I'm notorious for saying no when people invite me out. Though most people assume I'm an extrovert, I'm not. I can turn "it" on when I have to (like at work), but it's emotionally draining for me when I have to be "on."
The older I get, the harder it is for me to venture out of my comfort zone. I'm happiest at home with my family. I'd rather read or paint than go out. So when I get offers to meet up with friends I often want to say no. I have to talk myself into saying yes. And no wins out a lot more than yes does.
This summer I got an email from my book club inviting me (and the other club members) to take a cruise in October. I didn't respond to the email. I read it and said no in my head ... and forgot about the invitation. A few weeks later I got a text from my friend Melissa, who is also in my book club, asking me if o was going to cruise with them. I'm not sure why, but I quickly said yes.
I'll be honest, as soon as I said yes I wished I hadn't. I had all sorts of anxiety like: would my snoring be a problem; would I have fun; would it be worth it to be away from my family; would I be able to fit a cruise into my crazy schedule; would I have things to talk to the other ladies about ... and the list goes on. But I already committed to going, so there was no backing out.
Man. I'm so glad I did. I had an awesome time and was reminded (over and over again) that if I take one little step toward connection, people will step toward me and close the gap.
I had so much fun. We talked about serious things. We laughed (a lot). We drank wine. We soaked up the sun. We kayaked in the ocean (crazy awesome). We took a ton of silly photos. We giggled until our bellies hurt. We sipped tea. All the anxiety I had before the cruise was for not.
Saying yes to this experience was so worth any angst I felt in the process. And I hope it helps me say yes to more adventures just like this.