J bought a us a couple of kayaks on Friday. I am not what anyone would describe as “outdoorsy” – unless they define that term as someone who likes floating in a pool. Or taking the occasional hike. Or drinking a glass of wine on the patio. I have never had the desire to be in a kayak, but he was so excited and there was no way I was going to crush his spirit. So, on Sunday morning, we loaded up his truck with our kayaks, life jackets, and other accessories, and headed for the lake. I thought about backing out the entire time: would I tip it over? Would I know how to paddle? Would my arms be able to handle it? What about snakes and fish and other people? But. Guess what? It was glorious. The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze, and only a few people enjoying the lake. I actually closed my eyes for a minute to soak it all in. Who knew?
If I hadn’t agreed to our adventure I would have missed out on the best day. We’ve been together nearly 10 years and it was one of my favorite activities that we’ve done together. I’ve already told him that I’d like to try different lakes, and go after work, and try it in the fall, and take the kayaks on vacation. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and had the most amazing time.
Do you think about all of the good things that would happen if you’d let go? All the memories you’d make? All of the happiness you’d live?
I’ve spent much of my life trying to be perfect. Trying to do everything right. Trying to be the version of what I thought a woman should be. And I’m bored and exhausted and done. I’m one of those people who always arrives at work 15 minutes early. Never leave clothes in the dryer or dishes in the sink. I make sure we have dinner and toilet paper and laundry detergent. I get 7-8 hours of sleep. I wash my face every night. Say my prayers. I always have at least a half a tank of gas. I’m not comfortable throwing caution to the wind.
But, dammit, sometimes you have to let loose. You have to not meal prep. You have to stay up too late. Take a weekend adventure instead of washing towels. Order a pizza instead of cooking dinner. Sleep in. Not color in your eyebrows. Leave a shitty job. Leave a shitty relationship. Let the weeds grow. Veg out in front of the tv. Start a business that’s been in the back of your mind for years. Plan a spontaneous trip because you need to get away. Sign up for an online class in a field you’re interested in that’s the complete opposite of your day job.
Last week I added a freelance page to my site. I may not get one inquiry. But I did it. I worked on it for about an hour whilst sipping tea and it didn’t cost me a dime. I refuse to be embarrassed if I don’t get any business. Why? Because I put myself out there. I figured out the code, I added some buttons, and I pushed “Publish”. I could have left the page in draft form. But I didn’t. And I’m proud. The only true failures are the ones who don’t try. I tried.
Unless your plan is destructive (like lighting fireworks on top of your head, for example), what do you REALLY have to lose? I’m willing to bet that you have a lot more to gain. Perhaps you could stumble upon a new career. A new home. A new friendship. A new hobby. A lucrative side business that would enable you to leave the job you hate. A new workout. Your favorite new food or restaurant. A memory. Peace. A whole lot of fun.
How are you going to blow up your comfort zone this week?