This weekend, I came to the conclusion that my move is much more than a matter of geography - more than leaving my house and going to my cottage. Oh, I always knew it meant putting a long drive between myself and special pieces of my past - and my many dear friends and family. But I realized that I am leaving something that I may miss just as much. My comfort zone.
It came to a head on Saturday when I walked into a room filled with more than a hundred people - not one of whom I knew. Yikes. There have only been a handfull of times in my life when I have done that and I must confess to not having liked any of them. But this was a Women's Day celebration lunch for the members of the Georgian Bay Women's Network and I figured it was a good chance to meet some people in my new hood.
I had totally forgotten that feeling of complete and utter dread when you are the "stranger". Every head turns to look - nobody recognizes you - so they all go back to their chatter (which is hopefully not about that odd stranger in the midst). I had convinced myself that all I had to do was introduce myself to one person and then I wouldn't be a stranger anymore. But how to choose that individual upon whom I would inflict myself.
After walking more than halfway around the room, past the tables with no seats and some with all seats empty, I spied something that made me brave enough to approach. A "Wendy" nametag on a lovely looking person sitting at a table. It was a sign. And without further ado, I introduced my Wendie with an "ie" self to this other Wendy and her friend Janice. And I had someone to talk to. They were friendly and although we didn't exchange phone numbers, I did feel that I had survived this excursion outside my comfort zone.
I started thinking about just how much the move has encouraged me to go "outside the zone" more than usual. Probably because I know I'm going to have to do that in order to meet new folks. But it's also affected non-people things. Like the mat I'm working on - which was a challenge on Rug Hooking Daily to incorporate a design element belonging to someone else into a rug of your own. It's not an element I would choose on my own, but it has pushed me into a design that is a stretch - that I would never have discovered without the challenge.
And the sweater on my needles - although started from a "moose" kit from The Purple Purl - is now a hybrid of two patterns to turn what would have been a cardigan into a long vest. Again, something that is outside the zone, and something I may not have done before. I'll keep you posted on the progress there. Here's one little sneak peak of the first bit I've knit. Right now, it looks a little post-Olympic, but the moose will begin in about 2")
In the end, I think moving a little bit outside is turning out to be a good thing. I'm not naive enough to think that being out there full time is going to be a fun thing at first. After all, I'm one of the most "people people" I know.
But it is interesting to watch myself reacting to it. And to see how far outside the "zone" my move will take me.