Sunday, August 28, 2011

Doing Things that Make Me Nervous

Pablo Margari- Flickr

There are lots of things that make me nervous: indoor rock climbing, uncooked fish, my neighbor two doors down... I have a natural impulse to stay away from them. They are uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Avoiding them is easy and safe.

I guess it's all of the interesting blogs I have been reading about world travel, gastronomy, and living with purpose, but lately I am dipping my toes in waters that are outside my comfort zone. The Ireland trip was a good start- I went alone, spent two entire days by myself, and then joined a bunch of strangers on a tour. I was a little worried that I wouldn't fit in, or that everyone else would be couples, or that I couldn't keep up with the rest of the hikers. Of course it turned out to be a wonderful experience (that you might be getting sick of hearing about). Eating dinner alone is not as terrible as I thought it might be. If you get too uncomfortable you can study your guidebook or scroll through your photos.

Now I'm gearing up for my next big adventure: a medical mission trip to Haiti. This trip includes four nights of "primitive camping." It also entails quite a bit of hiking to get to the clinics, so I will have to pack in a backpack that I can carry up mountains by myself.  Those of you who know me know that thinking about packing light and not taking showers is pretty much giving me cold sweats and heartburn.

Besides these big (expensive!) adventures, I am also trying to get a little braver in everyday life. Sometimes it's something simple, like showing up for spin class when I know I am going to struggle to keep up for the entire hour.  Doing things alone is another scary prospect: Friday I was planning to go to a beer and cheese tasting downtown, and my friend was unable to make it at the last minute. I considered skipping it, but instead decided to go solo. I ran into some people I knew, had a great time, and was really glad that I went.

What I am finding is that really scary things are not so scary after you try them once. Now that I have tried traveling alone, I am less afraid to try it again. That means that the whole world is open to me, and I am not limited by having to find someone to go with. If I can make it through the whole spin class once, I know that the next one will be a little easier.  And now that I have been to an event alone, and it was not terrible (thanks Amber and Billy!), I know that I don't have to skip things if I can't find someone to go along.

But I tried indoor rock climbing, and that was really scary. I can't get on board with that one.

So long for now, KISS (keep it simple stupid), and try something that you are a little afraid to do!

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