Doing brand new things TOTALLY FREAKS me out. I suddenly feel 10 years old, waiting for my mom and dad to show me what to do. It stems from a serious concern for looking good. I never want to appear as though I don't know what's going on or how to handle what's coming up. I don't want to look like a new kid or worse a tourist.
I remember being 12 and sending my 7 year old brother into grab ketchup from a fast food restaurant. Since we forgot it in the first place, it would be humiliating for me to go in and get it myself. One time I sat on a safari (taxi bus in St. Thomas) for an hour longer than I needed too because I was afraid to ask how to get off. My dad waited for me on the shore as I traveled around the island alone until the driver finally asked me "where are you going??". I wasn't born as a brave-carefree girl, I was born as afraid-to-do-it-wrong girl.
Being afraid to look silly doesn't allow for many firsts or new experiences on my own. It requires me to have an adult present so someone else can make the decision if something is safe or wise or good. While this concern for looking good hasn't stopped me from living in new places or meeting new people or traveling outside the country or making big decisions, it has caused me an awful lot of stress, worry, and self doubt.
Currently, Cale and I are in Guatemala, we are the adults on this trip, the ones making decisions. Prior to this trip I was both excited and completely worried. I couldn't figure out why I was worried until we got here and tried to order dinner in English.... Let me tell you, there is no looking good when you can't speak Spanish in more than a few broken sentences and you are with someone who can't speak Spanish in more than a few words and you are in a country where everyone speaks Spanish. I look like and sound like a total tourist.
I'm far outside my comfort zone and I have totally embraced it. In order for me to have an ounce of fun on this trip I have to look completely silly, doing and saying things that would normally turn my face a million shades of red. So far nothing bad has happened to me, in fact using the small amount of Spanish I have, to do what we've done has made me more proud of myself. It's taken away my self doubt.
Reminder to Cordelia, the adult: letting go of your the concern of looking good will bring you amazing rewards that will last a lifetime.
P.S. YOU ARE A TOURIST
xo | cordela