The other day I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine. Which served a couple of different purposes in the end and I definitely think it’s something worth blogging about, something that’s worth thinking about – for everyone!
My friend has spent a lot of his life thinking, which there is nothing wrong with. Thought is required for good planning, avoiding and even not making the same mistakes again. But just thinking isn’t good. I’m not going to go into detail about his life and reasons behind it. Really he’s an awesome friend but so much time spent thinking and never doing. Just work, eat, sleep and hardly anything else. Certainly not outside of the the normal routine. So after some discussion I got him to realise that he needs to live his life, go out and see things, experience things instead of just talking about it. Enough making a 20 step plan, time to take step one!
At some point this got to me making a comparison between the last year or my life, and the last year of his. His consisting of – as I mentioned above work, eat and sleep.
Mine? I’ve been camping for the first time, I’ve seen one of my favourite bands live, been to see Gosia, visited museums and probably some other stuff I can’t remember right now. I’ve done all these things because I want to. Sure, I’ve had to save money for them and put some planning into them but I did them. I went through with them all.
However, it also made me think.
4 years ago, I would not do any of that. Did I want to? Honestly, no. I had no idea who I was, what I wanted and I was 99% afraid to leave the house. Most of this had come from being in a bad abusive relationship. The difference in me is remarkable – or at least I think so (maybe some of you should comment and tell me what you think?).
I dare not speak to most people as experience had taught me, if I speak – I get shouted at. Right now, it’s Thursday night and I’m sidekicking for Mike Rimmer. A stark difference from not speaking to hardly anyone. Live, on air, around the world!
And, you may have noticed I’m very opinionated and outspoken.
There was two incidents that really turned this around for me – not over night. But you really do have to just take the plunge so to speak and I’m by means saying that it’s easy to do that. I know all too well that it isn’t.
One of these was meeting Mike Rimmer for a hot chocolate in the town centre – which was all kinds of a big deal to me. I had to pep-talk myself for hours before leaving the house, I was anxious but putting all my energy into not having a panic attack. We went to a small cafe – which has closed down now – but although the place was familiar to me, in a way it was one of the worst places to go. I used to go there all the time with my ex, so I had to fight my anxiety even harder. I sat on a chair, hunched forwards over my hot chocolate, trying not to shake too much during the conversation. Mike however was lying on one of the big comfy sofas they had there chatting away to me as if I’d known him all my life. All sorts of things came from that one meeting which if I told you them all, it would make for one very long blog but suffice to say it helped and I certainly wouldn’t be on the radio right now, talking about all sorts of random things.
The second.I boarded a train on my own for the first time in my life, and went to meet four people who I’d never met before face to face. Those four people were Maaike, Ewa, Kim and Gosia – that’s right, we were going to see a few Backstreet Boys shows together. I was terrified. I was stood on the platform waiting for my train to Liverpool and I just kept saying to myself over and over “I want to go home”. But I didn’t and this wasn’t all my own will power, all four of them calmed my nerves by texting me every step of the way and making sure I didn’t have to wait around on my own once I got to Liverpool. And to be honest, once I was there and we were all together I was completely fine. I was probably the first time I’d felt relaxed in years. I had no qualms about getting the train with them the next day, getting the train home on my own or even that none of them had English as their first language (though I did dream in Dutch the entire time I was with them – which was confusing as hell since I don’t speak it!). They continued to talk me thought my next few train journeys after that trip and now I’m fine.
Trust me, it really was not easy. I had to battle every second and there wasn’t just these two incidents either but these are two prominent examples of how you need to push yourself sometimes. Even if it’s hard. If I hadn’t pushed myself, if I hadn’t battled, if I hadn’t done those things I wouldn’t be on the radio, visiting Gosia, going to the zoo on the train, camping, etc. My life is so different now, I’m so different now.
Don’t let life pass you by. Go out and experience things! I did, against the odds.