Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

I have to admit -- I haven't been great about putting myself in uncomfortable situations. When I first decided to go on this trip, I was well aware that it'd be out of my comfort zone -- like way out of my comfort zone. I thought that in the four months of preparing for the trip, I'd challenge myself and do things that I'd never done before to get used to going out of my comfort zone. Some ideas were to meet up with a group from couchsurfing (an organization that connects travelers throughout the world and has local meetups) to expand my boundaries in my own city; to go to a restaurant by myself and have a full sit down meal alone; and even just go to a local bar/pub, and sit down at the counter and have a drink. Or, even, if I was invited to something where I wouldn't know very many people, I'd go and have conversations with people I didn't know and would probably never see again.

Of all those things -- I've done one. I went to a friend's house for a get together she was having where she and her husband, and a few acquaintances, were the only people I knew. And, while I had a fine time, it wasn't great. I felt out of place, my introverted side came out, and I made small talk with a lady who was talking about how she killed a chicken so she could "feel more connected to her food." Needless to say, it was tough to have conversations with people who a) I honestly didn't really care about and b) I knew I'd never see again! It's funny because I pride myself on being able to talk to anyone for any amount of time ... but that's one-on-one. If it's me and one other person, I'm completely extroverted. (Must have been all of those dumb dates I went on when I was doing online dating!!) But put me in a group setting and my introvertedness slams me in the belly, I get embarrassed whenever I talk and the group is looking at me, and I want to just get away as quickly as possible.

But mentally, I fast forward a month and a half (!) when I'm in a completely new country where I know no one and staying in hostels. This could be a nightmare. I'm trusting that all the newness, the unknown and the fact that if I don't make connections I'll be wandering around alone for seven months, will force me (i.e. slap me in the face repeatedly) to make friends -- even if they do end up being short term and we end up talking about connecting to our food.

All this to say, I'm going to have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable ... and soon. In the meantime, I'm savoring the comfortable. I'm staying in and I'm surrounding myself with the people who love me and will miss me when I'm away. Because, yes, it's comfortable. And damn it, I like it.