I thought it was going to be a big old Los Angeles disaster. Cooking on a day when Toots had not napped? Messy food and potentially dangerous objects in the hands of a testy three-year-old? A new venture in the late summer afternoon when we had already been in the sun all day? It was trouble waiting to happen.
But, on a hot Los Angeles day that topped out at 100 degrees, I wasn’t creative enough to come up with a viable alternative. So, I tried cooking with Toots anyway. It turned out to be a fantastic choice. I was happily surprised that the project not only was a joyful activity, but it also took up well over an hour of the never-ending summer weekend time abyss.
I reminded myself — you never know (about anything) until you try it.
Similarly, I went to a party not so long ago (a small all-vaccinated gathering) that I thought would be epic. I put on my cool-but-trying-not-to-be-seen-as-trying Los Angeles attire and mentally prepared to make new friends. It was not remotely what I thought it would be. In fact, some of the party attendees were just plain hostile. In one instance, I literally said, “Hi I’m Michelle.” And in response, I received a, “Uh huh,” as the person haughtily clomped off.
Again, you never know until you go.
In Los Angeles, where we are all a little hesitant to get back out of our safe homes and back to whatever semblance of normal there will be post-pandemic, I encourage you to not judge any of your books by their covers.
If any of us could hop in the DeLorean and go back in time, we would all probably make some different decisions. The gut-wrenching plight of humans (at this stage of our evolution at least) is that we must live our lives in only play mode. Not fast forward, not rewind.
Sure, daring to step outside of our comfort zone (particularly in Los Angeles) might result in negative consequences, but we all must make the choice to step on either the roller coaster or the lazy river of life. I, personally, will take all of the ups with all of the downs. I have always loved roller coasters. Lazy rivers put me to sleep.
“You never know until you try.” — Henry James
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” — Chaucer(ish)
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” — Neale Donald Walsch
Don’t take it from me. Take it from these folks. (You always know a good piece of advice by the number of versions of it you can find on Pinterest.)
As we begin, over the next few months, to step back into our lives, I encourage you, dear readers, to step boldly. I encourage you to try all the things as long as they're in line with your personal set of ideals.
And don't be afraid to try something new just for fun. You never know what you will discover. You might have a wonderfully fantastic time and you might end up at a dud party where everyone is too cool to talk to you. Again, though, you never know what you are going to get until you step outside of your comfort zone and give things a try.
“What if I fall? Oh but my darling. What if you fly?” — Erin Hanson
*Public service announcement — while you’re boldly stepping into your future in Los Angeles, please be safe. Wear a mask (when appropriate) and use protection. Make kind choices. And, for heaven’s sake, please treat each other with respect and kindness.