We went hiking on one of our first dates. I say “one of” because neither of us can remember which “one” it was. I think it was the sixth or seventh, and Kyle thinks it was, “Maybe the fourth? Fifth? I don’t know.”
Here’s what I can tell you – it was late enough in the game that we were comfortable spending an hour and twenty minutes in the car together, yet it must have been in the EARLY stages, because I remember waking up at 6 AM to shower and “get ready”.
Get ready. For hiking.
A day in the woods. Weaving through trees. Climbing over rocks. Walking through spiderwebs. Doing that thing people do where they take really big, wide steps over puddles and act all, “What? Like it’s hard?”
Last weekend we decided to head on back to Starved Rock, IL. The scene of our “Maybe fourth? Fifth? I don’t know” date. There’s something special about recreating one of your first dates after two years. Especially since – this time around – I cared less about trying to be “cool and naturally pretty”.
It’s not that I’m NOT outdoorsy – but I’m also not Buffalo Bill. When Kyle pointed out a dead snake that was floating around in the river, I reacted as if I’d just seen a bear. “Ahh! Ugh! No! I hate snakes.”
“Jenn, it’s dead.”
“I don’t care. I still hate snakes.”
“But it’s *dead*…”
“Great. I still don’t want to see it.”
Kyle’s a lucky a guy.
Hiking is not “out of my comfort zone”. I know it sounds like it is – given all of my hang-ups and snake-fears and irrational fear of falling over the side of a cliff, but really. I love nature.
Okay, I like nature. I like being outside. The sunshine, the fresh air, the peace and quiet, that little vitamin D high. And believe it or not – I actually enjoy hiking. It can be relaxing, and energizing, and – once you’re in the thick of it – you kind of feel like you’re on an adventure.
An adventure where we like to pretend that there are NO bugs, or spiders, or critters. No, sir. Not in THESE woods.
So why did I include a story about hiking on a post titled “Getting out of your comfort zone”, if hiking isn’t really “out of my comfort zone”?
Well, for one, I had the pictures.
But it also seemed like a good opportunity for a lesson in Blogland. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you may notice that A) I’ve stopped posting so much fashion stuff, and B) I’ve stopped posting, like, in general. I’ve just stopped posting. I took an unexpected 3-month break where I *looked* at my blog almost daily, and did that thing other writers are familiar with where I would start writing, and stop. And then start again, and then stop.
“No, I don’t like that” I would say before posting. “This could be better.” And the worst? When I’d finally get so frustrated, I’d say: “This post is stupid. WHY am I writing a post about ‘what to wear on an airplane’? Why does this need to exist on the Internet? Does it not already exist on every other fashion blog?”
I mean, it does. But still.
It was at that point when I decided that I wanted to change what I was writing about. I wanted it to be more personal. Less about “what to wear when” and more about our travels. More stories. More originality. More pictures of stuff beyond “Hey, will you take a picture of me in front of this wall? But, like, looking away. So I’m going to look away, okay? Like it’s candid.”
“But you’re posing.”
“Right. But it’s supposed to look candid. So, okay – I’m going to pretend to be laughing. Okay?”
“Laughing at what…?”
“Nothing! It’s supposed to be candid, okay? Like I don’t realize you’re taking a picture, and I’m just laughing. It’s going to be cute.”
*Poses awkwardly for two seconds and gets uncomfortable because people are around*
“Stop, stop. People are looking. Stop.”
“Because people are looking!”
“So, I’m done. You took one, right? I’m sure it’s fine.”
“You’re blinking in it.”
Anyway – it’s been three months and now I’ve gotten into the bad habit of: “No, I don’t like that” and “This could be better”. I say it about every post. Even the ones where I’m just telling a story about our trip. “That could be more interesting,” I think, or “I don’t like how that sounds”.
“What’s wrong with it?” Kyle will ask.
“I don’t know,” I answer. “I just don’t like it.”
But therein lies the problem with being a perfectionist – you’ll never know what’s wrong with it, you just know that you don’t like it. It’s not perfect. And it never will be.
Literally. Nothing will ever be perfect. Something could always be better. Perfectionism is an excuse to never, ever finish what you’ve started.
So, in an attempt to reverse the cycle and *fingers crossed* start posting more often (because I miss blogging), I’m posting this – even though it’s not perfect, and even though I might want to take it down in two days, and even though IT COULD BE BETTER.
And I hope that it may give you the courage to try something out of your comfort zone as well. Leave me a comment below and let me know what kind of content you would like to see.