To celebrate the launch of the new and improved marianlibrarian.com, I want to play a game. You may have played it before, probably in a dingy basement surrounded by sweaty boys and plastic cups brimming with 7-Up.
That’s right, we’re playing Truth or Dare, and it’s my favorite.
Because I want this blog to feel like a slumber party between friends. To fill in the gaps I often feel in my life when I’m craving companionship and community. To build solidarity online. To connect.
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.
“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”
So pretend we’re in my living room, curled up on my white couch (that’s mostly gray because I have a dog who doesn’t understand when I say “stop prancing through puddles”). I’ll pour the wine and hand you my lopsided knit blanket and we’ll chat until I’m too tired to keep my eyes open, which is usually around 9pm.
Because it’s fun and scary. I was always the girl in the group who stood on the sidelines while everyone else did silly things and had epic stories come Monday morning. I’ve never been much of a drinker and I’m easily embarrassed, meaning I’ve always felt a little boring. Verbal honesty has always felt easier than physical bravery.
And in the spirit of said honesty, I AM TERRIFIED OF DOING THE DARES. I feel stupid and scared: What if I publicly fail? What if you’re disappointed by how I look on video? What if the dares aren’t “darey” enough?
But this article reminded me why getting out of your comfort zone is so important:
“If your comfort zone is small—i.e. the number of things you can do without feeling anxious are few—you’ll either be anxious a lot of the time or miss out on a lot of the excitement life has to offer. By getting out of your comfort zone more regularly, you’ll increase the number of things you’re comfortable with.”
I hope you’ll make me feel less ridiculous by doing the dares too. Oh God please. Don’t make me the weird girl on the internet.
Truth or Dare: How it Works
Once a week, for the next month, I’ll present you with a question. It might feel uncomfortable, it might rub you the wrong way or it might be fun to read other people’s responses. Either way, I urge you to answer it, honestly and without filter.
I will also present a dare. Same rules apply.
I will do both myself and share them here on the blog. You can do one or both and share them below in the comments and/or on social media using the hashtag #truthordare. Read other people’s entries, leave an encouraging note and laugh (or cry!) at their stories.
Let’s celebrate honesty on the internet. Not just honesty, camaraderie.
Truth or Dare: Week 1
Let’s kick it off with a bang, shall we? I’ll go easy on you.
Dare: Take a single step.
What’s one thing that’s been on your wish list for a long time? That thing you secretly want more than anything but feels way too big to tackle? (Instead, you research incessantly but never actually do anything concrete?
For me it’s meeting locals in Düsseldorf. Expats are easy – we’re in the same situation, have familiar accents and a million pre-built conversations. But locals? Locals are hard. They already have friends, we don’t share a language and there are instead a million cultural differences. Taking the easy path has meant I’m pretty lonely (I don’t have a lot in common with the wives of Düsseldorf). So as my dare I did a search on Couchsurfing for Düsseldorf natives, found a woman who seemed nice, has similar interests (writing FTW!), and asked her on a friend date.
Now it’s your turn. I dare you to take one, tiny, small step in the direction of That Thing You Really Want. If you need ideas for what that step can be, tell me about your goal in the comments and we can brainstorm.
Truth: What was the last lie you told?
Speaking of honesty, I would like to clarify that I definitely lie.
A few weeks ago I went to lunch with two women I met through the American Women’s Club. They had been living in Germany for 20 years each and were both kind and encouraging. But when they asked if I had made friends here, I said yes. I told them about my German neighbor and my husband’s coworkers and my old friends who also happened to live nearby. I made it seem as if I was extraordinarily popular.
The truth? I’m introverted, hate large groups, go to bed early and have a hard time connecting with women who aren’t in the exact same situation (this is a problem, I know). So I lied. I lied because I didn’t want a lecture on how to meet people. I’m tired of MeetUp and networking and the same conversations over and over. I lied because I was embarrassed. I’m constantly worried that I’m “not fun” and that these women would think, “Well, of course she has no friends, she’s a pill.” So in an attempt to make myself seem more exotic and outgoing and popular than I really am, I told them I was doing great.
Your turn. Share your truth or dare in the comments and let’s get honest up in here.
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