One thing I recognized early after I decided to spend a year in a kilt was that the experiment would be useful in helping me to face some of my own fears and insecurities and teach me some new skills in dealing with some of those issues. For much of my life I have performed as an actor and I even spent several years as a stand up comic. Despite that, I'm still a pretty shy and withdrawn person and I generally don't like to draw attention to myself from the general public. So why on earth did I choose to do something that would guarantee I would draw attention to myself when I'm in public?? It seems strange I know and I have to say the worst part of this experience so far has been having to face those uncomfortable feelings of being stared at. It's not something I think one bit about when I'm on a performing stage but off stage that fear has at times kept me from going into some public spaces.
Today I took on one of those fears. For some reason I've had this huge anxiety about wearing a kilt into a Walmart store. I'm sure it sounds silly and I know it doesn't make a lot of sense now that I've been in several other public areas in a kilt. But there has been something about going shopping at Walmart in my kilt that has caused a lot of anxiety for me. Well, today was the day I needed to make it happen so, ready or not, I took on the fear. As you might suspect, nothing really happened. I heard a couple of comments about kilts (nothing derogatory) and noticed a few stares but that was it. It's quite possible only a handful of people even noticed I was wearing a kilt. I want to say it was a success but I also know There's still a lot of anxiety there and it will take several visits before I can be comfortable with it. It must be done.
One podcast I listen to on a regular basis is Marc Maron's WTF Podcast. The podcast is essentially Maron interviewing comedians and discussing the issues of the stand up comedy world and business. On one particular show Maron mentioned how his number one fear in life was embarrassing himself and yet it was very odd that he picked a career that almost guaranteed he would spend a good amount of his time embarrassing himself. I think that's the way I feel with the kilt. I've chosen to do something that will guarantee I draw attention to myself in public and yet that happens to be one of my great anxieties. This is why I think this year will help change me for the better. It will force me to confront some irrational fears and stare them down. Exciting but a bit scary too.
I'd like to mention that it was quite cold in Chattanooga today and once again I wore my Black Winter Kilt by Trinity Kilts. This kilt is becoming a favorite during the cold days. I decided not to john the kilt and I didn't regret it too much. Maybe in February I'll have to give Trinity Kilts another call.