday!

Oh, and this photo right here? It's an intricate display of just plain coolness that you can find at the Chabot Space and Science Center. If you ever happen to be in Oakland, I highly recommend stopping by. You won't be disappointed.