Today I woke up early as usual in a little bit of a funk, went through my routine trying to pull myself out of this bad mood. I decided to break my routine a little and try something different, so I went on a “nature talk”. I “nature talk” is a nature walk on a nature trail, without distractions (leaving my phone at home), as I smile and greet whoever crosses my path. Whoever knows me will tell you that this is not usually something I would do being painfully shy to strangers. My family and friends which I have no problem engaging with know that I get anxiety when it comes to meeting and talking to new people. Even crossing paths with someone who I don’t know can cause my heart to race, my hands to shake with me quickly reverting my eyes and head into a different direction to avoid any contact at all. Today I decided to conquer my fear and greet people who I don’t know, engaging totally or at least trying my hardest to.
I walked along side the beginning of the trail near the freshly built park on Gerristen Avenue in Brooklyn, while taking in the smell of freshly cut grass, sunshine, and warm, Spring breeze blowing in my short curly hair. I took a deep breath and saw the first person coming the opposite way. I was going on this narrow nature trail with swampy water on one side and grassy lawn filled with dandelions and wising weeds on the other. The whole path is filled with green trees that inhabit singing birds and squirrels. I saw the lady from a good distance as she approaches closer walking her medium sized golden dog. Finally I am about a foot from her and her dog which stops to smell something in the grass. I take a deep breath in and out, smile with coffee cup in one hand (for my version of liquid courage) and floral white sunglasses on my face, I say, “Hello” loud enough for her to hear over the sounds of birds. She peers up from watching her golden dog grazing and smiles at me, she replies “Hi”. I greeted a stranger with success, so I smiled and continued down on the nature trail called “Salt Marsh” in Marine Park.
A perfect time to take a walk as I say “Hello” or “How are you?” To anyone that I pass along my path. Some people respond back and others ignore me. The people that didn’t respond at all were very far and few in between so this didn’t discourage me from completely my task. The task being to get out of my comfort zone and overcome my shyness. I think with meeting new people online can be disingenuous at times, so we forget to just connect with people we see everyday.
I am glad that I pushed myself to do this today because after I was finished I felt happier and my mood felt uplifted. I am not sure if I felt good because I got some exercise and sunshine or that I conquered a fear of mine, maybe it was a combination of both. Whatever it may be I am definitely going to fit conquering a fear into my daily or weekly routine.
I hope my experience and story will inspire you to conquer a fear of your own. I would love to hear your experience so please share.