In April I was in D.C. for DCLX, a yearly Lindy Hop exchange. For the Saturday evening dance they had the old carousel up and running for us. For only a dollar you could regain your childhood!
I had actually never been on a carousel before, at least not that I can remember. So I was ecstatic and dragged my friend there as soon as we got there and got us tickets. Within a few minutes it was our turn and we walked round and round, trying to decide what animal to sit on -- a lion? A horse? A giraffe?
In the end we decided on two hares the size of ponies and straddled them. Soon the music started and off we went!
Photo by Rick Baker
Even if it doesn't sound like a big thing to you, I remember a time when I would have been too embarrassed to do it. I remember how I would have cared too much about what people might think, and I would have looked at it longingly and walked past it, pretending I didn't care.
And I so would have regretted it!
So what if it was the two of us and some kids? So what if a few adults looked at us weirdly? They probably wished they were having as much fun as we were!
It might be a tiny thing, but I absolutely loved it. You can see on my smile how elated I was! It also helps to have friends who are 100% on board with silliness of all kinds, so we laughed and "raced" and made horrified faces at the creepy angels staring down at us from the ceiling.
Photo by Ran Berkovich
There are so many things I wish I had done but was too scared to take a chance on. I can't rectify that, but I can do my best to not let opportunities and experiences pass me by anymore. Even if they are as small as riding an old-fashioned carousel in the park, they are all memories that will add up to the amazing story we will look back on. :)
Having social anxiety things like these can feel really scary. I get anxious just walking the dogs down the street, not knowing what to do with myself or where to look when cars pass me by! But this is where practice comes in. I've been challenging myself to do things for a decade now, and you know what? It does get easier!
You need to focus on the thing itself, how fun it will be to do, and just do it.
The trick is to not give yourself time to think about it and start second guessing yourself -- the second you see something you'd like to do (be it an activity or a person you'd like to complement), just force your feet in that direction and before you know it you're doing it!
Hi, I'm Erika!
I know what it's like living with anxiety and depression, but living and living are very different things. I believe in practical tips and methods, and I will use them to help you be the brave, daring, darling individual you are.
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