I remember sitting outside on the hot concrete patio floor of my best friend’s apartment. It was a hot summer day, the sun was beaming down on me, sweat was beading up on my forehead, and bees were buzzing around my head, but I didn’t care. There I sat with my knees bent tightly to my chest as my arms hugged them, as tears continued to stream down my face. My visit with my friend would be over in a few short days, and instead of living up the last few moments of my trip, there I sat, on her patio in tears.
I don’t recall what set me off that afternoon. It could have been an unpleasant phone conversation that I had earlier, or maybe it was something so trivial now in hindsight, that it’s insignificance has caused me to not remember exactly what it was some 10 years later. Whatever it was, it brought my reality crashing around me so much so that it caused a flood of tears.
There I sat inconsolable and hopeless. I knew that my trip was coming to an end and that I would be going back “home” in a few days. Back “home” to a life, that I hated. At age 21, I was only a few months out of college, and I was back in my childhood bedroom, feeling even more confined by the dark paneling that covered the walls. By day, I was working at a job that gave me some of the worst stomach pangs whenever I got within a five-block radius of the building. After work, I would spend time with a guy, my boyfriend at the time, in a relationship that had run its course and was beyond it’s expiration date. The trade-off in my mind, was I at least be out and about, and not spending my spare hours within the four walls of my tiny bedroom. Looking back on this time, life was pretty miserable. I wasn’t very happy at all. I can look at that time now with 20/20 vision and come up with a list of a few dozen things that I could have/should have done differently, but the cloud that loomed over me was so huge that I couldn’t see or think straight.
Instead of enjoying those last few days of my trip which was a much needed escape, the dread of what was to come had stole those moments from me. And at the end of my trip, I returned “home” and the dread that I had anticipated was indeed waiting for me… suffocating me.
Eventually, a few months later, I made a radical decision. I quit my job, borrowed the largest oversized suitcase that I could find, and I packed up my car bound for my best friend’s couch a few states away. I had no job, no job prospects, very limited savings, and I knew that my friend’s time in that city was a limited one. Nevertheless, I leapt.
In a few short weeks, I found a job a temp staffing agency. Within a few months, I was hired permanently on one of my assignments and I was able to get my own apartment. Things got better.
For a period at that time, my life was at a stage of transition. I wish that I could say that things were great and amazing thereafter, but honestly some of the periods of my life that have followed were cool and good, while others have just plain sucked.
Sitting back and reflecting upon this, I realize that my “great leap” was a critical life lesson that perhaps I have since forgotten a decade later. When I was really, really, unhappy, feeling trapped, stuck, and suffocated, when it felt like there was no more air and no more hope, I did something completely out of my comfort zone. Ironically, here in October 2015, I feel some of those same feelings, but for different reasons.
Life is constantly at varying stages of ebb and flow, this I understand. But when it’s so constant where it seems like it’s more flow… the water keeps rising and rising and nothing is ebb’ing out, life seems blah or a crucial fight to keep from drowning.
“Life loses its meaning when we get stuck up in the comfort zone.
~ M.K. Soni”
Because everything seems meaningless to me, and nothing seems to change, I recognize that I have unknowingly gotten stuck in my comfort zone. Eek!
Staying in the comfort zone should never be an option. Every description in this comfort circle is something that I have found myself saying to myself in recent years. Fear and depression are the strongest dominate emotions that I have felt. But there are little glimmers of me, especially in this blog, that what to grab and reach toward, “dreams,” “excitement,” “lifestyle,” and over all life “fulfillment.”
We’ve all heard that “nothing in life comes easy,” but that doesn’t mean that we should settle for less or just survive. Being outside of our comfort zone helps us tap into our uniqueness. It can be very scary and unsettling to stand out and be different from everyone, but sometimes that’s exactly how we should be. Shrinking and trying to fade into the background is exactly what I find myself doing often, but in this moment of lucidity, I ask myself, “WHY?????” Posing this question to myself aloud, makes me rethink everything that I have done over the last past couple of years. Not in a bad way, but a self-reflective way that allows the little rebel in me rise up and thump her chest in strength.
The next important question is, “How?” How will I get myself out of this comfort zone? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as packing a single bag and hopping on the interstate as I once did as a young 20-something, but I’m sure if I look really hard, I’ll find a new way to leap. And so my new work begins…
Do you find yourself feeling stuck and feeling like you’re living a “blah” life? Do you need to get out of your comfort zone or have you found a way to leap outside of that zone? I would love to hear about it! Please share your thoughts with me!
Sending you dreamy bliss,