Time for Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone, 06.2018. The monthly post where I can brag about doing even the tiniest things that scare me just a little bit. “Scare” isn’t exactly the right verb…but things that make me antsy as my mother would say.
This is my fourth post in the series. In the first one, I explained a little bit about the psychology and benefit of stepping outside one’s comfort zone. If you missed that post, please click here to read it. I like to think of this as stretching myself and my boundaries. Opening up my life to new experiences and possibilities. And as is the case this month, embracing different cultures.
Let’s have a look at the ways I stepped outside my comfort zone in May.
Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone, 06.2018
You may remember that my oldest daughter Brennyn and her fiance Mustafa slipped off to Las Vegas in May to marry. It is Brennyn’s second marriage and she really isn’t one for a lot of pomp and circumstance. Her first wedding was quietly conducted on the beach at Key West at sunset. With just close family in attendance. Brennyn and Mustafa (and yours truly) are pretty introverted so the idea of just ‘eloping’ kind of appealed to them. Although, we all knew of their plans so it wasn’t like they picked a day and jumped on a plane.
Mustafa comes from a very close-knit Afghan family. While they live all over the world, it is their family’s custom to come together to celebrate marriages. So, as is the custom in Afghanistan, they planned a 3-day celebration for the newlyweds in Dallas in June. And attending the festivities was one giant leap outside my comfort zone!
Mustafa’s aunt Belqis from Germany seemed to be the expert on the cultural and religious aspects of the preparations. His sister Mashgan and his mother Parveen, worked so hard bring to fruition those cultural and religious elements found in an Afghan wedding. The result was beautiful but very much foreign or unfamiliar to Brennyn and to our family.
We really had very little idea what to expect of the weekend. Some of the communication break down was no doubt due to language issues. Going into Friday evening, we only knew that there would be a dinner, prepared by Mustafa’s family, held at an apartment complex clubhouse near his family’s home. Turned out it was a delicious dinner but so much more.
- The color green was present in several ways and symbolic of new beginnings, as I understood it.
- The couple was welcomed into the venue and did a special arm-in-arm very slow walk from the door to a bench that was reserved for them. Some of the women tossed yogurt-iced almonds onto the couple. They are called nuqls.
- Brennyn and Mustafa were kind of presented to the group as they sat down.
- Brennyn was asked to wear a green dress. As an example of our confusion, I also bought a green and blue dress to wear but it is only the bride who has to wear green. Ooops!
- The bench was draped with a beautiful piece of green Afghan fabric. On all of the tables there were small vases of roses and baby’s breath, and bowls of henna with rose petals.
- Plates of Afghan food were delivered to the couple so they didn’t have to get up from the bench.
- The food included salad, naan (type of bread), kebab, a saucy chicken, and a delicious rice mixture. Appetizers were humus, naan, fresh fruit and cubes of cheese. Dessert was a assortment of pastries, cookies and fruit-filled tarts. So flavorful and good!
- After the eating and visiting, the chairs and tables were pushed back to create a dance floor and Afghan music was played while guests danced in a space in front of the couple’s bench.
- Close to midnight, the couple was directed to move to the center of a circle created by all of the guests to dance their first dance together. Brennyn was given a green scarf to dance with.
- The family members danced in a circle around the couple while Bren and Mustafa danced in the middle. The family would lean in toward the couple and clap then lean away from the couple and clap.
- Here are a few more photos from the evening in a slideshow.
It was a lovely evening. Mustafa’s family was very welcoming. We all chipped in to clean up the venue and were home in bed by 2:00 am.
Saturday and Sunday
Had planned to share the events of the rest of the weekend in this post but wanted to have the professional photographer’s photos and they aren’t ready yet. So, I am going to save details of the rest of the weekend for an upcoming Part 2 to today’s Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone, 06.2018.
The entire weekend was a stretch outside my comfort zone. But it was a celebration of love and family and culture. And my heart was full!
What have you done to stretch yourself this month? Have you tried a new activity? Would love to be inspired by YOU! Please leave a comment below with ways you stepped outside your comfort zone this month. And if you have a stepping outside my comfort zone, 06.2018 post to share, please link up with us. Just click on the froggy button.
Time to start my day! Hope you have a revitalizing weekend, friends doing something outside your comfort zone!
Hugs and kisses,