First, Put On Your Pants

Some people are seemingly born with poise and self-confidence; other people develop it over time. And then there are the rest of us.

I’ve always been fairly outgoing, but carrying around 100 extra pounds for too many years made me feel awkward and self-conscious in situations outside my normal day-to-day. I love meeting new people and experiencing new things too much to entirely withdraw from polite society, but I did pass up on some events because I didn’t feel I could bluster my way through.

That was then. Now, I’m still not poised (not in my DNA), nor do I always feel 100% comfortable walking into a room full of strangers, but I’ve conquered that sometime-hesitancy to step out of the norm and explore new things.

Take the past week, for example:
– I “pitched” my services to a company for an upcoming event, presenting my abilities and ideas in a (mostly) orderly fashion. No definite answer yet, but they haven’t said no either.
– I attended a city-wide neighborhood leaders meeting and participated in discussions on biking hazards and other issues important to living in a healthy, vibrant city.
– I joined a local group of WordPress-powered bloggers* to learn more about the platform and, more important, discover fun plug-ins. I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow I’m on the agenda for next month to discuss building community in blogging. (Like I’m an expert.)
– At the WP meeting I found out about a local event being held this weekend and not only am I attending, I volunteered to greet people and/or serve as a room monitor. I have no idea what a room monitor does, exactly, but I hope it involves a whistle and a sash!
– I attended the monthly meeting of Walk-Bike Memphis to learn more about upcoming programs to make my city more attractive (and safe!) for folks on foot or skinny wheels.

So even though I’m not overflowing with self-confidence, I’m getting out, trying new things, and meeting new people. If I wait until my comfort level is at 100%, I suspect I’d be here for a while. In fact, of the things I did over the last week, I probably would have only tried a couple of them in years past.

My question for you today (which you are not required to answer, but perhaps to consider) is if you’re letting your extra weight and how you feel about yourself hold you back from seeking out opportunities to meet new people or try new things. Are there(non-exercise-y) things you want to do now, but you just don’t feel comfortable striking out and giving them a try? If so, I hope you’ll dig deep and step out boldly. But before you do. . .

A cautionary note: I had a plan for today that included getting lots of things done. Unfortunately, all that planning must have worn me out, because I overslept. As I was dashing around the house trying to cram an hour’s worth of getting ready into 10 minutes, I stopped to check the weather. Ah, 40-ish° Definitely needed my base layers on! Had to go all the way into the kitchen, which required a stop at the almond tin, to grab the base layers and my t-shirt off the dryer, and then had to stop at the fruit bowl before completing all the other necessities of getting myself ready to show the world how much I have to offer it!

The good news is that I got out the door. The bad news is that I didn’t manage to actually complete all those necessities I mentioned. As I was barreling into Starbucks for a caffeine/warmth boost, I felt a definite draft around my hindquarters. Looking down, I saw that I had never slipped my pants on over my base layers.

I was storming Starbucks in my longjohns!

Fortunately they’re black, so I don’t think anyone noticed, but it was definitely one of those moments when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I waited until I got back to my car and chose laughter. All day long.

So, yes, get out and about and experience life! But first, put on your pants.

*I found the WordPress bloggers through, which lists local meet-ups for a bunch of cities. It’s not just limited to bloggers. Almost any topic/interest has a meet-up group, and if not, you can start one!

19 thoughts on “First, Put On Your Pants

  1. Oh I so could have done that starbucks run! Good for you on all these new ventures Cammy. I am not very outgoing and not very self-confident, not weight related. Small talk makes me shudder. It takes skill that I have not mastered. But I work on it:) I am going to check out that local blogging there where I am. I could use some WP help:)

  2. Oh boy do you ever have me laughing over this. One of the managers at “my” Starbucks is a student of Mr. B’s, so I probably ought to always wear my pants when I go in there. That could get around his school pretty fast, couldn’t it?? LOL!

