I conquered a battle with social anxiety yesterday and I want to share that win with you!

It was Drive Day yesterday and you know what that means!

Podcast roundup!

I was meeting a friend at a new place, and since I wasn’t completely sure how long it would take to get there, I was a half hour early. No worries. I brought my journal. That’s when I got a text.

“Traffic here, sorry, going to be about a half hour late.”

Well, shit.

That’s when I realized after all that driving, I really had to use the restroom.

Now you’re wondering, “So? You’re at a coffee shop, Michelle. What’s the problem?”

Anxiety. I’m in a strange place, alone. I’ll have to walk in there, use the bathroom, and order a cup of coffee…ALONE. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s a lot for someone like me.

I texted my husband the situation, “laughing” emojis galore. He knows the struggle. He’s been with me for 24 years. “Just do it baby. What’s the worst that can happen?”

“I’ll look like a fool somehow” is what I was thinking, but texted back, “I’m doing it! I’m going in!”

Some things are great stirrers of courage. Having to use the bathroom is a big one.

I grabbed my wallet, the key out of the ignition, and took a deep breath. “I can do this. Normal people do this.” Opened the door, locked the car, walked toward the coffee shop door, and opened it. So far so good.

I see the restrooms sign, my eyes move to the door handle and… combo locks on the door. Damn. A glitch. I’m going to have to go up to the counter and ASK to use the restroom. What kind of a world are we living in?! I’m already inside, there are only a couple others having coffee at the small tables along the wall. I steel myself again, “This is just what people do.”

“What can I get for you?” the cheerful young girl at the register chirps.

“Your restroom code first!” I laugh.

“Of course!”

She tells me the four-digit number. Oh, lord, I’m going to have to remember that all the way back to the front of the store, at least thirty feet away. Yes, that is really what ran through my head before I repeated the numbers back to her and turned away.

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget them!

With that out of the way, I ordered an Americano, black, and headed out to the patio with it, to sit and write in my journal while I waited. Finding it far too sunny there for this fair-skinned red headed girl, I went back to my car.

Safe back in my own space, I breathed a huge sigh. Yes, literally. Then I texted my husband again.

“I’m a bad ass!”

“Yes, you are hun! You can do anything!”

Then I proceeded to tell him that we should have a flask of whiskey for emergencies because that’s exactly what this was AND what this cup of coffee needed to be perfection in a paper cup.

That stressful ten minutes down, I settled in to do some scribbling while I waited for my friend to escape Los Angeles and join me.

On the drive there, I had the chance to listen to three podcasts, one of which made me (yes, MADE me) buy a book while I sat waiting. Here they are, in order of appearance, one quick thought for each. These thoughts are from memory because I had to borrow my mother-in-law’s car and there’s no center console to hold my notebook while I drive.

Quillette Podcast #178: Michael Shermer on Watching ‘Scientific American’ Go Woke

Science should not be politically correct. It’s science. The point is to throw things out there and prove or disprove them.

This conversation was eye-opening, some things I didn’t realize people really considered were discussed, and I had this thought about sports teams separated by gender. What if instead of male and female teams, we just had teams by ability? I’m thinking about baseball and football kinds of sports. But then…there would probably be very few female players on the team. There’s no way, no matter how hard I work, to lift and kick and hit as hard as these dudes. The same goes for some smaller males, true.

There was a term he used…damn… See? This is why I take notes while I’m driving.

Freakanomics – No Stupid Questions EPISODE 83 Can You Change Your Mind Without Losing Face?

Have you ever had to change your opinions about something after learning new information? I hope so. Why do we think our politicians, leaders, and educators should never “switch sides” of a debate?

The other thing that rang so clear to me during this podcast was hearing about how one politician changed his stance on gay marriage years after finding out his son was gay. Empathy is what brings us together.

Freakanomics – People I (Mostly) Admire EPISODE 28 Why Aren’t All Drugs Legal? (Replay)

This is the episode that held a gun to my head and made me order another book on Amazon. I wouldn’t have otherwise. I have “shelf” control. Ha ha ha! I thought it was a new interview, but I found out just now it was a replay episode. No wonder it was so familiar.

My stance on legalizing all recreational drugs has been long-standing, but the reasons have changed over the years. This interview confirmed some older reasons and gave me a few new ones. I can’t wait to read this book, and since it’s the second time the interview has come up, I felt compelled to have it shipped to me ASAP…and that looks like a month from now according to Amazon. Weird.

I didn’t listen to any more podcasts on the drive home. I was too high on the three-hour conversation my friend and I had over coffee…and then drinks…then sweet potato fries!

Interested in reading another Podcast Roundup? Check out Legacy, Science, and Coincidence