Let’s Talk Fears and Furniture

I’ve baffled myself this past week with the number of communication lines my roommate and I have taken advantage of in order to create some order in our future apartment plans! We have made use of texts, e-mail, Snapchat, phone calls and in-person treks around Boston just to co-pick-out shower curtains and side tables. Yes, we have chosen an Ikea date (it’s Tuesday, FYI). I can see how this is overwhelming for many people. Fortunately, this is our first apartment and NO ONE HAS EVER LET US PICK THE CURTAINS BEFORE so we’re downright giddy. I don’t know how we would have been so successful (thus far) without the use of online shopping carts and Pinterest DIY projects (stay tuned for pictures of our paint-chip masterpiece), however, it may have contributed to our expensive desire for matching comforters and daisy-shaped string lights. First-world problems, right? We realized our obsessiveness (ever watch Fight Club? we don’t want to get to that level) and are now trying to give back a little. Target is now featuring FEED items, which I have always loved. We’re buying tea towels and throw pillows of which the proceeds will go to the hungry population in the U.S.. We’re also amping up the time we spend volunteering at the Boston Rescue Mission – an incredible homeless shelter, soup kitchen, and rehabilitation center in downtown Boston. It’s a helpful reminder that not everyone has the luxuries we do. They’re always looking for more volunteers though….. *hint* *cough* *sputter*

As for fears, I’ve been making a point to tell everyone I know about my recent breakthrough. (Past)-Fun Fact #1: I hate(d) swimming in bodies of water in which I cannot see my feet through crystal-clear water. Seaweed repulses me and fish scare me.

Lame. I understand. I would tell people how I didn’t want anything nibbling at my toes, and I certainly couldn’t be responsible for knocking out an endangered sea turtle with an accidental kick. Upon further self-inspection, I saw that I was just making excuses.  What are the chances that a fish wouldn’t move before I kicked it? How often do fish really chomp on human feet? I was sitting on a dock here in East Boston, watching my friends jump off into the deep water. I was more than used to staying dry and sun-bathing, waiting for everyone to be done with their “swim call” – my family has owned a cottage on a lake for seven years now, and I had never once jumped in for a recreational swim. I cringed and thrashed wildly for the few seconds I spent in the lake before being pulled along, water skiing. But back to the dock in Boston. After being asked a few times when I was going to come swim, I remembered something we talked about in my yoga teacher training. We were constantly reminded to just drop the excuses, and to really confront our fears. Most times, when we stopped making excuses we all found that there was no real reason we kept dragging around this so-called “fear.” Nothing was left when the fake rationalizations were wiped away, except for our authentic selves. So there I was, sitting so very close to the Atlantic Ocean, and I said “f*** this.” I was sick of being “afraid of fish.” What does that even mean, anyways? And what kind of adult doesn’t go swimming just because they don’t know what’s in the ocean. NO ONE knows and everyone seems perfectly fine. So many people never even get the chance to see the ocean. I flung off my sunglasses and, albeit kind of slowly, climbed into the water. I swam all around, having a little party inside my head. Afterward, I called my mom and demanded she tell the entire family what just went down. Nikki swam in the ocean, and no, not just a few inches off the beach. Full-out ocean.

Fast forward to a few weeks later and I’m in New York, back at the family cottage (read about it here: Road Trips and Finernail Lakes). When everyone jumped off the boat and into the  lake (considerably murkier than the ocean, mind you), I took a full-hearted leap with them. This was the first time I had ever done that – with no tension in my shoulders or stress eating away at me. I’ve been to that lake hundreds of times but I never knew that being in the water could feel so great. Even better, I got to share it with a friend who also jumped in the lake for the first time, without even knowing how to swim. Trepidation, be gone!

In conclusion, thank you to Nancy for putting up with all this apartment shopping and peer-pressure-swimming, thank you to Jarrett for inviting me to the Yacht Club with you to swim that day, thanks to Aida, Vyda, and Siga for helping me erase my fears, and yes, I’ll accept this award for most ridiculous swimming story.  Say what you will, but there’s no better feeling than being one step closer to fearless.

Now I’m working on my death-inducing fear of rats. What are you working on?

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