I violated the boundaries of my Comfort Zone not once, but twice yesterday. I think I deserve a pat on the back for that, so I’ll wait while you congratulate me.
Thank you! Thank you very much.
Don’t you even want to know what you are congratulating me for? Of course you do.
First, you should know that my Comfort Zone is not very large. It’s approximately the size of our half of the duplex. And maybe part of the surrounding yard, depending on the situation. Going outside of the Zone is not hard in the sense that it happens often – out of necessity – but it is always difficult.
You should also know that the phone is not my friend. As a hopelessly shy child who grew into an even more hopelessly shy adult, talking on the phone to an acquaintance is less comfortable for me than wearing sandpaper in my shorts. I have no problems calling my credit card company or a place of service where I will never meet the person I’m speaking to. Likewise, I can phone talk to my mom or my friend-since-5th-grade, M, for ridiculous amounts of time (as long as I’m wearing my headset and can simultaneously get the dishes or the laundry done). But the thought of calling someone I know only slightly – and worse, someone who I want to like me – is terrifying.
I know. I’m not right.
But then, I never said I was.
This week, however, my need to talk to someone who “gets it” far outweighed my fears. This week was not a nice week. It started on Monday morning with the blog post that shocked the MilSpouse community and left us reeling with sadness and unanswered questions. I know many of you are still thinking hard about Jessica and worrying about her. I know I am.
Later that same day I got some news on the fertility forefront that was less than welcome. T and I haven’t given up hope yet, but I suspect we have a road ahead that neither one of us was anticipating. And that, quite frankly, sucks. I’ve decided that in the interest of privacy I’ll be taking our fertility foibles offline. And if you know me in person, please don’t ask. Thank you in advance.
As the week wore on, concerned emails flew back and forth between MilSpouses about Jessica. Slightly hopeful answers have begun to emerge, but I think a lot of us felt a need to cling a little tighter to the people we know. So, by Thursday, I was sitting on my porch step with a slip of paper in one hand and the phone in the other.
Okay, I thought. Just do it!
And I’m so glad I did. Before I knew it, I was chatting away with Michelle from The Annoyed Army Wife and feeling wonderfully at ease. She is, quite possibly, one of the sweetest people I’ve ever spoken with. I’ve jealously watched as different MilSpouses have hooked up with fellow bloggers then posted pictures of their time together, knowing that up here in Maine I’ll probably never get the opportunity to connect with any of you in that way. So it was pretty exciting to at least have a phone date, and getting to know Michelle a little better turned out to be a lot of fun.
That was the first leap. The second was last night when I took an Adult Ed photography class. I adore both learning and teaching, so I’m pretty comfortable in almost any classroom setting, but I always have this weird anxiety before doing anything new.
I have developed equally weird routines to get me through it: I have to make sure I wear sleeveless shirts because I’m sure to sweat my pits into a frenzy. I have to fly around the house for at least a half an hour before leaving, focusing on getting things done so that I don’t focus on my anxiety and how much I feel like throwing up. In the hour before I left I somehow managed to: cook and eat a full dinner, empty the trash, put the dog out then in, empty the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, give the cat her liver pill, scoop the cat box, sweep the floor and get myself out the door.
Um, yeah. The words “whirling dervish” come to mind. Imagine what it would be like if I were hyperthyroid right now.
Then on the way to school, I started the next part of my routine: Is my hair sticking out? Is my fly up? Do I have anything in my teeth? (Unlikely since I brushed before leaving, but still must check.) Do my shoes match? Do I have my cell phone, gum, tissues, lip stuff and/or keys? (Duh, I’m driving). Is my fly up? (Must check at least twice.)
It’s exhausting being me. And now you know why I never leave the house.
The good news is the class – once I got there – was phenomenal. I learned so much about my camera that I might actually take it off auto. I know what ISO, shutter speed and aperture are now. I know how to get more light in a picture without using a flash. I discovered that my camera has a macro function and I figured out how to turn off the Assist Lamp, which is that little light that makes my pets close their eyes every time I take a picture of them.
The only irritating part was that there were two bozos in the back who sucked up class time by not knowing the location of a single thing on their camera. You know the type. They came in late. They asked stupid questions. (Yes. Yes, there IS such a thing as a stupid question.) Every time the instructor asked, “Did everyone find that on their camera?” their answer would invariably be, “No,” and he’d have to go help them. How do you not know where your flash button is? And if you can’t find it, could you please at least look? The rest of us paid too and would like to learn something. This is not a private session.
Remember that 4-Lenses personality test? That’s the Green. Sorry about that. But I’ve got no patience for stupid.
So, anyway, yeah. Two Zone breaches in one day. Not too shabby. Now if I can just get through the Adult Ed writing seminar I signed up for on Saturday.
Is my fly up?