I’m afraid of the dark. Like for real afraid of the dark. It’s a childhood fear that never really went away, so here I am, a thirty-odd year old woman who gets anxiety in dark places.
So naturally I signed up to do Dining in the Dark. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s essentially just what it sounds like: eating a meal in the pitch black. Waiters bring in food using night-vision goggles. You eat everything with your hands. And, most of all, you have no idea what you’re eating.
When I first heard about it, I thought it sounded awesome, so I signed up with some friends. We had to book two months out (hi, crazy popular!) and I told myself I’d be completely fine. But in the days leading up to it, I started to feel nervous. That nervousness escalated into anxiety, which then escalated into full-blown fear. THE DARK. For two and a half hours. As we drove to the restaurant on Saturday, I won’t lie, I was sort of freaking out (but trying to play it off as best I could). We met our friends at the bar, chatted with the waiter about food allergies and dietary restrictions, and then it was go time.
We were led into a very dim room where our table was waiting. The waiter let us get settled, and then it was lights out. I won’t lie, it was pretty scary for the first few minutes. I completely wigged out over a flashing red light on one of the walls, thinking it was … well, I’m not sure what, really. A bomb? A spy camera? I have an overactive imagination. A number of ridiculously impossible scenarios floated through my mind until my husband pointed out it was a smoke detector, which … duh. Of course it was a smoke detector. Anyhow, after about ten minutes in the dark, the first course arrived, and all of my anxiety magically dissipated. I relaxed and let myself enjoy one of the most awesomest (real word) thing I’ve ever done. It’s true — having your sight temporarily stripped and being made to rely on your other senses really does enhance the experience of eating!
This post doesn’t have anything to do with writing. I could make a really trite analogy if you want … ummm … dining in the dark is like writing because … you have no idea going in how it’s going to turn out and you just have to trust yourself! But really, my point is only this: Push yourself outside of your comfort zone every once in a while. You might just surprise yourself.