Looking into my car visor's mirror one last time to check my hair and make-up, I took a deep breath. As I stared at my reflection, I wondered what they'd think about me ... and what would I say? I'm about to step outside of my comfort zone ... have I lost my mind?! I'm not turning back. I shut the visor, step out of my car, and slam the door shut with determination. I walk towards the door, and feel my hand clinch tighter around my purse strap.
Before I could walk through the door, a pretty woman about my age walks up to me and asks me if I'm there for the Blue Thong meeting. I smiled and said yes as she introduced herself and welcomed me. Her name was Gia, and she couldn't have been nicer. She immediately put me at ease and guided me to the back of the restaurant. Walking towards a large table full of women I'd never seen before, Gia introduced me to everyone and sat me next to her best friend, Judy.
|Judy and Gia ... the leaders of our local "Blue Thong" pack|
This event took place over five years ago, when I stepped out of my comfort zone by driving 30 minutes away from home to spend an evening with a group full of total strangers. I didn't know their names, I'd never seen their pictures ... I'd never even "met" them on Facebook. I was meeting the Blue Thong Society, which I'd accidentally come across on the internet ... a national group "fighting frump" with fun events, charity work, and signature blue Martinis. When I realized there was a local chapter meeting two days later, I emailed Gia and made plans to attend.
Saying that I was about to step out of my comfort zone is an under-statement. I'm pretty much a loner and not known to be a big talker. I'm the quiet girl that prefers to observe, while my thoughts run wild. Like the typical introvert, I often prefer to stay home and I find socializing to be exhausting. However, once I get out I always have a great time and I'm not so quiet once I get to know (and like) someone.
As I wrote my recent post that included the Blue Thong Society's Halloween party, I thought about that first night years ago when I stepped out of my comfort zone. I thought about the great experiences and relationships that I would have missed out on if I hadn't stepped out that night. I'm so glad I didn't chicken out. As it turns out, I'm the only member that wasn't invited by someone they already knew in the group. I'm their "stray" that they've taken in and decided to keep around.
Below is a picture of a few of us from the large group at our "Sex and the City" night out in June, 2010 ... martinis, food, door prizes, pink boas and a party bus to the movie premier!
Another Halloween get-together in 2011 ...
This is a reminder that we must continue to step out of our comfort zone. While our current situation isn't exactly comfortable (too much stress) it is predictable, which comes with a certain amount of security. We'll be stepping out of our comfort zone when we sell everything to live on our sailboat and head South with minimal sailing experience. Who knows what we'll experience, but that's the point. We can't live our remaining years with the thoughts of "what could have been" in our heads.
“I wondered about the explorers who'd sailed their ships to the end of the world. How terrified they must have been when they risked falling over the edge; how amazed to discover instead, places they had seen only in their dreams.”
― Jodi Picoult, Handle With Care
― Jodi Picoult, Handle With Care
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!