When was the last time you did something you were afraid of? I took the plunge yesterday and conquered a bit of a fear I’ve had for a long time – I took myself out for breakfast.
Phew. It’s really not hard to write but the idea of dining alone has forever scared the crap out of me.
I’m perfectly okay hanging out by myself. But only at home. If I’m ever the first to arrive at an event I tend to wait in my car and scroll on my phone til whoever I’m meeting arrives. If I ever head out to a party where I don’t know many people, I freak. Cue the “rescue remedy” and 200 cups of peppermint tea for my nerves. I recently attended a work friends housewarming (Mexican themed of course). I obviously knew the host, but walking into the noisy mix of people having a great time I felt anxious and nervy and blah, like the new kid at school. Thankfully my friend had a great bunch of mates and I relaxed after a few drinks but it felt awful to not know anyone and have to rely on myself in the initial moments. You’ll be pleased to know I had a really fab time and met a handful of really cool people (and I didn’t even have to get really drunk to do so)!
But general panic/social awkwardness as of late is the reason I took myself out on a date. Back in my uni days I worked in hospitality and I always remember the customers who would dine alone. I felt sorry for them, and couldn’t believe they could go out by themselves and still have a good time! Being young and silly I didn’t think about why they could have been out alone, just pitied them. I’m really not that girl anymore, and these days I envy those kinds of people. The go-getters. The ones who just roll with it. I want that. I want to be able to walk into a room and not worry about what the silly waitress in the corner thinks. I’m facing my fears!
I chose a local cafe close to home that I frequent with E and my friends. Sprolo is a specialty coffee spot with fantastic food and friendly staff and I knew I’d feel comfortable alone in a place where I’d been before. I already knew what I wanted so I ordered pretty much as soon as I walked in the door, and chose a table by the window so I could people watch (and photograph my food of course) comfortably. I’ll admit I did feel a bit panicky so E may have received a few text messages about being out BY MYSELF and of course she was encouraging and calming as usual. You’ll be pleased to know I made random chit chat with the waiter who brought me my brunch, and I even made a silly joke. Feeling calmer by the second. On leaving I managed a genuine smile and thanks, and walked out feeling, well… liberated! I may not be comfortable heading out alone on a regular basis cos I did miss having someone to chat with, but I feel like this is a big step for my anxious self. Self high five! As scary as it was, I’ve realised sometimes you just have to take the plunge and face your fears. If it’ll help me in the future, why the hell not!
What are you afraid of? How do you face your fears?