What does it mean to be comfortable? Images of being curled up in an armchair drenched in sunlight reading a good book or wrapped in a blanket in the early morning with my hand wrapped around a steaming mug of tea or even the image of being surrounded by friends, laughing until our faces hurt.
The first two images I see with my childhood home as the background, mainly because I am one of those college graduates who moved back home, but also because for most, the thought of your childhood home brings back good memories, memories of comfort.
But someone brought to my attention last week and this past weekend that a lot of comfort (and sometimes routine) isn’t always the best thing to have.
I am not of course stressing over this. I feel restless today, anxious. I have a headache. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been trying this new food experiment (and failing almost every day).
I feel like I was just starting to get comfortable with the idea of uncertainty in the future – something that will probably always make me feel a little unsettled. Now I feel like that little piece of comfort is gone. Vanished. Poof. Not that it was anyone’s fault but mine, I let things get to me and then I overthink. Then I feel almost every possible uncomfortable feeling there is.
Part of this comes from the conversation of where I want to move to. Since accepting the fact that I can’t just dream up this beautiful idea of the perfect job in the city of my choice and expect it to happen, I’ve been more open about where I could move to. I of course have major preferences, one of which being the beautiful city of Portland, OR.
But is that the comfort talking? Is it okay to let comfort be a major, maybe even a deciding factor? Does it matter as long as I feel good about the choice and am happy?
I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone, for a longer period of time, twice. The first time was the decision to attend college out of state, which essentially meant moving out of state for four years. The moment I was without my parents, I freaked out; I felt lost, nervous, anxious, scared, etc. Some of those being completely normal for a freshman in college. But by the end of the week, I felt almost 100% better.
Two and half years later and I am stepping out of my comfort zone in a similar way for the second time: studying abroad. In hindsight it probably wasn’t as scary as I made it out to be. I studied abroad in England, so I didn’t have to worry about not knowing the language and I did it for the summer, which meant a shorter amount of time away. Once I was alone in my dorm room, I freaked out again. Same thing as when I moved into my freshman dorm. But by the second day, I had met a bunch of new people and had plans for the rest of the week.
But how many times do I need to go through this? Does it matter? Is it completely up to me? I don’t think that I need to push myself out of my comfort zone multiple times to grow. Sure it helps, but I don’t think it’s the only way.
When do I listen to the advice of others and when do I not?
It’s harder following your gut and heart than I thought.
For now, I live in comfort. <3 Nicole
I found the image through Google and links to Tom Rose’s My Comfort Zone Challenge – I’ve only read his first post and I’m already intrigued.