Stop being so scared and just do it!

I love trying new things. I’m all about getting out of my comfort zone and trying out stuff.

I just hate trying new things for the first time by myself.

I’m just going to state that people who are in relationships have it so much easier. If you can convince your partner to go along with you, the battle is already half over. Then you at least have one more level before you have to resort to friends and family. If you’re single and you can’t get any of your friends/family to go with you, you’re always going to be doing things on your own.

Case in point.

When I go back to my hometown for the holidays I’m looking forward to picking up some local beers that I won’t be able to get back in the DC area. I’m also looking forward to going to a local brewery so I can try out some of their beers plus it’ll be good to catch up a friend that I haven’t seen in a long time.

However I’m dreading the whole situation. Why? Because I’m worried about going by myself and not knowing what to do. I don’t like that feeling at all. We all know how much I love spoilers. And in scenarios like this, I want to know exactly what’s going to happen so I can avoid looking and feeling awkward as much as possible. Even just the thought of trying to figure out where to park and finding the right entrance is terrifying because I’m already admitting I don’t know what I’m doing and I have to do this alone.

See, I’ve worked in customer service. And I know from personal experience how much people hate n00bs who don’t know what they’re doing when everyone else seems to have their act together. People hate it when you’re standing in line and someone doesn’t know the correct way to order something and takes up too much time trying to figure it out. Patience is not a strong virtue among a lot of folks. I don’t like doing things new by myself because I’m afraid of acting like a fool in front of regulars. Sure there are some people who like helping newbies but there are also those who hate it when someone tries to enter what’s already been established.

I honestly can get a panic attack from worrying about this too much. I know that some of you could care less what other people think.

So I envision one of these three scenarios happening when I try to go visit the brewery:

  • Scenario A: I get to the place but because I’m panicking about just trying to figure out where to park, I end up turning around and going home. I mutter to myself, It’s just not worth it, and make the drive all the way for nothing.
  • Scenario B: I get to the place. It takes me a while to figure out parking but I do it. I get inside and I’m not sure what to do and everyone else seems to figure it out. I don’t recognize anyone there and I feel very uncomfortable but I still keep going. I keep looking at menu or whatever is handy that I can read and feel like this is the worst thing ever and how much I hate being a shy extrovert and wonder why on earth I ever thought this was going to be a good idea. I finally figure out how to order my flight of beers and drink alone and check everything into Untappd so that it looks like I’m just fiddling with my phone the entire time. I either don’t see my friend at all or they ignore me completely and I feel very foolish. I wait around after I’m done in hopes that maybe someone will talk to me but no one ends up doing so. Eventually I leave feeling relieved that the whole ordeal is over but glad that I made it and vow never to do something like that again.
  • Scenario C: Everything goes fine, I’m not awkward at all, I manage to find people to talk to, I’m witty and charming, end up having a good time and wonder why on earth I was worried so much about all this?

I have no idea what’s going to end up happening. It’s a game time decision.

A friend told me to just get rid of my training wheels (other people) and do things. We’ll see what happens.


Far, far away

I was talking to some friends the other day and we were discussing locations of places we wanted to go eat. I suggested a place and was immediately shot down because it was too far away from though, even though it was near me. Apparently 20 minutes away is too far. They then suggested someplace that was a lot closer to them because it was more convenient for them. Never mind that it was going to take me 30 minutes to get there.

I’ve discovered this a lot in the DC metro area. Due to traffic, everyone wants to find a job that is either 1) extremely close to them or 2) telecommute. You basically don’t want to leave your bubble because then you end up having an hour plus commute thanks to traffic. If you are one of the lucky few that can find a place near you, you basically never want to go anywhere because you don’t have to and you’re not used to driving places. It’s really interesting how some people have lived in this area for DECADES and have never really traveled into DC or even explored the area around them. Heck I know people who’ve never crossed state lines ever and we’re RIGHT next to Maryland AND West Virginia (and vice versa)!

On the other hand, if you DO have a slightly long commute, while it can get really frustrating being STUCK in traffic, you find that distance isn’t really a big deal. You don’t mind driving places because as long as you’re moving, hey it’s shorter than your commute! It also helps if you like exploring. A lot of neighborhoods and cities in this area have it so that technically you could find everything you want within 5 miles around you.

Not for me. I like to explore. I think it’s because growing up, our family didn’t go to many places for vacation. If we ever traveled it was to visit family for reunions or because someone got married. Even then, not counting two trips to Malaysia, the furthest we ever went was to Michigan and it was strictly for the family get together and not for any sightseeing. Heck, my parents live about 25 miles from the beach and in the 27 years they’ve lived there, they’ve never once been.

I realize that some people don’t like getting out of their comfort zone. Also once you have a family, I know it’s harder to travel even if it’s somewhere just half an hour away. Since I’m just by myself, it’s usually easier for me to come to someone vs forcing them to come out to me. I don’t mind so much though it can get a bit frustrating when I do suggest something and all I hear are complaints.

I chalk this all up to comfort zone and priorities. Right now, I’m in explore mode. And I’ll enjoy making distance seem not so far away as long as I can.