How To Live Without Holding Back With Julie Breuer
Well this is a first for the 30 Day Gals, we have a guest contributor! Her name is Julie – but how this gal from a small town in Wisconsin related to us in Duluth, MN? She's a college friend of Calley and we can't wait to share with you her journey of tackling 30 Days of Fear. Here's her journey:
Hi! I’m Julie. I’ve known Calley from college in Milwaukee. By some magical coincidence, we worked at the same job (dorm security, lucky us) and lived in the same apartment building. I’m pretty sure we met on the street as I followed her (not creepily) from our apartment building to the dorms, tapped her on the shoulder, and said “Hey, I think we’re going to the same place...” Okay, I’m not exactly actually sure it happened like that, but it was probably something close. Regardless, we become fast friends, often bonding over the fact that we had to work in the wee hours of the morning.
Several months ago, Calley and I grabbed dinner, and she told me about a 30 day challenge she was doing that was all about conquering her fears. As she listed the things she was set out to do for the next 30 days, I remember thinking “my friend is a brave badass, but I could never do that.” Fast forward six months and one spark of inspiration later, here I am following in my brave, badass friend’s footsteps.
So, here’s to 30 things I am terrified of doing or just said I would never do because I’d be too uncomfortable, scared, nervous, or embarrassed to do (never say never, right?!). Admittedly, not everything on this list is scary; some of it is just good for the soul. HERE WE GO!
Bake a Dessert for No Reason & Eat It with No Guilt
This was an excellent opportunity to make a childhood favorite: Cherry Cheesecake Torte. It had been years since I tasted this simple delicacy, so it was kind of a no-brainer that this was the dessert I should choose. Fun fact: apparently I still prefer to pick off all of the cherries to this day.
Social Media Free for a Day
If you want a relaxing, distraction-free Sunday. Do this. And this is just a cute picture that I wanted to post that day but couldn’t. Also, that is a great book and you should read it.
Converse with a Stranger
I got invited to a 4th of July party over the weekend, where I didn’t know the majority of the people attending. The icing on the cake? I’m not the greatest in group or party settings. So as I sat on the porch steps with that uncomfortable feeling in my stomach, a stranger sat down beside me. Embracing the “Converse with a Stranger” item on my list, I figured no time like the present. A few deep breaths and a couple ice breakers later, I learned this stranger had a pretty interesting life. Originally from the Germantown, WI area, he went to school at Columbia in Chicago for Film Direction and now lives in LA, where he works as an Art Director. How cool, right? He was elusive about his projects, but he did share he just finished up a sci-fi series that involved designing six spaceships. To summarize my experience, I’ve decided he’s basically Joanna Gaines for the set design world and you never know who you’ll meet including the interesting stories they’ll be willing to share (if you’re willing to ask)!
Text 10 People & Ask How They Are Doing
I texted 10 people that I’ve lost touch with over the years or just haven’t talked with on a regular basis. Once I got over the discomfort of worrying about what people would think, it was beyond worth it. I caught up with some of my childhood best friends. Their responses were full of surprise and excitement to hear from me. And their sweet reactions made my heart smile.
Have a Picnic with a Friend
Picnicking with my friend Becky (and dog, Tripp!) was a fun change from just going out to eat. Get yourself a sandwich (or Subways new wraps), get out in nature and PICNIC.
So, I attempted to do this once before, but I gave up because I had trouble getting the ink to flow, and the directions weren’t the best. But, since those aren’t good reasons to give up, I put this on my list of things to try again — and viola a little crooked SUCCESS!
Ride a Tandem Bike with a Friend
You know them. You’ve seen them. I rode one. My advice is to do this with someone you communicate easily with and TRUST. Translation: it’s like a double trust fall. If one of you goes down, the other is going down as well.
Send Someone Flowers
Flowers are nice and pretty and all. I just have one problem with them; you can’t eat them. So, I took a different route on this one and instead of sending flowers, I sent cake truffles from Shari’s Berries. You guys, if you’ve never had Shari’s Berries, YOU ARE MISSING OUT. Listen, I’m not lying to you. I would never lie about something so close to my heart. Next time you need to send someone flowers, consider Shari’s Berries instead. Please, thank you, and you’re welcome.
Go Flying (in a small plane)
Okay, deep breaths everyone. Fill those lungs up all the way. This easily makes the tippy top of the list for the scariest things I’ve done, so I’m going to talk about FEAR in all caps for a hot second. I had a million thoughts in my mind saying fearful things and lies to try and change my mind — not to mention the shaky hands, nervousness and the fact that I definitely peed about seven times prior to take off. Too much info? Whatever, this is day 11 and if you’re still reading this, you know me well enough by now.
But, great news friends, I did NOT let FEAR take control of my mind. I did not let FEAR win. Instead, I went flying in a small plane that simply had no room left for FEAR. And to my surprise, it was a much smoother ride than anticipated! We flew north, and I was able to view my family’s farm and childhood home from above. Now THAT is not something you get to do every day. It’s incredible how something so familiar can look so strange and small from a different perspective. I’ve walked up and down those roads and through those fields hundreds of times, but when I looked out the plane’s window, it was like looking at all of it for the first time. Talk about perspective!
Drive a Manual Car
I actually did this on Day 11 (I know, Day 11 was a BIG day). But, hey, when an opportunity comes a-knocking, you open the door. This was successful. I mean, as successful as driving around a parking lot can be, but this girl cannot be trusted to be let loose on the streets...yet. I didn’t hit anything, and I learned how to shift into 1st and 2nd gear, so can I get a round of applause.
Write Handwritten Letters to Five Friends
Holy schnikes. This was way more emotional than I thought it would be. It’s one thing to know how much someone means to you, but it’s a whole other thing to physically write down the reasons someone means so much to you, seal it up and send it to them. That’s where the holy schnikes comes in. I realized I admired so many things about my friends, but I actually never told them. Why is that? Seriously, when was the last time you told your friend, sister, brother, mom, dad, or anyone significant in your life exactly how much they mean to you? So, tell them! Or write it down, seal it up, and send it off! Plus, who doesn’t like getting surprise snail mail in the cluttered days of email?
Get Dinner Alone
I’ve always wanted to do this, so I did. For those wondering, I got sushi, and I learned that getting dinner alone is a very time-efficient way to eat out.
Write Down 20 Good Things About Myself
We’re taught to compliment others, but how often do we compliments ourselves? Love yourself more. Period. The End.
Have a Solo Dance Party
Gotta work on them moves, am I right?
Leave Anonymous Sticky Notes
To be honest, I felt like a little elf leaving these notes. So Santa, let me know if you’re hiring!
Go to a Movie Alone
Despite being alone, I felt anything but lonely. If you’re bored some night, give it a try.
Swing at a Playground
Just do it. I promise, it’s still as fun as your inner child remembers it to be.
Create a Painting
I’ve been known to be handy with a paint brush, but to be honest, I haven’t really painted in years. It’s intimidating to create something when you’ve been out of “practice”. So here’s a pop art attempt of my dog!
Go to the Hot Tub Alone
I was really, really not in the mood to do this. But in the spirit of not breaking a promise to myself, I went, relaxed, and it felt amazing. I left my phone in the locker and just let myself sit with no distractions for 15 minutes. A much needed treat you’ll wonder why you didn’t do sooner...
Blow Bubbles with a Friend
I tried to take pictures of this, but turns out bubbles are a tough subject matter to photograph. Who knew? Good thing you all know what bubbles look like and don’t really need a picture anyway!
Pay It Forward with a Drive-Through Purchase
I did the Starbucks secret Santa thing and paid for someone else’s drink at the drive thru anonymously.
Play Bingo at The Casino
This is something I’ve always been intrigued to try, but I was intimidated by the stories I heard from others who’ve done it. And let me tell you, it’s quite intense. Luckily, I was able to go with some experienced friends, so they were able to tell me what to do and probably more important, what NOT to do. Let’s just say, I would’ve been totally lost without them.
So, who even knows what it feels like to meditate? Seems like some fluffy, unattainable state of mind. I have no idea how people get their minds completely clear of thoughts; maybe that’s after years of practice? I tried this with the help of an app (Headspace) and let me tell you, I still have no idea what it feels like to “meditate”, BUT I can tell you that my version of it was pretty awesome. There is a nice man (I like to call him Fred) who talks you through it and acknowledges that your thoughts may be wandering and THAT’S OKAY. Thank you, Fred, for recognizing there is a big learning curve to this.
Go to a Yoga Class
Intimidating? Yes, but not as bad as I thought. Hard? No, but more challenging in ways I didn’t expect. Yoga stretched and exercised my muscles in different ways than they are not used to. Forcing myself to take an hour and really stretch my entire body was something I had never done before, but I felt so great after, that I will likely do it again. I still have no idea what any of the poses are, but like mama always says, fake it till you make it.
I haven’t swung a baseball bat in approximately 11 years, so this was a flashback to childhood. As a kiddo, I wasn’t very good, and I can report that is still very much the case.
I’ve never taken a sky high ride (jk, it’s really not that high) on a sky glider before and I DON’T KNOW WHY.
Random Act of Kindness
So apparently I really like to pretend I’m an elf (Santa, my offer still stands). I bought a bouquet of flowers, attached a note to each flower and left a little bit of happiness on the windshields of cars.
Participate in a 5K
Let me preface this with I do not consider myself a runner. I could run a half mile at the gym and be completely satisfied. My goal was to participate and complete a 5K, whether it was to walk or run the whole thing. While I did stop to walk a few times, I ran the whole way through. Mission accomplished. Special thanks to my sister, Lisa, for sticking by my side. And also some random lady on her Saturday morning run (who was not participating in the race) who told me to “get going, you’re almost done!”
As I wrap up my 30 days and think about all the new and intimidating things I’ve tried, I can’t help but think back to something my friend Nicole once wrote about all the “firsts” we experience in our life. “Firsts are important because they are allowing us to branch out and experience new things…whether seemingly good or bad, they are still new experiences; these things build us into who we are today.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. So I’ll leave you with one last thought.
You know all the things you’ve always wanted to do?
YOU SHOULD GO DO THEM.
If THAT doesn't inspire you to make a list of 30 things that you haven't done before or find 'fearful' – we are asking that you try it! Share your experience with us and who knows, maybe YOU could be our next contributor.
Thank you so much to Julie – please follow and share any love on her IG page :)