I'm going to be 35 in a few short months. Officially mid-thirties. What surprises me most about this birthday isn't how thirtysomething that sounds, but how much I've been changing - for the good - over the past few months. I think working full-time, in a cubicle may have curbed my creativity and willingness to try new things a bit.
First case in point: I attended my very first networking happy hour last night. For an organization I didn't know much about. By myself. I've been to networking functions before, but they were usually associated with a conference or a job and I ALWAYS knew people. Last night I did invite my new friend from the Denver VOICE and she joined me. But, we've only met once. And you know what, I talked to people, gathered business cards and generally enjoyed myself. Way to go, me!
Second case in point: I commuted by bike for the first time since moving to Denver. I scheduled a lunch about four miles from my house today. I've been scheduling all of my meetings within biking distance, but I've always had an excuse not to ride my bike. Mostly I was just uncomfortable with the new situation and biking outside of my 'hood. Today I nearly backed out again. Here's my inner dialogue - convincing me to drive, convincing me to bike:
DRIVE: Well, crap, you gave your shoulder bag to Goodwill. How will you ever transport your wallet and phone?
BIKE: You have pockets.
DRIVE: Yeah, but they're shallow and stuff will fall out. And it's hot out.
BIKE: Ridiculous. Find that free nap sack from the Sierra Club. Yes, the same one you ridiculed when it came in the mail. And it's not that hot outside.
My biking voice won out in the end and I'm so glad it did. I had a GREAT bike ride. It felt so good to get on the road and to park for free. I even felt a small (OK, maybe relatively large) superiority to my fellow car commuters. Mostly because I was getting a workout while commuting.
However, I've decided that I need a few things to make my future bike commuting trips successful. A cute helmet (safety first - I didn't wear a helmet today GASP) and a cute bike bag. Yes, it's petty, but I don't feel very cute or hip or stylish with my nap sack. I just don't.
My goal throughout the summer is to schedule meetings within a four or five mile radius so I can ride my bike AND to ride my bike to the next networking happy hour. Here's to aging, making friends and riding bikes!