Flying Solo

Last night, I went on the best first date I’ve been on in years…except it was with 29 other women, no men, and instead of dinner and movie, we made succulent terrariums at an all natural beauty and skin-care shop in Lawrenceville. I know, best date ever.

Succulent1I was supposed to meet Aaron’s sister there, we’d planned it all week. I was already parked on the street outside Una Biologicals when she texted to say she wasn’t going to make it. I considered going home, but I’d paid $20 already to participate and I was excited! I called Aaron, had a miniature social anxiety freak out, and then went in. The small shop is gorgeous, and when I arrived they were setting up chairs and tables. Clearly they were expecting a packed house.

Within minutes, I realized there was a Boston Terrier in the back behind a curtain, and played with him…his name was Bentley. I made friends with the two women running the event, Jessica Graves, who owns the company, and one of her employees, Anne. Turns out they blend their own chakra oils and use them during their monthly yoga classes….can you say second date?

Succulent2When we all sat down, I found myself with a group of lovely women. Two of the women with us were dog lovers, and we all exchanged photographs and stories about our mutts. The other two girls were students at CMU, one was about to leave for a semester in Dublin so we had plenty to talk about. I gave her my two go-to tips for surviving in Dublin. 1) Go to the bar called The Globe. 2) Eat at Soup Dragon as often as possible. I also gave her a heads up that being in Europe during an election year, is like being a deer in the woods during open season…watch out.

“I mean, you’ll be fine assuming you’ve got a logical head on your shoulders and you aren’t voting for the devil.” I said laughing. “Not to offend anyone,” I added, looking around the table a little nervous.

“Oh, well we’re at a succulent terrarium workshop in Lawrenceville…I don’t think you’re offending anyone here,” said Lisa, one of the dog lovers. We all laughed, she had a really good point.

Succulent4Oh, and we actually did make succulent terrariums…because, ya know, that’s why we were all there. I love the terrarium I made, but I love even more the confidence, comfort and strength it brought me to go to that workshop alone. I never felt awkward, I socialized and participated.

On my way home, I started planning all of the other succulent planters I am going to make. I want to pot them on my back porch with mums, creating a little Fall haven. I looked at pictures of succulents all night, finding ideas and inspiration to DIY some more. I had planned to bring my little creation into my office, but it looked so nice in my living room I had to leave it.

Last night didn’t change my life, or who I am. It didn’t end my anxiety or make me want to do everything by myself, but it did remind me how independent and strong I am. For an hour, I was a vibrant social butterfly, helping others tap into their creativity and sparking conversation. In my professional world, I embody that every day, but on my own I tend to be more introverted and quiet.

Since coming to Pittsburgh, I’ve explored and participated in more community events than any other time in my life. I am so impressed with this network of smart, talented, caring humans who invest their time and money in these diverse and exciting experiences. Thank you to everyone who makes these kinds of opportunities available.

So next month, Una Biologicals is hosting an Autumn Yoga Workshop…I know, how cool are they? They transform their shop into workshop space frequently, and it’s incredible. Big shout out to them!

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