Lessons from August

Yes, I know its already September and you all are dying to know what my next challenge will be. But before I can get into that, it’s important for me to take a moment to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned over the course of August’s “Losing Control” challenge. In case you forgot, the point of the challenge was to intentionally put myself in situations where I couldn’t control what would happen. The goal was that I would learn to be open to the new experiences that might await if only I loosened the reigns a bit. For the challenge, I had to:

  • Let a stranger decide my coffee order
  • Let a stranger decide my food order
  • Let a friend of a friend  buy my groceries for a week
  • Join 1-2 Meetup groups and go to at least one Meetup alone, with no backup
  • Climb a rock wall
  • Go rollerskating
  • Spend a half-day doing something that someone else plans
  • Do Mom’s “Surprise Activity” with no questions asked

So, what have I learned after forcing myself into these situations?

First, I learned that some pretty cool stuff can happen when you let them.

Letting a stranger decide my coffee order worked out splendidly, because they picked something I knew I would enjoy but normally wouldn’t have ordered. Letting a stranger decide my food order was AMAZING, because I discovered a new dish that was not only delicious, it also had history. Without letting go of control, I probably would have never discovered a boxty, and now my life is changed! Okay, maybe it wasn’t life changing, but it was damn good! I trusted my mom and Elisa to plan activities for me, and I ended up having whole days worth of fun! I mean, a trampoline park?!?! Seriously?!? And even though Ellen bought me a LOT of groceries, most of which I don’t normally buy on my own, I ended up cooking some delicious culinary creations with those ingredients – things that I probably wouldn’t have cooked for myself otherwise. All of the activities could have ended up being ‘just whatever.’ But they weren’t! They were awesome!

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This brings me to the biggest lesson in the challenge. Which is really simple but also really difficult to accept.

It’s okay to trust the universe because everything just, kinda, works out (most of the time). 

What amazed me most about the challenge was the fact that things would work out even when I wasn’t in the driver’s seat. I didn’t have to make things happen, they just did. I didn’t have to work to make things turn out well, they just did. Of course, this didn’t come about by magic. It came about because I am blessed to have people in my life who have my best interest at heart. Like my mom, Elisa, and Norman – who made sure I was still safe while also forcing me to reach out of my comfort zone.

It also came about because of the benevolence of (relative) strangers, who didn’t want to give me shitty coffee, nasty food, or ridiculous groceries. They could have, to be sure. But they didn’t – because in general, people are okay. People are nice. Sure, there are some people that aren’t so nice (like the guy at the Happy Hour meetup). But even when you encounter a bad apple or an awkward situation, most people try to make the best out of it. And sometimes, you don’t even have to talk with anyone to feel the collective niceness of people. Sometimes all you have to do is go to a park and attempt to do some yoga while in the presence of gentle strangers.

I also learned that, quite often, my best interests are also in the best interests of others. I could trust in the rock climbing gym and the zip lining staff, because my safety was not just my priority, but theirs! They can’t have people falling off zip lines and rock walls willy-nilly! Even the ropes I used to belay or the cables that supported me on the zipline – even those inanimate objects were built with the intention of keeping people safe. This realization, that our best interests are tied to each other, is immensely powerful to me. It makes me think about how being kind and looking out for people not only helps them, but also helps me.

In general, I think it’s okay to trust in the universe. Of course, sometimes things won’t work out. But I guess that’s just part of life. Plus, the few times things don’t work out are easily overshadowed by all the multiple times they do!

SimonSigh

And now for my final lesson.

Rollerskating is still stupid. 

It just is.

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Peace out, lovelies! More info on September’s challenge coming tomorrow!

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