  3. awesome!!! Of course it’s easy for me to say that because it didn’t happen to me. :)

  4. I too am not a wonderful conversationalist, nor all that comfortable around new people, but not weight related for me, or at least it hasn’t got any better since I’ve lost my weight. I have to try hard to mix.

    I have gone out running once with just my Skins long tights on, usually I wear running shorts over the top. I got to the end of the street and felt the cold. I’m not as game as you (or maybe don’t look as good in tights), so I returned home to put on my shorts.

  5. how you feel about yourself hold you back from seeking out opportunities to meet new people or try new things. Are there(non-exercise-y) things you want to do now, but you just don’t feel comfortable striking out and giving them a try? If so, I hope you’ll dig deep and step out boldly.

    Yes, how I feel about myself but after this post, I best slink away & try some things! :-)

    Cammy, I loved that story!!!! So friggin funny & I bet you looked great anyway! Hey, if it makes you feel better, one time way back wehn, I fogot to put on my bra & I was working a Corporate job at the time!!!

  6. oh cammy, i adore you! starbucks in your longjohns, awesome. i totally could see myself doing that, especially not having had the starbucks caffeine boost yet. thanks for the smile before i hit my busybusy day!

    by the way, you are the PERFECT person to talk about community for bloggers. you were my first regular commenter when i started blogging, after all! thanks so much for your encouragement and especially for your gently humorous view of life.

  7. That is just classic!

    I was just thinking today that I need to get out into the community and find some volunteer or other activities to join. I am not likely to find a job until sometime in the new year and I should use this time for more than hanging around the house!

  8. Okay, I can so relate to your thoughts in this post!!!
    Getting out of your comfort zone is difficult, but so rewarding when you achieve something new!
    Currently, I am spending my time and focus on getting my ebook into print. I am very excited about it and learning heaps about the independant publishing opportunities out there, but I could never have tackled any of this had I not learnt some essential goal setting skills that first learnt and practiced during my own weight loss journey.
    I had to ‘get out of my comfort zone’ then and still do now, when reaching for new things to do and achieve. So I certainly ‘get’ your thoughts in this post :)

    Congrats to you Tammy on all your new ventures and learning!!

    And BTW Are you offering speaking skills in your pitch or mentoring of some sort? Please blog more about your ventures….I’ll stay tuned!

    Oh and I so need to join one of those WordPress groups – they sound wonderful! Bye for now…

  9. It’s always nice to come across a blog written by a fellow maintainer. Your question regarding weight and letting it get in the way is something I still work at today, even though the weight has been gone for years. Sometimes it just takes a while to undo the damage, if you know what I mean. I do these ‘comfort zone challenges’ on my blog in part because I’m tired of still feeling like that 235 pound person I used to be. I need to step outside and live a little; my blog really holds me accountable. So glad to see that you have conquered that aspect. That’s what I strive for every day.

  10. What a great post. Success in life is really about first deciding what we really want and then doing what we need to do to get it, including stepping out of our comfort zone. I loved this post for its honesty and inspiration.

    As a born introvert I am working to put myself out there, having attended two networking events this week. I have decided to declare 2001 my year of connection.

    I look forward to reading about how your efforts progress.

    Your story also points out how crazy and busy our lives have become and how important it can be to slow down, breathe and make sure we have put on our clothes before leaving the house :-)

  11. Cammy! Sometimes you gotta just do it and hope that the comfort will catch up! Good for you, putting yourself out there! Take it from someone that doesn’t do well in group situations…it ain’t easy!!! GREAT JOB!!!

    You forgot to put your pants on???? Ha ha!! I think that’s a great way to start your day! A reminder to laugh at yourself!!! Ha!

  12. I attended a seminar yesterday and one of the speakers was an expert in social media. OH MY GOSH!! How many years would it take me figure out all of the things that she suggested as if they were snaps?

    I’ve mixed up socks and shoes before in a dark closet, but I’ve not forgotten my pants before. Don’t give my stressed brain any ideas!

    I think it’s great that you’re doing all of those things. I hope you get the job that you proposed. Fingers crossed!

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