I’m a pretty reserved human being. Always have been. Nonetheless, I spent a lot of years telling myself I should be less reserved — more out there, more extroverted, more demonstrative. AKA different than I am. But that’s not me, and I’m all about being me these days. So I own my reserved-ness and I’m a lot happier for it.
Being reserved means I’m also the ultimate anti-exhibitionist. I don’t like to lure a lot of attention my way and I’m not into public displays of anything. Despite that glaring fact, I spent yesterday morning sharing a camera lens with plastic penises, swingers and hundreds of gallons of lube.
So why would a girl who prefers to keep things low key go to an event that’s all about sexual self-display? Simple. Because I knew it would make me uncomfortable.
When my editor asked me to do on-camera interviews at the X-Run (a sexy-themed 5K obstacle course — not actually x-rated, more like R), my immediate reaction was OH HELL NO. Followed by OH HELL YES YOU NEED TO DO THIS. Because if I’m immediately averse to something, that generally means there’s some fear lurking. And facing fear is the only way to crush it.
Willingly surrounding myself with stuff and people and situations I don’t have an affinity for propels me outside of that cozy little nook of suffocation called my comfort zone.
I do this often. Not, like, every day often, but often. I’ve agreed to interview lots of celebrities, even though I’m not into famous people whatsoever AND it makes me totally nervous (ask me about Halle Berry, whoooooooo boy); I’ve pushed myself to attend a gazillion events solo, even though I’m moderately shy; I’ve volunteered with hospice, even though I wasn’t super comfortable with sickness. And so on. I try and say yes to things, even when I don’t necessarily want to.
When you restrict yourself to what’s familiar and easy, you’re self-imposing major limitations. This isn’t the same thing as pushing yourself to do stuff you hate. I’m not about that at all. Instead, this is opening my mind and my consciousness to things aren’t typically “me”. (If you really hate something, don’t do it. Life is about enjoyment, not self-flagellation, whatever Opus Dei would have had us believe.)
But when it comes to uncomfortable opportunities, I believe in saying YES as often as possible. If something makes you feel awkward, it’s a personal invite for expansion delivered to your doorstep by the universe. Discomfort is often the open door to major change, growth and new possibilities.
If you don’t push your boundaries, you never see past them — and that’s a recipe for a comfortably frustrating life.
So I went to the X-Run today. Was I uncomfortable initially? Yes. Did I have a blast anyway? Double triple yes. I slid through a 20 foot penis into a sea of bubbles. I discovered that topless vacations are a thing. I watched dudes run with fake boobs strapped to their chests. I army crawled through a mud pit. I talked to a porn star about her job. I learned alllllll kinds of new information (as you can imagine).
More power to the folks who are into X-rated lifestyle stuff. Whatever floats your boat is pretty much my motto, and absolutely everyone I met at this event was awesomely open, unshy and totally unafraid. They rocked.
Nonetheless, it’s still not my scene and probs never will be. But that’s totally irrelevant. I’m so happy I leapt into the mud with both feet, pushed myself to do something different and allowed myself to deal with the discomfort. It was so worth it, as it always is.
I’ll repeat what I told the camera yesterday — “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Look for the double entendre if you like. 😉