Merry Monday to you! Not only a new Monday but a new month. Merry Month to you? Heh heh.
Today's Motivational Monday will be a little different to the usual, it's a really personal tale of triumph but hopefully one you can take elements from and incorporate them into your own life.
A couple of weeks back I wrote THIS post about comfort zones and feeling super unsettled in new places. I was blown away by your responses to that and amazed at how many of your feel the same way. For the longest time I have not vocalised my feelings about new places because I felt a bit silly or like if I didn't think or talk about them then they wouldn't be real and I could quietly overcome them.
I am slowly realising that by being more open, I can accept it more and will find ways to deal with it better. The most crucial thing to me is that this doesn't get worse. I'm not looking for miracles, I would just like to be able to go on trips without feeling anything more than a standard amount of fear, as opposed to an irrational amount. I'd like to not say, 'Will you though? Will you actually? Will you definitely?' to someone when they say, 'You go down and get in the taxi, I'll be there in 5 minutes'. That actually did happen this weekend. Grr.
So, last weekend I jetted off to New Jersey to attend the Playlist Live Tri-State conference. We stayed in a Hilton which was great because I stay in those a lot and felt really secure and familiar there and Dean was in the room across the hall so I felt nice about that.
Usually when I travel for these work things, a big group of my friends go as well as either my Manager or Producer. With those people I feel somewhat cocooned in a safety net but this time I only flew out with Jack and Dean and felt a little vulnerable. Don't get me wrong, they are the greatest. Jack is one of my absolute best friends and Dean is someone who after this weekend I feel truly bonded with but none the less, I was nervous and on edge.
The flight was great, lots of lols and a tiny bit of sleep (after an initial cry at the airport because I just anticipated all the worst things) but by the time we were at Newark, I was feeling the fear. I don't know what it is. I just detest being in environments where I can't seem to latch onto anything familiar. I kind of need that anchor. Even silly things like if I see a Starbucks makes me feel good because I know where I am with that, I know what it is and what's inside and how it will be and so can relax.
We arrived at the hotel late so there really wasn't an evening and everything began the next day.
We headed into New York City with some of Jack's American friends (who were so lovely- big cuddles to Amber and Dom) and I immediately didn't feel great. I've been to New York once before and I think because I was with Matt and we only did little outings for just a couple of hours at a time it was a lot less heavy.
Everything was like an attack on my senses. We had to walk fast, dodge people, keep up convo, be freezing, smell weird street food stuff, look everywhere, everything was loud, etc etc. It was a LOT. We ate and then went to Times Square and at this point I knew I was really struggling. Whilst everyone was having a great time I tried to remind myself that it's just 'big London' and that it was all mind over matter.
Eventually matter won over mind and I felt way too hot, I couldn't catch my breath, I wanted to jump in a taxi and zoom away but instead I darted into a bar and threw up (in the loos, not just over the drinks dispensers haha). Not good.
That was the point I wanted to throw the towel in and grab a cab back to the hotel. I was a teary mess and felt like the city was this big bad force that was going to swallow me up and I was drowning.
After a big glass of ice water and very soothing words from Jack (who was just perfection about the entire thing), I decided to stay.
Long story short, I had one of the best afternoons I've had in years. I have a lot of good afternoons so this is really saying something. We went ice skating, had hot chocolates (well, I watched the gang have hot chocolates for fear of being ill again), looked in shop windows and laughed and chatted and oh me oh my it was so magical.
If I hadn't have forced myself to do it (or Jack hadn't have helped me I should say), I wouldn't have had that. It was scary and horrible and I cried and wanted to hide away but I stayed in the situation and (ungracefully) triumphed. I'm glad about that.
When the innate 'flight or fight' instinct kicks in, my body always opts for 'flight' and to run to safety. This weekend (lots of other things have led me to this conclusion but there are too many to write about) I found myself taking the 'fight' option on numerous occasions and I'm really pleased.
If you do have the chance to make that choice, try 'fight'. Right now, it doesn't feel as good as 'flight' but I know if I keep doing it, it will.
I'm going to keep being vocal about this issue and keep updating you on progress (or set backs) because it feels healing and that's nice.
Let me know in the comments if you have ever felt this way or if you have any similar stories.
Thank you for always being such loves on this blog, it is never un-noticed and always appreciated.