While circumstances dictate that we’re not travelling far right now, I’m trying to make the most of what is possible.
I’ve read a few articles on the power of saying yes. They intimate that we often don’t say yes for fear of the unknown; that the activity or concept is outside of our realm of knowledge or comfort zone so we say no automatically when, really, we might be richer for it if we could just say yes.
I definitely fall into that trap. Although I like to step into uncomfortable, and I encourage that you do to, the fact is that even in that there is a comfort zone. I may travel to far off places but there is a routine in the way I go about it; a regular pattern of preparing and executing, a normal template and schedule, so that even in the non-regular and not-normal there is some comfort. Funny, isn’t it?
And right now? Right now is all about normal and regular, routine and schedules. Right now it needs to be that way and is, in its own way, offering me some uncomfortable.
So, when my good friend invited me to a fancy, international film festival party in downtown Toronto I said yes without even thinking. I had no time to even consider what I had gotten myself into as I changed out of my pj’s, hurriedly packed the one dress that might be appropriate, booked a train ticket, and was out the door in under 20 minutes.
Heading into the city I did what I do best on trains…I stared aimlessly out the window and daydreamed about what the evening might be like.
I am an urbanite. I love the energy, diversity, and possibility that exists within cities. There is a sense of purpose; a reason for all those people to be doing whatever it is they are doing. A disconnect that connects. We are not all the same and yet we all occupy the same space and we each have a place within that space.
I feel comfortable in cities. I can be myself within the sidewalks, tall buildings, office workers, cafes, green spaces, hipsters, public art, street performers, pubs, shops, and patios. I can find my way around (well, metaphorically speaking anyway…I actually suck at navigation!) and gravitate toward those places where I fit in and feel most like myself; just like we all do.
I am apparently not comfortable at fancy, international film festival parties. This was not my tribe, these were not my people, and I felt as though I stuck out like a sore thumb as we stood in line awaiting the magic text that would transport us to the front of the line and whisk us inside like VIP’s.
I felt as though my dress was not fancy enough, my shoes not high enough, my jewelry not sparkly enough, and my makeup…well, I don’t even wear makeup so there was no comparison there. I had dressed up to try and fit in and I felt like I fit in less than if I had worn my regular, if-only-the-slightest-bit funky, going out on the town, outfit.
It’s not that I didn’t have a good time, or that people weren’t anything other than super kind to me, because I did and they were. But I think I would have stood a little taller, felt a little more confident, and had an even better time if I’d just been strong enough to just be myself.
In the end the evening was a blast. I rubbed elbows with people that I wouldn’t normally rub elbows with, enjoyed post party drinks and conversation with a great friend, and got to spend some time in the city.
Lesson learned. Absolutely say yes to everything that comes my way but don’t forget to just be me.