Chapter 13- Come in! Make yourselves uncomfortable!


Inspired by Feeg’s goal to get at least one date before the new year, I started the Year End Challenge (see here) . Some may say it’s too easy, but to her,  this is one step outside of her comfort zone.

Being back in Canada really makes me realize how “comfortable”  our lives are here. Everyone has a steady circle of friends and a set idea of who they are. Life is stable…predictable.

I was fully embracing all the comfort until the other day, when I wanted to drink wine.

Well, I wanted to go to a Wine Workshop hosted by a local art gallery. I love drinking wine, but always wanted to learn more about it. Rosé is just a mix of red and white…no?

I sent out messages asking my friends to accompany me, but everyone was busy.

Go myself you say? The thought did cross my mind, but then my inner voice shouted “Is that socially acceptable here? Won’t I look like a lonely creep going by myself? What if no one wants to be my frienddddddddd?”

As usual, fear ruled the day. I didn’t go.

Then I regretted it right away. I wish I went by myself. What did I have to lose?

See, that’s the price of stability, given the choice people would much rather take their Toyota Prius than take the bus. But you might meet your true love waiting on the bus bench! Or a hobo. The point is: Everyone needs a push sometimes to step outside of their comfort zone.

That’s what Shanghai does. Shanghai pushes and shoves you so far outside of your comfort zone, that are you are no longer a solid but a liquid. No longer stable, but a flowing and flexible substance. Who you thought you were is not a fact, but just one out of a 100 multiple-choice question test.

One of the questions might be “Would you go to an event alone?”


Flashback 2 years ago, I had a different answer. And I wonder if I should have brought that girl back instead.


“I’m want to go to the Expat Coffee Meeting. Will you go with me?” I asked John.

“I can’t, I have to lesson plan for Monday. You’re lucky this is your second year, and you get a breather!” He said as he got ready to go to the office on a Sunday.

“Come on! I don’t want to go alone!” I begged him.

“Why not?”

“Coz.” I’m answered eloquently.

“Think about it this way: You’re in China once, is this something you will regret doing? Or regret NOT doing?”

Even I was at a loss of smartass comebacks.

The truth is, I was really desperate for some real friends. Yes I had John and other teachers for company. But I was also getting sick of doing the same things with the same people all the time. And frankly, there’s just too much stupid drama for my taste. Someone is sleeping with several people in our building, cough*Annie*cough, and someone thinks someone is a racist, cough *Leslie, Annie respectively* cough.

I found the weekly Expat Coffee Meeting online, and thought this would be a great way to make new friends. The question is, can I find the courage to tell my inner voice to “Shut the hell up!!!”

And I did. And I went. Alone.

Did I regret going? Hell no!

Would I have regretted NOT going? Yes, because otherwise I couldn’t have met J.

I didn’t meet J at that coffee meeting, but I did meet Helen and Lukas.


4 thoughts on “Chapter 13- Come in! Make yourselves uncomfortable!

  1. It’s funny. I am generally willing to go to a movie alone, or travel alone (which means doing a bunch of things alone) but I never want to go out alone to an event in Toronto. Well I did it one Halloween but that was the only time…


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