So I mentioned the other day that I was having breakfast alone. It may not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but for me it kind of is. Eating alone at a table in public makes me so uncomfortable. I feel singled out, embarrassed and totally vulnerable. I feel like I’m on display and people are totally judging me or assuming I am forced to dine alone and that it’s sad. I honestly know that these are my own crazy thoughts and that every other person anywhere near me in a restaurant is paying no attention and wouldn’t even notice me. But oh my gosh, the anxiety I get is ridiculous.
That was one thing on my “30 before 30” bucket list that I was supposed to scratch off. I did it, but I do think I kind of cheated by sitting up at the bar. Oh well, checked it off anyway. When my friends Ryan and Amber helped me create that list we were totally serious. It wasn’t crazy stuff like hike Mount Everest or anything, but more personal, less strenuous obstacles. They helped give me some challenges that might seem silly to some people, but for me, they were huge. And some were just funny little tests.
It’s driving me crazy right now that I can’t remember what else was on that list! I’ve got to find it somehow. I know I didn’t get through crossing it all off, but over the past 3 years I think I’ve done a pretty good job at getting over some of my weird worries and conquering some of my personal fears.
I’ve done so many things since then that I never thought I would do. Like, ever. And you know what? It’s been the best time of my life. The other day for example, I drove halfway across Germany. When I lived in Chicago, you couldn’t hand me the keys to a Range Rover and tell me to take it because I was too nervous to drive in a “foreign” place. I didn’t drive once the entire year I lived there but all of a sudden I’m cruising down the Autobahn? Get it, girl.
This trip in general has been a huge stepping stone for me. From that flight over, to my whole passport ordeal (which is still ongoing btw – more on that later) it’s been such a growing experience. In so many ways. I’m loving being able to travel with my friends and see so many new things and places with them. I feel totally lucky and I appreciate every single second. I also have to admit it’s been way different than I expected. While it’s been awesome, it’s also been exhausting and emotional and straight up scary at times. But, that’s okay because I think we need all of that to learn what we’re capable of. And it goes way beyond sitting at breakfast alone.
I started calling this trip my European Experience before it even started and that’s exactly what it is. AMAZING, with beautiful little reminders that shit can get real, real quick. I actually think I may need a vacation after this.