Monday, November 9, 2009

Stepping out of the comfort zone

As I started typing this blog Annie Lennox's Why popped up on the radio. I'd say that's an interesting coincidence.

This week I'm going to step out of my comfort zone. It's a very scary prospect for me. But I am also incredibly excited. I'm not going to say how I'm stepping out of said zone, if it goes well I'll be posting about it soon enough. If it doesn't go well then at least I tried and I won't look back in a month or two or six or whatever and wish I'd tried. Forget regret as the song goes.

And that's what I'm trying to do. Forget regret. This past weekend I went to a memorial service for a co-worker who died of brain cancer. As I sat there listening to the people she chose to speak (she planned the service herself before she died, and if you knew her you'd know doing that was soooooo her) the one thing that really struck me is how much she lived in the moment all the time. How unafraid she was to let loose with a full body laugh or dance without a care in the world. How confident she was in herself and what a larger than life presence she was.

I got thinking as I sat there watching my co-workers dab the tears from their eyes that I don't do nearly enough living in the moment. Sure, I laugh out loud as much as I can (it adds years to your life after all! and it's fun) but for my entire life I've been super concerned with how people perceive me. I have nearly always tried my hardest not to make a fool of myself.

When I was a little kid (okay, all through school) I got picked on. I was a sensitive kid, hell I'm probably a sensitive adult too if I cared to analyze that. Ever since I became aware that people might laugh at me and not in a nice way but rather they were being mean I think I've tried my hardest to make sure I don't put myself in situations where I'll get laughed at. Now, that's not to say I haven't done silly things now and then and I certainly do know how to laugh at myself and have a good time. But what I haven't done regularly is put myself out there in situations where I'm not confident I'll be good at them and succeed. I don't do failure well.

I can't remember the last time I danced for instance. Seems like a small thing right? But I'm totally self conscious that I'm not doing it right. (is there even a right way?). Get a few drinks in me and that might loosen me up enough to dance, but I don't drink that much. I'm very much in control of myself almost 100% of the time. If I were to give myself advice it would be "loosen the fuck up!"

I can't remember the last really big risk I took where I put myself out there to be judged when I wasn't sure I knew what I was doing or that I was good at something. And I'm not talking dating, that's different. Still a scary prospect but in a different sort of way for me. Dating is like a mutual interview and when I think of it like that I can totally handle it.

And speaking of dating how awkward is it to run into the last person you went out on a date with after you e-mailed them to tell them you had no romantic feelings for them but you'd like to hang out as friends and they never respond? I'll tell you how awkward. It is sooooooo freaking awkward. Wicked uncomfortably awkward. Can't say I want that to happen again any time soon. Or ever really.

Anyway later this week I step out of my comfort zone. This is a good thing for me but it's a very scary prospect. I'm completely nervous and am having flash backs to middle/high school. But, in the end I think that's a good thing. I'll try to remember to post with an update afterward. Depending how it goes that is. I'd rather not be laughed at.....

I recently discovered Brandi Carlile. I can't believe I didn't find her sooner. She's really great. Today's lyrics are from her song Dreams. I particularly relate to the passage in bold.

Dreams, I have dreams when I'm awake when I'm asleep
And you, you are in my dreams
You're underneath my skin, how am I so weak

And now in my dreams,

I can feel the weight, I can just come clean
I keep it to myself, I know what it means
I can't have you, but I have dreams

How long, can you hold your breath?
Can you count to ten, can you let it pass?
Keep, can you keep it in?
Keep it behind the lashes, can you make it last?

And now in my dreams, I can feel the weight
I can just come clean

I keep it to myself, I know what it means
I can't have you, but I have dreams
Oh, I have dreams, I have dreams

Mind, can you read my mind?
Has it come undone, am I showin' signs?

And now, in my dreams
I can feel the weight, I can just come clean
I keep it to myself, I know what it means
I can't have you, but I have dreams
I have dreams, I have, I have, I have dreams

No comments: