What is this picture?!
This is a pictorial representation of my comfort zone, 18 inches x 18 inches.
Nicole is a creature of habit--I will eat the same thing in a restaurant, I will 'cook' the same thing in my house, I will do the same routine in the morning, I walk the same route every time with Brody, etc. When something gets thrown in that doesn't belong, sometimes I'm not quick to react or it just throws me completely off and I have a hard time getting back in my little square.
In some aspects of life, I'm reaching a big toe out of the box, sometimes even the whole foot! for example: I finally got fed up at work and made some changes, I stood up for myself and I ran away to another group. lol. Actually, I'm just doing a rotation, but I'm learning new stuff and I'm gaining confidence.
I also branched out in the gym. I was always afraid that I would make a fool out of myself or that I wasn't fit enough to be working out to be fit (crazy Nicole logic), but finally I said "screw that, I need to shrink my tush" and I go and work out now and if anyone wants to watch me go right ahead, I really don't care.
Another area I pushed my boundaries was with Internet dating. I definitely don't want to rehash all that craziness, but just to mention that it took a lot for me to try and do that.

If you stand back and look at these few examples they all happened because I was at some breaking point. I guess that is how the universe works--for every force, there is an equal and opposite force.
So what is my next adventure!? Heaven help me it is speed dating. It was recommended by a few different people, but I always shot it down immediately because I couldn't imagine putting myself in front of someone and having them judge me in 5 to 7 minutes, it goes against every fiber of my being and just the thought could send me running for the potato chips. However, a force came by and is pushing me again, causing me to react. The internet dating was part of it, the sheer volume of idiots and crotch shots is enough to cause anyone to run away, but it was also learning that I am someone special too. I finally figured out that I'm not such a bad catch--I'm successful, have a cool grumpy dog, damn funny, know the difference between your and you're, artistic, great friend, love to travel, I read, and I'm just an over all good person. Now all I have to do is sit down across from a guy, portray that chick I just described and let ME judge HIM for 5 to 7 minutes.
It is not going to be easy for me to do it, but I guess anything in life worth doing well is not easy, right? I'm very nervous, I'm scared that the old Nicole will pop up and I'll go running for the nearest exit (and knowing my luck, it will be an emergency one and I'll set off the alarm). I'm very comfortable around my friends and others that I know, but in a 'stranger' situation, I like being a wall flower, I don't 'work the room'--I wouldn't know how to work a room if you paid me. So, my goal for the next three weeks until this event happens is try to overcome this anxiety and have fun with this.
I'll keep you posted...