Get out of your comfort zone and live a little, or a lot.

Do something new today, even if it means doing it alone.

Here’s a story of how I took some common advice to heart:

As you may or may not know, the Worthington Concert Association had its first concert of the season, “Take Me Home: The Music of John Denver,” starring Jim Curry at the Memorial Auditorium on Friday night.

I learned of this while writing a story about it last week.

After speaking with ladies from the concert association, and with Curry, I was intrigued and wanted to go.

Partly because I got a ticket from one of the nice women I interviewed, and partly because I love the songs “Take me home country roads” and “Thank God I’m a country boy.” Plus, I’m trying to become more “cultured”, whatever that means.

As Friday night rolled around, things worked out perfectly to where I got off work, and didn’t have any other plans. (Normally, I’m a very busy woman with TONS of adoring fans vying for my time.) But come show time, my schedule was clear.

The problem: My mom was working and I couldn’t recruit any of my coworkers to go. I mulled over not going for risk of looking like a “loser” being by myself.

Normally, I consider myself outgoing and personable- you pretty much have to be as a reporter.

However, I strongly considered staying home because I was embarrassed to go alone and wondered what others would think.

Thankfully, my adventurous side got the best of me. I decided if I was going to explore this area and experience new things, I better start with going to the show. Alone.

I showed up about five minutes late, punctuality is not one of my strengths, and was greeted by smiling faces eager to help me. People talk about southern hospitality, but I’ve been raving about southwest Minnesota hospitality. I was escorted to the upstairs section and took in the beautiful architecture of the huge open ceiling. I waited for a song to be over, and then took my seat.

Surprisingly, I didn’t feel too self-conscious. I truly enjoyed myself. While most of the audience was older than me, I thought it charming to look around at them having a good time listening to music they probably grew up on.

I soaked in the music and was thankful to get to see it live. I only knew about three or four songs that we’re performed, but it didn’t matter. I was there to experience something new, and that I did.

I loved watching the band and could sense the same passion that I feel for journalism, they felt for the music they played.

Granted it was no Bruce Springsteen concert (I love the Boss, and have him to thank for my parents meeting), it didn’t disappoint. Curry, his wife, and the four other band members had great on-stage chemistry. Their remarks between songs were witty and seemed unrehearsed.

While I didn’t necessarily get into all of the music being played (one song was about home-grown tomatoes, I don’t like tomatoes) I was thankful to witness live music and the “old school” crowd enjoying it.

I’ll have to admit though; one of my favorite parts was during intermission, admittedly for selfish reasons. I noticed the women seated below me had copies of the Daily Globe sitting out. It was a great feeling seeing other’s care about something I’m a part of.

At the end of the two hour show, I walked out of the auditorium with a smile on my face. I was content and proud of myself. My thoughts drifted to a difficult situation I faced last year. My circumstances had left me anxious and very uncomfortable in public. Even simple things like eating out or grocery shopping were difficult for me. But thanks to God, I overcame that mountain and have since changed for the better.

By attending the concert solo, I proved to myself that through Christ, I can do things I never could before.

I felt so alive sitting there alone. I realized that even if I did look out of place to others, I didn’t mind. I was doing what I had set my mind to do.

If you don’t take chances and step out of your comfort zone, are you really living the life that you could be?