Facing My Fears

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's been a while....

Forget that.  It's been over a month.  In the blogging world, that's like an eternity.

Instead of doing a play-by-play of what's been going on, I'm just going to leave it at this:  Life has been crazy! And by crazy I mean it's been a true roller coaster. 

There have been some really low moments (that make you do some soul searching, and realize where life-changes need to be made) as well as some extremely high moments (that make you feel like your heart is going to burst out of your chest from happiness and help you realize why you love your life). 

Of course, in "typical Sarah fashion" I have endless stories and experiences that will no doubt shape, or influence my life in some way. And if nothing else, I have a new supply of blog material.  ::wink-wink::

With all of that said, I took some time recently to go back through some of my old blogs.  I've been writing now for over eight months.  Eight months?  Where has the time gone?  In my 2nd post, I talked about how I wanted to take more risks over the next year. I also created the "Sarah Scared Shitless" ("SSS") List. As I read through it for the first time since September, I realized that without consciously doing it, I have crossed off most things. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ORIGINAL "SSS" List.

Some of the things that have yet to be completed:

Learn to play golf:  I still want to do this. And now that the weather is getting nicer again, this may just be my year?  I just wish the game wasn't so expensive.  My plan to save money, and learning to play one of the most expensive sports may not be in the same equation.  Guess I need to find some golf-course connections....

Ride a motorcycle:  Really, I guess I would have to know someone who has a motorcycle to accomplish this one. I do have a "friend" who owns a Harley, but seeing as I put friend in quotations, it's probably not in my best interest to be contacting him for a ride...

Find a Winter Sport that I enjoy:  Well, this would have been the year to do this.  You know.  With our never ending winter and all.  The truth is, I just don't like the cold...

Roller Derby: While I didn't knock this one off the list, I feel like I came close by taking up burlesque dancing (READ ABOUT IT HERE).  I still think derby is totally bad-ass and would like to try it at some point. I've done my research and actually know some derby girls. The season starts in the fall with practices and bouts primarily in spring and summer. Maybe this fall will be the time that this Bear gets herself back on some skates...

So let's talk about what I HAVE done. While many of the things on this list may sound little and insignificant, to me they were challenges.  We all have or own demons and insecurities.  These are a few of mine that I have kicked in the ass:

Strike up a conversation with a stranger at least once a week.
     Once a week?  I think I do this daily now.  I mean, why not?  I have realized that taking a moment of my time to talk to someone (and maybe put a smile on their face) is such a small gesture, that makes such a big difference.  And beyond that, I've met some really interesting people.  One of my best friends, Ms. B., is one of the most outgoing people I've ever met.  She's not shy, and has this amazing ability to talk to anyone. Through the years of our friendship, I have really admired this about her.  I also think that I have started to pick up this trait from her.  Sometimes the conversation I'm having flat-lines, but more times then not it leads to new friendships.  And if nothing else, I leave with a great story. 

Feel comfortable enough to enjoy a meal at a restaurant, by myself.
      This one has been hard.  And while I don't do it regularly, I have done it.  I guess I haven't done this at any "big sit-down" places, but I do consider eating Pho by myself "enjoying a meal at a restaurant".  While I still prefer getting my food to-go and eating it at home, there is something to be said for dining alone.  When it came to the Pho, it's just not the same to eat this Vietnamese dish at home. You don't get all the good sauces, and well, it's just not the same.  And there's something to be said for going to a nice cafe/deli/restaurant (or even Starbucks) with a good book (since I'm trying to read more) or some music on your iPod.  I've learned to enjoy this.  Now to do go to a "real" restaurant....

Sign-up for and take a class.
      I think this has been one of my FAVORITES! My adventures with the Hootchy Kootchy Girls has been one of the most fun, smiling inducing, confidence boosting things I've done in a long time.  As many of you know, I started taking a burlesque dance class back in February (READ ABOUT IT HERE). Over the last few months, a change has occurred; the transformation from Sarah to sassy burlesque dancer. In April I took the stage as my burlesque personality, Ginger Snap, and danced my heart out with one of my Besties (Miss London Rose). We performed a completely choreographed routine to "Whatever Lola Wants".  The weeks of practice, costume prep, and nerves were totally worth it.  Performing gave me such a rush, I'm doing it all over again.  I'm smack-dab in the middle of a new session of classes and can't wait for Ginger Snap to take the stage again.  I already have my costume and props figured out.  Now to choose a song.  Any suggestions?

Play some pool.
     I've never been a big fan of pool.  In high school everyone had a pool table.  I spent hours in basements and rec rooms angling those balls into pockets.  As an adult I'm confronted with the green felt monster at almost every bar. The game has always kind of bored me. But even more boring then playing?  Watching! So recently I've played some more pool, even if it's just one round...and it hasn't been that bad.  The added bonus is when a guy wants to show you how to better maneuver the stick.  ;-)

Sing some karaoke.
     I've done this several times in the last year.  And every time I do it, I enjoy myself.  There is one catch though; karaoke is still something that can't be done sober.  But really, who goes and does karaoke without having some drinks first.  Isn't the whole point of this Japanese import?  The drunker you get the "better" you become (or at least so you think).  And doesn't "Pour Some Sugar on Me" or "Jack and Diane" just lose some of their meaning without singing it after some kamikazes?

Stand up for myself and know that I come first.
    While I haven't mastered this yet, this is something that I've been working on.  (CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT MY PROGRESS) At the start of 2011 I told my friends and family that I was going to be making some changes in my life, and that I hoped they would join me on my journey. I'm not ready to discuss this stuff on this blog yet. With time young grasshopper, with time. Patience is a virtue, and all will be revealed soon. For those of you who are "in the know" I appreciate your love, support, and guidance. I'm aware that when I become selfish for the first time in my life and put myself (and my needs) as the main priority it may appear as if I'm excluding or changing. While I never try to exclude, I guess I will admit that I am changing...but I prefer to call it GROWING. And more so, growing up and "getting over myself".  Somewhere after my 28th birthday the reality that I'm no longer young anymore set in.  The shenanigans, and mayhem and foolishness I used to get into just isn't as cute when you're rounding 30.  While I don't have one foot in the grave, I also am coming to terms with not having any feet (not even a pinky toe) in adolescence.  Standing up for myself, and the things I want to help make me happy and complete is important and while I appreciate support, I also know I'm strong enough to do this on my own. But life is always more fun with your friends and the people you love by your side, so I invite anyone who's on "Team Sarah" to hop aboard!

And the final "SSS" List total?  Six items completed, and four things still to do.  Not bad! Realizing I have completed (or taken steps to complete) most of the original items has inspired me.

It's human nature to question ourselves, our success, and if we're on the right path.  Moments like this help me realize that I'm doing just fine.  Wait.  Scrap that.  I'm better then fine.  I'm happier then I've been in a while, and you know what?  I'm going to enjoy it. 

Where do I go from here?  The good news is I'm not done yet.  In addition to continuing to take steps towards completing the 4 "SSS" List items that are left (although the winter sports will have to be put in the freezer til next year),  I also am in the midst of creating a new "SSS" challenges.

So with that, I challenge YOU!  Create your own "Scared Shitless" List.  Get outside of your comfort zone.  Try something new.  Take a risk.  I bet it will pay off in the long run.  And if not, at least you'll get a great story!


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