Easing Into the Pain
I tried something new today; I am reading The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer and learning about easing into the pain we feel (fear, anxiety, anger, jealousy, etc.) as the only way to be free, so I am trying this rather scary tactic for the first time in a place I don't know, doing things I haven't done before...going to a ramen restaurant...alone.
I am traveling for work, so I am alone and I found this ramen restaurant on Yelp and decided to try it. As I drove there from my hotel, I met small incidents of controversy...road construction, cars broken down in the middle of the street I need to turn down, passing the restaurant.
I almost did what I always did when faced with the smallest challenge, gone back and eaten at my hotel in my comfort zone, but I decided this time was going to be different. I was going to try...I am ready to try. I went back the 10 blocks I had driven, I parked, I got out of my car in front of a seemingly very drunk man, checked the pay parking station, and then I went into this little hole in the wall restaurant to try this new rage of ramen.
They sat me on the awkwardly highest stool, at the far end of the "bar" (not a drinking bar), far away from any other patrons, and I was facing the kitchen where two guys were making various things from the menu. This was the tallest stool in history and I sat very awkwardly at the bar at it and I could not figure out how to lower it even though I tried the lever multiple times. The menu was pretty much non-understandable and then I looked around and realized I was going to have to eat noodle soup with chopsticks...yep chopsticks...this was getting better and better!
The service was horribly slow, the Saki was disgusting, and the food was mediocre at best, but the experience...the experience was one to remember. At one point as I was eating my noodles awkwardly off the soup spoon and I thought I could start to enjoy this experience. I actually asked the waiter how to lower my stool (something I wouldn't typically do), I ate my noodles how I saw fit, without looking around to see what others were doing (something I wouldn't normally do), I added ingredients from the little jars on the bar (something I...you're getting the picture), and I enjoyed this weird yet new experience easing into the anxiety of going into new experience by myself.
Then as I started getting comfortable and the disgusting Saki was helping, the cook starts saying "dag um dag um", which makes me laugh cause I must've sung that song 1000 times in my head after my niece insisted on watching it 10,000 times earlier that year. Songs I knew and liked started coming through the speakers and I was dancing on my stool without hesitation or fear, experiencing the good in life...by myself, in a noodle bar. From what it seems ...easing into the fear at this moment feels good.