Since my Edmonton Tourist Journey began and I started saying YES more than NO. I also began taking risks and facing my fears. Some of the biggest obstacles I have overcome involved me speaking up, saying what I thinking and using my passion and intellect to support my convictions. It has worked out mostly good. Not everything was good, some things were painful and embarrassing but I do not regret anything I have done since 2010. I have been intentional about change, trying new things and being a risk taker. I regret nothing…until today. Today was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. I’ll come back to why it was bad, but first I feel a list coming on. I feel the need to list the fears I have overcome since this project has began.
The Edmonton Tourist’s Top 11 List of Faced Fears
- I let other people plan my vacation. That was hard for me, I like to be in control and know what is going on. Consequently, I two amazing vacations that were very relaxing. I won’t do it every time because planning is fun for me, but I did contact my new travel agent – I like her a lot. She is planning a little (big) trip for my son’s graduation. It will be EPIC and I am not scared!
- University. I was scared I wasn’t smart enough for University. I was scared I couldn’t write a paper. I learned I am pretty good at research and writing, so much so that I will graduate with awesome marks (honors), AND in December of this year. I faced a big fear, overcame it and now I am about to reap it’s rewards. SUPER EXCITED!
- Less Food. Weird for people who don’t use food to feed their emotions or use it to provide emotional support, but I do both. Or rather did. I still do occasionally but now I catch myself doing it. It was a long hard road to face the fact that food is fuel and not therapy. I am halfway there. By the time I am 50, I will be on the beach somewhere rocking a bikini. Something I haven’t done since I was 14. AND WILL I BE AWESOME!!
- Run. I had a gym teacher in grade 7 (Mr. Snow I am looking at YOU) You weren’t even a real teacher yet, one of those Student Teachers that are either great or sucked. You sucked. You called me a candy ass because I couldn’t run. News flash: Fat kids can’t run 2.5km without stopping on the very first day. We are fat for a lot of reasons but one of them was WE DID NOT RUN EVER! Now I run. I ran 13km the other day, this week is 14km for my LSD and you know what Mr. Snow? I learned how to do it with people calling me names. Except for that one time I had to teach the mean girls a lesson in politeness and teach them that everyone has a different starting point. They were like you, narrow minded and egotistical. I hope you learned some empathy or you were going to end up being the WORST TEACHER EVER.
- Trying New Things. I had a project where I tried 52 new things in a year. One new thing a week. It was easier than I figured it would be. I learned trying new stuff can be fun, at the very least it is hilarious if you can laugh at yourself.
- Public Speaking. When I was the Chairperson for the parent council at my kids elementary school, I had to speak in front of the entire parent population. I won’t lie, I was terrified. As I continued through my project facing my fears, I became better at public speaking. I am now a motivational speaker and lead workshops and seminars. I have even been apart of a media scrum and answered questions from reporters on TV. It is now easy. I never would have thought that possible.
- Racing. As a kid, I was the one who came in last. I would skip school so I wouldn’t have to go to Track and Field Day and be last. Last totally sucks when you are a kid. Now I enter races and I expect to be last. I do it for new reasons. Runners never expect to win, so please stop asking me if I think I have a chance at winning. In my head I am laughing at you. I enter a race for the experience, the challenge (I push myself harder during a race than I do on a Sunday morning), to raise money for a cause and I like shiny things. Medals rule.
- Saying No. Remember how I said I needed to Yes more than No? That was true, that is how I made new friends that I actually like. Not that I didn’t like my old friends…well…but I really dig my new friends! ANYWAYS…I always felt like I couldn’t disappoint people. I needed to be a people pleaser. I now don’t feel that way. I don’t volunteer for everything under the sun now, I only volunteer for things that are meaningful to me. I only help people I like and I only give to things I believe in. It makes me sound selfish but actually, I do help and give WAY more than I ever did before and its awesome.
- Narcissists. I was married to one. I am related to a couple. I don’t fear them anymore. It took their power away and now my life is peaceful and AWESOME.
- Heights. I once hid in under my bed at camp to get out of the zipline required activity for all councillors. Murdo found me and talked me through it. I jumped into a 5 story freefall and didn’t die. I no longer fear heights…just ladders and hitting the ground.
- The Gym. Gyms are only for skinny people. True story. It takes courage for a fat girl to walk into that room. Everyone needs to start somewhere. The secret is to walk like you belong and before you know it, you do belong. Then one day, you are the skinny person working out like everyone else.
Fears I am still working on:
- Birds – irrational but true
- Mice – also irrational but true
- Expired food – which brings me to my big regret today.
First of all, in a work situation or with my friends I am very clear about my boundaries.
I WILL NEVER SNIFF OR TASTE EXPIRED FOOD, QUESTIONABLE FOOD OR UGLY FOOD
Never ever ever ever never!
I don’t care if the expiration date is today – I am NOT DOING IT.
At lunch I made a sandwich. I cut an avocado and spread half of it onto my bread, added cheese, tomato, sprouts and cucumber. It is my favorite sandwich. My first mistake was making lunch in the dark. It was raining and I don’t turn the lights on during the day because I shouldn’t have to. So even when its dark, I rebel and leave the lights off during the day. My second mistake was seeing dark spots on the avocado and thinking I could scoop around them. The last mistake was eating.
Avocados are not suppose to foam and sparkle like carbonated fruit in your mouth. It was wrong on SO MANY LEVELS. I broke my 3rd rule – DON’T EAT UGLY FOOD!
I have come so far and yet have many miles to go.