Friday, October 19, 2012

Catch Up Post: Thanksgiving Challenge #17: New Experiences

I'm not a person who ventures out of her comfort zone very often.


The odds of me watching a movie I've already seen on Netflix over a new release is almost 100:1.

The idea of travelling to Mexico terrifies me because I don't speak spanish.

And if I'm tired and don't know exactly where I'm going, I make my (very patient) husband drive me to my destination and pick me up.

Despite all appearances, my social anxiety tends to affect almost every aspect of my every day life.

I am extremely social with people I already's the new people/experiences part that I have a really hard time with.

But every so often it's good to push myself out of this bubble and to venture out into the big, bad, scary world a little.

Yesterday, I did this and, despite the overwhelming fatigue and exhaustion I felt upon returning home, I'm truly glad that I did.

I pulled off a huge Zita-feat. A triple whammy of social-anxiety if you will...

1- I went out with a new person that I am still getting to myself.
2- I went to an event I had never attended before in a room was full of people I didn't know...
3- I met and interacted (very enjoyably!) with a complete stranger.

After months of trying to coordinate a coffee/met up, I finally got to together with my online-friend Tamara. I really like Tamara's perspective on life, and have had the pleasure of meeting her several times in brief encounters over the years. I was truly looking forward to the chance to get to know her better and had a wonderful time.

Tamara invited me out to my first "Pecha Kucha Night".  This is an event put on by Edmonton's NextGen group, and features a handful of presentations, each about 6 minutes in length, accompanied by slide shows.  The topics were interesting, and while some of the presenters love something to be desired in terms of public speaking skills, the show was overall an extremely entertaining and thought-provoking one.

Tamara introduced me to her friend Tammy who is Sr. Web Developer and an all round very interesting person.  I seldom feel very comfortable with completely new people, but Tammy is one of those people who instantly puts you at ease by her casual, unpretentious friendliness.

When the event was over, I was ready to go home. I was tired- being a crowd always drains me. And I was very much looking forward to snuggles and cuddles with Jason, who seems to be the best 'grounding' force in the world. As expected, the inevitable post-event anxiety attack struck me, but I got through it relatively painlessly and slept generally well.

I woke up, grateful for the new experience and very much looking forward to my next outing with Tamara and Pecha Kucha 15. :)

This is post is part of the October Thanksgiving Challenge. I will post a new Thank You blog post every day during the month of October. I encourage you to follow Kevin, the mastermind of this challenge at and fellow blogger Natasha at And, if you're up to it, consider doing your own challenge, big or small, to remind yourself to focus on the many blessings in your life.  I've also added a slight 'writing' component to this month's challenge: No posts are to exceed 500 words.  

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