Trying new things, or not, seems to be the latest hot topic no matter where I am – the senior center, on Facebook, sitting around a table having coffee with friends. The latest conversation started over a comment I made to someone about my then-upcoming flight from Portland to Los Angeles and the weird feeling I was having about getting through security at the airport; I’ve got new hardware in my wrist and a newly implanted heart monitor in my chest and just the thought of trying to keep it all straight was a little daunting.
Surprisingly to me, the overwhelming response was that I should ask for a wheelchair and let them push me through the airport, the thought being that I would be pushed right through security, basically bypassing all the metal detectors and pat-downs, so it would be an easy solution to my weird feeling.
But my weird feeling wasn’t really related to my physical ability to haul my bag short-handed (or partially-handed, if you will), even though I mentioned my new physical restrictions in my “opening statement” about feeling weird; even though I’ve flown a lot over the years, things have changed and it was more about learning to navigate the ins and outs of an airport, including the new security protocols, than about whether or not I could walk from one end of the terminal to the other, with my back pack slung over my shoulder.
I’m not sure it was clear when I initially said something about the weirdness, though.
My thought was that if I never tried, I’d never know: If I didn’t make an attempt at getting through security and up to my departure gate on my own, I’d never know if I could.
Because, you know, I want to do a lot more traveling before I leave this planet!
And I need to know if I can physically and mentally handle it.
“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” ~ Henry Ford (goes for women, too 😀 )
Yes, I can be militantly independent at times. I really do want to do “it,” whatever “it” is, for myself… and I really don’t want anyone telling me what to do. Or how to do it.
I’m not too proud to ask for help when I need it, though, but I’d rather push myself just over the limit line and then ask for help. I want to know where that line is… no, I need to know where that line is, and if I don’t push myself over it, how will I know where it is? How will I know when I’ve done all I can do? All I’m capable of doing? All I physically am able to do? I need to find that line.
“One must learn by doing the thing, for though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try.” ~ Aristotle
Perhaps this is something others can relate to, as well.
Do you normally ask for help before you need it?
Do you stop short of pushing yourself over the line of when you need that help?
Are you afraid you’ll find yourself in the uncomfortable position of really needing the help and then not being able to find it?
Are you afraid of pushing yourself over the line just so you can find out where the line is?
Are you afraid of knowing where your limits are?
Is it just easier to rely on others to do “it” for you, whatever “it” is?
I’m asking because I’m curious. It’s possible that I’m just stubborn and refuse to accept less than everything I’m capable of doing – I think it’s an individual thing and I’m wondering what it is that you do for yourself when something new comes along that you haven’t tried to do before, or a new situation you find yourself in, one that you haven’t experienced before, either because it’s a brand new experience, or because your physical abilities have changed.
What if you stopped at that little museum on the side of the road, even if you don’t think you have time to do so?
What if you spent some money on that trip you’re dreaming about, even if you don’t think you have the extra bucks to spend?
What if you tried that new coffee shop, only to find out their coffee isn’t up to your tastes?
What if you gave that person a hug, even if you don’t usually do so?
What if you tried making that Ethiopian dish that looks so good on the magazine page, even if you’ve never tried some of those ingredients before?
What if you tried eating cucumbers/mushrooms/avocados/bell peppers/onions, even if you’ve never liked them in your entire life and are sure you aren’t going to now?
What if you let your kid go on that field trip? Get a piercing? Wear something that “doesn’t match”?
What if you decided to check out the new Russian place that just opened up down the road, even if you normally eat at chain restaurants where the food is predictable?
What if you tried it, did it, went there, and you “hated” it, what if it was “horrible,” what if it was a waste of money, what if you said you’d “never do/eat/go/see/etc. that/there again?
What if you tried it and it was the most awesome/amazing/fantastic/spectacular/best thing ever?
For myself, I’m an big advocate of trying something out to see if I can do it. Or like it. Or not. Some things I find are way beyond my capabilities to do and I’m willing to accept that, but other things are just plain ol’ “weird-feeling” because I’ve never done them before, and those are the things I want to push myself to get over the line, to find the edge where I’m out of my element, and out of my comfort zone.
Because that’s where I grow, where I expand my awareness, where magic happens.
Out of my comfort zone. And sometimes it’s way out! As in way, way, way out!
a place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress.
But you know what?
If I never try, I’ll never know.
I hope you’ll join me out here, outside of our comfort zones. We’ll have some fun, find some things we’ll never do again, eat some good (and some bad) foods, experience some things we’ll add to our lists of “I’ve got to do this again!” and “heck no, I’m never ever ever doing that again!!”
…and I still don’t like cucumbers and bell peppers. Hehehe.