I went out with a fellow mom tonight, for a drink and conversation, as we're both up to our eyebrows in projects that are really a stretch for us. She's planning a huge dinner party in her home for a bunch of snooty upper-east-siders (on a block where you still stand a pretty good chance of being accosted by drug dealers) and I'm doing this race/website thing. We both are driven by something that's compelled us to jump in headlong, despite the fact that we've never done anything like it, and have absolutely no reasonable expectation that people will come.
I like going outside my comfort zone, despite the fact that it gives me the shakes. I get equally excited and terrified when I get into (willingly or not) a situation where I feel way out of my league. Part of it I'm sure is the challenge. I love a good challenge, and have always thrived on it. My dad's family is rather notoriously competitive, at least among the brothers (all 6 of them) and there are tales of us kids being banned even from even watching their Pit games as kids because the shouting would get so loud we'd wake up later with nightmares. I come by it honestly :)
But there's something thrilling about committing to something that you haven't a clue how it's going to turn out, but know that if you ask enough questions and knock on enough doors, you'll probably find all the pieces at least. Or just taking a chance on a person, not knowing them at all. One of my great friendships started with an extremely unlikely meeting where I was offered a chance at an opera ticket on a whim, I took it, and the dinner that came with it. During dinner, barely knowing the man, I then took the chance of asking a very personal question. When it was answered honestly and openly, we embarked on a friendship that's been rich, rewarding, and still very unlikely. I went WAY out of my comfort zone, and have never regretted it.
As I tritely said to my friend tonight, over an issue she was having with a man ... our greatest fears as humans are both that we'll actually be seen and recognized for who we are, and equally strongly that we won't be seen and recognized for exactly that.