Not Having Fun Is One Of My Favorite Experiences, Here’s Why...
A few months ago I went to see Lizzo in concert. It was a Tuesday night and I saw that she was playing in Detroit the next day. I decided to book an Air BnB, purchase tickets to the concert, and drive to Detroit in the morning.
I attended the concert - AMAZING! But, as I was driving home the next morning, I couldn’t shake a feeling of disappointment. I went on an adventure - I love adventure! I went alone - I love doing things by myself. I drove to a city I’d never been to before - I love road trips and exploring new places. I saw Lizzo - one of my favorite artists. So, I asked myself, “Why am I so disappointed?” Then I thought, “Because I didn’t have fun.”
The truth was, I was ON EDGE the entire trip. My car needed a few repairs that I had ignored so I was stressed about my car holding up for the entire drive. I was driving to Detroit - a city with a lot of great things to offer but also with a reputation for not being the safest place. I accidentally booked an Air BnB in Canada (a story for another time), didn’t have a passport, and needed to find a new location very last minute. I wasn’t sure how to get to the venue, where to park, where to eat, or if I would make it to the show on time. After the concert, I drove back to the Air BnB, slept for a few hours, then drove home.
My trip was incredible, empowering, enlightening, exciting, and adventurous but it wasn’t fun. And that's okay.
A friend of mine recently climbed her first mountain. As she described her inspiring experience of discovering strength and fortitude during her climb she mentioned, “I just feel bad because I didn’t really have fun. I kind of just felt stressed the entire time.”
That’s when it hit me - wonderful, incredible experiences are not always going to be fun. In fact, many times, they are going to be stressful AF. Feeling empowered usually involves pushing past some comfort zones, which involves discomfort and fear. Some experiences aren’t meant to be fun. Instead, they are meant to help you lean into your discomfort and discover a deeper strength within you. For my friend, the climb was meant to show her that she was just as strong mentally as she was physically capable. For me, the trip was meant to show me that I can go anywhere and do anything, alone, and navigate any of the issues that may pop up.
So the next time you’re road-tripping to fangirl over Lizzo, climbing a mountain, starting a new job, exploring a new place in your city, moving to a new apartment or taking on any other adventure, try letting go of the need to have fun and simply lean into the deeper meaning of your experience - you may even get to see Lizzo perform a flute solo.