Taking the bus alone, or something profound like that

I often make myself do things.  It seems a little funny saying it out loud but I literally make myself do things that I don’t want to do.  As if I am my own personal nagging mother**.  I tell myself that I know best and that even though I don’t want to do whatever it is I’m telling myself to do, I will thank myself later.  It’s kind of my stepping out of my comfort zone moments.  Am I the only one who has these conscious mental conversations?

I realize I might have just lost some readers as I sound like a crazy person, but I swear I’m not.  DON’T LEAVEEEE ME! OK enough.

Last night I had one of these “parenting” moments with myself.  I am a member of FIAF.  I paid the membership fee so now I feel like I want to get the most bang for my buck.  I enjoy going to the talks and events–that’s why I joined.  They can however be taxing after a long day of work.   Tired and hungry at 5pm, the last thing I usually want to do is travel to the Upper East side and attend an event, no matter how cool.

Tuesday nights are cinéma Tuesdays and they are free for us members.  I had never been and I really wanted to go but come 4pm I felt my eyes grow heavy and my stomach begin to rumble.  I wasn’t meeting anybody for the showing so it wouldn’t have been a problem to cancel on myself but I knew that I would love the movie and love being surrounded by French language once I got there.  So I made myself go.  I rewarded myself by walking uptown instead of taking the subway so that I could go into every single Zara on the way (Go in.  Not buy anything. This is key).

I was happy that I went, of course (the movie was great).

I know myself well and even though it takes energy to get myself moving, I find that forcing myself out of these comfortable boxes is all the more rewarding.  How do you think I found myself living in France for a year, or moving to NYC without a job, or letting go of my inhibitions and going on dates with strangers, or eating Tête de Veau (this is a story for another time).  I think we must try things (preferably jumping in with two feet) and if we don’t like the outcome, or if we somehow fall short of where we wanted to be, we haven’t failed but we have tried something new.  I’ll try anything twice!

I also made myself take a bus last night.  I like doing new things (have you noticed?) but that doesn’t mean that I like feeling vulnerable the first time I’m doing it.  For the bus, I didn’t want to be “that girl” who didn’t know the protocol of bus usage.  After living a year abroad however, I learned that eliminating this prideful handicap is the only way to learn new things and be adventurous.  In France my mistakes were many and my “dumb” questions frequent,  but I grew enormously as a person and had amazing experiences by taking chances.  I still find myself nervous before doing new things (I’m human), but I make sure to DO them–this is where the nagging mother’s voice usually chimes in!

So I asked a stranger (favorite pastime from France) if I was waiting for the correct bus and if I could use the Metro card to board the bus (this would be considered the dumb question I guess).  Although I was totally 1) that girl who didn’t put her pass in the right way so the driver had to physically do it for me and 2) that girl who didn’t know you had to push the door open to get off, I survived and mastered the bus system.  It’s nice to knock things off the list of “things I haven’t yet done.”

So maybe I am crazy.  Maybe I think too much into things and talks to myself, but I don’t care because this go-hard-or-go-home, take chances mentality has blessed me with experiences in my life that I never would have had if I hadn’t talked myself into things and thrown myself forcefully from my comfortable zone.

**My own mother does not nag!  Just thought I would make that clear, since she is going to be reading this 🙂

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