This week’s activity made me slightly uncomfortable to even think of. I am not the kind of person who does random out of the box things, much less on camera. But, I have been trying to expand my comfort zone and so the idea of doing new things I normally wouldn’t even think to do seemed actually great.
At first, I had the idea to go on a road trip with no destination with my boyfriend, Hector. Since our comfortable weekend involves just sitting on the couch and asking “where do you want to go today” with the reply of “i don’t know where do you want to go” and inevitably going nowhere, the idea of just getting out and experiencing entirely new places seemed fun and exciting. Going off the idea of making split second thoughts a reality, I wanted to just drive wherever we wanted to at that moment and stop any time we even thought for a moment about stopping. The idea evolved into talking to people wherever we stopped, even interviewing them about the history of the town, their history, or just really anything they wanted to talk about. Since I am incredibly afraid of talking to people, it would definitely be a leap out of my comfort zone, but hearing new things from new people seems like it would be incredibly worth it. Although we both ended up being too busy this weekend to actually go, I hope to still do this over summer and maybe continue it after graduation. Hopefully then we can go for a few weeks and meet a huge amount of people from entirely different walks of life. I’ve actually been thinking about turning the experience into an art instillation. I plan to talk to a new person in each town we stop in and record my interviews with them. Afterward, I plan to have them draw or write something on a blank index card – a picture, a scribble, their name, a fake name, a self portrait, etc – and write their city and name (if they don’t mind) on the back. I plan to string the papers up and hang them from the ceiling and then project the interviews onto the moving surfaces of the cards. I feel like this strange thing is a great way to meet new interesting people, bring people together, and document the travels I have throughout the years. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to make this strange new dream a reality.
Alright, now on to what I actually did for the activity:
Despite not being able to do what I had originally thought of, I still had the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone quite a bit. Hector and I decided to go to the park and roll down a bunch of hills and climb trees for the day. Though that sounds slightly normal, at least for little kids, it was definitely a new experience for both of us. I hate embarrassing myself (even though I do it almost all the time), and since I am incredibly uncoordinated, the idea of shoving myself down hills seemed a bit weird and frightening to me. Also, since I am afraid of heights, and especially climbing, I rarely ever actually climb trees even though it seems incredibly fun when others do it.
Once we actually got to the park, I got somewhat freaked out by the idea of running and jumping into a roll as Hector suggested. There were also a lot of people at the park, which made my anxiety a bit worse. However, I tried to block their existence out (which actually kind of worked) and just go for it.
We rolled down so many hills (there were about 20 videos). Despite the bruises and grass stains, it was super fun. ((Sorry for the awful quality, longways iPhone videos are horrible on youtube, my bad))
And, to be honest, it was incredibly fun! I haven’t rolled down hills in probably 10 years, and although I ended up rolling all over the place and even hitting my head on concrete, I pretty much could not stop laughing the whole time. I even convinced my boyfriend to try it a few times, and he had just as much fun as me. A random bike rider even saw us and commented on how fun it looked. It’s funny how we tend to not actually do the things we think are fun because we feel like we’re too old for them or they’re too dangerous or strange. In reality, the people who can break out of their comfort zones and the expectations of society end up envied by those who stay within their limits. It was great getting to be a kid again, and despite the dizziness, we both had an amazing time just rolling around (and we also ended up with a great set of ridiculous videos).
We do kinda suck at hill rolling (well, mostly me). But a guy walking by still commented on how much fun we seemed to be having.
The tree was slightly a different story; many of the trees at the park were actually somewhat impossible to climb. Thankfully, right before we were about to leave we found a tree near the parking lot and I was able to get up into it. It may not have been the tallest tree (Hector was nice and angled the pictures so I looked super high up), but I felt accomplished just by getting up into the branches. Even though I was scared of falling, I had a lot of fun just sitting up in it. And, with the help of Hector, I didn’t even fall trying to get down (though I did look like a ridiculous giant cat trapped in a tree for a bit).
I climbed a tree
Overall, the day was more fun than I had expected. I never realized how uplifting it is to do things I was afraid of, not to mention how nice it is to just have fun and not worry what others think. The next time I want to do something, I won’t let my fears of embarrassment or getting hurt get in the way. This way, I think I’ll be able to – even if slowly – be more comfortable doing new things and be able to have more fun doing them.