I used to have this small lululemon bag that I used to carry my pretty heels when I would commute in, well, my way-less-pretty commuting shoes. It was covered in inspirational quotes and tips about drinking fresh water to flush away toxins and listening first and asking questions later and doing something every day that scares you.
Well, I stopped my downtown carslashsubwayslashwalking commute every day years ago, and the lululemon bag has long since fallen apart at the seams. I wasn’t reminded of it until last week when I went to pour my morning coffee and realized that the milk had expired…yesterday. Now, in my mostly smart brain I am actually quite aware that a date slapped on a carton of milk is not a be and all and end all. “Right, at 12:01 am on this magic date the milk goes bad.” But I tend to err on the side of the irrational, and I have a hard time pouring that milk into my coffee.
But on that particular Wednesday my desperation for caffeination trumped my irrational fear of expired milk and I poured that day-old stuff right into my coffee and went on with my day. This was kind of a huge thing for me. Actually, not kind. It was a huge thing. Definitely something that scared me. You know, some people live on the edge and go rappelling and sky diving. I play food-borne illness roulette. Potatoes, potahhhtoes.
After I realized I wasn’t going to get sick, I thought about this whole one thing a day that scares you thing, and after a little bit of research it seems that the quote belongs to Eleanor Roosevelt and not actually lululemon.
I’m going to try to do it.
On Thursday, I went downtown with my mother-in-law to see Once. Again. As a fan of Glen Hansard and Irish music and Dublin and The Swell Season and the movie and the play, I was pretty jazzed when she called and wanted to treat me to a second showing. Yes, yes, yes. Sign me the heck up, I said. What I hadn’t signed up for, of course, was getting on the subway at 11pm on Thursday night right after the Leafs game finished. It was sardine squashing on the subway car all the way to Finch. I managed to take a deep breath (which was not easy — breathing room was a luxury that night) and not have a panic attack.
One thing on Thursday that scares me? Achievement unlocked.
On Friday, I was asked to come in and speak to two 12th grade writer’s craft classes at the south campus of CHAT (the school Emily will be attending in the fall) about my background, my career, the changing face of journalism from print to online and of course, my blog. I jumped at the chance to talk to kids about all of these things, and it’s really cool to think about the fact that when I was their age, my current career did not even exist. I explained to them that our high school yearbook was put together on actual pieces of paper, we measured in something called a pica, and photos were physically glued down.
Public speaking doesn’t give me butterflies. In fact, I kind of really enjoy it. (Surprising fact about me #481) I was nervous, though, about talking to twelfth graders. Teenagers are a different kind of human and I worried that they’d find me old and irrelevant. I worried that they’d spend the time snapchatting or eye-rolling and when I asked if anyone had questions there’d be nothing but blank stares. But what happened was just the opposite. They were engaged and filled with questions and interest and ideas and it may have had something to do with the fact that I opened with a very confident “IT’S WHITE AND GOLD!” which proved to be a very good intro to online and viral content.
One thing that scared me on Friday? Check.
Last night I responded to an email to someone saying NO to something I normally would have said yes to. I’m not very good at saying no; it’s something that’s not particularly in my genetic makeup. I’m good at taking on too much, at needlessly stressing myself out. But I said no. I can’t do it, I’m so sorry. So, Saturday was complete.
I wonder what I’ll be scared to do today.
You should really join me in this. I think it’ll be great for all of us.