I have to admit that I’m not one of those people who thrives on change. In fact, I’m the exact opposite. Change has always scared me, and I can recall when I first graduated from college, that I set out to, pardon the pun, ‘change’ that.
I had the great idea that I could reorder my thinking about the process of things around me moving, and somehow make myself naturally okay with it. This was my twenty something mind’s way of coping with the visceral reaction that I had to my world not remaining in the expected order.
Step one of my plan was to create what I would come to call my ‘Personal Assertiveness Training Course.’ I was serious about this plan, and I approached it like a student taking a college course.
I created a list of things that scared me; minor now when I look at my current life. The first task included eating dinner alone in a restaurant, at a table, instead of at the bar. Number two was to go to a night club, on a party night without friends. Okay, that might not be the safest idea, but this was experimental only, so there was no alcohol involved. My third task was to start working temp assignments, and move from job to job without feeling the need to make new friends.
I approached this plan, with a notebook, journal, notes, and even research; asking friends about their own experiences. This is a good place to mention that my need for order also requires excessive planning.
The opportunity for the dinner alone came about when I was in Boston, along with my aunt on a business trip. She was so busy, we never saw each other, and the entire week turned into a personal trip to a city I didn’t know. I got lost on the subway system, but I found my way around.
The night at the night club was a little trickier. Of all nights, I chose Halloween night in Washington, DC. I’d visited the club on previous occasions with friends, but that night I didn’t know anyone except for a guy named Matt, that I’d run into before. Before we could start a serious conversation, a friend of his girlfriend made it her duty to put a stop to it. I went home early that night.
I’m still someone who gets uncomfortable when my world is thrown into disorder, but I realized that I’m braver than I used to be. It’s one step in front of the other, but I’ve come a long way.