I am really really bad at interacting with other people. I’m actually pretty good at professional interaction. I think it’s because there’s a ready-made reason to be interacting (I’m told that this need for reasons to interact is a typical trait of an introvert).
Temples, on the other hand, totally aren’t the same situation. I know that people are friendly and accepting. I’ve experienced this firsthand. However, I am really really bad at small talk and at interacting with people I don’t know very well. Add to this the overwhelming sensation of being really creepy (will they know I’m really interested in India and be put off by it? what if they think I’m a crazy person? should I wear a sari or would that be even weirder?), and you get a Hindu who has a difficult time practicing her religion anywhere outside her own house.
This weekend I had multiple opportunities to visit the temple, and did not take any of them. I feel a little guilty about that. I meditated a lot on it.
I still have no idea how to get past this. Mostly I have a really hard time going by myself, and so am tied (metaphorically speaking) to other people and their schedules. Which is to say that I am my own problem, since I could go whenever I wanted, without anyone’s company. I know that when I do eventually get to that point, I will be very proud of myself.
I need to take the advice I’ve been given: Relax.
And if you are planning on going, Anglo Hindu has posted a great guide for how to prepare yourself in advance, and what to do when you get there: