Posted by: mydarkestplaces | February 8, 2010

Permission

Matt Cheuvront wrote a post last month that really made me think. “Don’t Walk…Run Out of Your Comfort Zone” has words that I need to remember. As referenced earlier, I am a homebody. If I never had to leave my comfortable little corner of the world again, I’d be happy. For the first 24 years of my life I was surrounded by the same people, the same situations. I was learning, I was growing, but it rare was I pushed outside of that comfort zone.

Over the past year and a half, I have increasingly pushed myself out of my comfort zone. As someone who tends to be shy, my first foray out of my virtual bubble was joining Twitter. Even then though, I found myself engaging either the faceless, famous or folks who were already friends. Things started to change with my first “tweetup” (a party at a local establishment where folks from Twitter get together).

That first tweetup was traumatizing for me. Not because people were mean (they weren’t, far from it, actually), but because by just being there I had left my comfort zone in a big way. Gradually, though, I started to ease more into the Maine Twitter community. Now when I attend tweetups I rarely get that frozen “Oh my God people I’m going to die,” feeling.

Twitter has gotten me used to talking to complete strangers. Twitter is what I would call the ultimate social crutch. You can get to know folks long before you summon up the courage to talk to them “IRL” (“In Real Life” for those of you not used to online speak). This makes the transition from online friends to real life friends much easier. Added bonus, much less harmful to your health than cigarettes, alcohol and drugs (the other traditional “social crutches”).

What is it about us, about our generation (or us as a society, take your pick) that necessitates the need for permission to do things?

At 26 years old, I should feel empowered enough, by this point, to do whatever the heck I want to. But I still keep waiting for permission, for someone to say, “It’s okay for you to follow your whims, your passion, your dreams.”

I leave you with these words from Martin Sexton’s “Failure”:

“Thank god for failure
And the things I couldn’t do
So much of my life
It’s all I ever knew
Thank you for failure…
For making the dreams that chose me
Come true”


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