Originally posted 2015-08-05 13:54:49.
I hate crowds.
I mean, full on Feralpixie when I’m near more than say, ten people at once. I might seem very gregarious and even social butterfly online, and even in extremely intimate settings, but more than three people, and unless I’m familiar with the others in a very relaxed setting, I totally become Fluttershy.
Let me put this into perspective for you. I lived in Edmonton for awhile, and had always wanted to go
to the West Edmonton Mall (one roller coaster inside the mall is the size of 48 blue whales back to back!)
At 5.3 million square feet, the Mall is the size of a small city and is accredited as a zoo. West Edmonton Mall is home to more than 800 stores and services including nine world-class attractions, two hotels, over 100 dining venues, the widest variety of one-of-a-kind retailers, and entertainment for all ages. ((details from the w.e.m.’s own website.))
Now that you have that idea, let me explain the Staten Island Ferry loading/unloading procedure. There are different sets of doors heading to the various ‘slips’ where the ferries dock. (Just asked the hubs how many people roughly can get on the ferry at once, and he said roughly 1500 to 2000.) Every time I’ve been on one, there have been about 400 people at least. I’m probably being very generous and under counting that, but I don’t want a latent panic attack to start, so I’ll be Delusionalpixie for a bit longer.
I ended up spending a good portion of the day just trying to catch my breath. The (1) mark (just below the “Charging Bull” is the 1 mile mark.
I had walked up to between Liberty and Fulton (there’s a McDonald’s there, and I was trying to figure out where the TJ Maxx was (*it’s actually close to the M beside Broad Street below the NYSE*).
I got lost.
And frustrated with myself. And annoyed that I was so foolish as to not been thinking things through enough to ask the hubs where it was.
I arrived on the 11:45am ferry, and aside from roughly (and I’m being super generous with this guesstimate) 2 hours of just chatting time with Ema seated at Flavors and then another little cafe near the Charging Bull, I was walking/stopping/trying to catch my breath/wishing I could just stop and lay down somewhere. The hubs and I caught the 6:30pm ferry home.
1.3 miles took me over 6 hours to do.
There is a reason I feel the need to explain these initial walks now.
Out of the many people that have commented (both public and privately) on social media sites, the one question I get the most is “how easy was it to start all of this [#100days]”?
My answer to them (and any who are reading this, wondering the same), is that the words grueling; miserable; difficult; hopeless; defensive; these come to mind, among many others. This was not a pleasant time for me. Not only was I physically sick, but mentally I was fighting to get past struggles and personal issues I had been dealing with all my life.
It’s not like I woke up my first day here in the States and was like “Yup, I’m good to go, look at me! A week ago, I couldn’t walk even 50 steps without losing my breath and wanting to die, but hey, now I’m here, and I’m good to go! I can do this! Look at me go 3 miles in a day!!”
These weeks leading up to my #100days were traumatic for my old way of thinking.
This week (now last Sunday, Aug 2 as I write this a week late!), the hubs and I decided to head to Central Park – pics will hopefully be processed soon – and I did over 16,000 steps alone that day.
I want to show everyone how it is a process that doesn’t happen over night, but it does change with determination, focus, and perseverance. I don’t ever want to become depressed again like I have been. It’s horrifyingly, devastatingly, and a seemingly insurmountable hole of despair to climb out of; one I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.
I want to also explain something else.
Since all of this has started, and I’m taking control of my mental view of the world as well as the physical, I’m not as anxious as I was before. I doubt I’ll ever be the first to run into a crowd of people, and I won’t be signing up to be in a mosh pit any time soon. But as the cute boy and I stood there, waiting for the SI Ferry to take us over to Manhattan, in amongst the throng of busy tourists and workers and families with strollers and … well, everyone waiting and lightly compacting toward those doors, I smiled. I didn’t even realise I was smiling at first, let alone what I was smiling about. A teenage girl caught my attention and smiled back, and that’s when I realised. I wasn’t nervous. I … was okay. Better than okay. I was terrific! I was standing in a crowd of people, and for the first time in my entire life, didn’t feel claustrophobic, scared, agitated, defensive, or anxious in any way.
“That’s great, dear!” was the reply from the hubs when I whispered this revelation to him. He smiled and that made me feel an insane rush of pride. I am really changing more than just how I am physically. I am finally becoming the person I always wanted to be. It only took me 40 years to figure out who “I” am. And I really like who I am, and I’m not ashamed to say that.
This lil’ social butterfly pixie is happy to report that Week 8’s reward was another FUNKO POP! toy – MY DOCTOR (well, not the one I’m married to, but the Doctor Who one) – #4. He’s the reason I <3 Doctor Who.
I hope you have a delightful week.
Never give up.