Over four months ago I took a leap (more like a fall) out of my comfort zone. I bought a ticket to a conference in Austin, Texas for creative entrepreneurs. Doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but let me tell you…for me…it’s a big deal.
I have anxiety. Anxiety that is brought on by being surrounded by people I don’t know, and increased exponentially when I have to brave new people and new situations on my own. Ahem, this entire trip.
For the most part I have my anxiety under control. Having dealt with my anxious mind since childhood I have pretty much perfected the cool and calm outward appearance when my mind and heart are racing uncontrollably. I have mastered breathing techniques to regulate my oxygen intake so I don’t pass out from hyperventilating. I have learned to fight through my turning stomach and know that the intense nauseation I’m feeling is just a shitty side affect that will eventually pass. These insecurities of mine are not easily admitted. I have spent a good deal of my years hiding my anxiety and fighting through it with a smile. I’ve lived my life in the confines of my safety bubble, rarely stretching more than a toe outside of its perimeter at any given time.
I’ve decided 2016 will be a year for change. A year of self-growth, and a year of facing challenges and intentionally making myself anxious—within reason of course. This is why I decided a trip to Austin, Texas was a necessary adventure, and just like that, I purchased a ticket to a The Creative Counsel Conference lead by some pretty amazing women.
Of course, I immediately regretted the purchase. My stomach knotted in protest, my heart raced and my palms began to sweat in anxious anticipation once I realized there was more to going to this conference than just, well, going to the conference. I had to fly to Texas by MYSELF. I had to figure out getting from the airport to my hotel by MYSELF. I had to figure out getting to the conference from the hotel by MYSELF. And then do it all again in the other direction. Gah! What was I thinking?! Meeting a bunch of new (I’m sure awesome) people is one thing, but traveling by MYSELF? I also forgot to mention, I am EXTREMELY directionally challenged. Like, if it were a disease, I’m pretty sure I’d be dead. Add all these factors together and dang, that is a sure recipe for an anxiety attack. Fast forward to today and I’m hanging out in the LA airport, delicious iced coffee in hand, waiting for my connecting flight to Austin and tapping out this blog post on my laptop. And guess what? I’m alive!
Yes, I suffered through some insane nauseated tummy. Yes, I felt like passing out a few times because I was so nervous. Oh, and I may or may not have almost canceled the whole thing and crawled right back into bed. Especially when I woke up to a flight that was delayed five hours, screwing up my entire schedule and itinerary. Mini panic attack was definitely had, but I survived that too.
I’m still a little uneasy about the whole getting to and from the airport, hotel, and venue. Anxiety comes and goes in waves and bubbles up in my chest when I sit and really think about it. Then I take a swig of some iced coffee and look up from my laptop. I gaze around the airport at all the different people coming and going, dealing with their own insecurities, experiencing their own adventures, living their lives, and I think to myself, “this is pretty damn cool”. I’m (way) outside of my comfort zone, and I’m kind of loving it.
this blog post was written yesterday as today will be spent at The Creative Counsel Conference with some pretty rad boss people! You can follow along on my Austin adventure via Instagram, and I’m bettin’ next week’s blog will have something to do with a conference recap. :)
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