Tweet: OMG! Get ready, there’s a mechanical bull in our future!!
It always starts with a tweet, I’m much more adventurous when I’m writing something and sending it off into the nothingness of social media. But then I realize, there it is, in print in front of everyone. How can I back out now?
Honestly I don’t want to. I want to live life to the fullest but more than that I know the more you shake things up the more you open yourself up to new things coming into your life, and the happier you’ll be.
So enjoy this adventure with me:
On a midsummer Monday night the Saddle Ranch Chop House was packed with happy, slightly drunk, patrons eating gobs of pink cotton candy and curly fries. My friends and I sat in a cozy booth within full view of the corral holding the mechanical bull. A bright light lit the bull from above, casting dark shadows on the brown padded floor around it.
Everything in this place was brown, and leathery. More than a few people had on cowboy hats too, not something you see often on Sunset Blvd. The place just had the feel of Texas but with Hollywood flair.
I had been here a few weeks earlier on a Saturday night, just a curious onlooker who had come out of the Comedy Store next door and just wanted to take a looksee. The place was packed and loud. I contemplated jumping on the bull to see what would come of it but a girl in a mini dress beat me to it. MINI DRESS.
Tweet: Never wear a mini dress on a mechanical bull unless you want to be video taped mooning the entire restaurant.
Lesson: Always dress for the adventure you are about to have. Bring the right tools for the journey.
So this Monday night I was prepared: pants, long black shirt, and a group of semi-supportive friends. ‘SEMI’ because as it turned out, they all chickened out and wouldn’t ride it!
The guy managing the bull would help you on, give directions, then yell out your name and get everyone in the place to watch your attempt. You were in the spotlight and you just knew you were going to make a fool of yourself.
Lesson: Being willing to do things by yourself, otherwise you may never get to do anything!
Most of us have a fear of being the center of attention when we have no idea what is going to happen, when we can’t control things, when we think we will be made a fool of. No one really wants to be laughed at.
Lesson: Get over yourself. No one really cares. They won’t remember it an hour from now. You’re probably not that important to strangers.
I got the nerve to fill out the waiver which did not make me feel better about the whole thing since it listed all of the bad stuff that could might maybe happen. Broken bones, whip lash, bruises, sprains etc etc etc … In truth, only one person in thousands ever got hurt. It was safer than the drive over there.
Tweet: I don’t want to do it, I want to have done it!
My friend walked me up to the corral. Truth be told I might not have done it, had he not stood up giving me a firm “Let’s go”.
Lesson: Friends can support us in many ways, be open to all aspects of friendship and give people a chance to support you. Learn to receive. I didn’t need someone to do it with me, just someone there to push me.
Throwing off my shoes, I walked onto the brown padded floor and hoisted myself onto the bull. I didn’t care that everyone in the place was watching me. I couldn’t even see them. It’s like I had tunnel vision. I just focused on the fun I wanted to have, the joy of it. They didn’t matter to me at all once I was out there.
I took the “Hold on with your thighs” directions seriously and had the time of my life on that bull. I held on for one whole minute, which is pretty good considering it was my first time and the operator really swung me around in semi circles.
Tweet: I rode the mechanical bull!!!
Ok I did it, I allowed myself to be seen when the chance of looking a fool was pretty high. Nothing bad happened. No one made fun of me. In fact within five minutes the only people who cared any more were my friends. The crowd was focused on the next person walking through the corral.
Lesson: When in doubt, opt for fun!
I felt renewed, I shook things up and then wound up making some decisions that really shifted a lot of stuff in my life the very next day. I felt happy.
So what can you do to shake up your life this week? Please post in the comments section, I’d LOVE to hear from you.
Victoria Schmidt, Psy.D., MFA is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.