Saturday, 18 June 2016

Turning up

On January 1st I unwittingly set myself a challenge. “Do more cool things” I decreed as a tongue-in-cheek new year’s resolution. But what did that mean? It seems a dream three-week backpacking holiday in south-east Asia, late 2015, inspired more than renewed travel lust. It re-opened my eyes to life itself. And so “do more cool things” has come to mean turn up. Simply, turn up to my own life because as we all know it’s a fragile, unpredictable thing. (Turning 50 probably had something to do with it too.)

And so, even as an introvert, whose preferred place on a Saturday night - or any other time of the day/week – is at home alone, I’m pretty pleased with my efforts to turn up so far this year. I’ve recently taken part in a political rally for asylum seekers, cultivated dog-park friendships, grooved at a sick hip hop gig, supported Tom’s mid-life awesome in NZ, and carried the banner for a local refugee support group in my first parade.

And though I know I’ll still be riding that railroad of cancelled plans and hiding out on solitude mountain most of the time, right now I feel emboldened and empowered by the act of participation. It also helps that my online community of friends are so supportive. I certainly won’t be drafting an extrovert’s bucket list or putting my hand up for any public speaking opportunities any time soon but I will be looking forward to my next chance to simply turn up.

Illustration by Gemma Correll, author of The Worrier's Guide to Life and a self-proclaimed introvert.

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