I've always had a problem with straying away from the familiar. For years, my wardrobe consisted of dark colors - blues, browns, greys, blacks. Graphic tees. Things that were comfortable and safe. Last year, when I started my new job, I started to venture out from the familiar as I re-vamped my work wardrobe. Button down shirts in every color of the rainbow with stripes and plaids, flower pins, snakeskin belts, herringbone flats, candy colored cardigans, pearl necklaces with tulle rosettes. Statement pieces.
In my regular wardrobe, I started to be more daring as well: Plaid orange and purple button downs. Skinny jeans with distressing and rips on the knees.4 inch wool grey pumps. Leggings with ankle boots and tunic shirts. A tan leather/bomber jacket acquired in Shibuya 109 with frilled shoulders, deep v-neck and a 3 inch zip on the bottom. A teal plaid flannel moto-jacket/shirt.
With regards to my life, I am still trying to venture out from the comfort zone I had always known. Growing up, I was the loner, the quiet, independent girl. I'd stay home and read and watch TV. I'd go to the movies and concerts alone. I ate chicken nuggets and fries religiously and was nervous about trying new foods because they might be gross or hot or spicy. I have and still am breaking boundaries in regards to my palate. I have acquired a love for Indian, Vietnamese and Thai food. In Japan, I was willing to try anything at least once like octopus, okonomiyaki and chicken curry. I have stopped being opposed to eating things just because I don't know what they are so I am not sure if I will like them or not. And now I found myself with a never-ending desire to eat corned beef sandwiches and tofu summer rolls.
My social life is still on eggshells. I am nervous about meeting new people and opening up about my life and my past. I am afraid to trust because I am afraid of getting hurt. I am basing everything in the future on everything that has happened in the past, and it is keeping me stuck in my comfort zone: being a shut-in every weekend when I should be out socializing and enjoying the weather and this city. At work, I don't talk to a lot of people other than those in my immediate office - I tell myself it is because I am trying to keep things professional, or because I don't care about getting to know little stupid facets of people's personal lives, or because I'm leaving next year so what's the point. But it's because I am afraid to let people in, to let them get to know me.
At happy hour last night, a co-worker that I'm not particularly fond of and I got to talking about stuff like TV and travel and I jokingly suggested we go to Atlantic City later that night. He was 100% serious about it. And so, at 8:30 that night, I found myself in the backseat of his car with him & his friend on the way to Atlantic City. Completely on a whim. Totally random. He joked with me that he was surprised I came because I "hate him". I joked back "Yeah, I know. I do." But we had a great time and of course, left alone with his friend, she asked me where I hung out on the weekends and I blushed and looked away when I told her I stay at home because I don't have a lot of friends, despite living here for a year. She told me that they go out a lot in my area and I should come out some time and took my number down. The inner dork inside me, the one longing for acceptance, smiled and save her number in my phone too. At the end of the night, I had had a really great time and made some new friends that I will hopefully hang out with again sometime soon.
See? That wasn't so hard. I can do this. Baby steps, baby steps.