I didn’t have too many shots. I didn’t kiss and forget. And, I didn’t max the credit cards. But, I did hit the boulevard last Friday night, and I broke some unspoken law, or dress code.
She picked me from my box, and on the way to the beach, we both agreed that we needed to eat. We stopped for dinner at Local Public Eatery, right on the beach. We both had greasy burgers and fries. I like to cap off a good meal with dessert. It didn’t take much convincing, but Karolina was on board. It’s the kind of good friend she is.
We left Kits and headed downtown to Yaletown. We walked around this hoity-toity district in workout gear (sneakers, shorts and t-shirts), and my hair was a sweaty mop from the workout. It was the first time I walked those cobble stone streets in such comfort.
We chose Glowbal Grill for dessert. This restaurant/bar is popular place for food and drinks, and attracts good-looking people. We knew we stood out like sore thumbs, but Glowbal Grill’s desserts are too good to pass up.
After being seated in the back of the restaurant, our server placed the napkins on our laps. It’s just that kind of fancy place.
We order a dessert platter (tiramsu cake, beignets, bread pudding and crème brule) to share. Karolina had steamed milk, and I had a coffee. (And, we wonder why we’re single.)
Before dessert was served, I used the restroom. I was so embarrassed having to walk through the busy restaurant wearing what I was. As I washed my hands, I looked up into the mirror and had silent panic attack. My face. I didn’t have my face on! No makeup, no chapstick, no nothing. Never felt so uncomfortable and out of place.
In my absence, another patron asked Karolina if we had just worked out. She replied with “No, this is our second stop.” He then asked, “Did you workout before that, or did you just pick this.” No, dude. This is just our typical Friday night outfit and eats.
I returned to the table only to see that the platter had more desserts than listed on the menu. Score. There was also a pear tarte with cotton candy, a few macaroons, and a second crème brule. We attacked the platter, and it didn’t take long ‘til we started to just feel sick.
We called it a night pretty quick thereafter.
This night was a challenge for me. Inside, I was so mortified and uncomfortable for being so under and wrongly dressed for the night. Outside, I was just a mess. It’s not about vanity, believe it or not. It’s as simple as fitting in. I like being mainstream. I don’t like to be different –good or bad different. Different tends to attract attention, and I’m okay without any.
Do it all again. This Friday night. Do it all again. I don’t think so.
Rainbow Thought: Be and do what makes you feel comfortable.
For more than 10 years, I have battled a fear of/for driving. From a rollover to multi-vehicle pile-ups, I’ve had my share of bad luck on the road, with the worst being four MVAs in 14 months.
I had a major case of road anxiety. It stemmed from having life-changing experiences forced upon me. These accidents were out of my control. Every time I got on the road, I felt that I was setting myself up. So mysoultion was to avoid driving. I’ve lied and schemed to family and friends to get out of events just so I didn’t have to drive. Sorry, cat’s out of the bag.
Eventually, the lies started to up to me. I needed to deal with the fear. To help me overcome this, I didn’t know what it would all take, but I did know that step one was to get myself on the road. To be on the road, I needed to feel safe. I invested in a new vehicle. No, not a tank, but a BMW. It was the only vehicle that I test drove that made me feel safe (because it felt like a heavy car –if that makes sense).
Step two in the process is to trust other drivers. It’s hard not to drive the gorgeous BMW, so it wasn’t too much of a struggle to be on the road. As said before, I can only control myself, not others. I trust in my driving and that’s the confidence and focus I need to bring to behind the wheel.
I’ve been accident free for four years (longest period in 11 years, woohoo!). I feel confident that my fear had dissipated. And, on Friday, I confirmed it to myself.
A friend started his birthday with go karting. Leading up to the night, I was freaking myself out. Narrow tracks, little-to-no protection in those rickety exposed karts, high speeds. Would it take one tap from another kart into my kart, or a crash into the tire walls to send me back over the edge? Why would I want to choose to put myself in an intimate environment that would surely elicit a lapse?
I could avoid this potential spiral by not going at all, or I could challenge and test my growth. Acting on a “what if” was not an option.
The birthday group doesn’t know of my MVA past, and so it was cute when they teased me about my gentle driving. I was the granny who’d slow down and let the racers pass me. And, for the record, the nice guy/girl doesn’t always finish last. I came in 9/10th (out of 13).
I won my race. I’ve committed the last decade (I like to refer to this time as my misspent 20s) to the emotional, mental and physical baggage that comes with these series of misfortunes. I’m doing awesome physically thanks to CrossFit West10, and wonderful mentally and emotionally thanks to support and understanding from family/friends. Oh, and me. I do owe myself some gratitude for being resilient and persevering.
(1) If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.
(2) Trust in your process. Trust in yourself.
(3) I’m a good driver, really.
You want it. I want it. We all secretly crave it. We convince ourselves that we got it. We each need to know what gets us off, what and who is worth sharing it with. To get it, we often depend on someone else to give it to us. But, it’s a euphoria we can achieve all on our own.
Happiness is not a destination. It’s a way of life. (Someone brilliant said this, but I cant find an author.)
The last few weeks, I’ve been stressing about what to write for my next blog entry. I’ve tried to make a mountain out of a mole hill, but I still come up with nothing worth sharing.
No news is good news, or, is it just the calm before the storm? I use to convince myself that the latter is true –glass half empty perspective. Good things never last.
This new emotionally-more-intelligent me knows that life can be just good times, all the time…if I want it to be.
A conversation the other day reminds me of what it takes to be in a good place –good people and acceptance. Good people genuinely want those around them to be happy. Over the years, I’ve consolidated/purged a lot of people out of my life. These folks would always want to talk about negative stuff –theirs and mine – and it seemed like that’s all I was ever focused on. Funny enough, now that those people are no longer around, I’m not constantly thinking negatively.
After sh!t happens in any faucet of your life, it’s so easy to start asking why. Asking why and why not keeps people stagnate. Accepting that you can’t change people or past situations is key to moving forward in life. I can’t change shi!t that happened, but I sure can change how I act thereafter.
I always admired my friend Carrie for her positive, upbeat attitude, always. At first it was almost sickening, then envious, and now, I get it.
I’m in the best health I’ve ever been; I literally have no major life stresses. I’m at a point where I am experiencing life, not just surviving it.
“Happiness is health and a short memory” – Audrey Hepburn
(1) Surround yourself with genuinely good people.
(2) Don’t sweat the small stuff.
(3) Good things happen to those who make them happen.