The Comfort Zone
You know that place, where you're relaxed and everything is ok... The place where you tend to be chilled, your pulse rate is down, your tongue isn't stuck to the roof of your mouth and you're generally not sweating. It's a happy place, you know where it is, you know your limitations within it and you tend to stay within it because, well because it's comfortable. It's your comfort zone. If you know me then you know that although i'm not typically shy and tend to end up in random conversations with strangers and can absolutely hold my own in a group convo, I would definitely place myself in the wallflower area of life. Happy to be in the background, not drawing attention to myself - I once done one of those quiz things (a little more serious than a Buzzfeed quiz) and I was definitely on the Introvert spectrum.
When Tamu and I decided to start MR it was an online platform. Sharing stories, experiences, changing the narrative, that type of thing. There was no mention of real life interactions except possible face to face interviews, I can manage that. Then we decided to do a brunch, again something I can handle, up to 20 people sat around a table with food and drink - smack bang in the middle of my comfort zone.
And then there was the panel event which I believed would be us organising an event and other people speaking, I would mingle with the audience and stay under the radar...
Erm... Apparently not. Apparently when you organise these things you have to introduce yourself, people need to know who you are, you have to stand up in front of all of them and tell them who you are!
Ok, just a brief introduction I told myself - manageable right? Wrong!
Dry mouth, room spinning, palms sweaty, forgotten my name - yeaaaaa.... Seems extreme, but other than the forgetting of my name it's absolutely true. I'm a wallflower damn it! But, I muddled through - I forgot most of what I had planned to say and instead posted it as a blog a few days later - lol.
And then one Saturday morning, the enemy of my Comfort Zone messaged me about an event that Sonia - Inspirational You - Meggie was organising that she wanted us to be involved in. Amazing! Again my mind went to helping to organise an event, possibly another brief intro. I've done it once I can do it again right?
Better second time? Practise breathing. Drink plenty to prevent dry mouth... It'll be fine. It'll be over in less than 5 minutes. No! This time we would actually be on the panel, we would be asked questions - I can answer questions, can't I? I think I can... I've answered questions before. And then... And then we weren't on the panel anymore we were Hosting!! HOSTING!!
Comfort Zone. So. Very. Far. Behind me I can't see it anymore!
But I once again made it through and am writing this blog post from the centre of my Comfort Zone (my fave place). The event was all kinds of fabulous. The ladies on the panel were amazing. The discussion was open and informative. The vendors were offering all kinds of eclectic gifts from leather jewellery to kente footstools and social media was awash with photos. A success? I'd say. And you know what, my comfort zone is expanding daily. I'm making my peace with being on the outside of it looking in and as long as the events and event goers are as fun and welcoming as they have been this far I reckon i'll be ok.
But until next time you can find me on a Unicorn float right in the middle of my Comfort Zone.