The work week screeches to a halt on Fridays, when our attention focuses on the weekend ahead of us. There’s nothing more delicious than Friday night to ease into the weekend. By last Friday, my giddy-up, which was pretty much giddy-downed, considered an event and nearly chose to skip it.
I won two tickets to YWCA’s Women of Achievement fundraiser. My friend couldn’t attend at the last minute. I called two other impromptu friends. Both were occupado. Two tickets and forty minutes until show time. To procrastinate a few minutes more, I walked the dog, which was necessary anyway. I found a dollar on the walk. On a blustery April evening, I’d preferred to hunker down in my house, but when I checked the YWCA website, the event read, “SOLD OUT!” How selfish of me to waste tickets, when someone – who REALLY wanted to go- could’ve gone. Then again, how weird is it to walk in alone? UGH. Still, I wanted to support the cause: empowering women.
Many of you know that I’m perfectly content rolling solo out of town, but at home, it’s tougher. The mental discussion unfolds, “People will think I’m weird. Well, I already KNOW that about me, so what’s the big deal? Just go for dinner. Then leave for the restroom and head to the car. Just get over it and go! Because if you don’t, then on Monday morning, someone might say, “How was the event?” And you’ll say, “Something came up at the last minute and I couldn’t go.” Lame. Lie. Guilt. I hate guilt.
After a rapid-fire clothes change, I walked in behind Lee, one of the strongest, most empowered women in town. Heck, if she can roll solo into this thing, so can I. I mean, isn’t that this evening about mastering fear and standing tall?
I headed for Table 56. I knew about 96% of the attendees, except for the four strangers at Table 56. That’s always fun. I headed for the obvious diversion, the cash bar. Unfortunately, I had no cash, except for that dollar. I had brought along two blank checks and wrote one to a friend, who funded my fear.
Back to home base, Camp 56, for the evening. Everything had changed. Eric and Kathryn, two of the most interesting and enjoyable people I know, had joined Table 56. The “strangers” were their friends, in other words, no longer strangers. Neighboring table friends invited me to join their table if I was uncomfortable, “its okay, I’m good!” Terrific networking and opportunities resulted. The dinner beat anything I’d have had at home. The lip sync entertainment was over-the-top fun. My garage door opened about 10:30 p.m. I’d made it. Ch-ching.
It’s not easy pushing aside your fears and plunging into the unknown. When you do, you’ll often be rewarded with positive experiences. Anyway, that’s what I’m going to believe from now on. And watch for earlier signs along the way to forge ahead, like that dollar, for instance. It was the barkeeper’s tip. Ch-ching, ch-ching.