– Contributed by Wee C
I fell in love early. Eleven years and a lifetime of growing up ago. We were already friends, so the courtship was short…but the “I’m going to spend every waking moment with you and hate you when you’re doing anything else but spending time with me” timeframe was a wee bit long. Like five years too long. And suffocating. And downright crazy town. But when you’re 19 and in the throngs of dedicating every.single.moment to your beloved, well, any behaviour other than senseless passion and commitment just seems hollow, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it?
Before I go on, let me be perfectly and abundantly clear. I adore and love my husband. Really, truly love and adore him. I’m more smitten today than I was when we first started dating. But for the first five of the past 11 years, I didn’t do anything social alone. I all but wrote off my friends (you all thought I didn’t know, right?). And I gave up my independence for the greater good of our little world of two. Explains a bit about what happened to my 20s, eh? So part of my 30 Things was about regaining my ability to be OK to be alone…well, alone in a crowd of people my own age, socializing in the way that people my own age tend to do. You know, like a Nell-esque re-entry into society. Only with clean hair and real words.
On June 22 (that’s my birthday), I boldly stated that I was embarking on a journey to take me into 30. “I’m going to do 30 new things that I’ve never done before,” I chirped. What I really meant was “Aren’t I endearing and fascinating? Shouldn’t I write a book about this wonderful idea?” Chirp, chirp. On June 27, the world called my bluff.
I’m in the business of managing expectations, so I feel the need to do so now: for all of you normally functioning 20-somethings, my first “30 thing” will seem nothing short of underwhelming. Boy, that was a great sell-job to encourage you to keep reading, yes? But, based on what you’ve read about me above (and elsewhere), you’ll come to understand why the first thing on my list truly set the standard.
On June 27, I attended my friend’s Hindu wedding. Alone. Without my handsome crutch. I went alone not knowing what to expect, not realizing that the groom would ride in on horseback (seems Halifax was fresh out of elephants that day) and his soon-to-be-in-laws would steal his shoes…repeatedly. I went alone not knowing how long the ceremony would be or what it would entail. I went alone knowing that there would be dinner and…gasp…dancing, of which I will normally have no part of. All of this added up to a particularly unknown situation; the likes of which I would normally just say no to.
But, here’s the next thing you need to know about 30 Things. There is no pre-existing list. 30 Things is not a bucket list. C’mon, why would a girl who has too much stress in her life create a list of things she needs to check off in order to help herself chill out? A bit counter-productive, eh? No, 30 Things is 80 per cent about saying yes to things I would normally say no to. And going to a Hindu wedding by myself was most definitely something I would normally say no to. Hence, as the first item on my list, the world had indeed called my bluff.
The day and night…and morning…turned out to be the most fun I had in years. I caught up with old high-school friends that I hadn’t seen since I was 18. I laughed and danced and danced some more. I was at the Casino AT 3 IN THE MORNING! And took a cab home at 4 am. That night, was most definitely the epitome of being comfortably uncomfortable. Nothing felt normal or comfortable to me. At least not to the me I had become. But the younger version of me – the one who existed before I became completely obsessed with being a grown up – she remembered what it was like to have fun, be silly, and let her hair down. She was pretty comfortable in that uncomfortable situation. And me? I thought she was pretty cool, so I asked her to stay. Turns out, she was quite agreeable to sticking around.