I haven’t been the best about celebrating my birthday in adult life. (As in I usually forget it entirely until the day of when it’s too late to make plans.) Not this year though! A few weeks ago I jumped on cheaptickets.com and booked the most affordable Southwest ticket to Philadelphia I could find. Why Philly? One of my closest friends happens to reside there. I knew a bit of exploring and tons of good company would rejuvenate me, but I realized I felt something completely unexpected when I returned – empowered.
I’ve never been diagnosed with anxiety, but for as long as I can remember I’ve always had a sense of apprehension towards new experiences, places and social situations. It has kept me from taking on a lot of cool opportunities, making friends and for most of my life has had a negative impact on my self-confidence. Traveling to many people sounds like a dream, but for me the first things that come to mind are airplanes that can crash, getting lost in a foreign place, Ubering with a stranger who can kidnap me…..the list goes on and the extremes continue.
This trip to Philadelphia was a giant step for me. Not just because I planned a trip myself and got on a plane alone, but because of the confidence I had in myself the entire way. So much positive self-talk was needed to keep me calm on the way there, but the flight back was easier than I ever would have imagined. On the ride home I was already jotting down a list of places I want to go next without a single concern for the “what ifs”. A huge weight has been lifted and it’s been such a relief.
I’m challenging myself to make 28 a year of new experiences….things I’ve been putting off and things I convinced myself I couldn’t do. I know it’s going to be tough for me, but I’m excited to see how much I grow in the process. It feels good to be facing my fear of flying in so many ways.
Until next time….
Featured photos from my trip to Terrain Garden Cafe in Pennsylvania.