For Fess-Up Friday I want to tell you about something that is kind of embarrassing and makes me completely not cool: going someplace new and different always makes me feel anxious and slightly worried. It doesn’t matter what it is: a restaurant, a museum, a flea market. If I don’t know what to expect I kind of wig out. Not on the outside; on the outside I’m perfectly calm and self-assured. On the inside I’m a ball of worries: How do I get there? Where will I park? Do I need to pay? Where is the entrance? Will I know what to do? I can get pretty worked up.
The internet is absolutely the best thing that could happen to someone like me. Before I go anywhere I can get directions, see pictures, find out prices and hours, read menus and generally avoid all unpleasant surprises. This might sound lame to you but to me it calms me and helps to make sure I have a good time.
Every summer we do Texas Tuesday. I take the kids on an outing or a day trip someplace around our fair state. We started doing this because in every state we’ve lived in we have seen almost none of the local sights. Mostly because the idea of going to new places or having new experiences is super freaky to me. Theoretically I want to go to new places, but it’s intimidating and sometimes I’m not very courageous. I felt sad about missing out on so many wonderful opportunities so I finally decided to be a big girl and change my behavior. I don’t want to set the example for my kids of being a chicken.
Now that I know that every Tuesday during the summer we will be going someplace different, I can plan ahead and do my research. Websites, Blogs and Yelp help me feel confident and prepared. Knowing what to expect helps me relax and enjoy the experience knowing that there won’t be any weird surprises along the way (What do you mean it’s cash only? You have to arrive by 10 am to get a place in line? We’re supposed to wear water shoes?)
When Mister and I had been married for two years we decided to go to Europe for a couple of months. This was back in the early 90’s when there was no internet, no cell phones and no GPS. If you wanted information about a destination or a hotel, your only option was a guidebook. You know how erratic things in Europe can be: hotels close down, museums change their hours, roads are unmarked. Every day featured at least one internal mini panic-attack. Mister would tell me to close my eyes, recline my car seat, and breathe deeply for ten minutes. Although we had loads of fun on the trip and had so many cool experiences, I was worn out by the end. All those new experiences that I couldn’t plan for very well exhausted me emotionally. I feel like the most lame and boring person by admitting that, but it’s the truth. I only like an adventure when I know what to expect. Which makes it not an adventure at all. I guess that means I like the opposite of adventure.
But the funny thing is that I really like trying different restaurants or visiting a new city. I just have to be prepared and do my research first. If I feel like I know what’s going on, I have all the confidence in the world.