Last week I suggested to my boyfriend that we do something ‘adventurous’ on the weekend. It has been a busy few weeks and I thought it would be a mini getaway for us. My friend had told me about a place called Trentham Falls. The pictures all looked so beautiful. I told Bruno and he was on board.
When Sunday rolled around I was really excited. There was a slight chance of some rain but I wasn’t worried. The drive was just over an hour and as we got closer it started to rain a bit but I wasn’t too worried at this point.
The air was so nice and clean at the falls. It felt so nice to be out of the city. There was a small staircase to walk down to get to the falls lookout. We had a look at the waterfall, it was beautiful but there wasn’t too much water coming from it. We looked down and saw that there were quite a few people sitting and walking underneath the waterfall. I could not work out how those people got down there because there was no path. Bruno quickly worked out the way down there… to go past the gate that pretty much said “do not enter” and walk down the rocky path.
Now something to know about me, I ALWAYS follow the rules. I think that is my law graduate side coming out. Bruno assured me that it would be fine to go down. Of course at this point it was really starting to rain. Another thing to know about me, I can be such a princess. Mud and dirt aren’t by best friends and balance (in a physical sense) is definitely something I don’t possess too much of. Before I knew it there I was in my pink jumper (what was I thinking??) and Bruno’s Nike cap (heaven forbid my hair gets wet) attempting to go down these rocks.
Bruno took the lead and after just a few moments he looked back he realised I was struggling. I could not work out where to put my feet to make sure I wouldn’t fall over. I was gripping onto plants (cut my hand I might add), slipping on rocks and stepping into puddles. Safe to say I am not a nature person. I love admiring it but being right in there is really not my thing. Bless Bruno for being so patient with me as we made our way down to the waterfall. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when we were sitting there watching the water right in front of us. There was much more of it now that it was raining.
It is important to note at this point that the walk down was not difficult by any means, but it was mentally challenging for me because I was so far from my comfort zone.
We sat for a bit before walking back up. There were definitely a couple of moments where I thought I was going to fall but we got there. Just when I thought I had made it through the worst of it Bruno suggested we go explore a bit (I think the look on my face was enough to indicate that didn’t think it was a good idea). We started walking. I could tell Bruno was loving it and wanted to explore more. He wondered a few metres ahead of me to have a look at a few of the trees. I literally didn’t move. There I was surrounded by these amazing trees, standing motionless, waiting for some kind of snake or spider to jump out at me (I am such a city girl). I was crapping myself. When Bruno returned after what felt like an eternity (in reality three minutes), I walked as swiftly as I could back to the car. I could barely look at him when we got back to the car. For some reason I felt so embarrassed that I struggled with something so simple.
It was silent in the car for a bit. Then he said to me, “you can’t be perfect at everything… it is okay that this isn’t your thing.” It was comforting to hear. I know that the only person that expects perfectionism from me is me. Upon reflection, I am actually proud that despite how scared I was I still did it. I remember in the past if I went for a walk with my siblings and cousins that I would just stand back and watch everyone else try new things while I stayed in my little bubble. Bruno just appreciated that I tried. I honestly would do anything for him to make him smile but he knows when I am scared and was there to support me.
To me, stepping outside of a comfort zone doesn’t mean deliberately putting yourself in danger. It is about taking little steps. I wasn’t about to start jumping off the rocks, I did what I could to challenge myself but also feel safe. That in itself is something to be proud of.
Academically I feel that I am constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Sure I am intimidated by Chemistry and the thought of being alone in a room with a client and being the only person giving dietary advice but I have faith that as long as I work hard I will get there. The same can be said for physical challenges, but I don’t attempt them as often. I know now that next time we do something I will be slightly more open minded and who knows I might be able to get down with no worries at all. It is all a learning process.
I remember when I was in year 9 or 10 we were required to learn CPR as part of the school curriculum. At the time I was so intimidated by the whole process. I had very minimal knowledge of the human body and the idea of having someone’s life (or in this case a dummy’s life) in my hands was petrifying. How on earth could I possibly help?! On Tuesday I did my First Aid and CPR training for University. I was so much more calm and had a much more positive attitude towards the training. I wanted to get in there and give it my best shot. I was so proud of myself and I know that the 15-year-old girl inside me was also proud. It was all in my attitude and the way that I perceived the situation.
There are always going to be obstacles that come up in life that challenge what we know and the way we do things. It is okay to be scared. It is okay to be hesitant. What I have learnt, however, is that it is always worth it to give it a go and to NEVER be embarrassed about trying. Every person is unique. Something that doesn’t scare me could terrify another person. It isn’t our job to judge others, our job is to offer support because it takes a lot to step outside our comfort zone sometimes.
“Life always begins with one step outside of your comfort zone.” ― Shannon L. Alder