Popping Out of Our Personal Space Bubbles and Being Open to Life Altering Conversations

06/22/2015 04:01 pm ET | Updated Jun 22, 2016

I wear blinders most of the time. I electively navigate without my glasses. The world is a bit of a blur. I like it this way. There must be a phobia this behavior is classified under. I feel confident and all that. I just like security of my bubble. I am strangely shy with new people, freakishly shy at parties, and I can not speak in public even though I studied Speech and Rhetoric. I probably need a Psych evaluation. On the to-do. I make creative adjustments in public. I go sans prescription. I daydream. I sip Reposado at parties. I bring my dog, Clemens with me everywhere in public. And I am ok. Maybe it's social anxiety or something of that nature.

It been said over and over to me, once the force field has been penetrated, that They once believed me to be snobbish. Rude. No, Promise, I am paralyzed. I know I miss out on some good folks, some good stories, some good interaction outside my bubble zone. Yet, how do we avoid the pork rinds (toxic folks) and still be cranked open enough to meet the nice folks out there?

You know the experience of being perched in your tiny seat on a plane and you tuck in tight, cross country, sitting millimeters from the person next to you, navigating subliminally whose stakes which portion of the arm rest to pose their elbow, without talking or touching? It's a wordless dance of elbows. Now, looking back to the miles and time zones that I ignored the person next to me, I am feeling I may have missed out on some great moments. Those conversations that can allow for a fork in our path to form and we decide to take the road less traveled due to the influence of the Stranger. And that can make all the difference. And I have missed it residing in my bubble.

Recently, I decided it was due time to remove the shy girl helmet and venture out of my Personal Space Bubble intentionally. Scene I, Act I of the Play Well With Others Campaign of Change was The All Star Cheer Banquet. An ambitious first go at the gold. The gentleman sitting next to me was three times my size and had his right shoulder in position to energetically taze me out of the picture. His elbow had such attitude, he was rejecting me before I even tried to be more congenial Kay. I almost for a moment considered using his rude elbow as an excuse to abort the play well with others campaign. I am incensed. No, I will prevail. I purchased a glass of wine for $4, it wasn't bad.

I test the waters with Big Joe. Hi there I am Kay, my daughter is MK, I venture out of my bubble. Hi there and all that back to me. Shit my turn again already? Joe, hey do you have any idea when the slide show will conclude, I am hoping to get back to the season premiere of Game of Thrones. Joe nearly chokes on his shit chicken dinner. You watch Game of Thrones? Geez Joe, doesn't he get it that this is my rehearsal into social land with new people? Please be nice I am praying. Ah, Yes Joe I started watching TV last year and I watched four seasons in a marathon fashion and I quite enjoy the show Joe laughs more, and he shares that he watches the show right after, Silicon something or other. I give him a laugh back, kind of a fake laugh, though. This is awkward. Throw me a bone, Joe, I pray. Why is it my turn already I give it another go. What's your show about? Joe nearly convinces me to watch more tele, he's good at selling his show. I respond with, Joe I can not take on more TV, I have forgotten how to read with all of the GOT and such. I read so slowly and especially after a marathon television month, I can not pick up my book. I am concerned I will be evicted from my Book Club. Perhaps this is too much chat for Big Joe. I have had now two glasses of crap wine and no food.

Kay, do you see pictures when you read ? Hesitant to admit one of my many challenges and quirks, I decided to go for Truth. Yes, I do see pictures when I read, Joe, They get in the way of the words sometimes. Thought so, ESP Joe says. Hmm, is there something wrong with me, then? You have a multiple learning capacity, you just need to see the words and hear them as well to absorb the information. The pictures are indicative of visual learners. Yes, they can be distracting but helpful to you in translating the story to your mind. Joe shares that he has been a part of a research group on learning styles and he convinces me I am not odd in my manner of accepting new information. For so many years, I grappled with what is wrong with me without the ability to articulate my 'issue' with pictures blocking words.

The buried treasure of Joe's easily flowing wisdom was easy to tap once I made the decision to be open regardless of my Shyness. I feel a bit more normal since talking with Joe. Thanks Joe.
What are you willing to do to step out of your bubble and meet a Joe today?