Ladies and gentlemen, I am very sorry to report: Yours truly is a big fat wuss.
I may not be scared about talking to people or new projects, but I am scared of almost everything else. There are so many ridiculous things I am scared of that I can make the Cowardly Lion look like Scar from the Lion King.
But fear, ladies and gentlemen, is not as bad as it sounds. Fear is only for the idea of something. You’re only afraid of what it is in your head. As I tell almost everyone who comes to me with fear, worry and stress: “It’s never as terrible as you think it is.” And it is worth to put this to the test, because fear is actually the real wuss: It can be pushed around until it no longer decides your behavior for you.
So during my vacation, with my personal badass (=boyfriend) to guide me, I took on few things that are either a little or a lot out of my comfort zone. It was good experience.
Number one: I snorkled. Near reefs and everything.
This may not seem like a big deal to most, but I have this irrational idea that ALL the creatures living in there are ALL going to come out at the same time and EAT ME. Which is why when I snorkel, I avoid reefs. The one thing I enjoy most about snorkling is being out in the open sea and being in the middle of a giant school of tiny fishies. I think they don’t scare me because they remind me of the tuna school in Finding Nemo.
This vacation, following my boyfriend’s flippers around like I myself was an obedient guppy, I dared to come near and go over reefs. When we went sea kayakking, I actually went with him around most of the rocks and reefs. Minor milestone maybe, but one nonetheless.
Number two: I abseiled.
I’m not horribly afraid of heights actually, I just avoid them because someone with my lack of coordination has an increased risk of plummeting to her death. But, I gotta say, this was fun. When I had to stand on the wall, I literally had this thought: “Okay, I can panic about it but that doesn’t change the fact I have to go down so I might as well stay calm.”
And I did. Unfortunately, after being strapped in and taking my first few steps down, I slipped and smacked straight into the rock wall. You may think this would have scared me more but I actually just went like “Okay, I’m okay! The worst has already happened! I’m good!” I put my feet back up on the wall and got myself down to the ground safely. It was great and I would do it again tomorrow, with a little less rock smacking of course.
Number Three: I jumped off a buoy and swam in the deep.
Some of my fears are water-based (I blame Scary Sea Creature Movies). Whenever I’m swimming somewhere and I can’t see the bottom of the ocean, I always expect some big creepy shadow to appear from under me to again, come and eat me. I hide this fear really well because the rational side of myself knows I’m being an idiot, but the evolutionary ‘I Want To Live’ part of me occasionally kicks in.
However, while kayakking I climbed onto the big buoy, took a deep breath and plunged in. After swimming around for a bit and NOT being eaten, I crawled back into our kayak and on we went.
Number four: Walked around with Batshit Bonham Carter Hair all day.
The picture doesn’t do it justice, but when I woke up with a Helena Bonham Carter Crazy mess on my head (just not as “I Eat Babies” as it is on her) I decided to roll with it. Not only do I like looking a tiny bit nuts, I found that as long as you act normal and are nice to people, nobody gives a shit about your hair.
Number five: Asked for what I wanted.
When we arrived in Croatia, we found to our dismay the traveling organisation had put us in ridiculously small tents so close together a snake wouldn’t even have been able to slither through. It evoked a very strong “Hell To The No” feeling in both of us. Since we have a kick-ass Quecha tent and other great camping stuff, we decided to use our own stuff.
I had to break it to the current guy in charge. Boyfriend had mumbled something about feminine wiles and great hair, so I let him off easy this time. And oh man, you should have seen his face. I was very polite: complimenting their campsite, their friendliness, stressing our wrong idea and proposing the solution. Didn’t matter. He looked like I had just crapped on his desk and called his mother fat to boot. That in turn, didn’t really matter to me. I held my ground.
Luckily, the actual guy in charge who was called in to assist had no problem with us and before we know it we had our own spot. It pays to ask for what you want.
Finally, my absolute favorite, number six: I drove plently through other countries.
Before this vacation, I had only ever driven to Disneyland Paris. The enormous drive to Croatia intimidated me greatly. I always envision driving abroad as there’s all these challenges, difficult intersections and screaming locals. However, I am not letting my darling
Manfred manfriend (as seen on picture, I find him dreamy) do all of the driving just because I am a chicken shit: he deserves to relax and sleep uncomfortably in the passenger’s seat as well.
So the second day, I took the wheel and drove us through Austria to the capital of Slovenia. When we were in Croatia, I was the designated driver to ‘the Ibiza of Croatia’, which cured me of any driving anxiety left: If I can drive through the centre of a touristy town during rush hour and do hairpin curves in the pitchblack windy night on our way back, I can fucking do anything.
Which is why I decided I was also badass enough to drive the limitless speed highways of Germany. I did. At times I was driving at 160-180 km/h and it was awesome.
That about concludes my comfortzone-leaving of my holiday. I gotta say, I might have done these things on my own but I love the absolute pants off my manfriend for encouraging me and supporting me when we’re doing all of this stuff. Big shout-out. Now if you excuse me I have more stuff to do outside of my comfort zone. And yes, that would be cleaning. Later, dudes.