... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

this week's tip | do something that scares you

Thursday, January 22, 2015

After writing all about my public squid eating experience, I realized that doing something scary actually feels very rewarding afterwards!

For me, the self-conscious scenario of eating an unconventional food was made worse by the fact that I was sitting in a busy food court, alone, and already feeling exposed.  When you're eating out with somebody, you rarely notice anyone else and you don't really care about how messy you are.  But in lone-dining situations, I always find myself eating very carefully, tying not to spill or slurp.  In all honestly, my self-consciousness probably wasn't even about what I was eating, so much as the vulnerability I felt at having an audience.

It's not that I'm agoraphobic, or anthropophobic, but am I alone in feeling like I'm being stared at and judged when I eat in front of a bunch of strangers by myself?  Even if no one is looking!  It's a tense situation, I don't like how it feels and I try to find corner tables whenever I can... but having said that, I will own to feeling a triumphant sense of victory when I'm successfully done eating at a center table, then I can rise from the table and leave gracefully - without tripping, dropping anything or bumping anything!

This empowering, triumphant feeling makes it all worth it and it's why I repeatedly choose to eat in a food court or crowded restaurant, alone.  It's like a test for my confidence and a way to desensitize myself from that feeling of discomfort.  With frequent, successful experiences: I'm sure it's bound to work.  I'm bound to overcome this fear of dining alone - whether I spill everything, break the chair simply by sitting on it, or topple the whole table over.  Yep, eventually, it's bound to work.  And eventually, I'll stop picturing these types of worst-case scenarios!

In a moment of sheer zen, I envision myself casually sitting at a fancy, busy restaurant all alone.  I'm drinking red wine over a white table cloth and white summer dress, eating raw oysters, squid or anything else unconventional that I feel like.  I imagine the careless feeling within, that my grown confidence has bestowed and I see myself smiling as I remember how afraid of this exact scenario I used to be.  I can feel how wonderful it is.  I am chilled.  I have slayed that dragon, conquered something that used to terrify me and now I am cool, collected and chic.  I wish the same for you.

2 comments

  1. "I have slayed that dragon, conquered something that used to terrify me and now I am cool, collected and chic." It will happen.

    I simply love this post... you go for it!

    I'm one of those, "celebrate the small things" peeps, and this is certainly a celebration to me. Good for you!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good for you for trying something new and challenging yourself. You're braver than I am. I hate eating alone. I end up staring at people and eavesdropping, and that's embarrassing if they notice. Have a lovely weekend!

    ReplyDelete

 

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Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.

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