06 Sep JULY – Try new things
Try something new
I’ve always dreamt of being more adventurous. I wish I was a “yes” girl. But as it turns out, I’m not. I am definitely more of an “I’ll sit this out thanks” girl. Listen, I wouldn’t place myself in the wet blanket category. But I am pretty reluctant to try new things!!! I decided that in order to have more fun this month, I actually needed to be giving more things a go. In my mind, I envision myself as an action fun loving gal. I’d laugh loudly as the wind sweeps through my hair. People marvel at how brave I am. In reality, I’m more of a creature of habit. I rarely stray from the familiar! Through setting challenges and conquering them, we grow and develop. The sense of achievement brings fulfilment and pride in ourselves. Trying new things opens doors to new interests, unlocks friendships with those who share mutual interests and creates memories and connections with others.
You don’t always need a logical reason for doing everything in your life. Do it because you want to, because it’s fun, because it makes you happy. On my quest to try new things and expose myself to a range of new and rich experiences, I signed myself up for 2 weeks worth of surf lessons whilst we honeymooned in Bali. Matt was already a decent surfer and I had had a couple of lessons years before with him. I remember back to that time and a smile involuntarily spreads across my face. I recall how great it was great to both share in the joy of standing up and riding our first waves. The excited screams that we gargled from the salty water as we watched each other scramble to stand on the board. I think back and giggle about how awkwardly we would ride each wave for the first time. Ever since we shared this experience years ago, I’d wanted to keep learning. It was something we could do together. I imagined trips to the beach with our boards strapped the the roof racks. I pictured how toned my body would get. Surf chicks always look amazing! We would clamber out of the water and discuss the size of the waves and how awesome each one of us looked as we made a turn. But when push came to shove, I never continued to give it a go because either the water was too cold or I wasn’t progressing fast enough. So naturally, I gave up! I was determined to break this previous pattern for myself and put in the effort to get out there every day and get better!
Surfing was an excellent place to start. I was eager to get up every morning and attend my private lessons. Just as I envisioned it, I improved each day and I loved it when Matt saw me catch a wave. He would cheer words of encouragement from the side and I felt so happy when we would share a smoothie afterwards and recall all the great waves we caught. Sharing this interest was exciting for both of us as we were both mutually invested in the experience. The whole experience definitely put me out of my comfort zone. There were days when the swell was high and I felt like all the previous day’s learning had gone out the window. The waves would crash down over my head like an avalanche of powerful force. I was terrified and on a couple of occasions had to take a day off to psych myself up to get out there and do it again. With every new attempt, I learnt something new about myself. It affirmed to me that so much of what we do is all controlled by the mind. I would have 5 goes of catching a wave and fall off every time, but when I harnessed my inner voice and utilised it to affirm myself, chanting “You can do this” as I paddled towards the beach, 9 times out of 10, I’d nail it. My commandments came to mind as I turned the nose of my board towards each new wave. The whole experience taught me that I needed to believe in myself, be okay with making mistakes and get out there and try it again and again and again.
Life is short – spend it happy. The honeymoon opened up other opportunities to give things a go. Forever the safety conscious girl, I typically feared the scooters of Asia. I had always protested when Matt suggested we hire one. With my new yes girl attitude, I gave it a go this time! I laughed as I clung tightly to Matt, holding on for dear life. I was happy to be chauffeured and he asked me many times if I wanted to have a go of driving. I shook my head each time. On my quest to be a yes girl was not going to be my journey to a dead girl! Finally, on day 3, I decided to give it a go. I picked the safest, straightest road I could and off I went. Although I was encapsulated by a nervous fear, I laughed and cheered as I SLOWLY crept along the road. Locals beeped as they overtook me and Matt encouraged me at my snail’s pace. It didn’t take me long to pull up, swing my leg over and triumphantly tell Matt that I was finished. I was proud of myself for doing something I had always labelled that I would never do.
There must be something about our mentality when we are on holidays. Are we more inclined to do things we wouldn’t normally because of the change in location? Do we feel like someone else? I felt like I could take on a more adventurous role. In the absence of work and mundane daily routine, we have more time to do things. We don’t have the stress of getting to work, paying bills or cleaning the house. As the honeymoon came to a close. I thought logically about how I could try new things once I got home. In all honesty, I couldn’t picture or plan for things so decided to be more of that ‘Yes Girl’ I had become on holidays. Although nothing adventurous ever presented itself, I dabbled in projects that I wouldn’t normally believe myself able to do. I decided to attempt to bake and decorate a cake for Ava’s birthday and a colleague at work. Everyone “ooooo’d’ and ‘aaaaaaahhhh’d’ at my attempts and I thought I may take this up as a bit of a project.
Why be moody, when you can shake yo’ booty. In addition to this this I took on the advice mentioned in ‘The Happiness project’ book and tried singing and dancing in the morning. I selected songs from Beyonce to hardcore rap. I blasted it from my stereo and moved through the house shaking my ass and singing at the top of my out of tune lungs. If there is one thing I highly recommend you try today – it is this! This gives you so much energy, brings out your inner child and puts a smile on your face. I decided to continue this into the following month and assess how it positively impacted my mood of a morning!
Life only comes around once, so do what makes you happy and be with whoever makes you smile. This month was all about opening myself up to experiences that would shift the direction of my life. Normally, I would be able to tell you exactly who I was, what my life was made up of and the things I did each day. At the end of this month, I could scratch a number of judgements I made about myself. I was no longer a girl who would ‘never do this’ or ‘isn’t really into that.’ I can confidently say that I am one who is more willing to give things a go or be open to different experiences. Although I have only spent a month or so in this new frame of mind, it is a liberating feeling to be meeting this new version of me for the first time. I want to be a person who is willing to see varying points of view because she has lived out different experiences, isn’t afraid of the unknown or too caught up in preconceived ideas about how things should be. This may seem a little left of field because all I have done this month is ride some waves, jump on a Balinese scooter, danced in my living room and baked cakes. But it is so much more than that…
I have been a certain person for 30 years and now I am evolving into someone else. Someone who is fundamentally always going to be Adrienne, but I like her much more…