Staff Writer - Katrin Callender

I was caught up making plans. There was just so much that I wanted to do! And I really didn’t want to wait. But I didn’t want to do it all alone. I wanted to create and share memories with my friends. But then I called to ascertain the cost and found that my plans had met their first real obstacle. I could have, and would have gladly arranged my schedule to suit them but, there was a fee and it was more than they could put together under such short notice. So I thought about a cheaper, less exhilarating alternative; an everyday activity that would not challenge or excite us as much. And I was not happy.

The idea of doing something I’d done a million times before and would do a million times after, did not appeal to me. I usually try to make the best of a situation. But in this particular instance I felt the need to find a way to make the original plan stick, to find a solution to the money issue or to come up with a new idea altogether. Maybe I was putting too much effort into organizing a mere ‘lime’ or gathering of friends. I truly believe that with the best of friends you need not do anything at all, or even speak a single word, to have a good time together.

So why was I putting such an emphasis on these arrangements? Well, I had been thinking for a long time that I needed to step outside of my comfort zone. I had always hated being told that I should. But this was another thing entirely. Instead of being judged by peers and so-called well-wishers who did not know me well enough to declare that I was ‘stuck’ inside my shell, it was my own body and mind screaming that I’d fallen into a routine and needed to try something new and refreshing; to stretch myself beyond the present and step into my future. In my heart I knew that it was time for a change. Even the smallest move away from the mundane would count as a sort of evolution.

All experiences come at a cost. Some will see us putting a dent in our bank accounts, others may present themselves in physical risks that can have unfortunate endings, and others still may see a loss of dignity. Conversely, there are experiences that do not require much money, if any at all. Others that are safe and unlikely to see us getting hurt. And some present an opportunity for us to develop or enhance our self-esteem.

Many variables determine the experiences we want to have. So if we are going to try something new we must first ask ourselves whether we are doing it for ourselves or to please others and whether we honestly believe that it is the right time and the right experience. If we want to try new things because we are ready to do so and if we have done a little research, know what to expect, and feel like it is worth the price we may pay, we can proceed knowing that through experience we grow as well as learn.