This past weekend I left the house and I must say that the outside world isn’t so bad. It’s not that I never leave my house but I don’t get out much. I’m what one would call a “homebody”. I’d choose laying in bed binge watching my favorite Netflix series or indulging in an urban fiction novel over going out any day but I’ll admit that there are times where boredom creeps up and the loneliness sets in.
Perhaps I’m even more lonely now that I’m single.. but we’ll get to that in another post.
I want to talk about stepping outside of your comfort zone because that’s exactly what I did Saturday. A friend of mine asked if I wanted to go out to get food and to a hookah bar and I accepted her offer with no hesitation. I’d never been to a hookah bar but had heard stories and figured it would be a positive experience. I took about an hour to get ready and I honestly wasn’t satisfied with what stared back at me in the mirror. I kept the insecurity hidden and decided I would enjoy my night. We drove out to Broad Ripple and after 10 minutes of riding around looking for a spot to park and 15 minutes of walking, we reached our destination. My first impression of the hookah bar was that it was crowded and being someone with anxiety .. I was ready to leave. Once we were seated buckets of sweat poured down my face and as I made every attempt to wipe myself without ruining my makeup I felt like everyone’s eyes were on me. You know in school when you’re 10 minutes late for class and as you walk through the door and head for your seat you feel your classmates eyes on you? Yeah, that’s how I felt. Anyway…we ordered our flavors and she showed me what to do. I wasn’t sure if I was just boring company or if she just wasn’t feeling the environment but I sensed she wasn’t feeling it. She eventually flagged down one of the workers and asked if he could move us, I hid my excitement but was grateful that he did. I felt more comfortable after being moved and even found myself swaying from side to side as the music blasted through speakers. We hadn’t been in our new seats for more than 10 minutes when one of the lady workers walked up to us questioning who moved us, the guy was standing directly across from me and looking at him gave it away. She yelled at him and I felt extremely bad believing I had just got him in trouble. My friend pointed out that there was sign that read “Ask if you want to be moved”. So we didn’t understand what the big deal was.
There was a group of girls sitting next to us and two of them began to dance. The same lady came over yelling at them about how they needed to stay seated and then the man who had checked us in went over to them and informed them that if they got up and danced again they would have to leave. I was confused about why they were being so rude and why it wasn’t ok for those girls to dance. You have a room full of 18-20 year olds, blasting music, and smoking hookah and you expect us to not want to dance? We didn’t stay much longer after that. She mentioned that it just wasn’t the same as the last time she had come.
My overall impression of this place was that they need to work on their customer service skills. I wouldn’t want to give my money to someone and have them talk to me like I’m beneath them. The environment was laid back, and everyone was there for the same reason, to have a good time. They should look into expanding to a bigger building in my opinion as I didn’t care for the smaller setting.
Afterwards, we went to get food and enjoyed the rest of our night until she drove me home. What I took away from this experience was that sometimes it’s good to step outside of your comfort zone. There have been many times where I wanted to go out and do something but I allowed fear to hold me back. I allowed anxiety to talk me out of it. Although I was uncomfortable when we first arrived at the hookah bar, I still tried to make the most of it. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and I have no regrets.
While I still struggle with it, my social anxiety is not as severe as it once was. I’m ready to get out more, to do more, to be more social but I know it’ll take a lot of work.
What would you do if you didn’t allow fear to hold you back? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.
Have a positive and productive week!